The Spring of 2020 will be one for the history books as the COVID 19 pandemic essentially shut down the world as Americans have come to know it.
Change is inevitable and as Americans looks to their future the changes they are making are also being reflected in the activities they are now choosing to do.
If the flurry of activity at Blueberry Hill Farm Greenhouses just outside of Forest City is any indication of what to expect then people are looking to their futures and well-being.
John Mustica, a co-owner of the family-run business, admits he has not seen anything like it.
“People who never planted a garden in their lives began messaging and calling me asking how to begin,” he said.
While he says he had many restless nights before the Easter season, and nine weeks ago he did not even know if he would have a business, he soon found that people really do support their local businesses and he was truly grateful.
In foresight the business owners decided to plant 4,000 more of almost every garden vegetable they offer.
“We are lucky we did and will soon be sold out of every one. People are turning to gardening this summer as a means of recreation and enjoyment,” added Mustica.
He recalls when Americans were devastated from 911 and quickly recovered displaying a flag on their front porch, and now front porches are once again their havens where the beauty of flowers brighten their day and gives people a great place to meet that is safe and comforting.
Another upswing in activity has been seen in the RV and camping industry as a result of the pandemic and its restrictions on gatherings.
While March and April had seen a significant drop in rentals at Keen Lake Camping and Cottage Resort in Waymart, the Memorial Day weekend saw a different trend.
Always an extremely busy season there beginning the holiday weekend, things were picking up but not as they once were, for several different reasons.
People are ready to resume some sense of normalcy and for more than 165 families at Keen Lake this is their normal according to owner Jennifer Wertz of the Keen Lake resort.
A family-run business for 66 years, campers want to spend time with their families and this is a great way to do it.
“They want to get back to normal and we are trying to do the best we can to provide a safe, clean place for them,” Wertz said.
She says the resort’s phones have been “on fire” since the announcement of the change to yellow status in the state.
“It has been busy, busy here the past week. We are trying to do the right thing. We want to have a good crowd, but not go too crazy,” she said.
Families can gather up to 25 in the yellow phase of the pandemic.
The resort, normally renting more than 200 rentals on Memorial Day weekend was at 66 and has received another 60 since the soft opening announcement.
The resort has approximately 370 sites including RV, home, cottage and glamping rentals available, 165 plus sites of these are seasonal families that return to enjoy the great fun, activities and camaraderie at Keen Lake every season.
“It is all very different this year,” said Wertz.
With the additional sanitizing services necessary to keep their guests safe, there are many more jobs to be done at the resort.
“There are so many things that you can and cannot so,” she said. “It is very restrictive.”
The resort’s playground will remain closed and activities have ben cancelled until further notice. A limited number of patrons will be allowed to shop the camp store at one time as well as a limited number in the pool at the resort as well.
The camping resort has posted social distancing policies throughout the acreage and hopes that campers will adhere to the rules set forth to flatten the pandemic’s curve.
Wertz hopes that the campers will take advantage of hiking, walking and use of its lake.
Summer is usually synonymous with swimming. Well, you better get started because sales are up according to owners Jeff and Anna Dunn of JD Custom Pools & Services Inc. in Pittston.
“In the beginning people were shopping for the best deals but now the weather has improved and they want to know when they can have their pool installed,” Anna Dunn explained.
With people leery of travel by public transportation at the present, and the use of public pools is off-putting for some, above ground pools have become very popular this year at JD’s.
The family-run business is more than happy to accommodate the needs of those wishing to install or renovate their existing pools.
Health experts have noted that the chemicals used to treat pools help to kill the COVID 19 virus.
They due caution that public gathering is more of a concern than the actual swimming and caution to continue to practice social distancing and cleanliness.