Based on our Governor's most recent lifting of his executive orders,
it sounds like our social lives are going to be somewhat curtailed over the next few months. It is possible that changes might need to be enacted even the next few years.
This would not be the best scenario for a popular resort destination like Hilton Head Island. If social distancing continues to be the anchor activity for beating the virus, the island will need to make some significant changes.
Beaches: Spending time at the beach has been a No. 1 reason why people vacation on our beautiful island. So much in demand, there are many times throughout the year that it's a challenge just to find a place for your towel and umbrella.
My guess is law enforcement will have to take an active role in monitoring beach-goers making sure the 6-foot separation is being followed. At low tide, there's ample space for everyone and their 6 feet of space, while at high tide, there's very little room available at all.
We'll see how that plays out this summer.
Restaurants: I've heard from my daughter, a server at an island restaurant, that there have already been intense discussions as to how everything is to be handled. For now, the new protocol will be a combination of the restaurant's reduced seating (tables must be 8 feet apart in all directions), a condensed menu, and service only for outdoor seating and take-out.
Entertainment: If you're a golfer or tennis player, you'll need to play by yourself or with someone you know really well. You will be at risk if you ride in the same golf cart with someone you've never met - or if you're playing tennis doubles and your partner is a total stranger. Social distancing is much harder to follow in bars, night clubs, movie theaters, sporting events and concerts, etc. - none of which are currently open at press time.
Those businesses that can establish a social environment that has safety first - for both customers and employees - will have an excellent chance of surviving and thriving, in the new "normal" world.
Joe Agee is the marketing and sales director for The Seabrook of Hilton Head. TheSeabrook.com