Beth Corbin, left, from Middletown, rides a carousel with her daughter, Madeline, 7, on Wednesday at Lake Compounce. "We try to do as much outside of the house as we can," Beth said. "With all the precautions, they are making us feel very comfortable coming. And the fact that it's mostly outdoor." Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Brenda and Mason Baez Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror

On July 1, the first day Lake Compounce in Bristol reopened to members post-pandemic, Brenda Baez was there with five-year-old Mikayla in tow and three-month-old Mason in her arms.

“I wanted to take advantage when not many people are here,” she said, watching Mikayla play in a rain puddle.

Baez, of Meriden, said she felt safe after reading about the park’s sanitation and distancing protocols, so she booked a season pass online and packed masks and raincoats. After giving birth during a pandemic, a little rain didn’t sway her.

“The first month I had him, I think I was crying every day,” she said. “It was hard, but we’re getting through. It’s not over, but we’re making the best out of it.”

Lake Compounce is one of the many businesses throughout Connecticut that opened their doors again when the state started Phase 2 of its reopening plan in late June, allowing outdoor amusement parks, gyms, movie theaters, restaurants and museums to welcome customers – with ample coronavirus safety guidelines in place.

The state was last in the nation to begin reopening, and it’s one of the few where infection rates are still trending downward. The virus’s vast resurgence made Gov. Ned Lamont reconsider on Thursday the timeline for starting Phase 3, which would have allowed bars in the state to reopen mid-month.

In the meantime, residents are starting to venture out for socially distant yoga classes and masked haircuts, trying to recapture a sense of normalcy in a very abnormal time.

