Miami Beach mayor on Spring Breakers coming to his city: ‘We are very worried’

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The first person I knew who got COVID was my friend’s nephew. He got it last April because he went to Florida for Spring Break when his college’s campus closed due to the virus. And the city to which he travelled was packed with like-minded college kids, most of whom got sick. One year and over half a million dead Americans later and we are right back where we started. Some states are repealing mask mandates, businesses are rushing to reopen and folks are looking for excuses to let down their guard. And the main reason to rush us into a second wave is – wait for it – Spring Break. Unlike last year, when cities were banking against scientists’ predictions, many of those same mayors are very worried by what this latest round of COVIDiots will bring. Namely, a super spreader event.

Some warm-weather cities are worried that spring breakers could lead to new COVID-19 outbreaks, nearly a year after the onset of the pandemic cut 2020′s spring break season short.

On Friday, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber appeared on CNN’s New Day and said the city is “very concerned” about vacationers, especially as Miami-Dade county averages more than 1,000 new COVID cases a day and different variants of virus continue to crop up.

“A lot of things are happening simultaneously,” Gelber said. “You have the variant down here, and we still are having sometimes dozens of deaths a day in our county.”

“And at the same time, we’ve got incredibly cheap round-trip tickets for 40 bucks from anywhere in the Northeast down here, discounted rooms and people who have been really pent up and wanting to get out with no other place to go than here,” he continued. “So we are very worried that there’s going to be a convergence of people here and a real problem in the aftermath of that.”

Steve Geller, the mayor of Fort Lauderdale’s Broward County, said he “will take action” to curb the partying if the city doesn’t.

“We’re in the middle of a pandemic,” Geller told the Sun Sentinel. “I’m not opposed to college kids having fun — just not in the middle of a pandemic.”

[From People]

Just FYI the CDC is still advising against non-essential travel, even if vaccinated at this time. I feel bad for these mayors that don’t have gubernatorial support. We spoke about some large chains that were adhering to mask mandates even when governors were lifting them. For small local businesses, especially bars and restaurants depending on Spring Break revenue, these mayors don’t stand a chance. Miami Beach mayor Gelber said police would hand out masks if businesses weren’t, but they can’t enforce anything. If people are already gambling with their health for a cheap plane ticket, I doubt they’ll take the necessary precautions once they get into a crowded party atmosphere. Both Miami and Ft. Lauderdale are already filling up with maskless tourists packing beaches and bars. I don’t know if these partiers think the pandemic is over or they never believed in it, but people who will lose the most are the servers and city inhabitants who can’t escape the tourists.

I’ll say it again – we are so close to ending this thing. We just got our first email with a very tentative date for the kids to reenter school. The CDC just approved vaccinated indoor gatherings without masks yesterday. It’s okay to hope, but not throw caution to the wind and undo what we have sacrificed to get here. If you are in a Spring Break area and your state is not supporting precautions, I’m sorry. I wish you much peace and I hope you can continue to protect yourselves.

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