By: Ryan Yousefi
You can tell Coral Springs is almost back. Slowly, but surely, things are starting to look more familiar all around us.
As the rest of the state enters Phase 2 of the Coronavirus reopening, Coral Springs, and the rest of South Florida readies itself for a closer return to normality. The progression from total lockdown to Phase 1 of the process has already been a significant change, though.
Here are ten signs we’ve noticed over the past couple of weeks that point to Coral Springs getting back to a new normal amid a releasing of the Coronavirus stay at home orders.
10. Garage sales are back, and everyone is selling old baby stuff again.
During the lockdown, there was one very obvious omission from the Nextdoor app: Garage sales. Nobody has exactly been in the mood to invite strangers to come to their homes and touch a bunch of their belongings lately.
Yard sales are back, though. Slowly but surely, we’ve seen more and more garage sale signs pop-up, meaning there is once again a plethora of gently-used car seats and strollers available.
9. The line at Starbucks is just normal long now.
The line at the drive-thru Starbucks location on Sample and University was insane during the stay at home order. With The Walk location closed, it was the perfect storm for coffee-lovers. At times, the line stretched a half-mile away into Sample Road.
For some, a trip to Starbucks in the morning was the highlight of their otherwise dull day. For others, it was needing their usual caffeine kick in their home office. For everyone, it was one of the longest lines you’ll ever put up with for a cup of coffee.
It’s back to normal-busy, now.
8. Publix has chicken again.
Everyone knew chicken was popular, but it was still pretty shocking to find out just how popular it was during the lockdown. I guess it makes sense. Chicken goes with almost everything. It’s the MVP of meats.
Finding a full chicken in Publix in April was the highlight of your week. Your family applauded when you brought it home. Now, it’s just a chicken again—an unappreciated chicken.
7. Driving down Wiles Road is once again not our favorite.
For a moment there, traffic in Coral Springs was so reduced that getting from Riverside to 441 on Wiles Road didn’t take a tank and twenty minutes. Those were the days.
Now that more people have somewhere to be, traveling on what used to be one of Coral Springs’s quietest roads is once again a nightmare in the name of improvements. Hopefully, it’ll all be worth it one day.
6. People are wearing workout clothes to actually workout.
All those Nike running shoes and stretchy pants are back on active duty that includes more than a light jog to and from the car to outrun the “invisible enemy.” Workout clothes are once again a solid sign of activity, not inactivity.
With gyms reopening and city parks are open, our workout clothes are being worn for an hour or two again, not a day or two. That’s what the basketball shorts we’ve never once worn to play basketball are for.
5. Total Wine doesn’t have a full parking lot at the weirdest times.
Who knew Total Wine opened up at 9 a.m. before the Coronavirus changed our lives? I would have totally guessed 10 or 11. During the lockdown, you just had to laugh at how busy the Total Wine parking lot was so early in the morning. Everything around it was closed, so it stuck out like a red thumb.
Now, it’s less obvious that people are buying wine at 9 a.m. The traffic blends in with those grabbing bagels and smoothies.
4. People are holding doors for each other again at the post office.
During the lockdown, if someone held a door for you to enter behind them, it was like being handed five dollars for no reason at all. Are you sure? Why? Ok.
It was a lot of every person for themselves, naturally. Now, it seems, door holding is back. Doors and people are less of a threat.
3. Kids are back in public. Remember kids?
During the lockdown, it was a rarity to see a toddler playing in a park or walking with their parents on a sidewalk. You see it much more frequently around town now. Kids were released from lockdown last, it seemed.
The parks are now open, children are playing and riding their bicycles. Everyone is careful, but life is slowly getting back to a new normal for children. (Please note: playgrounds are not open!)
2. Hand sanitizer is apparently sold and available everywhere now.
Oh, now you have hand sanitizer for sale. I’m pretty sure you can buy hand sanitizer at the bank now. It’s just everywhere. Little bottles, large bottles, spray bottles, you name it, it’s there.
It’s startling to see piles of something available for next-to-nothing just a few weeks after we would have paid ten times the price on Amazon. It’s a sure sign we’re back.
1. People are coming together again, just differently.
At some point, Coral Springs was going to turn the lights back on. People were always going to come back together. Whether you believe it happened a few weeks early or not, here we are.
It will take a lot more than a pandemic to cancel Coral Springs. We’ll keep supporting local businesses and living our best lives.
No one knows what the future holds yet, but, for now, Coral Springs is nearing a sense of normalcy. People are coming together again, just six feet apart.
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- Ryan Yousefi has lived in Coral Springs for over 30 years. He has worked as a writer for multiples outlets over the years, including the Miami New Times where he has covered sports and culture since 2013. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in Business Healthcare Management from Western Governors University.