Opinion | Don’t even think about going to the beach


Sam Greenwood, Getty Images | TNS

People are seen at the beach on April 17 in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, after social distancing restrictions were partially eased.

By Genna Edwards, Senior Staff Columnist

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Oh, the scent of summer. The promise of late nights, mosquito bites, cold beer and sunburns. Chatting up that cutie in the polka dot suit. I bet you’re super excited to get on out there and run into the sand, right into the arms of the hundreds of Floridians who have attacked the beaches since their reopening just yesterday.

Oh. I see you’re not leaving the couch. You’re not alone there — according to the Pew Research Center, the majority of Americans are worried about the country reopening too soon. I’d have to agree.

Simply put, and I can’t even believe I have to say this — do not go to the beach. Not only will you be donned a #FloridaMoron, but your trip to the waves will cost us more lives, I guarantee it. You may even be forever immortalized on the internet as this one surfer will undoubtedly be when he said, “COVID-19 is not here, bro.

Bro, I’d have to disagree with you there. The United States has hit more than 700,000 cases of the coronavirus, and 37,000 people so far have died. While Florida as a state accounts for 726 deaths as of April 18, that number is nowhere near the end of this. Scientists still aren’t anywhere close to a vaccine, much is still unknown about the virus and many carriers are asymptomatic.

And that’s the scary thing — the very dude who said that “COVID-19 is not here” very well may be a carrier for COVID-19 and be unaware. Lack of testing around the country has left us with no real idea of the scope of this virus. 

The reopening of these beaches is irresponsible on the part of the governor. Anyone who doesn’t think twice about going to the beach is irresponsible. Our president, whose calls to reopen public places and the economy ignore any and all advice from health experts, is irresponsible. 

The reopening of these beaches goes against science. Researchers at MIT have conducted models that show the danger of reopening too soon. 

“We further demonstrate that relaxing or reversing quarantine measures right now will lead to an exponential explosion in the infected case count, thus nullifying the role played by all measures implemented in the U.S. since mid March 2020,” the paper reads. 

Nancy Pelosi also warns of reopening too soon, saying that the health and safety of the American people is more important than any economic gain to be made. Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has predicted a second wave of the COVID-19 virus, and also states that reopening sections of the United States too soon will cause outbreaks in major areas. 

The logic is simple here. Reopening right now will cause more cases, and more cases means more deaths. Do the people in Florida, or any of us, really need to make a terrible sandcastle replica of the Red Keep that darn badly that we’re willing to risk the lives of others to do so? 

Florida is the first, but will not be the last, of places allowing too early reopenings. We cannot give in to this. We need to remain smarter than the people trying, and failing, to run our country right now.

I know we’re all itching to go back to whatever sort of “normalcy” we have left. But this is a matter, at its base, of compassion for the other people who share this planet with us. I want to lay back with a mimosa and a hot dude as much as you do, but taking a swim is not worth the risk we pose to each other. 

Anyone can be an asymptomatic carrier. I’m talking to you, surfer boy. If you go for a swim and transmit the virus to, let’s say, a random stranger who’s also dumb enough to be at the beach, said random stranger could transmit the virus to his grandmother — who is staying at home, watching Grace and Frankie, not being dumb. Grandma doesn’t deserve that. No one deserves that. We have worked too hard to take major steps back now.

Stay the frick home. Listen to YouTube compilations of ocean waves crashing, for all I care. Buy a bag of sand and spill it all over your floor and roll around in it like a dog. If you’ve seriously thought about going to the beach right now, put on your swimsuit and sit in the darn bathtub and think about what you’ve done.