Florida has been a hashtag for as long as there have been hashtags — #FloridaMan has a certain ring to it. The Sunshine State’s hashtag pantheon added a new one Saturday, as #FloridaMoron trended on Twitter.
Its subject matter? Jacksonville reopening its beaches.
Governor Ron DeSantis this week urged that some beaches and parks can reopen. Jacksonville, led by its Republican Mayor Lenny Curry, was the first to allow people back onto the beaches. On Thursday, Curry announced the city’s beaches would reopen for “essential activities” from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. each morning and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. each evening. They remain closed during all other times.
Curry defined essential activities the same way DeSantis defined them in a previous executive order: walking, hiking, fishing, running, swimming, taking care of pets and surfing. Gatherings of 50 or more people are prohibited and people must still practice social distancing.
Other beaches across Florida, such as those in Pinellas County, remain closed.
Jacksonville’s beaches had been closed since March 20. About 30 minutes after the beaches were reopened at 5 p.m. Friday, WJAX the local CBS affiliate shared images of a crowded beach.
People mostly adhered to the rules against sunbathing, and police instructed those who set up chairs to move along. But the photos and live video feeds of large swaths of people rapidly gained steam across the internet.
As the photos ran rampant, people offered their opinions. Some were glad to see a method to get fresh air and boost mental health. Others were concerned with the difficulties of social distancing in a large group of people, given that six feet is a minimum measure and the photos didn’t show many people wearing masks.
Thus, the #FloridaMoron hashtag.
Singer/Actress Bette Midler chimed in with her opinion, as did NFL commentator Cris Carter (although with a typo that may or may not reinforce his point). Many people added pop culture references (the obvious one from Jaws, of course) and other GIFs.
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