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The Villages
Monday, April 19, 2021

Villager shocked as maskless crowd ignores COVID-19 danger

Villager Miles Zaremski went to TooJay’s at Brownwood on Wednesday night and was shocked when he saw the maskless crowd gathered at the square.

After picking up take-out sandwiches, the Village of Dunedin resident took a spin through the town square, the first time he has done so in many weeks.

The dance floor was hopping at Brownwood.

What I observed astounded me and was otherwise appalling: wall-to-wall folks listening to a rock band, either standing with drink in hand, sitting in lawn chairs or on the square’s benches, even on chairs parked across the street from the square itself — as if one might expect during the pre-pandemic days with a delightful evening on tap weather-wise,” Zaremski said.

Entertainment Department personnel were not wearing masks at Brownwood.

Happy Hour returned this week to all town squares. And since the squares reopened this past October, things are getting back to normal. But is it safe? Let us know what you think at [email protected].

Zaremski noted that earlier that day he had read that COVID-19 infections in The Villages stood at 4,088, with 14,344 cases in and around The Villages. In the three counties in which The Villages sits, there have been more than 1,000 deaths.

“There are a lot of people that neither care about their health nor the health of others,” Zaremski concluded after what he saw at the square.

People were seated in the bleachers at Brownwood Paddock Square.

He noted there are pre-recorded messages played at the square, encouraging people to socially distance.

“But from my non-scientific observation, there was no social distancing among attendees and wearing a face covering was the exception, not the rule for the evening,” he said.

The sidewalk outside the square was lined with people.

He’s wondering why the beat goes on, as if we are not in the midst of a deadly pandemic.

“While in a word, “dumb”, even “stupid”, might come to mind to an objective observer of those at the town square, the more critical point should be The Villages administration is either turning the other cheek to such social gatherings (bad for business?) to fostering super-spreader events like the one I observed, or the powers at be really do not care any further who gets infected, how many get infected, or who may die as a result,” he said.

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