As humans, we are mostly social creatures.
Our daily lives are filled with conversations with our coworkers, family, friends and strangers. When Ocean City was placed on quarantine restrictions because of Covid-19, much of that communication stopped. Staying home to slow the spread of the virus also meant finding new ways to talk to each other.
Ocean City Businesses Use Creative Signs
“Word of mouth” is an essential tool for small-town businesses. Tourists to Ocean City often ask, “Where do the locals go?” Retail establishments, restaurants and bars,
even Realty offices depend on recommendations, both online and in person, to boost their sales. With the loss of face to face interactions, how do we connect with those who visit?
Coastal Highway is lined with marquees touting huge sales and happy hour specials. Businesses in West OC, Berlin and Ocean Pines all use their signage for advertising, as well. When Maryland imposed a lock down to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus, many of these signs changed their purpose.
Some stuck to the conveyance of information, while others took an inspirational turn. Messages of unity and cooperation began to spring up everywhere.
Signs Of The Times
As restrictions slowly allowed for more Ocean City Businesses
to open at safe levels, establishments turned to the use of their marquees to keep guests aware of new hours and restrictions. Some attractions, such as public parks and playgrounds, needed to continue closures in order to promote social distancing.
Although a sad sight, the abandoned jungle gyms and swing sets were boldy marked with caution tape and custom signs, in order to communicate to residents and guests of the safety risks. Personally, seeing these places that are usually bustling with activity stand empty, created an eerie feeling that I am sure many other humans have been experiencing during these unprecedented times. Everywhere felt like a ghost town.
Obvious Frustrations Displayed By Ocean City Businesses
As the weeks and months of quarantine dragged on, frustrations rose around Ocean City. Businesses were understandably terrified at the thought of losing the revenue that a Summer season usually brings. Bars and restaurants especially, were in panic mode.
Many establishments, and Maryland residents in general, were becoming increasingly displeased with our Governor’s slow and steady approach to reopening small businesses. Many used their marquees to express that frustration, and hopefully spurn action on our leaders’ behalf.
Business owners also took grievance with the lack of a set timeline for these re-openings. Often, they were only given a handful of days to prepare for each new step in Maryland’s Roadmap to Recovery.
Some OC Businesses Still Find Humor in Tumultuous Times
As temperatures rise, filling the town with more visitors, Ocean City is still trying to play it safe. And rightfully so, with the number of Covid-19 cases steadily rising in parts of the country. The incidents in Worcester County has stayed so low, however, that it has been difficult for some to understand why they are still being held to restrictions.
Luckily, although tensions may be high, some businesses are managing to keep their sense of humor. And they are sharing their cleverness on marquees around town. Although the future is still uncertain for the Summer of 2020, they say there is a healing power in laughter. Perhaps a few chuckles will lift spirits around Ocean City.
Please Wear Masks And Keep Your Distance
As more restrictions are lifted, and all the amusements and entertainment centers gather more guests, there are still challenges to face. One thing is for sure: We all have to take care of each other.
We at OceanCity.com would like to remind you that while we go back to work and play, we must help to keep each other safe. Even though it is starting to feel more like a “normal” Summer in our little beach town, Covid-19 is still a very real threat.
Physical distancing and wearing masks in crowded and indoor spaces have proven to be our best tools for protecting our residents and visitors. All of these signs that you are seeing in hotels, and shops on the boardwalk, are there to protect both those who are working and those who are playing.
Please respect and protect our Ocean City guidelines, so that we can continue to be your “Happy Place!”