Florida The Current Situation

Today in Florida’s COVID-19 story

5 hours ago:

From WPTV News, West Palm Beach, Florida:

“EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, Fla. — Florida is not shutting down and COVID-19 “hospital admissions have slowed,” Gov. Ron DeSantis emphatically declared on Tuesday, despite yet another day of record coronavirus hospitalizations in the Sunshine State.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said 11,515 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 in Florida on Monday, including 2,400 in ICU beds.”

2 hours ago:

From The Hill:

On Tuesday, Florida hit 11,515 hospitalizations due to COVID-19, marking the third straight day that the state has broken its record. About 2,400 patients are now in intensive care. At the same time, there’s concern among experts that the Sunshine State is still weeks away from hitting its peak. The state now accounts for roughly 1 in 5 new cases nationally.

Still, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a rising Republican star who won accolades from conservatives last year for his laissez faire approach to the pandemic, has resisted calls for new mask mandates or lockdowns, arguing that such restrictions had worsened the public health and economic effects on other states.

DeSantis and the Republican-controlled state legislature have also sought to preempt county and local governments from imposing their own rules, drawing backlash from local officials.

“We’re not allowed to have mask mandates now,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said in an interview on CNN this week. “We were one of the first cities to require it and we charged a fine just to get people to do it. The governor stopped allowing us to do it and then immediately we saw a surge across our county and state when he did that.

1 hour ago:

From The Hill’s “Changing America” section:

Florida hospitals are being occupied by young patients amidst the delta variant that is wreaking havoc in Florida.

As Changing America previously reported, Florida is one of the fastest accelerating places infected by the delta variant.

While Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) continues to resist recommendations from health officials to mandate mask wearing and social distancing, youth in the Sunshine State are being struck with the virus, the Miami Herald reported.

The Current Situation

Happy August!

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It’s August 1st, 2020! I know that it’s tradition to say “Rabbit rabbit” on the first day of the month, but in this case, I think “Stabby stabby” is more appropriate.

Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay Deal of the Day

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If you’re really insecure and think that having a “Gucci” console table in your living room will improve your life — or maybe you’re filming an indie remake of Scarface, in which case this is the perfect prop for Tony Montana’s office — you might be interested in this $55 console table that’s on sale right now at Tampa Furniture Outlet at Busch and 50th.

For more details, check out this Facebook Marketplace listing.

Florida of the Day The Current Situation

How well is Florida’s COVID strategy working?

How it started / How it’s going

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Here are the sources for the screenshots above:

Here are the first three paragraphs of the AP article:

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Florida reported 21,683 new cases of COVID-19, the state’s highest one-day total since the start of the pandemic, according to federal health data released Saturday, as its theme park resorts again started asking visitors to wear masks indoors.

The state has become the new national epicenter for the virus, accounting for around a fifth of all new cases in the U.S. as the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread.

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has resisted mandatory mask mandates and vaccine requirements, and along with the state Legislature, has limited local officials’ ability to impose restrictions meant to stop the spread of COVID-19. DeSantis on Friday barred school districts from requiring students to wear masks when classes resume next month.

The numbers

Here are the numbers that Google reported last night, around 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 31st…

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…and here’s what the New York Times is reporting this morning (Sunday, August 1st):

If you look at the CDC’s COVID tracking map, all of the southeast United States is experiencing high levels of transmission:

Freedom necessitates responsibility

In the American Catholic magazine Commonweal, theologian and philosopher David Bentley Hart puts into words what many of us who didn’t grow up in the U.S. education system have internalized: Americans are, of course, the most thoroughly and passively indoctrinated people on earth. One major consequence of this indoctrination is that many people treat freedom as  being able to yell “You can’t tell me what to do!” and forgetting that freedom also means taking on responsibilities. Many Americans know the adage “Freedom isn’t free”, but are a little unclear on the coin used to pay for it.

The result of this simplistic approach to freedom is summarized in Ryan Cooper’s article in The Week (featured in the screenshot above): America’s narrow idea of freedom is literally killing us. He poses the question “Which country is more free during the pandemic: the United States or Vietnam?”, and to borrow a popular internet clickbait phrase, the answer will shock you.

Despite the fact that the vaccine was available in the U.S. sooner than in Canada, Canada’s vaccine rate overtook the U.S.’s a couple of weeks ago, thanks to a strong anti-vaccination quack movement and a particularly American brand of Lysenkoism, we still have a significant chunk of the population who refuse to get vaccinated.

The tragic end result will be more stories like the one above, in which a Jacksonville woman lost her grandmother, fiancé, and mother to COVID — all in the space of a week. She tested positive for COVID and was not vaccinated, and neither were her fiancé or mother. She’s now telling people to get vaccinated and plans to get vaccinated herself. (And because this is America, her best shot at digging out of her financial hole might be the GoFundMe that a neighbor set up for her. Throw some cash her way if you’re able.)

So use your freedom wisely, because it appears that as far as COVID’s concerned, remember that more freedom means more responsibility. If it is all about choice as Florida’s “Like Trump, but with an attention span and a work ethic” governor says it is, choose wisely:

  • Get vaccinated if you haven’t already,
  • Avoid crowded places — especially indoor ones — where the majority are unmasked,
  • Mask up when in enclosed spaces with lots of people,
  • Give the unvaccinated a wide berth, and
  • Practice some of that team spirit and resilience that Americans are supposed to have.