Bashing the Beach

by Kerry Dougherty

I love Virginia Beach. This cul-de-sac by the sea has been home since 1984.

We locals might complain about the place — greedy developers, corrupt politicians, no waves — but we don’t much like elitist outsiders blowing into town and bashing us after they leave.

And that’s just what one man did when he penned a hit piece on the Resort City this week for Forbes.

Why Forbes published this drivel is a mystery. I suspect it fit a certain narrative.

The story was headlined “A Trip To Virginia Beach Showed Why We Aren’t Beating This Virus,” but a more accurate header would have been “Rich Guy Visits Virginia Beach And Spends Entire Trip Counting Masks.”

The author launched his diatribe this way (boldface is mine):

CV101 started when we parked near the beach. We donned our masks and stepped out of the car, and immediately noticed that almost no one else was wearing a mask. Now, it was a sunny and warm day and we didn’t see big crowds or lack of reasonable distancing. But coming from the DC Metro where wearing a mask is the norm and not wearing mask is likely to get you accosted, this was surprising to us.

In other words, writer Ben Baldanza and his family were horrified to spy folks wandering around outside unmasked.

You know what we call it down here when you’re wearing a mask outdoors with no one else around? Virtue signaling. Or stupid.

After checking into the most expensive hotel in town — The Cavalier — the out-of-towners ventured to the boardwalk.

Ooooh. Scary.

For those who may not know, the Virginia Beach boardwalk is a three-mile wide paved path for walkers with a parallel path for bicycle riders. Look to one side and see the beach and ocean, and the other side to see all kinds of commerce including restaurants, shops, and hotels. As we strolled on the boardwalk, it was shocking to see almost zero mask wearing by people who could not reasonably be claiming to exercise. … We spent less time than we had hoped on the boardwalk largely because we did not feel comfortable enough to continue.

Where to begin? There’s so much amiss here.

Let’s start with the glaring factual error. The boardwalk is three miles long, not wide. Perhaps an inability to gauge distance comes from living in those soulless Northern Virginia ant colonies where every block looks like every other.

The author and his kin were “shocked” to see maskless people on that lovely 28-foot-wide promenade who “were not exercising.”

What the hell? This man is clearly confused. The governor’s mandate requires masks indoors. Shoot, Ralph Northam himself was prancing maskless down the boardwalk this spring, leaning in for selfies and not even pretending to social distance.

This screed filled with relentless crankiness went on to list every place this writer or his wife spied bare-faced people.

Gosh, what a fabulous vacation. Spending what may have been thousands of dollars to count masks.

The author blathered on about “oblivious people” in Virginia Beach. And here’s the money shot:

Yet this behavior is why the virus is not contained and likely won’t be, why our kids can’t safely go to school in a few weeks, and why the economy will stay mired in a quagmire.

Someone tell this guy that the reason his kids aren’t back in public school this fall is because militant teachers’ unions in Northern Virginia chose to ignore the advice of the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics to reopen. Instead they threw tantrums and demanded that the schools stay closed until there’s a vaccine.

Don’t blame us for THAT.

Here’s what I see every day in Virginia Beach: Nearly 100% compliance with the mask mandate. Go to Kroger, Walmart, Home Depot, CVS or the dry cleaners and you’ll notice that virtually everyone is wearing a mask.

No, we don’t walk around like idiots outside sporting face coverings in the sunshine when the temperature hovers around 100. That’s because, while we may not have NoVa money, we’re rich in common sense.

Here’s a thought: If your idea of a terrific getaway is to stew in traffic and get “accosted” if you dare to bare your face in public, visit Northern Virginia.

If, on the other hand, you want to relax, enjoy the beach and stroll the boardwalk without getting the stink eye because you’re not wearing a mask outside, come to Virginia Beach.

But do us a favor: Leave your uptight Northern Virginia attitude at home.

This column was republished by permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.

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18 responses to “Bashing the Beach”

  1. The 1958 book,”The Ugly American,” portrayed the insensitivity of the U.S. diplomatic corps to local language, culture and customs abroad. A trope among United States critics of that era accused Americans abroad as being insufferably smug and boorish towards the locals.

    Maybe Kerry needs to write a book, “The Ugly Washingtonian,” depicting the smugness, boorishness and insufferable sense of moral superiority of Washington elites toward the locals in their own country.

