Despite widespread warnings — and even official orders — from lawmakers and officials to stay home and practice social distancing to help curb the spread of COVID-19, thousands of college students still flocked to the beaches in recent days and weeks for spring break.
There was even one CBS News interview that went viral last week of a student, who has since apologized, that said, “If I get corona, I get corona.”
“If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I'm not gonna let it stop me from partying”: Spring breakers are still flocking to Miami, despite coronavirus warnings. https://t.co/KoYKI8zNDH pic.twitter.com/rfPfea1LrC
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 18, 2020
“This ain’t your f---ing beach, bruh,” Haslem wrote in an essay for The Players’ Tribune on Wednesday. “This is not your spring break. This s--t is real life — and come to think of it, it’s more than even that. This s--t is life and death.”
Haslem, a Miami-area native, has spent his entire 17-year-career with the Heat. Seeing those kids partying and completely ignoring the pandemic didn’t sit well with him, and reminded the 39-year-old of nights when he was a child where he was starving and would only have a box of raisins to eat for dinner.
“I’ll tell you one thing for sure,” Haslem wrote. “Those kids have never been hungry a day in their life. They never had to worry about nothing more serious than a pop quiz. But they’re still coming down here — coming to our stats — in the middle of a pandemic acting like nothing’s going on??”
There were more than 68,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States as of Wednesday night, according to The New York Times, and nearly 2,000 cases in Florida alone.
And at the rate it’s tracking — there were more than 10,000 new cases confirmed on Wednesday across the country, the highest yet — it’s going to keep getting worse.
So Haslem has a very clear message for spring breakers still wanting to head to the beach: Keep your ass home.
“This virus is going to affect everybody, especially the most vulnerable,” Haslem wrote. “So if you got a nice, stable environment? Keep your ass home. If you got a roof over your head, keep your ass home. If you got a crib with Netflix and a refrigerator full of food? Keep your ass home.”
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