What’s most important to open? Beaches!

Read this and you’ll ask – Why?

Commentary

The various stay-at-home orders enacted around the country as a result of the coronavirus pandemic have created anger, protests and, in some cases, extremely bad behavior. People are, naturally, frustrated. They want to go back to work (assuming there’s a job to go back to), they want to shop, they want to eat out at restaurants, they want to get their hair styled, they want to socially gather. The pent-up demand is palpable. Despite the need to balance health, safety and the economy, opening too early, an idea fueled by President Trump and many of his Republican governor allies, risks a resurgence of the virus and even more frustration, not to mention sickness and death.

As I read about all the resentment and bitterness the stay-at home orders have engendered, there’s one demand to open that seems to stand head and shoulders above all others – going to the beach!

But after reading a story in the Palm Beach Post, my only response to these frustrated beach goers is, WHY?

Hammerheads slink close to Palm Beach County shore, and there’s a reason for that

Video Shows Blacktip Sharks Use Shallow Water to Flee Huge Predators

(Palm Beach Post – May 14, 2020) A recent Florida Atlantic University study shows why hammerheads swim so close to us. It isn’t us they’re after, it’s blacktip sharks, which head nearshore to avoid being prey to the much larger hammerhead.

The furtive shadows of blacktip sharks are well known along Palm Beach County’s shoreline during their annual migration, but a new study found a novel reason why they hug the shallows so closely.

Wading-deep water just off the sandy coast provides refuge for blacktips from the less agile hammerhead shark — a predator that can’t maneuver as well nearshore, according to a Florida Atlantic University study published last month in Journal Fish Biology.

The hammerhead sharks in the videos were at least twice the size of the blacktip sharks making them approximately 12 feet long.

Tyler Bowling, manager of the Florida Program for Shark Research at the Florida Museum of Natural History, noted last year that blacktip sharks also hunt in shallow water for bait fish, which causes them to be in the same water as bathers.

“Most of the bites we see along the southeast U.S. are from these animals and are usually minor nibbles comparatively speaking,” Bowling said last year.

“Minor nibbles, comparatively speaking?” Comparative to what – a “nibble” from a Teacup Yorkie; a Pit Bull?

Oh and while we’re talking about the joys of beach going, did I mention sunbathing-caused skin cancer?

I don’t know about you, but keeping beaches closed is starting to sound pretty darn good.

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy.

5 thoughts on “What’s most important to open? Beaches!

  1. Perhaps the beaches actually symbolize freedom to many people, especially Floridians where much of the culture was built up around the beaches…

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  2. ……with the closing of camps, parents recognize that a summer of their children exclaiming every few minutes, “ What are we doing today?” is a picture that generates the understanding that they need the beach! Social distancing may be the last thing beach goers Are thinking about in their enthusiasm to go back to living normally…..the caveat of course is to keep an eye on the spike of the numbers in September!

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  3. I’ve been getting many comments here, and on other sites where I post Around the Block. Most have been about how great beaches are and how enjoyable, for many reasons, going to the beach is so important. I really appreciate all these comment. But based on the feedback,I guess I probably should have tagged this piece #TongueInCheek. I was born in Coney Island where my grandparents lived; spent many summer days at the beach there, and later on, in Far Rockaway and on Jones Beach. Moved to San Francisco where the beaches are quite different…less bathing attire, more down jackets. Now I’m in Palm Beach County where the beaches are beautiful, so I fully understand all the attractions. But I couldn’t help myself when I read about the DOUBLE shark sightings. And, of course, the “nibble” comment by the shark researcher. I’m with all of you…enjoy the beach…but stay safe while you enjoy it. Remember, if the Covid won’t get you, the sharks (or the sun) might. Thanks again.

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  4. love the video of the hammerheads hunting the black tip reef sharks. Thanks for that. My beach experiences were somewhat like yours. I was so disappointed when I got to San Francisco and went to the beach for the first time and discovered the wind and sand blowing everywhere, fog and water so cold I could barely put my toes into it. In Delaware it was a drive to the beach in SF it was minutes away but totally unusable. People are crazy and God is Great and Beer is Good. A county song that I love and it is pretty apt at this time. The craziest around are our present administration and those that follow it mindlessly. They should enjoy the beaches and maybe the gene pool will notch up a few numbers. We can hope. Hugs, Toni

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