Jellyfish washing up the shore of Surfside Beach yesterday, which made it less than an ideal beach day, but neither that nor Coronovirus could keep the crowds away. To be fair though, the threat of infection isn't something to worry about at Surfside, not even on the most crowded of days, because the beach-going experience is quite different from any beach I've ever been to anywhere else on Earth. At Surfside, you drive up to the shore—directly up to the shore—in your car. You just park it right there on the beach, and create a little setup right against your car. A setup that could include a few chairs, a foldout table, a canopy, and a grill to name a few. Which is to say, you have a significant amount of territory marked out for you, and virus or not, social distancing is already very much practiced.
It was great to be among so many humans though, even with the aforementioned distances in place. Just the awareness of other peoples' presence, theirs sounds, playful chatter, and competing music... almost forgot what that was like.
It's also got to be one of the most diverse beach-going experiences I've ever had. And I've been to beaches in California, New York, the Netherlands, Egypt, and Vietnam, and absolutely nowhere I've seen is as diverse as Surfside. Walking along the beach, you would cross paths with whites, blacks, Latinos, and fully veiled Muslim women. Music would transition from country rock to hip hop to regaeton and the smells would shift from grilled meats to pizza to apple and grape-tinged shisha.
This, as far as I'm concerned, is exactly how it should be (although, a touch of Netherlands-style nudism wouldn't be a terrible addition).