As COVID-19 restrictions linger, Memorial Day down the shore far from business as usual

Tim Jimenez
May 25, 2020 - 11:27 am
Ocean City, N.J., boardwalk

Tim Jimenez/KYW Newsradio

OCEAN CITY, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — This isn’t the Memorial Day at the shore that many beachgoers were dreaming about a few months ago.

There are announcements over the speakers along the boardwalk, and signs everywhere, reminding people to stay six feet apart, wear a mask and wash their hands. Hand sanitizer dispensers are spaced out along the boardwalk. Masks are highly recommended, especially while waiting in line for food. 

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Have people been complying? From visitor Kate Mora’s point of view, kind of.

“I’ve seen less masks than I thought I would see. I was kind of disappointed,” she said. “I thought maybe we should follow the governor’s rules and the CDC guidelines, but it’s been less crowded than I expected, so it wasn’t too bad.”

It all feels and looks different, but that’s OK, she said.

“Any day here at the shore is better than a day home.”

With shops offering curbside pickup and takeout available at restaurants, James McGwire from Norwood, Delaware County says his family is doing what they can to help the mom and pops.

“We brought food with us, but we also try to order out local, try to support local business. There are a few pizza shops around us,” he said.

At the 7th Street Surf Shop, people can browse from the front but can’t go in. Manager Melissa Wilson says this is an uncertain summer, but she says she is hopeful because of the support this weekend.

7th Street Surf Shop
Tim Jimenez/KYW Newsradio

“I had a customer yesterday who came in to buy a pair of rainbow sandals and said, ‘I was gonna buy them on Amazon, and I decided to wait and come here and shop local,’” Wilson said. “I thanked her up and down. It means the world to small business.”

Some businesses can’t be helped for now. The Wonderland Pier is closed, for example, so the fun and games and the full shore experience will have to wait.