Reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic continue to alter what is “normal” and routine in our lives and I’m not talking about keeping a hoard of toilet paper in the house.
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ March 20 mandate eliminated dine-in meals at restaurants and contained guidelines limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people.
That prompted the Center of Anna Maria Island to take a step for community safety, suspending all sports leagues and classes and closing the fitness center until further notice.
Next up, the Key Royale Club suspended group golf outings and, March 28, the Anna Maria horseshoe pitchers suspended play due to the pandemic.
Sports is in suspension on Anna Maria Island and across the county.
Manatee County closed boat ramps to the general public and limited some access at Robinson Preserve.
Are closures of county parks next?
I spend a lot of time at G.T. Bray Park due to my coaching commitments and, lately, I’ve been out there playing disc golf almost daily to pass the time and get in a healthy walk. Most days, I see people putting in rounds of disc golf, jogging, walking their dogs and kicking or throwing a ball around while social distancing.
With some experts saying Florida is on the same exponential trajectory as New York, it’s only a matter of time before officials issue a “shelter in place” edict here.
How long before that happens and how long it stays in place is anyone’s guess, but I don’t believe this situation will be under control by Easter or by the April 15 date that is currently the target date for kids to return to school — and me to return to classroom teaching.
Whatever orders are issued, it is imperative that folks follow the rules and stay safe at home.
Sports at home, in the backyard, on your street? That’s what’s next.