Beverly Tupper sat in her car, face mask at the ready on June 1, waiting for one of the librarians of the Brookfield Branch Library of the Warren-Trumbull County Public Library to unlock the doors to the public for the first time since March 17, when the library closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I really miss the library,” the Brookfield woman said. “I do, probably, two books a week. I have been really lost.”
Without access to books, Tupper has watched a lot more TV, and she’s had enough of that.
“I hope they have a (David) Baldacci or (James) Patterson,” she said. “I love mysteries.”
Although not all library services are available – most computers and the copy machine will stay off, and newspapers and magazines cannot be read – this slow reopening gives Tupper a small return to normalcy.
“I have always read,” she said, noting she used to ride her bicycle to the bookmobile when she lived in Hartford.
Over the past month, retail stores that have been closed have reopened, barbers and hair stylists are plying their trades, and restaurants can again serve in their dining rooms.
Still, not everything is back to normal. Some restaurants are staying take-out only, and the Brookfield trustees on June 1 decided to keep the township social hall closed.
The state has imposed restrictions on how banquet hall operations must be conducted, and Trustee Dan Suttles said he is not sure how they can make sure the guidelines are being followed without hiring someone to monitor events.
“I just think it’s a high risk for us, as owners of the banquet hall,” said Trustee Gary Lees.
The trustees streamed the meeting June 1 via Facebook Live, and the discussion can be viewed on the township’s Facebook page.
The township park has reopened, although the Jenny’s Junction playground is not. The trustees said they plan to install a sanitation station in the park, and signs have been erected outlining state regulations.
“There are rules to abide by, and I hope people abide by them,” said Trustee Ron Haun.
Brookfield Youth Baseball and Softball League teams have started practicing at the park for a later-than-usual season, but there are only five of them.
“We ended up losing 11 teams this year,” said league President Ken Forsythe.
Many parents remain concerned about letting their ball players play in the close contact that baseball requires, while others did not like government regulations, such as the requirements that players wear masks in the dugout, Forsythe said.
The league had already held registration prior to the pandemic shutdowns, and issued full refunds for players who ended up not playing.