The news photos from this year’s spring break revelry in Florida are coming in. As always, there are plenty of bikinis on young bodies and lots of red Solo cups in young hands, but there are very few masks covering young faces.

A number of universities across the country shortened or eliminated spring break this year, bowing to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic that makes gathering in crowds a risky proposition, and many students have chosen to go home or stay on campus, rather than run off for a week of wild fun in the sun. Still, the beaches are far from empty.

’Twas ever thus. Young people of any generation have tended to believe they were immune or immortal. This year, though, it is not only the 21-year-olds looking for a good time on those beaches. If reports are true, there is also a significant number of over-65ers. After long months of being cooped up to avoid falling prey to the pandemic, members of the older generation are getting released. First in line for the COVID vaccines, they are now the first with the opportunity to venture back into the wider world without worrying that a stray virus will kill them.

Without yet knowing whether or not they can still pass along the virus to the non-vaccinated, those elders flocking to Florida and elsewhere are taking a risk; not to the level of their college-age grandchildren, yet still a risk that could hurt those around them. 

But human nature is what it is. The lure of liberty – and libertinism – is strong, whatever age one may be.

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