I went to the beach this past weekend, and I’m here to tell you, spring is not the only thing bustin’ out all over. It wasn’t a Fourth of July crowd, but there were plenty of folks soaking up some sun and trying to have some fun.
I know, I know. I’m supposed to be on the coronavirus lockdown. I admit my beach house is not my primary residence. The address there is not the one on my driver’s license. But a contractor my husband and I hired back in the fall is finally making repairs to our house caused by Hurricane Florence what, 18 months ago. We felt we needed to go check on the new windows that have been installed and the painting that’s been done.
And I admit I wanted a change of scenery. I wanted to see the ocean. I wanted to eat some seafood. So we temporarily scrapped quarantine.
We weren’t on the coast by ourselves.
Right or wrong and days ahead of our North Carolina governor, evidently quite a few of us have decided to use our own common sense to get out and do at least some of the things we used to enjoy. I guess the desire for our old life outweighs our fear of the virus.
I wasn’t on a wild spring break like the college kids caught on the news back in March. And the beach I saw wasn’t packed like some I’ve seen reports of in Florida and Texas.
To re-emphasize, I wasn’t in the middle of any kind of crowd. And neither were these folks in the above picture I took of the Emerald Isle Beach on Sunday afternoon. People looked pretty spaced out to me.
On Saturday, my husband and I rode a dozen miles down the coast to Salter Path to get a shrimp burger at the legendary Big Oak. The small parking lot was jammed, but everyone in line pretty much observed the social 6-foot distance. Some people had masks; most did not. The line moved like clockwork. Maybe I’m living in denial, but as I waited for my food, I felt more in danger of getting a sunburn than the coronavirus.
Just like at home, some businesses are thriving while others aren’t. Restaurants that have always done take-out, like the Big Oak, I would guess haven’t missed a beat. Others aren’t so fortunate. The doors were locked and the lights off at the eatery below.
What I call the “Unwelcome Sign” flashes at the bottom of the bridge that takes me from Emerald Isle back to the mainland. “STAY HOME” all ye who have dared to enter! That’s the official line; many of the merchants no doubt feel differently (see above OPEN NC sign).
Right or wrong, whether for essential business or pure pleasure, the bumper to bumper traffic on Sunday afternoon showed a lot of us have chosen not to stay home.