Will All The Effort Pay Off?
Thanks to Governor Ron DeSantis’ loyalty to President Trump, Florida has gotten some really bad ink on its handling of the Coronavirus pandemic. Shots of busy beaches continue to appear in the national media. Those presenting those images don’t bother to note that Florida is a very long state, and the reckless-seeming venues featured are not in South Florida, which has been shut down for weeks.
The fact that county officials in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach all acted promptly when the scope of the danger became apparent may have been part of the reason DeSantis waited so long to act for the whole state. He may have figured the hottest spots for the disease were already in quarantine, and because much of the state did not seem to have a problem, why take drastic measures? That seems to be President Trump’s attitude toward the country in general, although it has become clear that is faulty reasoning which could cost thousands of lives.
As for our back yard, we are about to see if prompt action works. Florida is predicted to have its peak of the virus in the next few weeks. It will be interesting – if saving thousands of lives can be described as interesting - to see if South Florida’s precautions have paid off. Certainly, the drastic curtailment of business, especially the many enterprises geared to tourism and retirees, deserves a reward.
Among the more notable, and economically painful, shutdowns were the Fort Lauderdale beach and all its bars where spring breakers packed in. An ideal atmosphere to spread the virus. Although young people often show only mild or no symptoms, the evidence is that many of them are infected with the virus. The fear has been that they can carry the illness home to parents, and grandparents. Many, if not most of the latter have underlying health issues that set them up for the kill.
Seniors are among the many wondering if the precautions forced on South Florida residents will make a difference. It would certainly seem that ending spring break should bear fruit. Most of the visiting kids left town a few weeks ago. If infected they are spreading it in their home towns by now, although it would seem their contagiousness is less of an issue every day. People vary, but most of the youngsters should be close to passing the highly contagious point. As for local youth, if they are anything like our family, they are carefully segregated from seniors – or vice versa. It is hard to believe that these measures won’t lessen the chances of explosive contagion as seen in New York or other densely populated centers where people can’t avoid each other even if they try.
As President Trump is so fond of saying, we’ll see what happens. Now that's going out on a limb