How Sag Harbor Has Adjusted to COVID-19

Fionnuala (Finn) Goodale, Local & National News

I think it is safe to say that COVID-19 has hit everywhere pretty hard. Regardless of the number of cases, no matter how big or small, it has been a big adjustment for everyone. Sag Harbor is a very small and tight-knit community, which has aided us greatly in the process of changing our daily lives to help keep our friends and family safe. During our busy summer months, it was hard to contain and control such a large crowd of people. Now that fall is settling in and the people might be dissipating, hopes are that the adjustments will be easier. 

A large part of our everyday lifestyle is eating, and specifically eating out at all the wonderful restaurants Sag Harbor has to offer. It has been hard to follow the CDC’s guidelines and restrictions regarding these areas, and a large number of our favorite restaurants are on the smaller size. With small indoor areas, it may be hard to appropriately social distance. Many restaurants on Main Street have started to offer outdoor eating, such as Sag Pizza. The restaurant is conveniently located next to an adjoining alleyway and has set up a nice outdoor arrangement. They have tables and chairs, accompanied with umbrellas, set up outside their restaurant so that customers can still enjoy the dining experience, but from a socially distant and more comfortable location. The only concern on this topic is whether or not these arrangements will work into winter. As most local residents will know, with as much as Sag Harbor has to offer, one of those things is most certainly not friendly winters. We often have snow and temperatures below freezing, so it is hard to imagine that outdoor dining would be very enjoyable in these conditions.

That being said, now that winter has set in and being outside is no longer an option, restaurants must resort to other methods. Many have started doing take-out food, like Sen. They do not allow customers in the store even to pick up the food; all interaction is done safely outside the restaurant and only employees go inside. Keeping indoor dining to a minimum is important to keep us all safe, because being near one another with no masks on is an easy way to spread COVID in the community.  

Along with outdoor dining, many shops and restaurants on Main Street have simply started to limit the amount of people allowed in the shop at a given time. This helps to keep crowds of people out of small places and makes the COVID shopping experience a little less stressful. Larger stores, such as the King Kullen in the Bridgehampton Commons and our own Schiavoni’s Market on Main Street, have adapted their shopping to be one way only. This means that each aisle has a direction you can go in and it’s like a one way street. Using this procedure helps to keep people more separated from one another while shopping and keeps clumps of people from forming throughout the store. All local stores on Main Street now require customers to wear masks, and people are encouraged to keep them on while walking around outside as well

Although the masks and new restrictions and limitations might seem annoying, unnecessary, or just not like something you’d like to do, it is more important now than ever that we follow these new set of rules to keep our community safe. Sag Harbor is an amazing and extremely close little town, and there is no reason this should change. That being said, keep your friends and family in mind as you follow precautions to keep everybody as healthy as we can be.