Can summer survive America's coronavirus spike?
America's first coronavirus surge nearly wiped out the summer season on Cape Cod, one of the most popular summer destinations in the US. Now there is talk about a second wave - will this imperil the vacation spot's escape?
When the pandemic hit the US in March, Sarah Sherman, owner of Hopper Real Estate in Eastham - a holiday home rental business on the Cape - saw her summer season erased with cancellations. But by mid-July, her business had revived - despite the number of cases in the country setting records.
At one point, she scored more than 16 bookings in just two days - a number unheard of in a typical year.
"It's definitely feeling like summer," she says.
The return of visitors was a major relief to Ms Sherman and business owners like her across Cape Cod, a peninsula that juts off Massachusetts into the Atlantic Ocean that was made famous as the summer playground of the Kennedys.
Cold and grey in the winter, it is dependent economically on the summer months, when its population doubles and families from across the northeast pour in to sunbathe, cycle and gorge on lobster and fried clams.
As the country went into lockdown, reservations "just stopped", she recalls. "We were like, 'Oh my god, what is going to happen?'"
"We didn't know whether there was going to be a summer."
Families with second homes de-camped for extended stays earlier in the year than usual. Renters soon followed, as a long spring in lockdown created pent-up demand, particularly ...
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