In the late 80's REM released a song called "It's the end of the world as we know it" well COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it.
While some have taken to panicking, hoarding toilet paper and groceries, others are trying to enjoy their normal lives as best we can while following procedures to keep themselves and those around them safe.
It’s looking like this may be a long road back to the lives that we were used to, so practices that can help keep your body active and mind at ease are key— In a recent Executive Order Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis has issued guidelines for us to practice "safer at home" and in that order it mentions "recreational activities" as permissible... practices like riding a motorcycle fall under that guideline are allowed but we all need to be smart about it.
We have to be careful while riding not to appear that we are not following proper guidelines.
Here are some practical tips to help keep you safe on the road, and help avoid the further transmission of this virus.
Social distancing allows for groups of up to 10 people but let us go one better......... if you have a group of 10 or more... lets ride in smaller groups... so you designate a second ride captain who keeps his group a full car length behind the first group ... so if 10 you could ride in 2 groups of 5 or 6 and 4 if you like to ride in pairs... if you have more than 12 designate another ride captain.
Ride captains should maintain same distance from group in front of them when stopping at red lights or street corners and lead their group to a seperate parking area from previous group.
When you arrive at a destination, be sincere in keeping with 6 feet apart distancing from riders not in your immediate circle.
Helmet on, gloves on.
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ statewide safe-at-home order went into effect Friday at 12:01am, meaning only those engaged in essential activities or employed in essential occupations should venture out into public.
The list of activities and jobs deemed “essential” in the order is expansive and evolving.
Health-care workers, law-enforcement officers, utility technicians, journalists, pharmacists, gas-station clerks, plumbers, landscapers, weather forecasters, pet groomers and grocery store employees are among essential occupations under the order, modeled on classifications by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and those put into place by Miami-Dade County.
Grocery stores, produce stands, food banks, convenience stores, pet stores, mechanics’ garages all can remain open to varied degrees.
Construction is regarded as an essential occupation under the order, something DeSantis noted Wednesday in introducing a $2.1 billion initiative to accelerate highway projects while commerce and road traffic are slow this month.
“The good thing about the construction stuff, they’re going to be outside,” he said. “As long as they’re not on top of each other, I think that they’ll be good.”
Among those construction projects:
• Advance by four weeks an $802 million project involving I-395, I-95 and State Road 836 in Miami-Dade County;
• Advance by nearly four weeks an $864 million, eight-lane Howard Frankland Bridge to link Hillsborough and Pinellas counties;
• Advance by nearly three months the widening of Southern Boulevard in western Palm Beach County;
• Advance by four weeks Sand Lake Road improvements in Orlando.
Under the order, activities such as golfing also can continue – unless the statewide decree is augmented by local ordinances prohibiting golfing.
Clarifying that golfing is permitted was a matter of consternation in some communities, most notably The Villages in Sumter County.
DeSantis’ order allows “participating in recreational activities” and lists walking, biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, running or swimming as examples, but does not mention golf, prompting one resident to tell The Associated Press, “This is The Villages. There would be a riot if they stopped golf.”
Sumter County Administrator Bradley Arnold on Wednesday assured locals they could continue to hit the links – while practicing social distancing. The governor’s order “is not an exhaustive list of what is allowed but provides examples of those activities that would be consistent with social distancing as part of essential recreational activities,” he said in an email. (The key phrase is activities that would be consistent with social distancing, at this time that means groups smaller than 10, keeping 6 feet apart from anyone that you have not been with prior to that moment, ie... loved one or signifanct other etc etc..... so seperate yourselves when with others)
Farmworkers are exempt with farming and food processing deemed “critical infrastructure” in sustaining the supply chain.
It might be difficult for some employees in some areas to get to work, however, so Florida farmworkers and suppliers are getting permission slips from employers to ensure they get into the fields.
Clewiston-based U.S. Sugar said Wednesday “our employees, our farmers, contractors, suppliers, drivers and business partners” will carry letters explaining the essential designation ”to avoid problems with the state and local law enforcement officers charged with enforcing local stay-at-home orders.”
Under DeSantis’ order, “a social gathering in a public space is not an essential activity,” which would seem to mean church gatherings. But the order also specifically lists religious services as an “essential activity.”
That contradiction could be exploited by a Brandon megachurch pastor who defied Hillsborough County’s local stay-at-home order to stage Sunday services attended by 300 to 500 worshippers.
Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne turned himself into law enforcement in Tampa on Wednesday and was released on bond after Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister and State's Attorney Andrew Warren on Tuesday issued warrants for his arrest for violating the local ordinance.
State, county and local officials are reviewing options should Howard-Browne call for church services this weekend.
The Center Square