An App for Social Distancing at the Beach

General / People / Places / Products / June 17, 2020

Jerry Caldari, partner at Bromley Caldari Architects in New York, watched the crowds on Florida’s beaches over spring break – and was appalled at the lack of social distancing.

“I saw that debacle and I was concerned about this Coronavirus situation,” he says. “We are not out of the woods, and people are behaving irresponsibly.”

So he proposed a solution: an overlay of grids, 15 feet by 15 feet square, onto any beach.

It’s designed for safety at a time when everyone wants to get to the water – but not many want to risk exposure to the virus. “In New York, the big thing here is to go to the beach,” he says. “We’re surrounded by gorgeous beaches just minutes from the city.”

His concept suggests taping posts with numbers, and laying them out vertically in the sand. Beachgoers would log onto an app, select the spot they want – and go and claim their reservation.

“You’d go there for the day and maintain social distancing,” he says. “I drew it up and put it on Instagram – it’s a concept to start a discussion how we gather on the beach.”

He envisions it as a free public service from a sponsoring town, county or municipality – one that would work to everyone’s advantage. “The idea is to band together to help each other out and save each other,” he says. “It would not be impinging on anybody rights – because it’s temporary.”

The degree of difficulty is fairly low. “You’d need willing participants to tape the posts and number them,” he says. “A computer guy makes the app, and people sign on.”

He’s designed each space to be big enough for a family. “If you need more, you’d take two,” he says.

Elegant in its simplicity, it’s a solution worth considering – before summer arrives in full force.

For more, go here.

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Mike Welton

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