Welp, So Much for Social Distancing at the Jersey Shore Over 4th of July Weekend
Plus: Spraygrounds and the Philadelphia Zoo reopen, and the Phillies are back at the ballpark.
A roundup of Philly news. This post may be updated at any time as new information becomes available.
Apparently Lots of People at the Jersey Shore Didn’t Get the Social Distancing Memo
If there’s a major explosion of the coronavirus in the Philadelphia area in the next couple of weeks, I’d be willing to place a sizable bet that a lot of cases will be traced back to 4th of July weekend at the Jersey Shore.
From Long Beach Island all the way down to Cape May, social media feeds and TV news coverage showed dense crowds of (mostly young) unmasked people sunning themselves, playing volleyball, guzzling beer, and otherwise acting like it was July 4th weekend of 2019 as opposed to July 4th weekend of 2020.
Last week, Philadelphia health commissioner Thomas Farley told Philadelphians to stay away from the beaches after a significant number of new coronavirus cases in the city were traced back to the Jersey Shore.
“We’re recommending people stay away from that right now,” he said. “That appears to be the hot spot, these beach places. I know people want to go down there over the Fourth of July weekend. I appreciate that. But that appears to be the most dangerous place to be right now. So we recommend people stay here in Philly.”
The. Most. Dangerous. Place. To. Be.
I had actually considered taking my family to the Jersey Shore for the holiday. After all, what the heck were we going to do in Philly other than grill some wieners while listening to yet another night of M-80s? In the end, we stayed in Philly and grilled some wieners while listening to yet another night of M-80s. Boring. But not infectious. Oh, and we watched the first act of Hamilton on Disney Plus.
“You made the right choice,” one of my friends told me on Sunday as she prepared to head back from Wildwood. “What a mess. We almost came home early. But we didn’t. Fingers crossed.”
Yeah, the whole fingers crossed thing as been going really well for the country. Good luck, everybody!
Rejoice: Philly’s Spraygrounds Reopen Monday
I am not normally one to talk about the weather. Well, unless I am poking fun at Cecily Tynan and Glenn “Hurricane” Schwartz for their ridiculous long range winter forecasts. Which reminds me: I forgot to write about Schwartz’s failure to predict an effectively snowless winter. He actually predicted as much as 35 inches! But I digress.
Anyway, I’m going to take a break from not talking about the weather and, instead, talk about the weather. Because it’s been really hot. And it’s going to continue to be really hot for a while.
Fortunately, Philly has 91 spraygrounds. And they open to the public on Monday. The spraygrounds will be open seven days a week with hours from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. Naturally, social distancing rules are in effect.
Go here for a list and map of all of Philadelphia’s spraygrounds.
Also reopening on Monday (well, to members): the Philadelphia Zoo. Reservations are required for all visitors. And the zoo opens to the public on Thursday.
Here’s a little video the zoo put together to tell you all about it:
Philadelphia Zoo is Reopening from Philadelphia Zoo on Vimeo.
The Phillies Have Returned to Citizens Bank Park
If you’re the type of person who has been spending the coronavirus shutdown bemoaning the loss of that great summer pastime known as baseball, you’ll be happy to know that the Phillies have returned to Citizens Bank Park.
Manager Joe Girardi (seen above) and the full team headed to the ballpark over the holiday weekend for resumption of spring training.
The Phillies would normally have about two months of training to prepare for their season. But thanks to the coronavirus, they’ll have less than three weeks. Though schedules are still being finalized, the season should begin on July 23rd or 24th. A typical season consists of more than 160 games. This atypical one will have just 60 — and that’s assuming all goes well.
And Briefly Noted…
- Yes, you can take a vacation safely right now.
- How Philly gyms and fitness studios are surviving.
- This Philly therapist wrote a children’s book about COVID.