As the COVID-19 pandemic continues across much of the United States, some southern states have been cleared to begin reopening beaches, leaving students with mixed feelings.
Several states across the Gulf Coast, including Alabama and Georgia have been cleared to begin the early stages of reopening in an attempt to loosen stay at home restrictions for their residents. Although some people are experiencing mixed emotions about their home states beginning to reopen, how are Spring Hill College students feeling about this? Through several over the phone interviews, Spring Hill College students from across the Gulf Coast have been sharing their thoughts and concerns about some people getting ready to hit the beaches.
Some students believe that as long as people are aware and thinking of their own safety, they should be fine, such as junior sociology major from the Mobile, Alabama area, William Kent. Kent explained over the phone that, “From what I have been told, the virus does not survive long in the heat, so people being outside should not be a problem especially since they are still enforcing social distancing.” Kent continues to elaborate on the situation and being responsible for his own safety, “I wouldn’t feel unsafe if the beaches were open. If I was scared of getting the virus then I just wouldn’t go.”
Not all Spring Hill College students share the confidence in the beginning process of reopening the Gulf Coast. Senior psychology major from the Birmingham, Alabama area, Robby Letson discusses his thoughts, “I don’t think Alabama should’ve really started opening up anything until the national quarantine time is up on June 1,” and, “I do think I would feel safe, just as long as I had my space around me.” Senior biochemistry major, David Toups from southern Louisiana explains his concerns over other states beginning to reopen, “I understand a lot of states are in a hurry to get their economies started again, but it is a very fickle situation. We need to start reopening the parts of daily life that we can, while obviously keeping things like concerts and festivals closed. As long as people still practice social distancing, I don’t think opening beaches would hurt.”
Opening beaches and other aspects of daily life in southern states has people feeling mixed emotions over how it can end up, whether they believe that reopening should wait until every state is ready or rely on personal responsibility. No matter who they are or where they are from, Spring Hill College students are feeling the importance of social distancing.