Quite a few people flipped out when they saw a lot of out-of-state license plates on Lower Cape roads over the past two weeks. Yes, a lot of second homeowners fled here once the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Is that a reason to panic? No, so long as those from areas where the virus is more endemic keep to themselves for the 14 days recommended by state and local authorities. While there's anecdotal evidence that's not the case, there are also plenty of locals out and about.
There is a concern that a sudden surge in coronavirus cases could overwhelm Cape Cod Hospital's modest capacity. But stories of out-of-staters clearing the shelves of grocery stores are extreme exaggerations, and rental companies say they haven't received that many inquiries. A local plumber told us recently that they'd had 20 requests to turn on seasonal water service. Usually in March that number is zero. That's a 2,000 percent increase. Don't pay attention to such scary figures.
With non-essential stores closed, downtowns are deserted. Roads are not crowded. There are people at popular spots like beaches and parks, but there's enough space to socially distance. And if you're that concerned, don't go out. Like our out-of-state friends should be doing, follow the advice of health authorities and stay at home.