Florida Attorney Dressed as Grim Reaper Walks Beaches Warning People of Coronavirus

The Grim Reaper, the bodily personification of death, has been roaming Florida's beaches with its trademark black hood, shroud and scythe. However, under this Grim Reaper's robes are face mask, two black gloves and bare feet, sandy and slightly pinkened by the sun.

The feet belong to Daniel Uhfelder, a Florida-based attorney who has roamed Florida's beaches dressed as the Grim Reaper since March. Although some beachgoers shy away from him, scream at him or ask him questions, he's there for one reason: to warn beachgoers about the lethal dangers of the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic.

"Jacksonville was on my list because it was one of the first cities to open the beaches," Uhfelder told WSAV, the local NBC news affiliate. "I look forward to not having to go to these places."

On April 16, 2020, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry reopened Jacksonville's beaches at reduced hours for activities like fitness and waking pets. Its beaches reside in Duval County, a county that as of June 6 has the sixth-highest number of overall COVID-19 cases among Florida's 67 counties. Thus far, the county has had over 9,487 cases and 68 deaths.

Uhfelder said the state's numbers have become even worse than he imagined possible as new cases in the state have spiked into more than 10,000 new cases on July 4 and 5.

The lawyer said he's an advocate for public access to beaches, and yet he has observed beachgoers during the epidemic crowding onto shores and not wearing masks, possibly exposing others to the potentially lethal virus

"I know how beautiful and attractive our beaches are," Uhfelder told CNN. "But if we don't take measures to control things, this virus is going to get really, really out of control."

grim reaper Florida coronavirus COVID-19
The Grim Reaper is thought to have appeared in Europe during the 14th century when the continent faced 75 to 200 million deaths from the Black Death, an epidemic known as bubonic plague caused by infected fleas, lice, drinking water, and poor sanitation. IndigoLT

Soon, Jacksonville will host the Republican National Convention (RNC). Originally planned for Charlotte, U.S. President Trump and thousands of Republicans will pack into the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena as he officially accepts the GOP nomination.

"Cancel this ridiculous convention," Uhfelder said of the RNC. "We aren't at the point now where we have enough testing, enough data, enough preparation for what's going to be coming to our state from all over the world from this pandemic."

A mid-June poll conducted by an anti-Trump group composed of GOP figures: Republican Voters Against Trump, revealed that nearly half of Jacksonville residents don't want Trump and Republicans holding their national convention in their town this summer from August 24 to 27.

As of June 6, coronavirus cases increased to such a rate in Florida that some of the state's intensive care units (ICU) at hospitals are reporting no available beds in their units.

"There's mixed emotions, it's a free country," Uhfelder said of people's reactions to COVID-19. "But," he added of his continuing to play the Grim Reaper, "I think this is necessary."