We’ll soon be entering the third week of the COVID-19 pandemic’s grip on Maryland. Somehow, it feels like we’ve been “social distancing” for months.
As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to grow, the opportunities to participate in our communities continue to shrink. With nonessential businesses and services now shuttered and almost every spring event cancelled, it feels a bit like the walls are closing in around us. The catchphrase across America is “social distancing.” We’re forbidden from congregating in groups of more than ten, and we’re encouraged to stay home as much as possible.
State and local leaders impose these rules for our own health and safety, but that doesn’t ease the anxiety. Many of us wake up thinking of all the things we can’t do in this state of emergency. But this week, Bay Weekly wants to help shift that mentality. Let’s focus on what we CAN do.
We may not be able to sit at a white-tablecloth restaurant and order the crab cake special, but we sure can take that crab cake to go. The joint CBM Bay Weekly/Chesapeake Bay Magazine team has been working hard to launch our online interactive map of local restaurants and food spots offering carryout or delivery. Head to bayweekly.com and you’ll find more than 250 choices for your next to-go meal, spanning northern Anne Arundel and Calvert counties.
We can go fishing and boating along the Bay. We can nurture a vegetable garden at home (and, come harvest time, be less reliant on the grocery store, where inventory is not guaranteed anymore). We can take advantage of the reduced distractions and check out the wildlife in our own backyards. Inside, our columnists explain how.
Most important, we can keep a safe physical distance from one another without cutting ourselves off from the community. In this issue we talk to a hobby seamstress who has turned her home into a small medical mask-making factory to help local hospitals. Bay Weekly’s popular events calendar is morphing into a calendar of virtual events—online options to enjoy the programs we’d been looking forward to before everything got cancelled.
Speaking of online options, there has never been a better time to engage with us on social media (we’re Bay Weekly Newspaper on Facebook) or at bayweekly.com. With the rapid-fire change the COVID-19 response brings, we’re updating community news in real time. We’re also telling the unique stories of how Chesapeake neighbors make the most of challenging times as Bay Weekly introduces video storytelling. Be sure to catch the one on “Drive-thru Confession” at a local Catholic church and the “stuffed animal safari” set up for the neighborhood kids, with new online-only stories added every day.
While we may not be able to make in-person plans with friends, go out for a beer, or plan for spring events right now, coronavirus can’t stop us from being part of Bay country. Let’s stay close—just not, you know, physically.