Footage that CNN aired on Monday’s broadcast of “Anderson Cooper 360” showed Gulf Shores Beach busy with people. None wore masks, per CNN national correspondent Gary Tuchman, and those interviewed were defiant in the face of the virus that’s killed more than 550 people in the state, where lockdown restrictions were eased on Friday.
Almost 100,000 people have now died from the virus nationwide.
Restaurants, bars and stores in the city were also busy with, the report noting, many visitors failing to observe social distancing measures. Some restaurant staff did also not wear masks.
“My family has the same mindset as me,” one man on the beach told Tuchman. “We kind of just agreed that if we get it, we get it, we’re going to handle it as a family and just get over it because that’s what family does.”
One woman said “everybody has got to go somehow,” while others falsely likened COVID-19, the potentially deadly disease caused by the virus, to seasonal influenza and suggested “there’s enough wind and air that’s going to clear it out of the way” on the beach.
Another man cited President Donald Trump’s refusal to wear a mask as his reason for doing the same. “If he’s not wearing a mask, I’m not going to wear a mask,” said the man. “If he’s not worried, I’m not worried.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, recommends “wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and member of the White House’s coronavirus, last week encouraged people to get outside over Memorial Day weekend, while adhering to social distancing measures.
“Go out, wear a mask, stay 6 feet away from anyone so you have the physical distancing, and go out,” he told CNN’s town hall on the pandemic. “Go for a run. Go for a walk. Go fishing. As long as you’re not in a crowd and you’re not in a situation where you can physically transmit the virus, and that’s what a mask is for, and that’s with the physical distance.”
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