Tourists, Sun and Sand, Social distancing on the beaches was a challenge

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MAR DEL PLATA.- Emilia sinks her right heel and, with her gaze over her shoulder, takes short steps backward. He seeks to draw a curved line on the sand that can complete the closest thing to a circle around the family beach kit: three lounge chairs, a portable refrigerator, a bag with the boys’ toys and the drill board still stored in a cover. In addition, of the five members of the family. “We must take advantage of the fact that it is early, in a while we will have them all on top,” she tells LA NACIÓN, while her husband, Horacio, nails the base of the umbrella, also brand new on this first day of vacation.

Rounder early and somewhat more oval as the afternoon passes and the landscape becomes more crowded, those who arrive at the beaches seek to draw and delimit their “social bubbles“, to maintain the mexcept for living with strangers. “This brand is a clear message, up to here we are and from there they should be a meter and a half, two meters”, explains Josefina Delgado, who with three friends settled on the damp and firmer sand, in the area of ​​Las Toscas, a few meters between Bristol beach and Torreón del Monje.

Today, for the first time, social distancing by the sea was under scrutiny. And in some points it was a problem, because some variables coincide here that were hardly seen during the first fortnight: the sun has shone since Monday, the maximum daily temperatures are around 30 degrees and the amount of tourism that is seen is above, very far, from what had been seen in the city since the Holidays. So it will continue, they say, at least in terms of good weather, until Sunday.

“Every now and then there is some discussion and there are some screams until someone runs a bit,” says a lifeguard from Bristol Bay, witnessing some crosses and risque words on a portion of sand. They admit that they are far from the movement of other years. “The union hotels are closed, social tourism was absent this season and it shows here,” he describes.

Alejandro Rabinovich, chief of Cabinet of the commune, told LA NACIÓN that today they did not have to close access to the beach. “The control system has been working, people are more orderly and understand when they are asked to respect the care guidelines, including distance,” he explained. “Given these same conditions on a weekend, they would surely have led us to close down slopes,” he warned about a measure that has already been taken in front of very crowded arenas, almost always in Varese and Playa Grande.

An unexpected image

The images of the main points of the coast, in particular those that extend from Escollera Norte to La Perla, offered an unexpected postcard for a destination where the coronavirus continues to do its thing. The infections decreased a bit, it is true. But they don’t stop. Today the umbrellas multiplied again on the sand. It is not the postcard from previous January. But at last it was something like him.

There had been much talk on the eve of the summer of the difficulties of social distancing on the coast. When the season was just an illusion, in the midst of the worst moment of the pandemic, projects were even ventured for the subdivision of plots demarcated with ropes to ensure the distance between groups on the beaches.

The meager results that the beginning of the summer had made that the dilemma was not such. During the first two weeks of the year there was plenty of sand and tourists were missing. The equation improved since last weekend, with the change of fortnight and a weather forecast with guarantees of good running weather. A few days ago, hotel reservations and rentals improved a bit and to take a tan on the skin, even the time is chosen because the clouds have disappeared for days.

“What happens is that it is 30 degrees, the sand burns like asphalt and everyone wants to settle near the shore,” explained Matilde and Gladys Meza, sisters who arrived from Caballito and marked exclusive territory with their bags and tarps. And they told of discussions they had had this week. “There are people who do not understand that there has to be air, a corridor between group and group,” they remarked.

Tourists, Sun and Sand, Social distancing on the beaches was a challenge

The search to secure a place and better conditions already has strategies, and also tactics. It seems that one of the favorites is a space next to the corridors marked with ropes that the lifeguards have reserved from their box or platform to the sea. “There you have a side assured that no one will bother you,” murmurs to LA NACIÓN, almost like a secret, a couple who settled in the north sector of Playa Grande.

Except for a major incident, these conflicts are resolved without third parties. The municipality has 120 agents who, identified with light blue vests, control access to the beaches and distance. The first is essential: with police support they verify that you enter with a chinstrap and restrict entry with alcoholic beverages. They also collaborate in avoiding crowds. An official who closely follows this dynamic on the beaches described behaviors well defined by age: “With families there are no problems, they distance themselves and take care of themselves, but groups of boys tend to crowd, share and interact, and with them it is more difficult, “he said.


Source: La Nacion