Going to Ocean City During the Covid 19 Pandemic

It is possible to go on vacation during the Covid-19 pandemic as long as you follow the basic steps that you’re asked to follow wherever you are. This is exactly what my family and I did. Towards the end of August we went to Ocean City, MD, to go to the beach and also visit with a friend.

You may wonder how it worked. We put our masks on when we went into the hotel. We used hand sanitizer when we had to touch things in the common areas like elevator buttons and doors. Before the trip, we had actually got a device that allows a person to grab onto a door handle and pull it open or hit a button on an elevator without touching it. It was a good way to cut down on touching public surfaces. Anytime we went to the room from the public area (lobby, hallway, restaurant, or somewhere outside the hotel) we would wash our hands. When we used the light switch we washed our hands and we kept sanitizer in our bags. The remote control for the television was put in a ziplock bag. Some other differences in the hotel was no maid service unless it was requested. This kept the rooms “clean” from possible viruses. Also the hotel restaurant did a good job with seating people, keeping them six feet apart. So the place we stayed did a good job with safety.

Now with going places. Firstly, everybody was required to wear a mask on the boardwalk during most hours of the day. The other key was to plan your trips when it was less crowded. The morning and afternoon were good times to go places because there weren’t the usual crowds. I don’t think the boardwalk was as crowded as normal, but it had enough people that you had to be careful. But it wasn’t to the point to stop a person from going out, if they followed the proper procedures. My dad and I would go out in the late morning or early afternoon on most days. We would get a drink at the bar which had outside seating and plexiglass and practiced social distancing. We would walk on the boardwalk on the upper end towards where our hotel was. This end by nature of being further away from the amusement park section and all the accompanying shops was less crowded, and it still had quality stores. We did go into stores if they weren’t crowded. We would look in the door first to see. The stores I’ve been in on the beach weren’t any less safe than the stores back home. In fact I was in Walmart one time at home when it was definitely worse than any place I have been down at the beach. Walmart was crammed full of people, and it was hard to follow the social distancing there. I did not have the problem in Ocean City.

My parents went to walk on the boardwalk one evening when I just wanted to rest, and started to head down towards the busy end, and turned around because of the crowds. So there were limits of what made sense to do, but a person wouldn’t have to inhabit a location at a time when it was crowded if they didn’t want to. A person also would not have to stay in their hotel room the whole time for safety reasons either if they didn’t want to. Though I didn’t actually go to the beach to lay on it during the day, up where we were a person could do so if they stayed further back from the water and still maintain the distance. I think it’s nice to go out on the beach and relax during the day, but I wouldn’t need to do it every day. In the circumstances of the time, I did not find a need to try it during the pandemic, though I would like to go back to O.C. and go to the beach next year.

There were two nice and safe options that we did opt for. My family on and off went onto the balcony to look at the water and listen to the waves. By nature of how the rooms were, everyone was automatically six feet apart and a mask wasn’t needed. One time I would go out to sit and listen would be in the evening. One of the days we also went on a surrey ride during the less crowded period. It was a faster way to traverse the boardwalk. On this trip we stopped and went into various stores to look, plus visited Dumser’s for ice cream! That evening my mom and I went out and walked along the water on the beach for a little while which I thought was enjoyable.

Overall, I didn’t feel slighted from the trip though I would like to go again and spend more time on the boardwalk and this time do it without a facemask. I especially would like to spend more time down at the other end that we shied away from due to distance but also crowds. Out of everything that I went to do, only one item remained unfulfilled, and it wasn’t that we couldn’t do it because of Covid. I wanted to challenge my dad to a game of Daytona at the arcade on the boardwalk like I did back when we would go to Ocean City every year. Apparently the game got too antiquated as it wasn’t offered at any of the arcades anymore. So this was the only thing I planned on doing that I didn’t, and it was due to it not being available.