Posts Tagged ‘Corona risks in Ocean Grove’

OG boards. May 31, 2020. This is a Sunday morning,  and board walking is OK.  If you walk on the beach on Sunday morning, no one will stop you.   Paul Goldfinger photograph. ©



Blogfinger Medical Report.   Paul Goldfinger, MD, FACC.

This  headline* is from Reuters Health covering the opinions of some Canadian professors in an article in the Annals of Internal Medicine.  They said, ” While there is no direct evidence yet that cloth masks can reduce  SARS-CoV-2 transmission, the collective evidence indicating that mask wearing by infected people reduces contamination is convincing and should inform policy.”

They say that “there is ample evidence that the masks can prevent infected droplets from getting into the air or onto surfaces.”

The article  said, “There was also evidence, though not as strong, that cloth masks might protect wearers as well.”

A professor in the trial,  Dr. Catherine Clase, from the McMaster University in Ontario, said, “While the evidence shows that masks can help, they are no substitute for social distancing and handwashing but should be used along with those measures.”

Dr. Supratik Guha, Professor at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering  from the University of Chicago said, “I have been stressing that simple reasoning and evidence indicates that the use of a decent cloth mask in indoor or use public places will reduce infection transmission.  If most of the population practices this, the multiplicative benefits can be enormous in reduction overall infection rates within a community.”

CDC says:    “A cloth face covering should be worn whenever people are in a community setting, especially in situations where you may be near people. These settings include grocery stores and pharmacies. These face coverings are not a substitute for social distancing. Cloth face coverings are especially important to wear in public in areas of widespread COVID-19 illness.


Blogfinger commentary: By Paul Goldfinger, MD.   I have observed a significant lack of compliance outdoors in Ocean Grove;  probably because people are not sure that the invisible terror will be eliminated by mask practices, and there is some confusion regarding when and how to make use of masks.

Official guidelines by the Camp Meeting Association of Ocean Grove are evasive and unconvincing.  They say on their web site:  “Wearing masks is strongly encouraged.”

So, to practice masking, one needs some faith in the scientific guidelines, such as they are.  I have always tried to practice evidence-based medicine, but the science here isn’t so clear,  and maybe we need to believe somewhat in good judgement and even in magic.

I am not convinced that we should wear masks if we are outdoors in open spaces where we can stay away from others or when alone in our cars.     But keep in mind that this virus spreads by human to human contact, so you can use some common sense in this regard and judge your situation by that principle and analyze your own environment.

We know that the virus can, under certain circumstances, infect the air we breathe originating in coughing, sneezing and even talking.

So don’t take unnecessary chances.  If there is any possibility that human to human contact might occur in any situation, then put on a mask.

The two ladies walking side by side wore masks, but they could have been somewhat more apart.  If I were walking alone there, I  would be tempted to  wear no  mask, as many were not doing, but I would surely weave my way around any humans walking or biking towards me.

If you don’t wear a mask outside, at least carry one, just in case.

Best choice:  wear the mask on the boards.  The beach will be a more difficult decision.

And don’t forget to wash your masks.


ALY AND AJ. “Into the Rush:”



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Ocean Grove boardwalk. May 13, 2020. By Lee Morgan of OG.



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At Gettysburg Lincoln hoped, “That government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Paul Goldfinger photo in A.Park. ©



By  Paul Goldfinger MD. Ocean Grove, NJ. May 10, 2020

It seems that those locals who control the tourist floodgates in Ocean Grove are engaging in magical thinking as they plan for the spring and summer season..  They seem to be overconfident that if they invite large numbers of people into town for mega-events that everything will be just fine as long as we maintain physical distancing (the new name for social distancing) and wear masks.

The state’s guidelines for beaches and boardwalks have not appeared yet, but we expect, as per the governor, that they will allow oceanfront activities to begin by Memorial Day,  but with constraints, some of which will be impossible to keep a lid on.

Below is from  Statnews.com:

“Keeping people away from each other means the virus can’t spread among them. It’s why experts are urging leaders in regions that do not think they have broad spread of the virus yet to implement physical distancing measures now — to save lives that could otherwise be lost a month from now.”

But for Ocean Grove, the best sort of mitigation would be to cancel all large crowded events this season. Perhaps the beach scene could work out with care, but there is a chance for chaos there this summer.

Even if the flea markets, large concerts, big church events, and parades are cancelled, the CMA has the sorts of activities than can result in viral transmission. For example, they plan church services at the boardwalk pavilion starting June 14.  Those get tight and crowded. Below is a photo of such an event taken from their web site.


Source: CMA web site calendar of a June service.


