Social distancing measures which have been ordered by a wide variety of state and local officials continue to be floated by beachgoers and other socialites who cram together in large numbers despite the ongoing public health pandemic. Recent Spring Break festivities saw tens of thousands of college students flock to beaches in Florida, something which alarmed public health experts who were concerned about exacerbating the ongoing spread of the coronavirus.
Recent reports show that some beachgoers have finally wised up and decided to remain home, but that others continue to flout social distancing orders in dangerous ways.
Florida’s Spring Break nightmare
The greatest concern surrounding beaches right now is that we’ll see a repeat of what happened in Florida during Spring Break; college students and thousands of other tourists booked tickets to Florida - which at the time had very lackluster statewide social distancing orders in place - despite the fact that public health experts were warning against this exact behavior. Public health experts were so alarmed at the flouting of health guidelines that they eventually saw some beaches shut down, yet the damage had already been done in many cases.
Surfers, in particular, have been hard hit. Unlike normal beachgoers, surfers are often affiliated with professional surfing organizations that took the public health pandemic more seriously and reacted more swiftly to it. According to one report from the Baltimore Sun, organizations such as the The World Surge League suspended major events back in March in an effort to get more people off the beaches. While tourists and others continue to flout safety guidelines, there are nevertheless reasons to believe some are taking this public emergency seriously.
Reports from Florida indicate that even stay-at-home orders may not do the trick. According to one report forwarded by the Florida media organization WFLA News Channel 8, people continued to visit beaches even after those beaches had been specifically closed by local officials. Public access points to the beaches have been blocked with barriers in many instances, but this hasn’t stopped savvy beachgoers from getting around these obstacles on foot. Rather than staying inside with the comfort of the best leather furniture brands, they’ve decided to brave the hot sun and risk infecting others with the coronavirus.
Social media betrays beachgoers
Social media posts continue to indicate that beachgoers across the country are flouting the public health guidelines at their own peril, too. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other popular platforms are replete with posts from users who have spent sizable portions of their time outside and around others. As the CDC reminds the public, those who do go outside are encouraged to wear a cloth mask and to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from one another. More information can be found on the CDC’s official webpage.
As the country begins to selectively re-open key sections of its economy, we can expect even more tourists and socialites to disregard public health guidelines. As health experts continue to advise the public, flouting these guidelines only exacerbates the pandemic and ensures that lockdown measures will be in place for longer than they otherwise would.
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