There’s been a lot of memes about the pandemic and I hate most of them. Whether it’s the one where Anthony Fauci is out next to a pic of MAD magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman, which is so ridiculous when almost anybody posting that is far less knowledgeable on epidemiology than Fauci. Or whether it’s a ‘Karen’ meme of a woman hearing about someone dying in a car crash then blaming it on a COVID-19 vaccine, like people who don’t want to get this shot don’t have any valid long-term concerns.

But the one that I’ve actually liked is one that doesn’t take sides and is funny and human no matter who you are. It’s the one that says ...

“This pandemic is not over until Costco starts giving out free samples again!”

Well perhaps the pandemic is over.

It was revealed during an earnings call last week that the plan is to have all Costcos across the country return to giving out free samples like they used to by the end of June. More than a third of Costcos will resume in the first week of June with the others being phased in by the end of the month including all 21 New Jersey locations. They will also be reopening food courts where closed.

They’re still going to be careful. According to CFO Richard Galanti, “Increased safety protocols are and will be in place, including all samples prepared behind plexiglass, prepared in smaller batches for better safety control and distribute it to members one at a time.”

By the way, am I weird that I never once took a free sample at any big box store? It’s not that I’m a germaphobe. Heck I’ll use the bathrooms at NY Penn Station and Newark Liberty Int’l. Airport. I don’t know what it is but there’s something desperate feeling about grabbing free samples of something you 100% know you’re not going to buy, now or ever.

So with the return of free samples to Costco maybe the pandemic really is over. It certainly has come full circle. When the health crisis first started and panic shopping set in, one person noted on Twitter, “Nice to see the thousands of doomsday idiots wiping out everything in Costco preparing for the end of the world by coronavirus and at the same time standing in line and elbowing each other to eat all the free samples left out in the open.”

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.