Florida Man Dresses as Grim Reaper to Protest Beach Reopenings
Florida man Daniel Uhlfelder, a lawyer in the Emerald Coast region of the state’s panhandle (near Panama City), dressed as the grim reaper to protest what he views as the state’s premature reopening of its beaches during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Uhlfelder, cloaked in a very metal-looking black, hood over head and wielding the grim reaper’s trademark scythe, sought to call attention to what he described as dangerous behavior as Florida’s beaches have gradually been reopening in recent days.
Speaking directly to the camera for a local ABC news broadcast on WMBB 13, the lawyer explained:
“I’m here today to try to make a point that we need to — I think it’s premature that we open our beaches. I’m a huge proponent of public beaches and I’ve been fighting for that for years, but I think that the danger of bringing all the people here to our area and spreading the virus, I think it’s going to prolong the recovery we have and I think that we should take better measures. We’re drawing people from all over the world to our beautiful beaches. It’s too soon and it’s not appropriate.”
Florida currently has the seventh highest rate of reported coronavirus infections among U.S. states with 35,463, according to Worldometer, and the ninth most deaths, with 1,364. Governor Ron DeSantis will start lifting stay-at-home orders on Monday, May 4, with restaurants and shops being allowed to reopen with limited capacity. The easing does not apply to Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, hot spots for the pandemic in the state.
Uhlfelder runs a general practice law firm in Walton County. According to his website, “his practice focuses primarily in the areas of civil and commercial litigation, construction litigation, divorce and family law, real estate, personal injury, and criminal law.” He received an undergraduate degree in history from Stanford, attended the University of Florida College of Law and the Georgetown University Law Center as a visiting law student, and received his J.D. from the University of Florida College of Law.