And on June 12, 16, and 19 they have scheduled choir rehearsals in the GA.  Have they heard about the choir rehearsal in Washington State where 40/60 present caught the Corona, and two died.  And they were “careful” at that rehearsal.


On 6/20 the Giant Craft Show is scheduled.

And on June 24 they plan to have the crowded Neptune High School graduation in the GA. Bridgefest is June 25 and 6/26.

At their web site, they list 3 “COVID-19 precautions” including maintaining social distancing and wearing masks outdoors, but the third one is really original and surely will help:  “If you are able please walk on the beach and leave the boardwalk for those that need it.”  Really?

Statnews.com:    “The effects will be seen weeks down the road,” said Caroline Buckee, an epidemiologist at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. For people who think that distancing measures are not needed in their communities yet, she said, “that is extremely naïve. Everywhere should be taking social distancing very seriously, because nowhere is immune to this virus.”

Blogfinger:    This is a very precarious situation where accurate predictions are  hard to come by. One thing is sure, and that is the risk of viral transmission goes up with population density and that takes us to the Ocean Grove situation with crowds of tourists coming into our residential community in season.

The CMA seems desperate to continue its religious programming which peaks with large numbers of visitors in the summer. They stand to lose a lot of income if the beachfront is stifled and if tourists fail to attend their events.

When they discuss epidemic concerns, which they almost never do publicly, they never mention the several thousand citizens who live here, and those numbers go up sharply in season, and that population will be at increased risk with the importation of huge numbers of strangers coming and going from our town.

The CMA web site says, “Our program schedule and services are being evaluated on a daily basis in regard to safety measures for the COVID-19 pandemic. This calendar is revised as changes occur.”

Well, what exactly are they monitoring on a daily basis?  Do they read the numbers for the Grove?  We can’t even find them.  Do they have a crystal ball?

Illness follows infection by weeks, and infected visitors may seem perfectly healthy.   That is why anyone who is exposed must self isolate for two weeks.  What if someone at a church service gets sick? Will the CMA contact everyone who was there?

How will they decide what to do with their ambitious schedule?   It sounds like delusional wishful thinking.

As for the Township, what does Neptune care?  It is only the OG part of town that will be at risk from the tourist season.   So they say nothing about those of us who will be exposed to large tourist infusions.  What kind of representative government is this?

When those Neptuners look at this situation, if, in fact, they do, they must  consider the risks and benefits–what’s best for the citizens?  That’s their job!   And we know the risks, but what do they think are the benefits of flooding our town with virus laden people this season?

Can we sue the Township Committee for malpractice?  If a doctor causes someone to die, he can get sued, so how about indifferent elected officials?  Is the Township lawyer up to this challenge? Will we the taxpayers wind up paying for lawyers to defend the Township from the people?

If you are a Grover, full or part time, run for cover when large crowds appear.


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A sample is obtained from a person who wants to be checked. Washington Post photo©


By  Paul Goldfinger, MD

May 1, 2020. Ocean Grove, NJ.  Blogfinger.net


For days I have been contemplating a post  to answer an important question about the pandemic in America.  But I hesitated because I wasn’t sure of the answer.

The issue is that despite the best efforts of most people that I know to mitigate the coronavirus, the disease keeps growing, and the numbers in New Jersey show it.  If the virus flood should respond to distancing, hand washing and self isolation, then why isn’t it snuffed out already?  What are we missing?

Some would say that mitigation is just not very effective–that it is insufficient to stem the viral tide.

But I believe that if it weren’t for our efforts, the situation would be much worse, however, how is the virus still claiming so many victims?

Experts say that the epidemic just needs some more time to burn itself out, while others say that it will take a year or two unless an effective treatment appears and/or a vaccine.  There is no natural immunity in the world’s population because this is a new virus.  And we have had inadequate testing sufficient to tell us how pervasive the virus still is.

And the natives are getting inpatient and want to be set free. Israel and some other countries have done  well, with the process,  but when Germany tried to open their economy, there was a flair.  So what are we missing?

The answer appeared in today’s Washington Post in which they say, “More than 20,000 Americans are testing positive for COVID-19 each day despite widespread quarantines. Who are these people and how are they catching the virus?”

There has been no published evaluation of the occupations and living conditions of those who are now testing  positive, so we don’t know who is getting sick.

But through further analysis, it appears that the “pandemic is increasingly infecting those who have limited ability to socially distance.”

“That includes grocery store workers, housekeepers, nursing home workers, jail inmates, construction workers, the person who delivered your dinner.”  And it also  includes police, security people, healthcare workers, food workers and other essential people.  And it is impossible to track down all the contacts that such people have every day.”

“Experts and anecdotal reports all confirm that the disease is largely still spreading among people who can’t afford not to work—or whose work the rest of the country can’t afford to do without.  And sometimes people who are very careful still wind up with the disease, and they don’t know how it happened.”

