Glimmer of hope amid the Cape May quarantine lifestyle

A glimmer of hope amid the Cape May quarantine lifestyle

Right whales are entering Cape Cod Bay. That was the brightest headline I saw yesterday. Embedded in a barrage of COVID-19 updates from google alerts around the country. It was a glimmer of hope amid the Cape May quarantine lifestyle. A sign of spring and time moving forward, the Right whales are returning.

I’ve been sad after watching the news. Not depressed but sad about what the coronavirus is doing to our lifestyle. I can no longer do the things I want to do, instead of focusing on what I have to do. Seeing people in masks and knowing I must be cautious of being closer than six feet from people, even people I love is difficult.

The pit of my sadness occurred while clearing out my post office box a few days ago. A local woman, garbed in saran wrap and rubber gloves was disinfecting everything she came in contact with. The post office lobby was laden with the fumes of Lysol. My instinct was to think it was overkill. The reality of her practice made me sad.

But the right whales are returning

In the Cape May quarantine lifestyle, this has been my mantra. Look for the silver linings. Look for positive information and keep putting it out there in the universe. It’s not easy.

The virus has invaded our psyche. It has closed our businesses, beaches and nearly every other outdoor space where people can congregate in less than six feet of space. I am trying to not let it invade my mind. It is not welcome there. I am cooking more. I started a vegetable garden and taking long walks.


My Monday afternoon routine use to include a visit to the Brown Room. Instead, now it involves a zoom meeting with my closest friends sharing updates and cocktails. We won’t risk putting ourselves in harm’s way.


Friends Ginny, Jesse and I started a Facebook group called Cape May Live. In a short time, the group has grown to close to 900 people. All of us looking to share stories, news, and take out options. It’s a place to share silver linings. Cape May sunsets and sunrises and other wonderful photos. No drama.

The social distance requirements look like they will be around for a while. Maintaining a routine, however unusual is key to keeping our sanity. Cape Cod is getting her right whales back. Cape May is getting her dolphins back and the ospreys are here nesting and feeding along the closed beaches. All signs leading to a return to normal. Whatever that is.

For now though, if the zip code on your driver’s license is not close to 08204, and you haven’t been here since before the pandemic, consider staying at your primary residence. Please, and thank you.





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  1. David Greene
    April 8, 2020 / 6:21 pm

    Thank you for the post, John.

    As a note, months ago I had booked two Cape May stays, one for end-of-May and one for mid-June. Absent a miraculous turnabout, I am sure they’ll both be canceled.

    This can be a good time for catching up on reading.

    Maybe I’ll see you in October, depending.

    Hope you and Suzanne are doing well.


  2. April 8, 2020 / 9:30 pm

    Hi John,

    So well summarized as always. I understand your sadness, I feel it too, up here in PA. Yesterday I went out for the first time (except for back yard) in 18 days…. I wanted to self-quarantine to be sure I wasn’t a-symptomatic. The car needed a run to keep the battery charged and I needed to confirm much exists as always, while having “no contact” – my outing was surreal. As I drove out to West Chester, I felt an odd sadness as if I was seeing the end of things as we knew it, wondering how different things may look 6 months and more from now… what businesses may not make it, what will replace them? Will we be walking around with masks everyday like Japan has for years? Will the virus be back in the Fall? What’s next!?

    But there was a bright spot to my drive, on Rt. 926 in the distance I saw bright, beautiful colors of flowers. The Garden shop WAS closed due to state orders, but they have put out hanging baskets, pots and flats of flowers, plants and herbs – all on the Honor System! It felt like a reconnection to normalcy! So, without any contact, I came home with two hanging baskets, a flat of pansies and a shamrock plant, AND a renewed sense of motivation and happiness. My home felt better and so did I.

    But harsh reality remains, although in a strange way, along with worry, I am getting a sense that someway, somehow there is going to be good coming out of this. People are cooking more (and aren’t we ALL Eating MORE!), kids are learning to bake with their parents, playing games that aren’t on their iPads or phones, having genuine quality family time. Perhaps kids will come away from this asking their parents to do more of the things they experienced during this crazy time!

    In any case, even our return “back to business” isn’t going to be “business as usual” for a long time if ever. Those unknowns are scary. Other than that, everyday I think about Cape May, our happy place! Shortly before all of this blew up, I was already excited about our Summer Cape May Vacay! And now, I worry what Summer 2020 will be for Cape May and shore points…. truly hoping for a miracle for us all! We will get through this and I hope to be back to Cape May this Summer.

    Love and Prayers to my Cape May friends and our Happy Place!


  3. Al Tomlin
    April 9, 2020 / 9:01 am

    Thanks John, well written