BY BRENDAN COLE (Newsweek)
People took to social media to express their anger at the decision to reopen some beaches in Florida following weeks of coronavirus restrictions.
Beaches in the St. John’s and Duval counties, which includes Jacksonville, were allowed to reopen at 5 p.m. on Friday after Gov. Ron DeSantis gave the green light.
In a video posted on Twitter, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said the beaches would be open from 6 to 11 a.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. and could only be used for walking, biking, hiking, fishing, running, swimming, walking pets, and surfing.
Sunbathing and gathering in groups are not allowed and he appealed to people to maintain social distancing.
“Folks, this could be the beginning of the pathway back to normal life, but please respect and follow these limitations,” Curry said. “We’ll get back to life as we know it, but we must be patient.” He retweeted images of people on the beach with messages that he believed they were maintaining their distance from each other.
However, #FloridaMorons started trending on Saturday morning, with many expressing concern that people were returning to the beach too soon.
“What we’re seeing on Florida’s beaches today is a segment of the U.S. population that is pro-destruction, pro-failure,” wrote JRehling to his 66,000 followers.
“#Florida beach is crowded within 30 MINUTES of reopening at 5pm, despite state recording 1,413 new #COVID19 cases – its highest one-day increase since the pandemic crisis began,” Evan Kirstel wrote to his 285,000 followers.
Another wrote on Twitter: “No masks, no social distancing. These are selfish, entitled #floridiots who will infect innocent people.”
“#FloridaMorons giving the middle finger to our healthcare workers,” said one user, while another wrote: “Florida man does the most Florida man thing ever,” referring to the meme that usually does the rounds on social media.