Columbus Zoo & Aquarium Trip with Friends


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Columbus Zoo & Aquarium Trip with Friends

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On July 10, 2020 my best friend, Lauren Ash and her boyfriend, drove up from Marietta, Ohio to Columbus to go to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium with my boyfriend and I. We purchased the tickets right before the Zoo re-opened in early June. The Columbus Zoo is very popular, usually having thousands of visitors a day. However, because of COVID19, they were forced to limit the number of visitors each day and at specific times. So, in order to go, you must buy a ticket in advance for a specific date and time range. From there, they can limit the number of people inside the zoo at a time.

We hadn't seen each other since January and missed both of our birthdays during mass shutdowns, so we decided the Zoo would be an easy and safer way to meet up and see each other briefly. Because of some sanitation concerns and social distancing, the zoo was different. Many drink and food stations were closed. All glass had signs on them to "Keep 6 feet apart" (as seen in some photographs) as well as ropes preventing visitors from getting close enough to touch any glass (also seen in some photographs). Paw prints or circles were painted/laid on the ground in front of viewing areas to help people keep 6 feet distance. Some activities were shut down entirely, like some animal identification games in the Africa exhibit (seen in a photograph). The boat ride that winds through the park was closed with tarps over their seats while the boats kept eerily floating through their paths (as seen in the video). Walkways that in the past were usually packed with people going any direction were empty, with signs and painted lines to move traffic in ways that would keep visitors from passing each other too closely. On top of that, there were sanitizer and hand-washing stations scattered around the zoo that had not been there before COVID19.

While face masks were only required to wear indoors at the zoo, many people did not wear them at all. My group decided to wear them the entire time, and we took a couple of selfies along the way.

Overall, it was a fun and relatively safe trip. I'm glad I got to leave the house for a bit and spend some time with my best friend!
zoo, aquarium, Columbus Zoo, friends, face masks, signs, animals,

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This item was submitted on July 23, 2020 by Harlee Rozell using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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