Scenes from Maine during a global pandemic

The swift spread of a new novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has taken the entire world by surprise, leaving millions of people around the world — Mainers included — confused and anxious as health experts and elected officials at every level have called for and, in some cases, imposed strict measures to limit social interaction. The goal is to prevent community transmission by people who do not realize they have been infected by the disease, COVID-19, which has sickened nearly 200,000 people around the world and caused the death of more than 7,800.These photos show how the new realities brought by the global pandemic are popping up in the lives and neighborhoods of Mainers.

Orono, Maine — March 13, 2020 — Seniors Samuel Neil (center) and Derek Roberge (right) cheer as Dean of Students Robert Dana speaks during the “Corona-mencement” in the Memorial Union at the University of Maine on Friday. “I wanted to say good-bye to all of these people. I love them,” Neil said. Around 1,200 people gathered in the University of Maine’s Memorial Union for a celebration they called “Corona-mencement”, for graduation seniors to say good-bye to their friends and to have a makeshift commencement. Organized by senior Sophia Palangas, nearly 400 certificates were given out at the ceremony. (Linda Coan O’Kresik/BDN)

PORTLAND, MAINE — 03/15/20 — Signs of coronavirus-induced closures and changes in service sprouted up in Portland in the last few days. Worship services and a Maine 200th birthday lecture (top photo) were cancelled at the First Parish Church. The public library (above left) is also closed. Bard Coffee in the Old Port is now offering only takeout. (Troy R. Bennett/BDN)

Holden, Maine — March 17, 2020 — Despite the cancellation of events due to coronavirus, Cindy Oakes brought her St. Patrick’s Day spirit to work at G&M Family Market in Holden on Wednesday. “I am in the age group, though, that I am being careful,” she said. (Linda Coan O’Kresik/BDN)

ELLSWORTH, Maine — 03/17/20 — A drive-thru tent for screening possible coronavirus patients has been set up outside the emergency room in the Northern Light Health Maine Coast Hospital parking lot in Ellsworth. NLH officials say they intend to offer screening for such patients in Ellsworth starting later this week or early next. Patients are advised to call the hospital ahead of time so staff can prepare for their arrival, and will have to get approval from a physician before they are formally tested for COVID-19. (Bill Trotter/BDN)

BLUE HILL, Maine — 03/17/20 — A mostly empty bread aisle awaited shoppers at Tradewinds Marketplace of Blue Hill on Tuesday, although the store was otherwise well stocked, officials said. (Nick Sambides Jr./BDN)

A woman tries the door at a shop in the Freeport Village Station shopping center, Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Freeport, Maine. Most of the retail stores in town including the L.L. Bean flagship store were closed out of concern of spreading the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Bangor, Maine — March 18, 2020 — The activity along Main Street in downtown Bangor has slowed down since the coronavirus hit Maine. (Linda Coan O’Kresik/BDN)

Bottles of hand sanitizer are made available for lawmakers outside the House Chamber at the State House, Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Augusta, Maine. The Maine Legislature convened to consider coronavirus-related legislation and a budget bill. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

ELLSWORTH, Maine — 03/18/20 — Roughly a dozen businesses in downtown Ellsworth were closed or posted notices to customers in their front windows late Wednesday afternoon about measures they were taking in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Some stores and businesses remained open, but there was little foot or vehicle traffic as many area residents were following advice from medical health professionals that everyone stay home and avoid large groups in order to reduce the spread of the disease, which has sickened nearly 200,000 people worldwide and killed more than 7,800. (Photos/collage Bill Trotter/BDN)

PORTLAND, MAINE — 03/18/20 — Patrick Bruce, who goes by the stage name PMB, sings in Portland’s Congress Square on Wednesday. Bruce’s musical tour of New England was just canceled by the coronavirus and he’s singing on the street to make ends meet. (Troy R. Bennett/BDN)

Bangor, Maine — March 18, 2020 — A testing site has been set up at Bass Park in Bangor for referred patients to drive through and be tested for coronavirus. Referred patients must enter from Buck Street, not Bass Park Blvd (as shown here).(Linda Coan O’Kresik/BDN)

PORTLAND, MAINE — 03/18/20 –A woman carries a plant as she walks in front of the shuttered Nickelodeon Cinema in Portland on Wednesday. The cinema closed on Monday and a message on its website reads: “In response to the recent spread and concern of the COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily close and suspend all films in the immediate future. We look forward to welcoming you back soon.” (Troy R. Bennett/BDN)

Bill Trotter

About Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors. He writes about fisheries, marine-related topics, eastern coastal Maine communities and more for the BDN. He lives in Ellsworth. Follow him on Twitter at @billtrotter.