It's Monday, and you're hopefully getting back into the swing of things after a weekend of social distancing and surface disinfecting. In a different time, maybe you would have spent Saturday and Sunday at bars, clubs, restaurants, or other fun places. But last weekend, you avoided such spots because you give a damn about flattening the coronavirus curve — and we salute you.
Apparently, some people think they're invincible, though. Despite orders to stay at least six feet away from others and avoid gatherings of more than ten people to help control the coronavirus' spread, the Haulover Sandbar was packed with boaters and Jet Skiers Saturday.
There was so much social distancing at the Haulover Sandbar this afternoon???? pic.twitter.com/nMUNRmFpQA— David Vergel (@DavidVergel97) March 21, 2020
Videos posted on social media show hundreds of boats crowding the sandbar and people gathered close together:
The Miami Herald reported that on Saturday morning, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez signed an emergency order prohibiting "rafting," the tying together of boats so people can move between them. Partiers might not have received the memo before heading out on their boats, but social distancing guidelines have been in place for days.
In a statement about the closures, Gimenez said people need to be responsible. And he called out those not following social distancing recommendations.
"These sacrifices in our social lives are critical NOW in order to defeat COVID-19," Gimenez said. "Those of you not following these guidelines are putting others at risk, perhaps your own family and friends. And you could be contributing to a much longer scenario and further shutdowns in our community."
Remember how in grade school if one student did something bad, the rest of the class had to begrudgingly pay for it? Yep — people partying on their boats in large groups ruined it for responsible boaters looking for a little quiet time out on the water.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also had some words for people getting together in large groups:
At presser in The Villages, @GovRonDeSantis calls out people who are attending house parties or going to sandbars to avoid bar and restaurant closures:— Samantha J. Gross (@samanthajgross) March 23, 2020
“They need to cool it.”
If you're having trouble understanding why it's important to stay home as much as possible and avoid interaction with others, look no further than this cautionary tale out of Italy, where hospitals are maxed out and positive cases and deaths are surging because residents wouldn't follow suggestions.
As of this morning, the Florida Department of Health confirmed a total of 1,171 COVID-19 cases in Florida — 267 of which are in Miami-Dade — and 14 deaths.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.