Late Autumn 2021 and COVID-19 pandemic continues to march across Maine, with numbers of infected rising again. The conversations in the community often include when and where friends and family might be getting their booster shots.
Walmart and Walgreen’s, the pharmacy at Pen Bay Medical Center, and the primary care physician offices are most mentioned. Masks are common in the grocery stores; outside, people have grown accustomed to maintaining substantial personal space, as they cram their masks into coat pockets.
And the pandemic galleries remain a constant. We had hoped last spring that the time had come to retire this collective project of chronicling a weird period in human history with photos, but we won’t because the pandemic rages on.
Just last week, Nov. 13, at the annual Maine Press Association Better Newspaper Contest, and in a first-ever win, it was PenBayPilot.com readers who brought home an award for Picture Story, for your submitted photographs to the Pilot’s Pandemic Galleries. It was an unorthodox contest submission, but we believed that our Pilot community photographers deserved recognition.
“I love this idea and engagement, and clearly so did your readers,” wrote the South Dakota Newspaper Association judges, who were taking on the task of reviewing and naming winners of Maine’s annual competition. “Well done. Not sure how to judge this in a competition of professional photogs, but if Maine had some sort of engagement or innovative category, this would be stronger.”
The first volume of pandemic photos initiated in March 2020, and sense then, you, the photographers, have steadily taken your cameras to the Midcoast, capturing how we perceive living through a deadly pandemic. Your photos have been remarkably expressive, and beautiful.
This collection of submitted photos taken by residents and visitors to the state will join A Wellspring of Hope, Tipping toward Winter, Maine establishes new normal with a sense of grace and Maine weathers a pandemic, Maine springs through a pandemic, Summering on through uncharted times, the Leaves of Change, Finding our Footing, a Hopeful new year, and A Wellspring of Hope.
All these galleries have been built on the love people have for the Midcoast and the natural beauty of their state. The photographers are observant, creative and astute. They help capture our current days.
Generations from now, historians will be looking at your photos for glimpses of how humans coped during a pandemic.
Send your contributions to email@example.com, and we will continue this team project! The Pilot thanks you.