GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A Georgetown County boardwalk has only been open since Wednesday and it is already creating a challenge for those trying to maintain social distancing.
That is a red flag for one Georgetown County Council member.
The parking lots were packed as people looking to enjoy the newly reopened restaurants at Murrells Inlet found reprieve in the form of dinner tables six feet apart. However, the MarshWalk, a boardwalk running behind the row of restaurants, tells another story, one that might suggest the term “social distancing” does not exist.
“Yeah there’s definitively people coming passed at less than 6 feet,” said Eric Mrhein, one of the many people at the MarshWalk. “Definitely some people are not social distancing, but restaurants are doing a good job. They have spaced out the tables.“
It is not surprising. How are throngs of people expected to space themselves out over a narrow walkway? The crowd is causing concern for Georgetown County Council Member Everett Carolina.
“We are between a rock and a hard place,” Carolina said. “Yes, businesses are suffering, but we need to move slow and cautiously on this.”
Carolina believes it is up to everyday people to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and he is afraid some folks are tossing out the CDC guidelines as the economic lockdown lifts. With tourism season just around the corner, the problem may just get worse.
“It seems to me that, with people coming from everywhere, there is the possibility . . . there will be some people coming that are asymptomatic for the coronavirus,” Carolina said.
This is not just a matter of following the recommendations of experts. For the council member, it is personal.
“I have had family members who have passed as a result of the virus. My roommate died three weeks ago in Washington DC,” Carolina said. “There is real concern, especially for the black and brown community. To me this is a forewarning of things to come.”
While there is no perfect approach to reopening the economy, Carolina says the governor has taken a better approach than some states. However, he would still like to see more people wearing masks and following guidelines from the CDC.