Canes Covering Coronavirus, New Jersey

New Jersey’s 20-somethings are social distancing, kind of

Parker Gimbel
Ocean City, New Jersey
1:30 p.m. Friday, May 8


New Jersey’s 20-somethings are social distancing, kind of

The coronavirus has continued its march through the United States over the course of the last month, leaving people everywhere to find a way forward. But as the nation sets its eyes toward reopening, kids everywhere are wondering when it will be OK to hang out with their friends again.

“I mean, I can’t sit inside forever,” said Harry Pfeifle, 20. “I understand that certain steps have to be taken to get this thing under control, but if I can’t hang out with my three or four friends all summer, I don’t know if I’m gonna make it,” said Pfeifle, a resident of Upper Township, New Jersey, and a 2018 graduate of Ocean City High School.

Many have urged that social distancing measures must stay in place to prevent a second spike in cases, especially with summer approaching. Vacations, study abroad and summer camps alike are being canceled, with politicians locked in a shouting match over how much is too much.

Similar questions are being asked by the locals of South Jersey — but not without some reservations.

“Keep making restaurants do takeout, no large gatherings, it’s all important,” Pfeifle said. “But if I have a few people in my life that I’d rather not go without seeing the whole summer, then I think it’s OK. As long as they’re being safe, washing their hands, and limiting contact with other people,” said Pfeifle, who is enrolled in online classes at Atlantic Cape Community College.

Our small town relies on the summer season to pull in most of our tourism. Retail outlets are normally shuttered this time of year, but as we enter the month of May, the aching hearts of South Jersey’s 20-year-olds are a reminder that concrete decisions on what will be open and how we will live this summer need to be made soon.


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May 13, 2020

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