Canes Covering Coronavirus, Florida, Miami

From peacocks to walkers, joggers and bicyclists, coronavirus has changed my neighborhood

Jacob Stotzky
Coral Gables, Florida
2 p.m. Sunday, April 5


From peacocks to walkers, joggers and bicyclists, coronavirus has changed my neighborhood

Before the coronavirus hit, I used to live in a quiet old neighborhood in the North Gables, where most of the homes are “Spanish-style,” and large shady trees line the streets and yards. Traffic is sparse and cars glide slowly down the streets. Sometimes they speed too quickly but are then often stopped by the police.

Occasional walkers and joggers appear, usually between 6 and 8 in the evening.

But things have changed drastically since the stay-at-home orders issued by Coral Gables Mayor Raul Valdes Fauli and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Right around the corner from my house, on South Greenway Drive, stands the Granada Golf Course, a small nine-hole public golf course. While people walked, ran or bicycled around it before the corona virus struck, it was rarely overcrowded, with fewer than 20 on any evening.

Now hundreds, if not a 1,000 or so people, walk, jog, or bicycle around the golf course every evening. Bicyclists zoom by the walkers and joggers, almost crashing into them.

Although some of them wear masks, many are too close to each other, violating the 6-foot space suggestion. People generally behave well, but there have been some friction and arguments, almost leading to fist fights.

Some have even been using the golf course as a public park, walking across it with their families and dogs, and tossing footballs and Frisbees. The police quickly put a stop to that: They have banned people from the golf course, cordoning it off with yellow tape and patrolling the course for several hours each evening.

Life has changed in my neighborhood since the corona virus outbreak. It is no longer a quiet neighborhood. People want to relax and relieve their fears by exercising, but there is not enough space for everyone to exercise at the same time.

Suddenly, two days ago, another happening also changed my neighborhood. Out of nowhere, a group of three peacocks walked down my street and then flew onto my neighbor’s roof and then onto the roof of my house. Neither my family nor I had seen peacocks on my street before. My neighbors occasionally had seen them but had never seen them flying.  

 The peacocks showed their brilliant feathers and peered down on the hordes of people below. They seemed to know that the neighborhood has changed.


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April 9, 2020

Reporters

Leah Harper


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