The unofficial kickoff of summer is just under a month away. But in most places, certainly where I live in the Commonwealth of Maskachusetts, it will be our second summer in a row of living under restrictions. Restaurants will still be just sort of opened. Live music is still verboten by order of the Fun Police. Bars still require you to remain seated. Seating at Fenway will be just 25% capacity. I have a nephew getting married but dancing is banned, as if we learned nothing from "Footloose."
But there is some good news. At least the CDC has declared that the risk of getting infected outdoors is minimal. And if you're vaxxed, practically next to nothing. So that means we can get out into the natural wonder of summer in New England: parks, golf courses and beaches.
Yeah ... about the beaches. Based on what we're finding out from researchers in Southern California anyway who shot this video, the dangers of swimming has been vastly, vastly underrated.
Yahoo News - Carlos Gauna surveys the wind-blown waves off a popular Santa Barbara County beach. ... [He] launches his video drone, hoping to spy what might be moving stealthily among them — great white sharks.
In decades past, this might have seemed a quixotic venture. Great whites were thought to be somewhat rare in these southern waters, wandering now and then from the wilder coast up north. Most surfers considered it supremely improbable that one of these apex predators was hunting for food at their break.
The advent of drone photography has devoured that notion....
The young sharks' presence is normal. For much of the year, they are here, and not just at this beach, but along the entire coast from San Diego to Point Conception.
Humans just couldn’t see them until now.
"These types of encounters have always been happening," he said. ...
“Drones have become such a valuable tool for us scientists now,” says Christopher Lowe, a professor of marine biology and director of the Shark Lab at Cal State Long Beach. “It gives us that bird’s-eye view that we didn’t have before." ...
“So far it looks like sharks just don’t care,” said Lowe.
“The surfers can’t see them, the swimmers can’t see them. But we can now see them from the air. And in those cases the sharks just don’t seem to change their path," Lowe added. "Sometimes they’ll swim right under a surfer, but they don’t circle back. They just keep going.”
In the words of Chief Brody, "Great! That's just great!"
Sorry, Professor Christopher Lowe. You might be the marine biologist and I'm just the guy who always wanted to pretend to be a marine biologist, but don't waste your time trying to convince us this is a good thing. That sharks don't care and have been happily co-existing with surfers all this time. That's nothing but biased, pro-Great White propaganda from a guy who's probably in the pocket of Big Shark.
There's nobody outside the field of shark researching who thinks that finding out there's a lot more of them out there than we thought is a good thing for anybody by the sharks. Sure, maybe it means the percentage of attacks is lower than we thought. But let's not complicate the math here. More sharks equals more hungry sharks. These prehistoric, razor-toothed murder torpedos are out there in numbers bigger than we ever imagined until we started sending up drones, and there's no way you can spin that into a positive. We are basically strip steaks in board shorts to them, and now we find out there's a lot more of them in the buffet line than ever before. Fan-fricking-tastic.
So screw the beach. Watching that video I might never go back in the water. I'd rather go to a concert, a brewery or a ballgame and take my chances with the virus before I just serve myself up to a perfect eating machine. Or better yet, maybe I'll just skip summer altogether.