LIMA — Many of us are tired of being cooped up inside our homes for the past couple of months. Usually, on any given Saturday there are dozens of garage sales to check out. Now, not so much since we’ve been under the specter of the COVID-19 virus.
But there are a few garage sales that have popped up since the weather’s been nicer and people are out there trying to find bargains.
The Ohio Department of Health has provided some guidance for those of you who want to host a garage sale, including practice social distancing, clean all tables and chairs several times throughout the day, wear masks and disposable gloves at all times during the sale and have hand sanitizer available for customers to use.
“This is for the individual garage sale where you may have a flow of people, but they’re not staying, they’re not lingering. They’re checking your stuff out. You can provide hand sanitizer and you can have wipes available. And then they can be on their way after they purchase something,” said Tami Gough, Allen County Public Health Public Information Officer. “We don’t see it as being intended for big neighborhood garage sales that are intended to bring hundreds of people to one neighborhood at a time.”
Of the several garage sales we checked out on Saturday, none were following the state’s recommendations, even though some of the hosts thought they were.
“Well, we blocked off the middle of the garage so that they have to come in separate areas and people have pretty much been keeping their distance and parking away from each other and just taking their time,” said Heather Thompson, who hosted her garage sale at 2121 Grubb Road.
Susie Sanderson, who hosted a garage sale west of Van Wert, was glad to see more garage sales open.
“Yeah, I figured when the business start opening that we should be able to open up. I figured everybody’s probably anxious to get out of their house and do something,” Sanderson said.
As for abiding by the state’s recommendations, she wasn’t so compliant — no masks or hand sanitizers to be seen.
“People are kind of social distancing I noticed, so I think it’s going well,” she said.
Other hosts didn’t necessarily care.
“I’m not really doing anything honestly. Just going about my life,” said Charles Runser, who hosted a barn sale southeast of Van Wert. “I just I think it’s overblown. A lot of people do.”
Gough believes people should, if they can, push the garage sales to later in the year.
“Businesses are opening and they have an impact on the economy, which has an impact on all of us, whether we’re employed by that business or whether we like to go to that business or not. An individual garage sale, sure it helps you clean out your house, and it may help you generate a little bit of income, but it probably isn’t an essential activity,” Gough said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.