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Returning Lisbon chief finds little traffic

LISBON — When Police Chief Mike Abraham returned on Monday from a scheduled vacation, he was surprised at what he saw.

For sure, Abraham was expecting to see significantly fewerReturing Lis vehicles traveling the almost-always busy streets of Lisbon because of the coronavirus, “but all our traffic has about come to a standstill, and all of our calls have disappeared, too,” he said.

Welcome to the new normal, at least until the crisis passes.

Businesses providing “non-essential” services have been ordered closed and people told to stay home except for work or trips to purchase groceries and household or medical supplies. Restaurants and bars can remain open but only for take-out or delivery.

“We’re checking once a day to see if any non-essential businesses are complying, and they are. Fortunately, everyone’s taking it seriously,” Abraham said.

The local Save A Lot supermarket remains opens to foot traffic, but some of the other essential businesses have radically changed how they do business because of the crisis. Geronimo Supply, a local hardware store, remains open but is taking orders at the front door and requiring customers to wait outside while staff retrieves the items they purchased.

Abraham found this out when he stopped by to purchase some batteries for the police department. “I stayed outside while they got me my order,” he said. “So even the essential businesses are taking that extra step to protect their employees and the public.”

The police department lobby remains open but Abraham said the calls are few and far between now. “Normally our phones are ringing off the hooks, but the only calls we seem to get now are about whether they can go somewhere,” Abraham said.

With village hall closed to the public, a contractor needing a permit to fix a leaky roof badly in need of repair stopped by the police department for guidance. Abraham told the contractor to go ahead, deeming the repair an essential service.

tgiambroni@mojonews.com

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