Coronavirus

Yes, You Can Actually Lie on a Jersey Shore Beach This Weekend

Previously, you couldn't sit on the beaches. That's beginning to change.


sea isle city, one of the jersey shore beaches reopening for sunbathing

The beach in Sea Isle City, one of the Jersey Shore towns reopening beaches for sunbathing this week. (Image via Flickr)

Sunbathing Returns to the Jersey Shore This Weekend

Listen, I love a good walk on the beach at the Jersey Shore. So the fact that some Jersey Shore towns have been loosening their lockdowns and allowing walking and other forms of “passive recreation” on their beaches has been a welcome change.

But greater is my love for just simply plopping my Tommy Bahama beach chair (they’re the best! get them at Costco) into the sand and sitting there. The sun. That breeze. The sound of the crashing waves. Those wretched Jersey Shore flies. OK, so everything except the flies.

Anyway, sitting, sunbathing and otherwise lounging on the Jersey Shore beaches have all been strictly verboten. But that is about to change.

Sea Isle City Mayor Leonard Desiderio (if you wanna sound like you’re in the know when you bump into him at La Costa this summer, just call him “Mayor Len”) just announced that you can sit, sunbathe and otherwise lounge all you want on Sea Isle City beaches starting this weekend.

“It has become clear that outdoor activity, done with respect for each other’s space, is beneficial not only to our residents’ physical health, but also their mental health,” said Mayor Len on Wednesday. “Please stay safe, stay well, remain optimistic. And remember – we are all one Sea Isle City and together we will be stronger than ever.”

Mayor Len was quick to point out that there won’t be any lifeguards, though with Sea Isle City water temps in the 50s, you’d have to be a real masochist to take a plunge.

He also insisted that Sea Isle City beachgoers remain at least six-feet apart. Come to think of it, after spending way too many summers with spray sunscreen users way too close to my beach chair, can we just pass a law that requires social distancing at the Jersey Shore for all eternity? Because if you are less than six feet away from me when I’m sitting on the beach, you are too damn close. Coronavirus or no coronavirus.

Word is that some other Jersey Shore towns are proceeding along the same path. When we get official information from those communities, we’ll update this post.

The City Wants You to Know That Masturbation Is OK During Coronavirus Crisis

Every few days, the City of Philadelphia updates its COVID-19 page with a blog post designed to help you stay safe and live your best life during these trying times of the coronavirus.

Previous topics have included proper masking protocols and tips for exercising in public parks.

But we really have to give them a hand for yesterday’s post: “Can I Have Sex During the COVID-19 Pandemic?”

“The short answer is that it’s complicated,” writes Hans Kellner, a spokesperson for Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health. “We do not know if COVID-19 can be spread through sex. However, we do know that similar viruses are not transmitted through sex. COVID-19 is spread through direct contact with saliva or mucus. If you are having sex, the main risk probably comes from being close to someone (within 6 feet) and having direct contact with your sex partner, for example kissing and touching each other’s faces.”

Kellner goes on to offer tips on how to “maintain pleasure” during the coronavirus. His top tip? Masturbation.

“Masturbation will not spread COVID-19; this is your safest option,” Kellner observes. “It’s still important to practice hand hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after (sing Happy Birthday twice). It’s also important to wash any sex toys with soap and water.”

And if you earn a living by having sex with people, Kellner says that it might be time to “get creative.”

“If you usually meet your sex partners online or make a living by having sex, consider taking a break from in-person dates,” he writes. “Get creative! Video dates, sexting or chat rooms may be safe and sexy options for you.”

And there you have it.

Philly Is Way Off of the State’s Benchmark for Reopening

If you’re looking for Philly to get back to normal (whatever that means), it sounds like you’ll still be looking for quite a while, based on where Philly is versus where it needs to be.

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Tom Farley addressed the numbers during a press conference on Wednesday. He pointed to the benchmarks set forth by Governor Tom Wolf’s office and explained that Philly needs to get down to 55 cases per day over a 14-day period before we’ll be able to shift from the restrictive Red Phase to the less restrictive Yellow Phase that some other parts of the state have moved to.

How far off are we from that? Well, things are definitely looking better in Philadelphia than they did a few weeks ago. But we are currently averaging out to somewhere near 250 cases per day.

And once we do start to reopen, don’t expect any immediate, drastic changes, Farley said.

“It’s not like we are going to just flip a switch,” he explained. “Activities will restart in a very careful, stepwise way. We will start with the activities that we think are the lowest risk and work our way towards the highest risk. If we see a virus activity that starts to pick up, we can backpedal from there. It’s not going to be one thing at all. It’s going to be a very staged process.”

“The other issue is consumer confidence,” Kenney pointed out. “Even if we get to the point of opening in the southeast region, people still have to feel comfortable enough and safe enough to go out to a restaurant, go out to a retail outlet. That will be a learning curve. People will have to feel safe going out and doing the things they used to do in a different way.”