Crowds continue to gather outside

Amid widespread closures across the country to contain the spread of COVID-19, crowds have continued to flock to beaches, parks, and other public places.

Why are there still crowds gathering in the midst of a pandemic?

In Washington D.C….

Even though widespread closures have been ordered in the district, crowds flocked to view the cherry blossoms on March 21. The National Park Service recommended that people watch its online live streams of the blossoming.

In New York…

Some gathered in public spaces despite a looming stay-at-home order and recommendations against gatherings. Governor Andrew Cuomo urged the city to come up with a plan to curb such social gatherings. Governor Cuomo announced, “This is not life as usual. … I was in these parks, you would not know that anything is going on. This is just a mistake. It’s a mistake. It’s insensitive, it’s arrogant, it’s destructive, it’s disrespectful to other people, it has to stop and it has to stop now.” Even though people are gathering outside and are not in an enclosed room together, these large crowds are still very dangerous. Crowds like this are the easiest way for the coronavirus to continue to spread and infect more people.

In California…

Despite a statewide stay-at-home order urging Californians to only go out if essential, beaches were crowded on March 21 prompting reactions from local leaders.

In Florida…

Some beaches remained crowded on March 19 — despite calls for self-isolation. While Miami beaches remained closed to deter spring breakers, several videos showed people partying on boats in Miami's Biscayne Bay and outside Boca Raton. The mayor of Miami-Dade county, Carlos A. Gimenez, stated, “I was very disappointed to see social media posts yesterday showing people partying on their boats in close proximity … So last night, unfortunately, I had to issue an order to close all recreational activities.” Tourists continue to flock to Florida amid the pandemic that is causing nationwide closures across the country.