We arrived for a long-scheduled check on the apartment, to do some touch-up work on the paint, and to check to make sure everything was operational. I repaired an odd missing button on the kitchen sink spray nozzle, and we returned the Dyson vacuum to the closet with its brand new battery.
That first night, we had dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant, DiFebos, on the last day they were allowed to provide table service. Of course, we were already observing social distancing. The city remained generally open, including roughly half the shops and restaurants.
On subsequent days we ordered in pizza or Chinese food to munch as we finished our upgrades to the apartment — new picture frames, all the pillows and duvets laundered, TV adjusted, and so on. On breaks, we strolled the boardwalk. The assumption in March is that pretty much everyone you see is a year-round resident, mostly from right inside Rehoboth Beach itself. Folks tend to give a friendly wave and greeting as they pass. Same this year, though keeping a 6-foot distance.
By Friday the weather had turned warm, and there were modest crowds — see the snapshot below from the web cam. On warm days in the off season, it’s quite common for folks that live in Sussex County to hop in their cars to visit the beach. Given the crisis facing the country, the crowds on this day raised worries.
The Governor visited, and was said to be quite unhappy to see groups of young people playing ball toss on the beach. I imagine he was worried Delaware would start to see the kinds of crowds that forced the closure of beaches in South Florida. The next day, Saturday, the Governor closed all Delaware beaches other than for exercise and walking dogs.
Within the city limits of Rehoboth Beach, the Mayor completely closed both the beach and the boardwalk. From the balcony, we watched as city workers put out cones with signs announcing the closure. And then all was quiet but for the sound of the surf. I suppose if you have to social distance, our balcony’s not a bad spot for it.
As long as the City is under a Code Red emergency, we unfortunately won’t be allowing usage other than for someone who has some sort of exception — a first responder or medical worker who might need emergency housing, that sort of thing. Hopefully general restrictions will be eased by the end of May when guests start arriving.
On Sunday, we headed home to DC. Uneventful, not much traffic. Cheap gas at Royal Farms.