The reopening of some Florida beaches with social distancing guidelines in force has triggered some people who think it’s a bad idea.
#FloridaMorons was trending on Twitter with many criticizing the decision, even though reopening some stores and shops didn’t elicit the same outrage.
Some Twitter users said they feared the reopenings would lead to crowds and an uptick in cases that could extend quarantine durations. They criticized the government officials who made the decision as well as the residents and visitors who went to the beach.
Others spoke out in support of the beach reopenings, some of them saying Floridians need fresh air and exercise, and others stating that grocery store shoppers are closer to each other than the beachgoers have been so far.
Since lab tests have shown that the virus dies quickly when exposed to the sun and that heat and humidity are also deadly to it, beaches would be a logical place to reopen. Not only that, there are severe restrictions on the kinds of activity allowed.
The “essential activities” permitted at Jacksonville Beach include “recreational activities consistent with social distancing guidelines such as walking, biking, hiking, fishing, running, swimming, taking care of pets and surfing”.
“This beach will be open from 6am to 11am, and from 5pm to 8pm each evening,” local station WJAX said.
Sunbathing is not permitted. Other restrictions include prohibitions on towels and blankets, coolers and grills, and beach chairs, as well as “lingering on the beach without moving”, and gatherings exceeding 10 people.
The point about being closer together at a grocery store is valid. I’m not sure there’s much “essential” about reopening the beaches except that it’s good for the economy. That said, the Mayor of Jacksonville, Lenny Curry, tweeted out a picture of a Duval County beach that, although open, was completely empty.
Thank you Jacksonville. I appreciate your social distancing and responsible behavior as we opened our beaches for walking, swimming, running etc. No groups congregating. 5 pm to 8pm opening tonight. This is the 7pm shot from Councilman Diamond from the beach. Well done Jax https://t.co/VPVrhG40zC
— Lenny Curry (@lennycurry) April 18, 2020
“This can be the beginning of the pathway back to normal life,” Curry said. “Please respect and follow these limitations. Stay within the guidelines for your safety as well as for the safety of your neighbors.”
That’s the point being made by those wanting to reopen the economy. Adult Americans are perfectly capable of acting responsibly if the situation calls for it. Sure, there are going to be some idiots who don’t care or who get a kick out of violating social norms. But we’d have those people with us even if everything remained closed.
I wish more people wore masks but that will be remedied when there are more masks available. The bottom line is that if we wait until it’s totally safe before reopening the economy, the country will be in ruins. Better to trust the American people to do what’s right and get started on rebuilding what we had.