“It is community spread, and then taking it home to their families,” said Sonja Bachus, chief executive of Greater Baden Medical Services in Maryland.  “It is disheartening.”

So that is where the new cases are arising despite the best efforts of those who can isolate themselves.  And, still, despite all the optimism in the last week, we must remain vigilant and we can’t expect this thing to shut down and end abruptly.  Israel looks great, but it is a small nation, and we are a complicated huge country.

So, as far as Ocean Grove is concerned, imagine what will happen if our town is flooded with tourists, and among them will be infected individuals.  This will place those of us who live or visit in town at great peril of becoming ill

Something must be done to shut down the corona spewing tourist machine to be turned on  by the CMA. Don’t be fooled by the CMA which has big plans for programming;  and don’t worry, they “are watching the situation hour by hour.” And the boardwalk should be closed along with our neighbors. We need residents only parking and beaching.

This April 30 piece in the Washington Post is by Kyle Swenson and Jenna Portnoy.  The references to Ocean Grove and New Jersey  are by Blogfinger.net






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We have no idea of the impact of coronavirus so far in Ocean Grove. Exactly what is the CMA’s Badger monitoring “every hour?”  Do we have any test results for the Grove?


This APP article offers very little of substance, but this is what was said in their 4/30 piece today:

a.  The reporter says that the CMA and not the Township decides if the boardwalk remains open.  What is the truth?  According to Jack Bredin, it’s the other way around.

b. Andy Levine, the head of the Better Parking Alliance in OG, who likes to jog on the boards, says that he agrees with keeping our boards open, but he believes that as the weather gets warmer, the CMA “will have to follow everyone else and probably shut things down.”

Hey Andy—stick to parking. “No comment” would have been a better choice for you.

c. ” Barbara Burns, President of the Home Groaners, said she was supportive of the approach taken by the CMA.”

She also is a mind reader saying, “Most people I think are pretty comfortable with following whatever guidance we get from the state.”

It seems she thinks the state has offered “guidance” about our boardwalk, but they have actually shown no interest in the subject.

d.  Michael Badger of the CMA said, “We are monitoring it hourly.”  He explained the CMA’s plan “is to keep the boardwalk and beach open, with a phased approach to events as the summer months approach, but he cautioned that if there is any danger to public health, that approach could change quickly.”

So, the CMA is monitoring the situation “hourly,”  but has he noticed that New Jersey has more cases and more deaths every day?

Evidently he doesn’t see any danger to public health in the Grove.  Is he so ignorant of the infectiousness of this virus that he  thinks that so far, it’s all fine?

Badger still has not mentioned publicly that there are thousands of people who live in the Grove and who can be impacted by his policies.  He doesn’t want to recognize that we have a community of residents who live here and should be factored into his plans which seem to ignore the priority of public health.

And the APP also has also not recognized the community of residents who are most vulnerable to out-of- control tourism.  This is journalism at its worst. The reporter couldn’t even come up with stats  (cases and deaths) about the virus in Ocean Grove and neither has his paper. He doesn’t seem to understand the public health issues here as well as the clash of opinions.

Why not take the most careful approach and close the boards, like our neighbors, and then, later, if the numbers work out, to consider opening along with other towns around us?

Who in this town is paying attention to the health risks for our citizens?  Certainly not the ding dings quoted above.

Paul Goldfinger MD, Editor.

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Tourists: Pass the OG exit and go to the Pine Barrens.  Paul Goldfinger photograph ©




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COVID-19.    Internet graphic from the NIH.


Is the July 4 parade next to be scheduled? Paul Goldfinger photo. 2019. ©


Tents begin to “go up” each April. Blogfinger photo April 2018.


Friday, April 25, 2020. 4 pm


We have learned from a reliable source that the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association will be “opening the tents and the beach on June 15.”




A worker sprays disinfectant to sanitize Duomo square in downtown Milan, Italy, March 31, 2020. (AP/Luca Bruno)

NOTE:  This was reported on Friday April 25 by the Guardian.

“Scientists in Italy find coronavirus on airborne pollutants, suggesting that the disease could travel further by air than previously assumed.”

“It could also explain the high rate of infection in heavily polluted northern Italy. ”

“Larger droplets carrying the virus land within two meters of the carrier, but smaller droplets can linger in the air for longer, and move farther. It is unclear whether the smaller droplets can cause infections.”

“The study has not yet been peer-reviewed, but previous studies and experts suggest the premise could be valid, and should be researched further.”

“It is unclear whether the virus is viable or able to cause infections when carried by pollution. ”

Something to think about when considering the close quarters among the tents.

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