This blog is not really about kissing during Corona. It is about going to the beach during the time of Corona and comparing it to how beach vacations used to be just a year ago. It seemed like kissing your beloved with mask on.
Our family hunkered down and diligently maintained social distancing since March 13th. We believe this pandemic is real. We believe wearing masks is necessary. We believe staying at home is needed to flatten the curve. We did all that for over 3 months, going out only to get provisions every 10 to 12 days. Our state started opening up cautiously and so did Delaware. All 4 of us thought a quick get away would be beneficial to our collective psyche. So we booked a hotel for the July 4th weekend.
Although the other members of my family looked forward to the beach, I was apprehensive. We took the right measures. The hotel provided no room service, much to our relief. We went armed with sanitizing sprays and wipes. Before we settled in to our room, we sprayed and wiped every surface, door knobs, light switches. We washed hands constantly and often sanitized them. We never ate in any restaurant, instead we brought as much food as we could from home and only used drive through or take out a few times.
I never relaxed though. Fully masked, I glared at people who did not have masks on at the beach or those folks who tried to settle close to where we had our umbrella. I felt safe only when we came back to our hotel room. It was a sad, stressful vacation for me. There were all kinds of people at the beach and the board walk. Families like us, masked up: enjoying their time away from home cautiously. Perhaps, they too came out for a change of scene. And then there were many who wore masks only when there was a police cadet around to remind them mask wearing is required at the beach and on the board walk. Many had their masks hanging on their chin. They made me upset and anxious. I wanted to go back to the safety of our hotel.
Who would have thought I would be afraid to be at the beach even a year ago?
So much has changed in a span of 4 or 5 months. What all remain unchanged? The crashing waves, the ocean, the moon at night, glowing in all its splendor, transforming the ocean front into a magical universe, the boardwalk brightened in its cheerful light, the ice cream stall, the boardwalk fries, the joy in my son’s face after spending 6 hours in the water, reading with my daughter on the beach, peanut butter sandwiches and chips – our regular beach lunch yet the magic of ‘going to the beach’ was certainly missing.
My beloved was right there in front of me, yet I saw everything with Covid lens on. It felt like a masked kiss.