Well we sure had the rug pulled out from under us yesterday.
Social Distancing. We’re doing it. We’re working from home, we’re staying away from other people as much as humanly possible, we’re cutting back on our trips to the store and all that fun stuff.
We’re not necessarily staying at home, though that might change, but we are not coming anywhere near other humans. We are taking walks around the neighborhood. Other people are around and we wave and say hello, but we aren’t approaching anyone. We also go for drives. We only get out of the car if we’ve been going too long and need to stretch our legs, in which case we find an empty parking lot, or if we need gas, in which case we don’t go near other people.
We thought that was the way it was all around. We were wrong.
Our first quarantine road trip was just a couple of exists up route 93. Our second was much longer. We drove to Concord, NH and then to Rochester, NH and then home. Yesterday, for road trip three, I had the bright idea to drive up to the ocean and wander up the coast. I suggested it for two reasons. One, seeing the ocean always feels good. Two, it would be fun to see the beaches empty on a weekend day. You know, everyone will be home so we’ll have the road to ourselves.
We drove to Salisbury Beach. We didn’t approach the beach itself, but at the end of the runway there were some cars parked on the road and a few people could be seen in the distance. Nothing much different than what I expected. The parking lots were empty. Then we turned north and headed to Hampton Beach across the state line and the bubble burst.
Hampton Beach is much bigger than Salisbury, and the ocean can be seen from the road. That’s why I like that drive. There is crap tons of parking and nice sidewalks for folks to hang out on before walking onto the beach. Yesterday we were shocked. The parking lots were nearly full and the sidewalks, while not mobbed exactly, were really busy. I didn’t see any specific groups of larger than 10 people. I saw what looked like a family of seven, and a group of eight older teenage kids. No one was in a group of 10, but on the sidewalk there were 100 or so groups of two and three, all walking up and down the street together. Were they all six feet apart? Absolutely not. It was a typical busy street. The traffic was crazy too. It wasn’t summertime at the beach traffic, but it was about normal for a cold day in early spring.
If one person in that sidewalk crowd was carrying the virus without showing symptoms then hundreds (at least) of people were exposed. What the hell were these people thinking? Worst of all? Almost all of the people we saw were middle age and older. They were almost all in the high risk group. All of them. Hundreds of them. Again, what the hell are these people doing?
I felt stupid just being in the same time zone as these people. I thought we were being as safe as we could be. Now this. Just amazing. Every single one of those people had their head shoved firmly up their own ass. I still can’t believe it. It makes me want to stay at home with the doors locked. I knew that the average person in America was kinda dumb (half of them voted for Trump after all) but my faith in my fellow man has been completely shit on.
Stay home, you friggin’ morons.