NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

A glimpse into the pandemic’s effects in Newburyport

The coronavirus continues to ravage the United States. In Newburyport, the psychological effect has everyone indoors and isolated, and the closure of nonessential businesses has put a strain on income. Market Basket is struggling to keep up with the demand for essential items such as hand sanitizer and soap.

 When questioned about the virus´ effect on Newburyport, City Councilor Afroz Khan commented on how the residents’ social lives are changing, how they communicate while social distancing. Another development is the governor’s ban of reusable bags as a result of the outbreak. Khan is upset over this development as a supporter of a more environmentally friendly approach.

  David Hall, head of the real estate agency Hall and Moskow, commented on the virus’ negative impact on local businesses’ income due to closures. Residents are unable to pay rent due to unemployment. City mayor Donna Holiday voiced concerns that small businesses might not survive. Hall noted that the governor ordering all nonessential businesses to close seems to be having an adverse effect. Hall stated that he had not been tested for Coronavirus.

 Mayor Holiday also showed concerns over the rail trail, as warm weather over the weekend brought an influx of people to, apparently not following the guidelines of social distancing. The mayor hopes that with the possibility of the rail trail’s closure, the residents will proceed to follow the rules of social distancing on the trail without having to close it all together.

 The end to this crisis seems to be nowhere in sight.  Khan said she “thinks we’re doing a lot of the right things,” in combating the spread of the virus, yet there are still issues. The major issue, noted by Holiday, is the lack of testing being conducted. Anna Jaques hospital has set up a clinic, yet has only a limited number of test kits. Fortunes may soon change on that front as Abbot Labs has developed a brand new way to test for the virus, capable of being completed within five minutes, and it’s been approved for mass production to make it available throughout the country. With mass testing promised to be available soon, hope remains that the spread of the Coronavirus can be stopped and the crisis can end.