Beth Corbin, left, from Middletown, rides a carousel with her daughter, Madeline, 7, on Wednesday at Lake Compounce. “We try to do as much outside of the house as we can,” Corbin said. “With all the precautions, they are making us feel very comfortable coming. And the fact that it’s mostly outdoors.” Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Beth Corbin, left, from Middletown, rides a carousel with her daughter, Madeline, 7, on Wednesday at Lake Compounce. “We try to do as much outside of the house as we can,” Corbin said. “With all the precautions, they are making us feel very comfortable coming. And the fact that it’s mostly outdoors.” Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
A sanitizing station is installed at Lake Compounce on Wednesday. The amusement park opened to season pass holders on July 1 and will open to the public on Monday, July 6. Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Blessing Clarkson, 8, measures her height to make sure that she can get on a ride Wednesday at Lake Compounce. Face coverings are required for everyone except children under three. Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Guests are required to RSVP for the day they wish to visit and have to pre-purchase a ticket or season pass online. Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Visitors wait for a ferris wheel while social distancing at Lake Compounce. Some rides that necessitate close contact, such as bumper cars, were closed. Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Adam Almendral, 11, from the Bronx, enjoys a ride on Wednesday at Lake Compounce. His family, which includes four children, comes to the park every year as a family tradition. Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Mikayla Baez, 5, from Meriden, plays in a puddle on Wednesday at Lake Compounce. Mikayla was so bored at home during this pandemic that she began to blog her daily adventures with her her mom, Brenda. Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Madison Ruede, 6, from Middletown, points at people on a ride while she and her mom, Kristen, wait for the rain to stop at Lake Compounce. Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Rakyel Brogan teaches a yoga class on June 17 at Hartford Sweat. It was the first in-person class since the yoga studio closed its doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. “When the governor said yes, we said yes,” Brogan said. “We were just waiting for the call.” Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Rakyel Brogan teaches a yoga class on June 17 at Hartford Sweat. It was the first in-person class since the yoga studio closed its doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. “When the governor said yes, we said yes,” Brogan said. “We were just waiting for the call.” Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Caitlin Clarke in a pose during a yoga class at Hartford Sweat. Classes used to accommodate 30 people, but they are now limited to seven. Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Taylor Shirk works on a yoga posture during a class at Hartford Sweat. Shirk said it was challenging to work out on his own while the studio was closed. “When everybody gets together, everybody brings their own energy,” Shirk said. “It’s a really nice community.” Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Taylor Shirk works on a yoga posture during a class at Hartford Sweat. Shirk said it was challenging to work out on his own while the studio was closed. “When everybody gets together, everybody brings their own energy,” Shirk said. “It’s a really nice community.” Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Viviana Nicholas rests at the end of the yoga class. Nicholas said that she joined an online CrossFit class while the yoga studio was closed. Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Sherry Howe floats in warm water on June 23 at the YMCA in Ellington. Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Dima Frolov enters the YMCA swimming pool in Ellington wearing a mask on June 23. Members were asked to wear masks when they were not rinsing or using the pool. Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Kyla Larusso, a lifeguard at the YMCA, wipes down the pool ladder at the Ellington YMCA. Staff clean the high-touch surfaces hourly. Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
David McCord swims laps on the morning of June 23 at the Ellington YMCA. He visited the center to swim two days in a row after it reopened on Monday. “They’re doing everything to make it safe,” McCord said. “You just gotta be careful.” Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
David McCord swims laps on the morning of June 23 at the Ellington YMCA. He visited the center to swim two days in a row after it reopened on Monday. “They’re doing everything to make it safe,” McCord said. “You just gotta be careful.” Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Carly Mangan, a lifeguard at the YMCA, waits for members near the entrance on June 23. Mangan explained the rules to members entering the pool. Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Arthur Howe wipes his body after walking in the water on Tuesday, June 23 at the YMCA swimming pool in Ellington. He used to come to the pool three times a week with his wife, Sherry, before the coronavirus pandemic. “We need to get back on exercising,” Sherry said. Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Arthur Howe wipes his body after walking in the water on Tuesday, June 23 at the YMCA swimming pool in Ellington. He used to come to the pool three times a week with his wife, Sherry, before the coronavirus pandemic. “We need to get back on exercising,” Sherry said. Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Liam Cawley, exhibit manager, wears a mask while installing signs on June 18 at the Connecticut Science Center. Online timed ticket reservations are required for all visitors, and visitors over two years old should wear masks. Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Melissa Garafola, genetics educator, records a domino demonstration to explain the importance of physical distancing to visitors on June 18 at the Connecticut Science Center. Garafola will run a youth class to explain what viruses are, how they are transmitted and what students can do to avoid transmission. “This is such an anxious time, and we want them to feel safe,” she said. Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Melissa Garafola, genetics educator, records a domino demonstration to explain the importance of physical distancing to visitors on June 18 at the Connecticut Science Center. Garafola will run a youth class to explain what viruses are, how they are transmitted and what students can do to avoid transmission. “This is such an anxious time, and we want them to feel safe,” she said. Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Tony Gugliotti, 82, cuts Guy Dessureauld’s hair on June 23 at Magic Shears in Waterbury. Since reopening his barbershop on June 1, Gugliotti has been working from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is fully booked until the end of July. He lets one person into the shop at a time by appointment. Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Tony Gugliotti, 82, cuts Guy Dessureauld’s hair on June 23 at Magic Shears in Waterbury. Since reopening his barbershop on June 1, Gugliotti has been working from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is fully booked until the end of July. He lets one person into the shop at a time by appointment. Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Tony Gugliotti, 82, sanitizes scissors between customers at Magic Shears in Waterbury. “I do [cleaning] in front of customers so he sees what I do.” Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Tony Gugliotti, 82, sanitizes scissors between customers at Magic Shears in Waterbury. “I do [cleaning] in front of customers so he sees what I do.” Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Tony Gugliotti has run his barbershop, Magic Shears, since 1975. He had to close the barbershop for more than two months due to the pandemic. “It’s the longest I ever shut down,” Gugliotti said. “I missed the people.” Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Tony Gugliotti has run his barbershop, Magic Shears, since 1975. He had to close the barbershop for more than two months due to the pandemic. “It’s the longest I ever shut down,” Gugliotti said. “I missed the people.” Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror
Tony Gugliotti cuts the hair of Guy Dessureauld, a customer for 42 years. Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror

Yehyun joined CT Mirror in June 2020 as a photojournalist and a Report For America Corps Member. Her role at CT Mirror is to tell visual stories about the impact of public policy on individuals and communities in Connecticut. Prior to joining CT Mirror, Yehyun photographed community news in Victoria, Texas and was a photo and video intern at USA TODAY and at Acadia National Park in Maine. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Yehyun was born and raised in South Korea.

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