Sunshine, warmth and COVID, where we are currently residing in Florida it is mandatory to wear facial coverings when you are inside a supermarket, cafe, bank and any other indoor public space. However, once you are seated you are able to remove your masks so that you can eat and drink which is very handy but all the staff and attendants keep theirs on always.
I think this practice is very reasonable and makes sense given the current climate over here. However not all people share the same opinion and we were recently introduced to the other side of the fence while on our way to lunch. As we walked between our parking spot at Luna Rosa, a nice little restaurant on the waterfront just off the end of Atlantic Avenue, we experienced our first, what can only be explained as COVID denialists.
Now to be fair to them we were not within 6 feet of anyone else at any point with wide footpaths and lawn up to the beach barrier so the potential for transmission was quite low. Regardless, we have fallen into the habit of putting on our masks before we get out of the car otherwise you get about 5 minutes away before you remember you’ve left it in there. So here we are walking just over a kilometre or so from our car to the restaurant and out of seemingly nowhere a shirtless 6 foot plus, cheerful gentleman came tearing up behind us on his newest pair of rollerblades pulled off his headphones as he blew past and squawked
“take off those masks boys, and get some fresh air”
Firstly he scared the hell out of us, simply because he came from behind and cut into our view at the last minute, but after the initial shock of this shirtless ‘blader’ flying buy, we both completely lost it and burst into fits of laughter so confused at what had just happened.
Fast forward about 100 metres down the road, another shirtless, shoeless gentleman was sitting with his lovely looking pitbull (who was the goodest of good boys, and very majestic) on a bench off to the beachside of the road. I watched him look us up and down as we drew ever closer to him, and he was clearly disappointed with our choice of attire, I thought he must be thinking
Here are these strapping young lads walking down the promenade irrationally wearing those ridiculous torso prisons, don’t they know how much better life is when you release yourself from the shackles of synthetic oppression.
I was completely wrong because as we got within about 2 meters of him, a harsh, cracked and directive voice spoke
There ain't no virus!
We managed to compose ourselves for a good minute or so before either of us spoke, but again fits of laughter ensued.
Now, we weren't laughing at these individuals, how they did or didn’t dress but at the need for them to express their view to complete strangers and the manner in which they wanted to force their opinion on us. I don't know about anyone reading this but I have a significant issue with being told what to think and believe without some solid evidence and wasn't about to debate that with a stranger on the street.
This was our first encounter with any anti-covidesque behaviour in the US, all of our other experiences have been positive and very much put us at ease to know that the vast majority are taking the situation seriously.
So with a significant amount of current cases in the area we are more than happy to miss out on the “fresh air” and road side debates to make sure that we can stay safe and healthy and keep those we are in contact with safe and healthy.
My three takeaways from this experience:
Always follow the latest scientifically backed research when it comes to current, existing and prevalent health concerns.
If you want to walk down the A1a near the beach, wearing a tee shirt makes you the person who shows up at the pub in a tuxedo, and not in a James Bond kind of way either.
No matter who you are or where you come from, from another's perspective, you are wrong.
Loving sharing these with you all, if you have anything you want to know about my travels please leave a comment and let me know. Otherwise you’ll just keep getting my side of the story.