Looking at the cleverly telephoto'd shots of a Bournemouth beach which made it look more crowded than it actually was, I knew that the media were over exaggerating the beach presence. The overhead shots revealed areas of open sand and I can tell you as a former resident of Bournemouth that I have seen that beach far more crowded than yesterday, on many occasions. Time’s when there was barely a square foot of space between the sunbathers.
Yes, there were major issues due to indiscriminate parking and lack of facilities, but I think it’s a bit OTT to describe this as a sad day for our country. Have there been any reports of infection spikes following the many protest marches in London, Bristol and elsewhere in the last few weeks? Time will tell.
Whatever one might think of those people who flocked to the coast yesterday for an afternoon in the open air where sea breezes would reduce the risk of cross-infection, we shouldn’t over react. Local authorities need to get their acts together, opening car parks and public toilets and ensuring adequate rubbish collection. Just as in the protests, there will be a minority who will behave irresponsibly but early indications are that these mass gatherings haven’t had any significant effect on the infection rate.
As football fans desperate to get back to watching our beloved sport, we might end up being glad of it, because if the infection rate continues to fall, it may just lead to our authorities deciding that sport in open air stadiums can be safely opened to the public without social distancing at all, some time this year. All of these families with their kids at the beaches, somehow make the fact that many of our schools are still closed, look faintly ridiculous.