PORTSMOUTH — Local citizens took part in an age-old tradition with a modern twist over the weekend.
While social distancing guidelines and Ohio’s stay-at-home order prevent gatherings of more than 10 people in public in efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, residents took to their cars and practiced good health for a cruise up and down the streets of Portsmouth where the activity was once the fun thing to do.
Joseph Pratt, executive director of Main Street Portsmouth, and his wife, Sara, were among those hundreds of cars who lined the streets in cruise-fashion.
“While we are concerned about social distancing and everyone staying in their cars, it was still very exciting to see people cruising. My wife and I even drove down to see what it looked like. It was pretty intense. We sat through nine red lights on one block alone,” Pratt said. “I certainly hope we can continue honoring traditions our parents and grandparents had when quarantine is over, so long as we can do so safely and out of our cars as well. It is exciting to see that many people downtown.”
Those participating took to social media, posting videos of the self-planned traffic jam and expressing their support for the reemergence of what may take the place of gatherings — for the time being.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine stated Friday that the Buckeye State would begin its’ reopening Phase One May 1 as part of the federal ‘Opening Up America Again’ plan laid out by President Trump and members of the coronavirus task force late last week. As of Sunday afternoon, six confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported in Scioto County while Ohio has reported 11,292 confirmed cases with 453 deaths of individuals diagnosed with COVID-19.
Sticking to the theme of those in Portsmouth Saturday, many of the 12 high schools in Scioto County which are also Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) members announced they would be participating in a statewide-program to honor their seniors who have been short-changed of senior activities that would occur in a normal year during this time.
As of Monday afternoon, Portsmouth, Wheelersburg, Minford, Portsmouth West, Sciotoville East, New Boston Glenwood, South Webster, Valley, Notre Dame, Northwest, Clay, and Green high schools each announced they would be honoring their Class of 2020 Seniors late Monday evening beginning at 8:20 p.m.
Participants are encouraged to stay in their car to adhere to social distancing guidelines while honking their car horn and waving to show their support for current seniors. Parking and exiting your vehicle will not be permitted as Scioto County’s high schools take part in this statewide initiative.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved