It’s hard to believe all the angst my Open Letter to The Mayor of Boca Raton, Florida caused this week.  I dared to request that he open the “private” beach in front of our condo, just for runners and walkers like my wife Rita and me seen here in this WANTED PHOTO.

A virtual mob of people attacked me online calling me a rich, arrogant bastard who only cares about himself and not all those who are suffering and dying from coronavirus.  Really?  It’s a net worth issue?

Was I being selfish, ignorant, pathetically heartless and uncaring about those suffering from the virus to ask the mayor to lift his ban so we could have a shot at staying healthy and fit?  Perhaps strong enough to fight the virus if it catches us?

After a story about my letter to the mayor ran on FOX NEWS, most of the 100- plus commenters slammed me, one saying he’d like to dump a truck load of broken glass on my beach for me to walk on.  How nice.  I told him walking on the beach is a good way to get his anger out.

I asked all my critics to just think for a minute before sending me to the electric chair.

My defense, your honor, is that walkers and runners on a wide open, often deserted beach will have plenty of room to maintain more than enough social distancing, unlike those relegated to the narrow, congested sidewalk along Ocean blvd.

Also, I pointed out that there is evidence the virus might dissipate and become diluted in the open air as opposed to it staying concentrated and therefore more lethal in our enclosed spaces indoors, like in our elevators.  

Elevator Scare

Yesterday, Rita and I were riding the elevator to the lobby with our masks on when it stopped on a lower floor and a woman without a mask got on.  We held our breath for the few floors remaining as she didn’t seem “all there.”  If I were running on our uncrowded beach, I could have run not six or 10 feet from her but 10 or more yards from this careless woman, yet all I see on the private beach in front of our condos are police patrols ordering everyone to walk on the sidewalk.

The nearest public beach is closed and probably that’s a good thing temporarily as there people are used to congregating, lying on blankets together, hanging out and sun bathing.

Technically all the beaches in Florida are public, but our beach you can’t access directly unless you live in one of the beachfront condos so you might call it functionally private.

But the point that’s gotten buried in the sand is that walking on the beach is a way to stay healthy?  And there is no safer place to walk or run than on a wide beach regardless of your age.  Or even your net worth.

That’s right, several of my critics concluded I must be wealthy, another selfish fat cat who can afford to live in an expensive oceanfront condo and now thinks he owns the world and could care less about the plebeians trudging along the narrow sidewalk.

Will you tell me what ones’ net worth has to do with wanting access to your front yard, which mine happens to be a beach?

So, that makes me a rich son-of-a-beach?

Will you tell me what the hell ones’ net worth has to do with wanting to exercise on the beach, walk in the sand, to stay healthy and fit?

Can Sunlight Weaken Our Enemy?

Then there is this finding.  I’m not a scientist, but I’m reading that research shows that sunlight, heat and humidity could weaken the coronavirus on hard surfaces and in the air, a federal official said at a recent White House coronavirus task force briefing.

William Bryan, the acting head of the Science and Technology Directorate at the Department of Homeland Security, presented what he called “emerging results” that showed that the virus within droplets of saliva survives best in indoor and dry conditions.

“Our most striking observation to date is the powerful effect that solar light appears to have on killing the virus, both surfaces and in the air. We’ve seen a similar effect with both temperature and humidity as well, where increasing the temperature and humidity or both is generally less favorable to the virus,” Bryan said.

DHS did not immediately respond to a request to share the research for review. Some preliminary studies have suggested that hotter temperatures could be unfavorable to the spread of the virus. However, the virus still spread in countries in which it was summer.

The virus dies the quickest in the presence of direct sunlight under the conditions studied, Bryan said.

“While there are many unknown links in the COVID-19 transmission chain, we believe these trends can support practical decision making to lower the risks associated with the virus,” Bryan said.

President Donald Trump asked task force member Deborah Birx if it’s possible to use light and heat to kill the virus in people. She said it’s not something she is aware of but added that fever is a “good thing” that helps a body respond to infection.

“I hope people enjoy the sun, and if that has an impact, that’s great,” Trump said.

Bryan said it would be “irresponsible” to say that the summer will completely kill the virus. Instead, he said any downtick in the outbreak over the summer could be used as an “opportunity to get ahead.”

Feel Good

One last thought, dear critics.  Walking on the beach is an excellent way to get your anger out . . . and feel good about yourself.

Stay well!  Stay safe!


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