Presque Isle to open for swimming – Something good happened in Erie, 5/29/2020

Without further ado, your Idiotville feel-good story of the week:

https://www.goerie.com/news/20200528/presque-isle-beaches-to-open-for-swimming-june-6

Lately, it feels like the world is coming apart at the seams. The coronavirus has now killed over 100,000 Americans as we struggle more than ever to agree on how to respond, Minneapolis is on fire as I speak after yet another black man was unjustifiably killed by police, and our collective quarantine fatigue grows as this nationwide buzzkill drags into its third month.

This isn’t the space to scare you about all of that, though. This is the one place in your week where you are guaranteed something good. So, you know what doesn’t sound remotely scary these days? Heading down to Presque Isle and taking a swim in some occasionally E. Coli-infested waters! YOLO, baby! To quote family man and my original spirit animal, Clark W. Griswold, Jr.: “Look around you Helen, we’re at the threshold of hell!”

Clark Griswold with that 2020 look in his eyes.

That’s right. Next Saturday, June 6, Presque Isle beaches will be open for swimming, at least partially, until some yet-unknown lake monster inevitably rises up out of the water to terrorize the tri-state area. The Park will be held to 50% capacity as enforced by reducing the available parking spaces. As additional measures to help reduce the spread of coronavirus, visitors will need to wear masks when not in the water and keep their distance from others.

Presque Isle golden rule: Don’t be a dick

With the renewed freedom to dip into the waters of this national treasure come a few rules. The one, basic, overriding rule for visiting Presque Isle this year is: don’t be a dick. Since that’s admittedly vague, here are some sure-fire behaviors to avoid.

1. Going maskless

Presque Isle’s rule is that everyone wears a mask. If your body won’t wear a mask, your choice is to stay away from Presque Isle. | Photo via nymag.com.

You think it’s cool? It’s not cool. It’s a signal to everyone with eyes to see that you’re a self-centered brat who wants all the rights with none of the responsibilities. We all hate the masks. Every single one of us. We wear them because doing so helps reduce the spread by some small amount that is nevertheless above zero.

2. Harassing others for following the rules

The truth is out there! | Photo from theguardian.com.

This is a corollary to the above Rule #1. Have you recently blown the lid off the world’s first global conspiracy? Does it involve some combination of Chemtrails, 5G, the Petro dollar, Bill Gates, Jeffrey Epstein, vaccines with microchips, the Deep State, or – gasp – all of the above? Well, great for you and I bet you’re itching to share this vital info with the world; do that on a GoErie comment section like everyone else. People go to the beach for relaxation and solitude. Don’t make it weird.

3. Crowding up on someone’s spot

Official t-shirt of 2020. |

You know that guy whom sees someone he’d like to meet and abandons all subtlety by setting up shop two feet away? Don’t be that guy. Not now. Not ever, really, but especially not now. Just accept that 2020 will not be the Year of the Creeper and stay the hell away from strangers. Find another way.

4. Playing catch

Just a boy and his dad, happily transferring germs. | Photo from thevisiontherapycenter.com.

I’ll admit this is a rule I just made up, but hear me out. I love tossing a football or a frisbee on the beach. Now isn’t the time for that either, though, because there’s no point in staying six feet away from everyone only to alternate touching the same piece of leather over and over again.


There. That’s all this takes – a little caution, and a little humanity. The return of swimming to Presque Isle is just what we needed, just when we needed it and even though 2020 to date has given me very little confidence in anything good lasting for long, we can all take a breath and enjoy what we have while we have it. That’s what life is all about, right?

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