Health Officials Warn: The Redneck Riviera is a COVID-19 Hot Zone
For folks looking to take advantage of the upcoming Labor Day Weekend to squeeze out one more little summer getaway - I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is: There are plenty of places you and your family can go to enjoy your time off without encountering a "high risk" area in regards to the transmission of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The bad news is: The Redneck Riviera is not one of those places.
In case you are unaware, the "Redneck Riviera" is the nickname given to the stretch of beautiful beaches and resorts that line America's Gulf Coast. Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas all share this gorgeous shoreline - and the people of the south (and beyond) flood there every summer to soak up the sun and that wonderful beach life. Unfortunately, that's exactly the reason health officials are warning travelers to be very cautious on the sands this Labor Day Weekend.
According to ABC10, the entire Gulf Coast is a hot zone partially due to the fact that the states that share it have the nation’s lowest vaccination rates. When you consider the region's robust tourism, and the "carefree" lifestyle that droves of people go to the beach for - it's no wonder folks are catching more than rays down on the sand.
You don't have to travel far from the beach to see the impact of all of this viral transmission. In Gulf Shores, Alabama the South Baldwin Regional Medical Center is struggling to care for dozens of patients suffering from COVID-19 - most of whom are unvaccinated. Just 12 miles away, hundreds if not thousands of revelers are partying at one of the most popular beaches on the entire coast. Some are wearing masks, but most aren't taking any precautions at all.
At this point, I'd be talking to my family about switching plans from the beach to the woods. It's an easy way to getaway from your day-to-day grind and other (possibly infected) people. I hear Broken Bow, Oklahoma is pretty nice this time of year.