Garbled Messages

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It’s looking more and more like Florida failed the first wave of the coronavirus. And nobody is more displeased at that possibility than the businesses that have so carefully reopened in the last six weeks.

As COVID-19 cases added up in March and the governor issued a “Safer-at-Home” order on April 1, all eyes were on the increasing tally of coronavirus cases in the state. Those early new case numbers look tiny compared to this week’s numbers.

Whatever we did in Florida to stem the tide of new virus infections was not enough.

Over 15,000 new cases were diagnosed in Florida over the past week. More than in any week since this began. That is a huge number. If it’s because of more testing, and the jury is still out on that claim, it still means that there are a whole lot of people with the virus walking around our state, often without symptoms, and infecting others, including those most vulnerable.

Who thinks that asymptomatic people who test positive, all head home and quarantine themselves for two weeks?  Me neither.

Here’s a random snapshot of new Florida cases. On the 16th of each month, March had 32 new cases. April – 634. May – 777 and June – 2,610. Those numbers are not moving in the right direction. This is not a second wave; it’s an extension of the first wave because we failed to do enough to contain the virus the first time around.

And who can blame us? The message received by Floridians has been garbled at best. We hear one thing from the governor, another from local medical people, something slightly different from the CDC, and yet a different message from the White House. Add politics to the mix and the message is completely incomprehensible.

The bottom line is this. No matter your political persuasion, whether you want Trump or Biden or Mickey Mouse for our next President, the COVID-19 virus is an equal-opportunity medical and public health threat. If you are infected with the virus, you may or may not get deathly sick, but you will certainly spread the virus to other people.

Protect yourself and others. Wear a mask and stay six feet away from others. If you test positive for the virus, stay home until you are cleared to be in public again.

Your age will not protect you. Take the time to read the list of deaths each day. 5 year old male, 32 year old male…it’s not just “old” people dying. This is not “just the flu.”

Hopefully our elected officials figure out a way to get the message across to all Floridians. Until they do, our lives and our economy are both in danger.