Flying south: Why snowbirds are flocking back to Florida this season

Sidney Margles has been visiting Deerfield Beach, Florida, for 21 years. (Photo by Ellin Bessner)

Last year, a combination of global lockdowns, uncertainty around COVID-19 and a lack of vaccines convinced many Canadian Jewish snowbirds not to take their annual trip south to Florida.

This year, it’s a different story. With the vast majority of travellers double-vaccinated, and with Florida’s per-capita case counts ranking among the lowest in the United States, it’s being estimated that a majority of snowbirds are finally flocking back. Despite fears over the new Omicron variant, indoor events and holiday sales are luring people indoors, while eligible Canadians are already getting their booster shots to stay safe.

So what’s life like for the sun-seekers? Is Florida safe again, or are these snowbirds ducking their heads in the sand? We speak with Sidney Margles, a Montrealer who’s been coming to Florida for 21 years—but stayed away last year—who shares how he plans to stay safe this season.

What we talked about:

  • Check out the Century Village East Reporter at
  • Watch a live-streamed video of what Deerfield Beach looks like at on YouTube


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Victoria Redden is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network; find more great Jewish podcasts at