COVID-19 could impact time-honored Jersey Shore traditions

It is Memorial Day weekend – but due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, don’t expect to see large families or groups of friends crammed into a bungalow at the Jersey Shore.

News 12 Staff

May 23, 2020, 1:21 AM

Updated 1,428 days ago

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Social distancing rules and general anxiety surrounding the virus has caused many people to pass on a time-honored New Jersey tradition.
The situation can be devastating for some who revel in the practice – for people like Marie Rose Solazzo of Midway Beach.
“I’m so disappointed. Nobody’s coming down. My grandchildren love Jell-O. Their parents can’t make Jell-O like I make Jell-O. I bought that, I bought whipped cream for it and nobody’s coming,” she says.
Solazzo says that on a normal Memorial Day weekend there would be at least eight family members crashing in the little bungalow that she and her late husband brought in 1984 for only $15,000.
“We have had people already sleeping on the kitchen floor. We had so many. Well, when you have five kids and they have friends and they come down,” she says.
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But this year Salazzo’s family is staying at their homes in Central Jersey in order to protect her from COVID-19. But it has left her feeling a little bit homesick in her own home.
This is the first holiday weekend since the pandemic struck. The weekend is usually marked by massive family celebrations at the beach or in backyards.
“You wait all year for this. And the weather is warming up. But what good is it?” Solazzo says.
Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Friday that outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people can take place, as long as people practice social distancing. But many may stay home due to concerns over the illness.


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