LAKEWOOD-There are now two distinct rifts growing between communities here at the Jersey Shore as we are midway through the second week of a state-imposed self-quarantine and shutdown aimed to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The first rift is happening in and around Lakewood as some residents in that town continue disobeying government mandates on limiting large social gatherings as the spread of the virus in Lakewood dwarfs all of the surrounding towns, but the virus is also increasing more in those surrounding towns than other towns in the state.
The second rift is between shore communities and vacation property owners. Towns up and down the barrier island are telling property owners they’re not welcome in their town during the coronavirus.
In Lakewood, there have been 84 confirmed cases of coronavirus, but that number could be much higher as testing increases, according to New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. News reports of illegal weddings, block parties and large gatherings continue to come out of Lakewood as residents in nearby Jackson and Toms River begin growing frustrated.
Lakewood ranks number one in confirmed coronavirus cases here at the Jersey Shore with 84 cases. Marlboro has 29, Freehold has 28, Toms River has 28 and Jackson has 23 confirmed cases.
Further east, shore communities are up in arms, led by the charge of state-level politicians. Governor Phil Murphy, a shore resident was joined by New Jersey Assemblymen Gregory P. McCuckin and Jon Catalano in calls for vacation property owners to stay home and stay out of the shore.
Murphy and his ally in the battle, McGuckin both state the shore area is not equipped to properly handle any influx of northerners during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We understand that those who own shore properties want to escape and social distance themselves at the beach, but this will put a strain on too many of our businesses and hospitals in the area,” McGuckin, who is the partner of a shore area pay to play law firm that earns well over $1,000,000 annually from politically appointed, pay to play contracts.
The declarations by Murphy, McGuckin and Catalano have caused a firestorm of contention between shore residents and north Jersey shore property owners seeking to escape the epicenter of the pandemic around New York City.
Neither Murphy nor McGuckin have issued press releases or made statements regarding the higher-than average spread of coronavirus in Lakewood.