Street Theater, Prime Hook Visitors, Sussex COVID-19 Statistics


One block from downtown Lewes on a recent Sunday afternoon.

The setting for this street theater is the back of the smithy, strangely empty after decades of walls, floors, ceilings – inside and out – cobblestone, carpeted, hanging, stacked, nailed, stacked. , glued and otherwise completely filled with everything imaginable; nothing new, some – like stone arrowheads – as old as the ages.

The blacksmith, nearing the end of an epic move, relaxes in the late afternoon sun.

Above him, suspended from a steel beam, is a large Trump flag moving lazily in a light breeze.

Artist Abraxas, who has a studio one block on Second Street, stands a short distance down the sidewalk.

In the middle of the uncrowded street, a man and a woman in their fifties chat with the dynamic duo. The Trump flag caught their attention. The same goes for the blacksmith maskless zone panel.

I arrive, observe and listen. Lots of chatter about freedom, with the woman saying they were happy to stumble upon the stage.

“We were discouraged. Everyone in town wears masks. On sidewalks and in stores. We thought we didn’t really want to be in this city. But we are so happy to speak with people who see it differently.

Abraxas has publicly expressed his distaste for Governor John Carney’s heavy hand during the pandemic in terms of masks and trade restrictions.

Blacksmith John noted that his Trump flags, according to city officials he knows, generated complaints of phone calls to the police department, as if they were somehow illegal, in some way or another. another the First Amendment does not apply to Lewes.

Both were visited by state officials who reviewed complaints that neither was in compliance with guidelines.

“A nice woman came by and examined me,” Abraxas said. “She saw that we distance ourselves socially, have hand sanitizer, respect masking in public spaces and found no problems. This was the last time I heard of it. “

Jean confirmed. “She came here after,” he said. “I agree that she was very nice. I looked around, saw that nothing was wrong or threatening in terms of the virus, and walked on. She said she saw no problem. I didn’t hear anything else either.

Visitors objected to strict masking rules in busy parts of the city center, during the busiest times of the day. “It made us uncomfortable. Made us want to not stay.

I listened; sounded that for me it was a matter of common sense. “If the store requires a mask, I wear a mask. I take social distancing and stay away from crowds of people not wearing masks and without social distancing. It is not that difficult. I don’t want to catch this stuff. It’s bad.”

Later, I reflected on the conversation.

It would be easy to say that such restrictions are bad for business, discouraging people like the visiting couple from coming or staying in resort towns like Lewes and Rehoboth Beach trying to keep the conditions safe.

But then I thought back to the days when smoking was just starting to be banned in restaurants and bars. People shouted that such a ban would be bad for business. But what happened? Restaurants have become fuller than ever because people who previously stayed away from unhealthy cigarette smoke began to go out to eat more.

People are drawn to clean, healthy, attractive and safe places. The smoking ban, for the most part, has proven positive for the restaurant industry.

Isn’t the same for masking restrictions? Who wants to hang out on the crowded streets of a beach resort shopping district in the middle of a pandemic if they’re worried about catching a deadly disease because people don’t take common sense precautions? They will not come if they think it is dangerous for themselves, their children, their parents and their grandparents.

There is always a middle ground of common sense, and that is what we must strive for, relentlessly.

Prime Hook visitors

Residents and visitors clearly see the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge east of Milton as a clean, attractive and healthy place to spend time. Refuge manager Art Coppola said this week that the number of visitors driving the roads, canoeing in coves and hiking the trails of the 10,000-acre refuge was up at least 25% compared to figures recorded before the coronavirus pandemic. “They have cabin fever; they want to be outside and they want to be safe. They see it as a safe place, ”he said.

Coronavirus statistics

As of Monday, October 5, there had been 21,466 documented cases of coronavirus in Delaware since the state began keeping statistics on the pandemic in March. These cases resulted in 646 deaths, including 210 in Sussex County where there have been 7,050 documented cases.

Postal code 19970, in the southeast corner of Sussex around Fenwick Island, has the lowest incidence in Sussex with 174 cases per 10,000 people, or 1.74% of the population. The next lowest postcode is postcode 19958, around Lewes, where the rate is 278 cases per 10,000 people, or 2.78% of the population.

The highest incidence in Sussex continues to be in the 19947 zip code around Georgetown, which currently has a rate of 846 cases per 10,000 population, or 8.46 percent. The 19971 Rehoboth Beach zip code shows the second highest rate in the county with 536 cases per 10,000 people or 5.36 percent.

My last comment: The coronavirus is still very present among us. Be careful all the time, go out and be happy.

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