I’m so confused from watching the news and reading newspaper accounts on what’s going on in Miami Beach, that I contacted a young man who lives down there for an explanation. His response – ‘They’re having fun but not supposed to!’

Okay. So I’m not crazy. But the TV news people keep trying to make me see something they’re not showing me. They keep quoting folks saying it’s the worst it’s ever been and the chaos is out of control. But, for some unexplained reason, they haven’t shown me a single instance of looting, shooting, robbing, breaking windows, starting fires, marching with signs and bull horns, or anything else that supports their claim of chaos. 

What they keep showing me is a bunch of young folks standing around in bikinis and swimming trunks, drinking, smoking, twerking, dancing, mingling, and acting like all young folks do on Spring break – or on Girls Gone Wild videos. 

For the last several months I keep hearing how Florida is wide open. Covid restrictions have been eased, if they ever existed in the first place. So, if I’m a youngster considering a place to go for Spring Break, guess where I’m booking my flight?

I wanted to see if I could find the Florida Covid restrictions, and it didn’t take long to find them…

The Florida Department of Health posts:

  • Restaurants and food service establishments may operate at full capacity with limited social distancing protocols. 
  • Bars, pubs, and nightclubs that derive more than 50 percent of sales from alcohol should operate at full capacity with limited social distancing protocols. 
  • Operators of retail businesses, gyms and fitness centers should operate at full capacity but should continue to maintain adequate sanitation practices for employees and patrons. 
  • Vacation Rentals should resume normal operating procedures but should continue to thoroughly clean and disinfect the property between rentals. 
  • Face masks are recommended and local governments are still able to maintain or pass local mask ordinances. Executive Order 20-244 suspends all outstanding fines and penalties that have been applied against individuals.

As it relates to being on vacations, that about covers it all. 

However, they do also say, ‘Local governments may adopt requirements directly on businesses, operations or venues, including buildings, beaches and parks, that may be stricter than the state.’

That’s what Miami Beach local government officials have done. They started blocking streets and telling businesses to close down while mandating a mask policy seen no where else in the state. 

And, of course, they brought out the tanks, Swat teams, and armored robots to show how serious they are. Haven’t these people learned that if you want to get folks angry in a hurry, bring out the tanks.

What’s not lost on me is that the images of huge crowds prowling the streets without mask during a pandemic is foolish, but if Florida wanted to avoid huge crowds prowling the streets without masks during a pandemic, they could have very easily shut the city down before Spring Break season began. 

In their own resolution to shut Miami Beach down, they write:  

  • this year, the City has experienced an alarmingly high number of persons arriving into the City during the Spring Break period, along with a significant number of visitors traveling to the City due to the availability of reduced airfares, hotel rates, and vacation rental rates…

Then they say: ‘…multiple fights, brawls, melees, and other public displays and disturbances of the peace have occurred, resulting in numerous injuries to civilians and police officers, and causing extensive property damage to both public and private property…’

I don’t know what channel you watch, but I ain’t seen any of these brawls on TV. Yesterday was the first we heard of a girl found dead after she was allegedly drugged and brought back staggering into a hotel lobby and led to a room where she died. But, in typical Florida fashion, no one stopped the guys from taking the obviously impaired lady to the elevator. Why, because that’s how young people have fun in Florida – until it ain’t fun no more. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has refused to require mask mandates be enforced and has said his state’s lax restrictions have helped their tourism economy. But, the loophole in the law allows local jurisdictions to crack down on the partiers in Miami Beach and their masks. 

The New York Times says, ‘The restrictions were a stunning concession to the city’s inability to control unwieldy crowds of revelers whom the city and the state of Florida have aggressively courted amid the continuing coronavirus pandemic. The city’s decision to send police personnel in riot gear into the entertainment district on Saturday, only a few hours after the curfew was announced, was heavily criticized, especially by local Black leaders. They noted that many of the revelers dispersed by the police were young African-Americans.’

History proves that authorities who act like they don’t know how to handle a crowd of young people also shut down the Greek Picnic in Philly that ran from the 70s to 90s and Freaknik in Atlanta that ran from the 80s to 90s. Will this be considered the shut down of Spring Break in Miami?

As Childish Gamino opens in ‘This is America’ – “We just wanna party.”

Florida is open, but during Spring Break, the law is crafted to read like this…

  • WHEREAS, in addition, many of the City’s visitors during the High Impact Period continue to gather and socialize in extremely close proximity to one another without any facial coverings or regard for appropriate social distancing, which poses a direct threat to the health of themselves, their families and others, in violation of Miami-Dade County Emergency Orders and City Emergency Orders.

Welcome to Miami – A Ball of Confusion.