COMMENTARY: WE SEEM UNABLE TO RESOLVE THE BIGGEST HEALTH CRISIS OF OUR GENERATION
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]RECORD # OF COVID CASES IN FLORIDA, SECRET FIREWORKS COMING TO POMPANO BEACH, DEERFIELD BEACH CORONAVRIUS VIOLATIONS ARE ABUNDANT, THE BEACHES AND PIERS ARE GETTING CROWDED.
by Jeff Levine, Pompano Beach Editor-at-Large
We just broke a record! 5,511 new cases of Coronavirus in the state!
Meanwhile, confusion about and resistance to the rules revolving around this major health crisis abound.
The sad thing is many people are mask defiant for political reasons. If we can’t unify to resolve the Coronavirus outbreak (as well as ongoing racial injustices), we are going to be in a lot of trouble. In case you missed it, the temperature in Siberia just hit 100 degrees. Yes, that Siberia. The one near Santa’s North Pole home. God help us.
Focusing on today’s potentially catastrophic news. Here’s where things stand in our area.
Miami is now requiring residents wear face masks when outside. This change comes just days after the Mayor was spotted in a packed restaurant not wearing a mask or social distancing.
Yesterday, Palm Beach County mandated in-door mask wearing after weeks of pretending they were somehow different than Miami-Dade and Broward counties in their race to re-open.
Here in Broward County, we have been progressing steadily from Phase One into Phase Two re-opening plans. Masks required indoors, social distancing outdoors.
We even have a hotline (311) set up to report violations. Except when you call 311, you are told to call another number (954-357-9500, in case you are interested). You’ll be on hold for a bit. But at least you’ll hear a recorded message with the “latest” Covid updates such as County beaches are closed. (Just to clarify, they are not closed.)
Meanwhile, cities in Broward County have started issuing warnings for businesses violating capacity, mask and social distancing rules. As of this past week, Deerfield Beach had issued 29 warnings and Pompano Beach has issued just one.
Does that mean Pompano Beach businesses are doing a better job of following the rules than Deerfield Beach businesses? Not necessarily. It seems unlikely Starlite Lounge, the sleepy, old school bar on Federal Highway, would be the only Pompano Beach establishment packing them in.
The City hasn’t even been doing a good job of policing its own facilities. The main beach was jammed on Father’s Day. While it didn’t compare to some of the other Florida beach parties we’ve seen pictures of, I witnessed many large groups and a general lack of social distancing.
Social distancing problems are also in abundance at the Pompano Beach Pier. When the pier first opened last month, face masks were required and a check point was set-up at the entrance. Now, there seems to be no one on guard and no signs stating masks are still required when social distancing isn’t possible (the six-foot rule).
With no guards or signs, the outcome is what you would expect. Very few masks being worn, even when people are within the six-foot zone. Check out the pictures below.
The city is taking some precautions however. The July 4th fireworks will be launched this year from “an undisclosed location” and will be broadcast on the city’s TV station (Channel 78 in case you aren’t a regular viewer). Of course, social media is buzzing the location will be at the usual spot. So far, city officials have not replied to our requests for comment.
If the city already isn’t adequately controlling crowds at the Pier and beach, I can only imagine what will happen if people figure out the secret location or just assume it will be at the beach.
Of course, the whole concept of a secret location is crazy. Either the secret gets out and large crowds appear or it doesn’t get out and almost no one watches them. Either way, can someone please explain to me how the city is justifying this expense amidst record unemployment and a looming drop in tax revenue.
Deerfield Beach is also planning virtual 4th of July events, but so far no secret fireworks.
We shouldn’t be too hard on our city and county officials for a lack of clarity and consistency regarding the Coronavirus. There has been inconsistency at the county, state and federal levels.
Look folks, this thing isn’t going away. We can’t keep our entire economy shutdown but we also can’t pretend we aren’t in the middle of a massive pandemic.
Even if we aren’t get clarity from our officials, each and every one of us can work together to be responsible Floridians (yes, I know that is usually an oxymoron). Please do your part. Go enjoy life. But while you do, please wear a mask and social distance appropriately.
For more Pompano Beach news and things to do in Pompano Beach read Pompano! magazine and search our website.
RECORD # OF COVID CASES IN FLORIDA, SECRET FIREWORKS COMING TO POMPANO BEACH, DEERFIELD BEACH CORONAVRIUS VIOLATIONS ARE ABUNDANT, THE BEACHES AND PIERS ARE GETTING CROWDED.
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