How safe is the oncoming reopening?

My small beach city is beginning to open retail stores, restaurants, businesses, and indoor and outdoor recreation areas. My main question is which ones of these venues should I walk into, where would I be the safest? So many people congregate together now, without the mandatory face masks that I feel almost any place is still unsafe – especially since the virus cases and death numbers are rising steadily every day. And the funny thing is when I walk about my town wearing a mask, trying to keep my distance, others look at me as if I were nuts.

This morning, for example, I took my usual big long walk and passed many people without masks and without making any attempt to move away from on-coming me. Should I then continue walking or just take my chances? Since I started these walks the day after my gym closed on March 23, I don’t see why I would give up that risky activity now. Although truth be told, I stay away from the Strand, my former favorite place to walk.  Way too many people walking there now.

Speaking of, my gym opened a couple of weekends ago. They have instigated some strict gym rules: temperature taking before entry, mandatory mask wearing, and six feet apart on cardio machines. But for the most part people huddle together around the weight machines, and many still don’t wear a mask.

The last time I was there – I think I went four times in the last week and a half, one of the trainers was going around offering masks to the several unmasked gym goers. She didn’t get a lot of takers. That said, I’ve decided to stay away from the gym a little while longer. I feel that exercising outside is a lot more safe.

I also question the need to go into restaurants at this point. We’ve done it a couple of times in the last week or so – once sitting inside and once outside – and I was uncomfortable. People don’t sit far enough apart, and how can we wear a mask while eating? No! I’ll continue to order takeout if I choose not to cook as a way to support local restaurants.

I did my weekly grocery shopping this morning at a very small independent store. I feel the safest there. They require masks, and only four or five other shoppers are ever in the store with me at the same time. Plus their food is terrific.

One more point for now. I don’t think I’ll go into a retail store any time soon. I don’t have any craving for new clothes – where would I wear them? And I don’t need anything for my house. I’ve learned to live very well with what I have during our quarantine. I can surely wait quite a bit longer for a shopping adventure.

So I question you, my dear readers. What are you doing to stay safe during the slow reopening in your neighborhoods? We all need to know how you’re feeling about it. Thanks!

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