Considered the “unofficial end of summer” by some, Labor Day is here and businesses are preparing for a busy few days.
Steve Lemons has worked at the bait and tackle shop behind Augie’s Sunset Café for more than eight years and said this upcoming weekend may be busier than past Labor Day holidays.
“If anything else, we’ve got a lot of new people moving down here and they’ll probably want to join in on it,” Lemons said. “We’ve loaded up on all of our worms, soda, candy, water, and bait and tackle.”
Unlike many businesses, Lemons said they did not experience a significant financial hit during the pandemic. Fishing is an activity people can do outdoors and easily keep a safe distance from others, he said.
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“People do it naturally without having to be told,” he said. “I have a feeling it’s [weekend] going to be busier than last year.”
Eugene Garcia of Saginaw was fishing by the lake on Friday with his sister-in-law. Garcia said he began fishing often during the early stages of the pandemic after recovering from the virus.
“I would just come out here by myself or I have another location I would go to, and I would just fish for a while there,” he said. “I’m a people-person. I love talking to people but every now and then, it’s good to just be in a location where you can just relax.”
Ahead of the holiday weekend, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged the public to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Everyone - even vaccinated people - in areas with a substantial or high level of community spread should wear a mask indoors while in public, the CDC tweeted Friday.
Public health leaders are also asking people to make responsible decisions while making holiday plans, such as travel.
“The risk of COVID transmission when you travel, believe it or not, is more in the airport building than it is on the flights. The airplanes have these incredible air filtration systems, and you're actually pretty safe while you're flying,” public health specialist Dr. Saju Mathew said. “At the airport, make wise decisions. Try to get in and out of congested areas. I would not necessarily wait in line or eat at restaurants because you have to take your mask off.”
The CDC added Friday, the rate of hospitalizations among children ages 0-4 with COVID-19 increased ten times as much between late June and mid-August while the delta variant was widely circulating. They urge children to wear a mask and get vaccinated, if eligible.