Many Belmar residents say it was out of control in their beach town.

With the governor calling for the reopening of our beaches and many towns also reopening their boardwalks in time for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the locals braced themselves for the onslaught.

The governor then announced that outdoor gatherings could take place with a maximum of 25 people (with indoor gatherings still limited to 10.) He hoped social distancing would be properly adhered to and that masks would be used.

Since many of us live near or at the beach, we (sometimes begrudgingly) accept the tourists because local business relies on tourism in and around our beach towns and we want our small businesses to succeed. But the kick off to this summer was instead met by many who are still fearful of further spreading Covid-19.

Spending time perusing on-line social groups to see how our local, annual residents in Belmar were faring this weekend, I read so many comments that were less than positive.

First of all, many seemed to believe that there weren't nearly enough police to handle the amount of problems that cropped up concerning large gatherings and lack of social distancing. Secondly, the weather was pretty much crappy. Which meant that whereas short-term renters and their friends could normally spread themselves out on a rather wide expanse of beach, neighbors were observing that these renters and the friends they invited were instead either crammed inappropriately inside homes (going way over the 10 per house rule) or found in herds on front and back lawns and spilling onto sidewalks, again going way over the maximum gathering number the governor gave us.

Which led to many concerned citizens complaining all over social saying they called the cops, who, in some instances, did show up to try and break up gatherings or reiterate the regulations, only to leave and, within just a few minutes, find that those crowds they had dispersed had re-gathered. It almost almost seemed like an impossibility for law enforcement to keep up with.

Then there were the social media arguments that ensued:

-- Well if you don't like it, stay inside your own home!

-- Mind your own business!

-- If families have isolated together in their usual homes, then they can isolate in their beach homes!

-- How can the police be expected to go inside each home and count how many people are in there at all times?!

Etc. Etc.

Other towns, like Manasquan, saw several residents complaining about the sheer number of cars trying to find parking or cramming into driveways and onto side streets.

Welcome to Summer 2020, the year of Covid-19. Are there really any right answers?

How did your beach town fare?

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