It was a pretty busy weekend at Sylvan Lake in Alberta. Possibly looking for an escape from the warm weather, locals flocked to the beach in large numbers, and social distancing did not seem to be happening. It seems some individuals weren't expecting so many people to actually show up.
Albertans who headed to Sylvan Lake were surprised to find the town’s beach as busy as ever this weekend, despite the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Sharing a photo of the jammed packed area, one Twitter user described feeling like a “Covidiot” after spending time on the busy beach.
“My anxiety was a tad high today,” they wrote. “Don’t think we’ll be going back.”
The photo, which has since received hundreds of responses, shows many people crammed on the sand. Very few are wearing masks, and many appear to be closer than two metres apart.
Speaking to CTV News, one local described the situation as being “like dodgeball.”
“There was a lot of people, physical distancing was gone. I maybe saw four or five people other than ourselves wearing a mask,” the man said.
“I’ve seen the beach busy before, never like this. It was just a crush," he added.
Sylvan Lake today - my anxiety was a tad high today😬 Don’t think we’ll be going back. I felt like a Covidiot today… https://t.co/rNcdXWXo9l— Andie 🌺 (@Andie 🌺) 1594518384.0
https://t.co/FBH0NUwRrv— Life Origami (@Life Origami) 1594575572.0
Several people took to social media to respond to the photos coming out of Sylvan Lake, with one person describing it as “the Florida of Alberta.”
Another made a similar reference to the Sunshine State, which has had more COVID-19 cases than the whole of Canada.
“After seeing photos of Sylvan lake this weekend, we are in no position to judge Florida,” they wrote.
“If this truly is Sylvan Lake I am incredibly disappointed and frustrated. Looks as bad as Lake Michigan on the 4th of July,” a third added.
After seeing photos of Sylvan lake this weekend, we are in no position to judge Florida.— Steven Kwasny (@Steven Kwasny) 1594568795.0
In a statement to Global News, Alberta Health reiterated the importance of following public health advice during the pandemic.
“We continue to recommend that all Albertans physically distance whenever possible, including when at the beach,” said a spokesperson.
This isn’t the first time Canada’s parks and beaches have become mega-crowded during the pandemic.
That said, it’s important to remember that perspective is everything, and sometimes photos can make areas look more crowded than they actually are.