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The coronavirus pandemic's impact on the Amish community

The Amish say the coronavirus pandemic has not disrupted their lives too much, but they are following the state's orders.

UNITY, Maine — During these days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Amish community in Unity tells NEWS CENTER Maine they are doing everything they can to follow the governors' orders.

About 20 Amish houses are located in Unity, but there are Amish settlements in Fort Fairfield, Smyrna, Waterville, Unity, Thorndike, Whitefield, Patten, Stacyville, and Wales.

They say the coronavirus pandemic has not disrupted their lives too much, but they are following the state's orders.

"We shut down the school," said Caleb Stoll, who owns a Milk Farm in Unity.

"We were not to go shopping in non-community stores, and there was quite a bit of effort made for the businesses that stayed opened to limit contact as well," said Abner Stoll, Caleb's brother.

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Caleb and Abner Stoll didn't want their faces to be shown on camera but their biggest change was having church services on Sundays in two different places. "...to try and cut down on contact..we immediately stopped the meal after church and then for 3 or 4 Sundays we completely didn't have any services of any kind," said Caleb Stoll.

They ended their quarantine on May 1, but they are still limiting their contact with others.

"We were very concerned about being respectful, both to the mandate and to our neighbors who were concerned," said Caleb Stoll.

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The Stoll brothers own a dairy and an agriculture farm, luckily, business is going well for them and their community these days.

"Probably due to the nature of their sort of essential things and not a lot of frivolous activities, so I would say that they have been doing well," said Abner Stoll.

The Amish rely on newspapers, word of mouth from neighbors and a phone number where there are short summary recordings for them to hear and understand the latest COVID-19 updates.

"I feel less of a need to be informed because I think most people would be happier if they were less informed," said Abner Stoll.

Credit: NCM

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In the future is a vaccine is found the Stoll's say it is a case by case situation, and each family will decide if they vaccinate their family members or not.

"We have never taken a position against vaccination," said Caleb Stoll.

"We would cringe if people would see us as not being cooperative, we don't want to be sick or transmit it to anyone else," said Caleb Stoll.

They also added, they've been receiving Stimulus checks but they will not accept them and those will be returned to the Federal Government. The Amish don't accept direct government aid as they like to maintain their independence with the government.

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