TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — While Black Friday is usually one of the busiest shopping days of the year, this year is quite different amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s been an atypical Black Friday for shoppers like Brook and Terri Smith who used to wake up early in years past to get holiday shopping deals.

“Today we took our time and got to the mall by 11 a.m. and we were just fine, it wasn’t crazy,” Brook Smith said.

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Adrienne Wood said she is usually very strategic about her Black Friday shopping, but not this year.

“The night before you sat down and you circled out everything you wanted to get, what stores you were going to, everything was mapped out,” she said. “Today, we were just going to Kohls for a regular sale.”

Wood said she will do most of her shopping online because she’s trying to be more careful with the ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases.

Places like the Towson Town Center took steps this year to try to safely accommodate those who wanted to get out and shop in-person.

“We have social distancing signage everywhere, we have hand sanitizing stations, we actually upgraded our air filters,” Emily Brophy, the Towson Town Center Senior General Manager, said. 

Curbside pickup is another option that some took advantage of both at the mall and the Best Buy in Lutherville-Timonium without ever having to set foot inside a store.

A slower-paced Black Friday, but seemingly busier than most other shopping days in 2020.

“I think during the COVID season, this is probably one of the busiest days that we’ve seen so far,” one Lutherville resident told WJZ.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Stetson Miller