Virus Outbreak New England

A closed sign hangs in the window of a shop March 25, 2020, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

(The Center Square) – The debate on whether to reopen New Hampshire’s economy was played out in a torrent of emails crowding the inboxes of Gov. Chris Sununu’s Economic Reopening Task Force during the spring.

The Concord Monitor reported that the task force received about 1,800 messages between April 22 and May 1, which translated into a war of words on close to 3,000 printed pages.

The newspaper reported that hundreds of salon owners and workers wrote the task force to address their displeasure with the head of the New Hampshire Cosmetology Association’s remarks during one of the task force’s first meetings.

Portsmouth salon owner Jami Barnes told the publication that while she was satisfied with the state’s guidelines for her and her counterparts, she thought her industry was used as a guinea pig.

“The whole thing really came off as they weren’t taking us seriously or our profession seriously,” Barnes told the newspaper. “From the top down, from the governor to the task force to then getting the information to us, and then us relaying all this to our clients, it just seemed like there was something amiss.”

The task force also received emails from members of other sectors and businesses, including what may be New Hampshire’s lone competitive and recreational aquatic training facility for dogs.

More messages came from mothers worried about their daughters’ upcoming weddings, another mother wondering when her daughter will have her braces removed, and an expectant mother who asserted that maternity clothing should be classified as essential.