The novel coronavirus has been a tremendous challenge, upending the lives of nearly everyone, not only in our country but the rest of the world. It has also brought out the best in folks, with many acts of kindness and selflessness, especially among our local healthcare workers, police, firemen and other first-line defenders.

Our mail continues to be delivered regularly and garbage picked up. Employees show up to stock shelves and sell food at Giant, Hocker’s and other local food stores. Contractors remain active on multiple home construction sites and are continuing to do road repair work. I even saw a Grotto’s delivery car come through my neighborhood recently.

As a result, I found it very puzzling when the mayor of South Bethany requested that homeowners who were not full-time residents should not come to their properties in the town until after the crisis is resolved. Many folks bought second properties in South Bethany specifically to bring their families together just at a time like this. To them, South Bethany is just as much home as their other residence.

Sadly, the message that is being sent by South Bethany is that it’s OK for you to come into our town if you are providing a service to us, but not for any other reason. And specifically not if you might need our medical facilities. Apparently, paying real estate taxes is insufficient. Making matters even worse is that South Bethany has completely closed its beaches, going beyond the state restrictions, to prohibit exercise and dogs.

These are not the behaviors of the folks that I know in South Bethany. They are caring and sharing and friendly folks. I don’t think that restricting our borders is what we want our town to be known for. 

Joseph Petito

South Bethany and Bethesda, Md.