For those who believe that the threat of coronavirus is far from over, they may be looking to Florida this weekend with the same dread that they had in the pit of their stomachs when they first watched the movie Jaws.
In that classic horror film, a killer shark is stalking the waters off of New York, near a small town called Amity. The mayor of that town continues to push to have the beaches open, as the holiday weekend is about to arrive and it could bankrupt much of the town if they’re not fully open.
We all know how the rest of that story goes.
In Florida, some are fearing that life may be imitating art, but instead of an inordinately talented shark, we’re dealing with an extremely contagious virus.
Beaches in Jacksonville, Florida will be among the first in the United States to reopen to the public this evening following President Trump’s announcement that states can decide themselves when to lift restrictions.
Republican Mayor Lenny Curry said he is letting the public back onto Duval County beaches at 5pm Friday for ‘essential activities only’ because he is ‘encouraged’ by the rate of infections and hospitalizations and said there is evidence they are flattening the curve.
‘This can be the beginning of the pathway back to normal life,’ he said on Thursday. ‘Please respect and follow these limitations. Stay within the guidelines for your safety as well as for the safety of your neighbors.’
The plan doesn’t actually jibe with the Trump’s recommendations, however.
With cases still rising in Florida, the beaches re-opening goes against Trump’s recommendations in his three-phase plan that infection rates should have declined for 14 days before re-opening begins.
Florida has already cultivated a pretty poor reputation for itself in this coronavirus mess, after a glut of spring breakers continued to party long after the rest of the nation had begun social distancing protocols. Several of these revelers would later test positive for the virus.
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