    1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

      Nice piece on Trump’s ambassadors today. Sheesh, if they didn’t hate us before…

  2. Anonymous Avatar

    Hey, now– don’t blame this guy on NoVa. No one in my quiet working class neighborhood would bother anyone who isn’t wearing a mask outdoors (some old folks do, and some folks who presumably have conditions that make extra caution a good idea). You’ll find Karens (a person sure can be a Karen irrespective of sex/gender/pronouns) everywhere, and maybe NoVa has more than most, but most of us aren’t.

    Man, I wish I was on that boardwalk right now. No, I wish I was walking from the boardwalk to the ocean, savoring the anticipation of that cool rushing water…

  3. Baconator with extra cheese Avatar
    Baconator with extra cheese

    I love the mention of “get accosted”.
    This world of confrontation by kids who mostly never even played outside is really crazy. I guess they didn’t grow up how I did where “accosting” someone equalled getting sat down on your rear by a right cross and a mouth full of blood.
    Iron Mike was right ” everyone has a plan until they get punched in the nose” (paraphased… to lazy to look it up).

  4. James Wyatt Whitehead V Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead V

    I appreciated Kerry’s thoughts on how Virginians percieve one another. It never ceases to amaze me the differences Virginians have based on region. It seems each region has it’s own unique set of beliefs, values, and outlooks. That is one constant in our 400 year history.

    1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

      Hell, come to SEVA. There’s differences between Poquoson and Dare, and you can almost sling a rock across the river. Come to think of it, I think they do.

  5. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Yep. He’s the former ceo of spirit airlines. It is attitude’s like this blogger that get people killed.

  6. LarrytheG Avatar

    My impression is – if you wait tables for a living – you don’t want to serve the one Kerry is at… I bet it’s a trip every time!

    1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

      I tell you this, I wouldn’t eat the food brought to her table.

  7. LarrytheG Avatar

    The world is NOT Kerry’s Oyster AND she’s gonna let you know part and parcel of every affront…

    1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

      Kerry’s oyster is loaded with bits of shell, and no pearls.

  8. djrippert Avatar

    He’s a relatively recent transplant to NoVa having worked in a number of executive positions at various airlines. God only knows why this “Karen in drag” decided to relocate to Northern Virginia. I see it all the time. People move here from some broken down hell hole area of the country and start running their mouths about how everything is done wrong. Kathleen Murphy anybody? His trip to Virginia Beach is no surprise. First, why would somebody suffering from acute COVID paranoia travel during a pandemic? And why to a beach resort? Aren’t beach resorts always crowded in the summer? He should have spent his vacation hiding under his bed in NoVa shivering and sniveling.

    The real question is why Forbes decided to publish this hot mess of a blog post. The guy writes for his own blog. Fine. He has no journalistic credentials and has travel expertise only so far as he worked as an executive at various airlines. Moreover, he has no background in health at all. But somehow Forbes found his “expertise” irresistible. They followed up their questionable selection of this post with amateur hour editing. A three mile wide boardwalk? People not wearing masks outdoors being accosted in the DC Metro area? Maybe this jackwagon author will find the time to accost me for not wearing a mask outside in the DC Metro area. He’ll have a whole lot more material for his next blog post.

    1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

      Maybe, just maybe, someone at Forbes just likes reading Kerry’s rants and thought to prime the pump… hey, it could happen.

  9. VaNavVet Avatar

    Actually, it is kind of nice and somewhat surprising to see Kerry supporting the wearing of a mask indoors around others. One can hope that see would also support wearing of a mask outdoors when social distancing is not possible. Although this may be too subtle a point for her to make in the piece. The visitor was correct that “just wear the damn mask” is an extremely important part of getting schools and businesses re-open. We can only pray that Kerry’s “Oyster” does not turn others away from the sensible wearing of masks.

    1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

      That’s new. Like Trump, she’s capable of shifting 180 and pretending she never said elsewise. That’s easy for her since no one really pays attention to her.

  10. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Ripper. I moved to the South (North Carolina) as an 18 month old baby and have been running my mouth ever since. ( mostly waah)

  11. Nancy_Naive Avatar

    If wearing a mask, inside or out, is a “personal thing” then, what the heck, why should employees wash their hands? Hell, if you can survive COV2, how bad can Hep-A be, right?

  12. fromthefuture Avatar

    Kerry-If drivel wasn’t published how would you get your word out?

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