Looking for the ‘new normal’ during an OBX vacation among COVID-19

North Carolina

OUTER BANKS, N.C. (WAVY) — By all accounts, the day on the Outer Banks on Thursday was not that bad aside from the three bands of rain that lasted less than five minutes each.

The heaviest rain was around 10 a.m. through Currituck County just north of Coinjock.  

A lot of people wore masks as North Carolina and the Outer Banks require them inside and outside when social distancing is not possible.  

The yellow flag indicating dangerous currents were flying in South Nags Head and there was a guard — but no swimmers. A few people were along the beach, but by all means not a typical July 9 day. 

It’s different. It’s not normal, but as they say, the “new normal” is becoming the “normal.” 

The Sparks family from Asheville was pretty happy about to be visiting.

“We stayed up in Hatteras Harbor at the Hatteras Island Inn. It’s great, and it’s great to be here,” said the mother, Michelle Sparks. 

It’s the first vacation for them in the new normal.

“It’s like the ‘new,’ what the world is now calling ‘new normal.’ I’m ready for it to be back to normal. It’s the new normal right now,” said the daughter, Haylynn Sparks. 

She continued, “It is impacting me as far as school goes. In the fall, I’m worried that we are not going to have school, and we’re going to have to keep doing it from home.” 

“It really has been strange. Wearing the mask and having to social distance, it’s been weird because I’m not used to it. It’s been relaxing to get out of the house,” she said. 

The Waves Market Grocery & Deli south of Rodanthe was busy and the loyal lunch crowd was there with their masks on.

“We’ve had a bunch of people come here for years, and this COVID stuff is not keeping them away. So, they’ve been supporting us, and we’ve been really lucky,” said Owner Graham Hunt. 

Back in Kitty Hawk the Cleveland family was visiting from Tennessee.  

“We have found a lot of things shut down, so no indoor stuff. We’ve got to make our own fun and that means a lot of time out here on the beach. We’ve got a lot of beach, and a lot of hotel room time, and a lot of deliveries,” Andy Cleveland said with a laugh.    

With the new normal this summer, many visitors said the same thing, “We’re just glad to be here and not at home and not worrying about COVID. It’s nice to be on vacation.” 


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