Following the president’s announcement yesterday that state governors get to decide what happens to states in terms of reopening, a Florida mayor has announced that beaches and parks in his county would reopen today.
Mayor Lenny Curry announced earlier today that beaches and parks in Duval County will reopen today at 5:00pm.
Rules for Beach Use
Restrictions for essential activities will remain in place, as defined by the Florida governor’s Executive Order. So this is what you can do:
- Walk, bike, hike, go fishing, run, swim, take care of pets and surf
- All activities must be done with the guidelines of social distancing
Beaches will open from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. every morning and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. every evening. They’ll remain closed during all other time periods. Swimmers and surfers would be participating in those activities at their own risk.
No sunbathing, towels, blankets, chairs, coolers, grills, etc. will be permitted on the county’s beaches during the hours they’re open.
Rules for Park Use
Parks that are owned and operated by the City of Jacksonville will resume normal hours starting at 5 p.m. Friday, April 17. However, the Executive Order that limits gatherings to fewer than 50 people, still stands (because if you have 50 people gathered together it’s not safe but if 49 are gathered, it’s safe? #rolleyes). Along with that:
- City of Jacksonville golf courses will reopen during normal operating hours, but individuals must follow social distancing requirements
- No overnight camping at Hanna or Huguenot parks is permitted
- Playground amenity usage must follow social distancing requirements
- No organized group activities are permitted – this includes picnics or gatherings, team sports, or any type of group activity
- All park restroom facilities will remain closed
- Pavilions and picnic areas will remain closed
Why This Is So, SO Dangerous
Do you know how many cases of coronavirus there are in Florida right now? 24,119
Know how many of those cases are in Duval County? 794. There are only 4 counties in the entire state that have more cases than that. 62 other counties have less. So it’s not as if Duval County is “low” in how many cases it has.
I understand that people have been chomping at the bit to go out. However we are nowhere near the virus being gone. We are nowhere near having a test to see if people are positive for the virus. We are nowhere near having a vaccine for this virus that is killing thousands of people every day.
The only way to ensure more people don’t get the virus is to stay away from others. To self-isolate.
IF people could go outside and stay away from others, opening the beaches could be feasible. Unfortunately, people have shown they either don’t understand or don’t care about social distancing. So you can say “stay 6 feet away from people” until you’re blue in the face, but if you allow people to go to the beach to “exercise,” they WILL stop and talk to others at close distances.
If someone has the virus and isn’t showing symptoms yet, it potentially spreads the virus from that person to those they’re physically close to. And then those who have been exposed and are going to come down with it in a few days are going to potentially spread it. Unfortunately, the people they give the virus to can be those they live with who have health problems that put them at higher risk for dying from it. People with high blood pressure. Obesity. Diabetes. Immunity problems. People receiving cancer treatment.
But playing it safe and telling people to stay home isn’t good for the economy. Our “going back to normal” is more important that our safety. So they just have to open those beaches and parks, right?
I’ll be smart and stay at home, thanks.
#stayhealthy #stayathome #washyourhands
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary