People just could not resist digging their toes into the sandy beach at Sylvan Lake on the weekend.
Ella Parkinson, assistant manager at Good Earth Coffeehouse on Lakeshore Drive, said the sunny Saturday was the busiest day so far this summer for the beach town.
“The beach was packed. There wasn’t a whole lot of social distancing. People were coming in getting lots of different drinks and taking them out there again. They were lined up past the door,” said Parkinson about customers who started pouring into the shop at 8:30 a.m.
She said signs were posted at the beach to remind vistors to stay two metres apart, but people have been hearing that message for so long, they are starting to ignore it, said Parkinson.
When stormy weather arrived on Sunday, the coffee shop filled up again.
“When people come in because it’s raining, it’s pretty hard to find a place that’s six feet apart from everyone else.”
She said few people regularly wear masks in Sylvan Lake, probably because there have not been many COVID-19 cases in the community.
Likewise on the weekend, most visitors opted to not wear masks, even if they were from a city where COVID-19 was more common.
“Personally, I would like to see people wearing more masks, so we can prevent the spread.”
But she said it would be strange to wear a mask while relaxing on the sand.
“(People) are sick of being inside,” Parkinson said.
Adam Nachbaur, one of the owners of Snake Lake Brewing Company, said he made sure to stay away from the crowded beach.
“There was a lot going on down there. It would have been a perfect week to be on those patios, but I think everyone else had the same idea,” Nachbaur said.
He said his businesses is strictly following the regulations to help prevent the spread of COVID.
Snake Lake Brewing Company, which is located in an industrial park away from the beach, has a big patio where people can spread out.
“We just do our part and make sure we’re following the rules. That’s the best thing we can do at this point. Hopefully, we can kill this thing off and start living our lives again.”
It’s the general population that has to take responsibility at the beach, he said.
“Other than issuing tickets, there’s nothing we can do about it.”