Letter to the Miami Spring Breakers

Ana Martinez, Feature/Design Editor

Ana Martinez

Dear Miami Spring Breakers,

Your destructive and careless behavior in my city embarrasses me. 

Spring break should serve as a time for individuals to relax, but you certainly brought the opposite to South Beach as you came here by the thousands. Hundreds of you many without masks crowded the streets of South Beach. At least one young woman, a 24 year-old from Pennsylvania, is dead after being drugged and killed in a hotel room. A man died after someone shot a gun in Miami Beach. An Ocean Drive restaurant was ruined by fighting customers. Fights broke out. Police have arrested at least 1,000 people since spring break; 40% of those arrested came from out of town. And all as a result of careless spring breakers. 

Your behavior has not only affected the safety of other vacationers and locals trying to cautiously enjoy the beaches. Miami has had to implement an 8 p.m. spring break curfew from Thursdays to Sundays and, while first put in place for three days, extended it for three weeks, finally ending on Apr. 8. The city also declared a state of emergency in March and closed all bridges to Miami residents, hotel guests and workers.

I feel equally disturbed by the lack of precautions in Florida, which has allowed this behavior to start in the first place. With no mask mandates or restaurant capacities, Governor DeSantis practically sells Florida as a “safe place” for people who want to get away, and said on social media that “the Florida sun now serves as a beacon of light to those who yearn for freedom.” 

While DeSantis markets Florida as a free-for-all state for the sake of the economy, it is not, especially in the midst of a pandemic. Florida health officials confirmed 7,939 new COVID-19 cases on Apr. 8, the largest increase in the state since Feb. 11. Instead of partying, you should restrict who you come in contact with and always wear a mask covering. Sure, Florida may not have a mask mandate, but Miami does; if you do not wear your mask, you violate the law. 

Miami is notorious for its reputation as a “vacation hotspot” among spring breakers and, while I welcome the many who come safely, I urge you to not cause any harm to our properties and our people. People continue to die from the pandemic, so it is essential to continue to wear your mask and social distance. 

Think about your actions. Think about its consequences. And, above all, be safe.