[Opinion] Please stop going to the beach



Beaches are shut down and nearly empty in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Samantha Goldblum

Beaches are shut down and nearly empty in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

During the global coronavirus pandemic, many people are questioning what is considered safe in terms of their surroundings. 

Numerous people would deem the beach to be a great place to stay distant from others while also relaxing. The fresh air, sunshine, tepid water and soothing ocean sounds would make the ocean a reasonable tranquil place to be. However, the beaches in Florida, particularly Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale Beach, have recently become so crowded and overrun that there was very little social distancing being practiced. This led to the beach no longer being a safe place to be during this time.

In addition to locals, many visitors, especially those celebrating Spring Break from the Northeast region, were flocking to the beaches. This was only making things worse for the spread. 

To some people’s disappointment, Florida’s government officials took action in an effort to stop people from congregating on most public beaches, all in hopes of stopping the spread of COVID-19, the virus that is currently ravaging our state and country.  

People are experiencing cabin fever due to not going to work, school or engaging in most other daily activities. With little to do in homes, people have been venturing outside to bike, walk and swim. While all of these activities would follow the guidelines if done solitarily, unfortunately, most people do not live in isolation, and being active outside inevitably breaks the rules of social distancing and self quarantining. 

For example, although one might be biking on a path alone, at some point another biker or pedestrian will cross paths and the six-foot “safe zone” will be broken.  

The rules of “social distancing” being reported on every news station are as follows: stay six feet away from others at all times, avoid leaving your home unless for essential activities, do not congregate in groups larger than 10 people (and hopefully with people who are not infected), continuously wash your hands and avoid touching anywhere on your face. 

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, “Miami Beach [hotel] occupancy was 65% for the week that ended March 14, and other cities in the area did even better, according to hotel data tracker STR. Daytona Beach and Fort Myers both had occupancy levels around 80%, while Florida Keys hotels were 86% full.”

Simply staying six feet apart from others will not be enough to ensure the health of everyone. This disease is airborne; if someone sneezes or coughs even from far away, everyone in close proximity to them is at risk of contracting the virus.

Given the current societal risks, people should stay at home where risks are lowest. Until people can head back to the beach, everyone can work on their swimsuit bodies at home.