Coronavirus: Florida attorney to dress as Grim Reaper to protest opening beaches

WALTON COUNTY, Fla. — In a state known historically as “God’s waiting room,” dressing as the Grim Reaper is going to turn heads.

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A Florida attorney who thinks it’s too soon to open the state’s beaches said he will wear a black cloak and carry a scythe as he combs the state’s coastline costumed in protest.

Officials throughout the state are mulling plans to open beaches as the state’s economy is reeling during a spring break season marred by the coronavirus and social distancing requirements.

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Daniel Uhlfelder plans to start his protest to the beach openings May 1, WKRG reported.

“The symbol of a Grim Reaper is a reality check as to what we’re dealing with here,” Uhlfelder told WKRG. “I understand the pressure to do this. It’s a big part of our economy but this virus is deadly and it’s very contagious and I think we need to be thinking through.”

Counties along both coasts are starting to open their beaches for limited use, as distancing guidelines remain in effect, The Associated Press reported.

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“This is not a wise thing to do right now,” Uhlfelder told WKRG. “I would love to got to the beach myself, there’s nothing I enjoy more than going to the beach, but in this situation I think it’s going to create a problem with drawing people to our area prematurely,”

Uhlfelder had previously filed a lawsuit last month against Gov. Ron DeSantis to close the beaches and issue a stay-at-home order, WKRG reported. DeSantis issued a 30-day stay-at-home order earlier this month, NBC News reported. He also gave the OK for counties to start reopening beaches.

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“In this pandemic we’ve been working to try to do the right thing and not rush to have people come to Florida and have this virus spread,” Uhlfelder told WKRG.”My concern is that the progress that we’ve made could possibly quickly diminish.”

There are 30,174 confirmed cases and 1,012 deaths from the coronavirus in Florida, the New York Times reported.