As I made my way up Bull Street to the farmer’s market, I moved to the far right, giving ample space to the passerby’s with arms full of produce. It wasn’t the normal interaction of giving a small smile and a comment about the person’s cute baby or tail-wagging dog. Instead, I was at a newfound disadvantage behind a mask. I continued to smile anyway and hoped the squinting eyes would give away to another reciprocated squint. This is our now ordinary life in the time of Covid-19. I didn’t feel dispirited but rather a realization that this is the “new normal” a welcomed scrap of material that allows me to get out again and enjoy Savannah.

I urge people to embrace the mask and be mindful of keeping a distance. It is so important to keeping yourself, your family and all of those you interact with safe. This was my experience on my first day out in over 60 days in Savannah.

10:30 am -The farmers market has many safety precautions in place, such as booths that are set back from the sidewalk to allow a socially distanced cue for browsing and purchasing. The vendors donned masks and gloves and sanitation stations were available. In my opinion, Forsyth Park Farmer’s Market was doing it right, but it requires the patrons to adhere to the rules. Please Savannah wear masks and take some time to observe your surroundings and follow the protocol that is set up for your safety. People’s livelihood and sanity depends greatly on this. Let’s do all we can so everyone can get out and safely enjoy.

12:00pm -CQ deserves an A++ for their COVID set up. Social distancing was being followed and very conscientiously. The outdoor dining tables are appropriately spaced. They have a coffee window around the West side of the building so the coffee drinkers do not even need to go inside. If you are interested in food or bar items then you follow arrows inside to two separate places to order with more than 6 feet separation.  The patio is set up with socially distanced tables where you can sit and soak up the beautiful surroundings. There were employees standing by to answer all questions, allowing lines to move quickly and efficiently with no confusion.

1:30pm – Next on the agenda was lunch. I headed to Wyld Dock Bar one of my favorite lunch spots right on the water. Safety precautions were also in place here and being followed by everyone. You wait in a line socially distanced and place your order with a staff member who gives you a number and starts a tab if you want to purchase an adult beverage. Handling of cards in various locations is not necessary. You do have to sign once with a pen, my advice is to always have your own pen ready during the pandemic. You then choose your appropriately distanced table and your order is brought to you by an employee wearing a mask and gloves. Then you’re free to enjoy the food and atmosphere, both were delicious.

4:00pm- Whole Foods was next, need to stock up for the week. I have been to the grocery store a few times in the last few weeks and I have seen the progression towards safety and it is appreciated. Upon walking into Whole Foods you are met with a sanitation station and are offered a mask if you do not already have one. All employees were wearing a mask and gloves. The aisles are marked to be one-way to make for easy social distancing. Your final interaction is the check out where Plexiglas is in place between you and the mask and gloved cashier. I have tried a few of the other grocers in town only to turn around and walk out because I felt the safety precautions were not enough.

My realization after this afternoon out is that the responsibility to community should be taken seriously by each and every person. You have the ability to affect or not affect each random passerby, just people the same as you who are trying to live their own story. Each of us are trying to get on with our ambitions, routines, friendships and finding a “new normal” in an inherited crazy period is not something to take lightly. Let’s do this Savannah…let’s pull together and safely get out there again.