The governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, has announced a partial re-opening of the state of Florida (except Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties). In the re-opening, restaurants can seat people outside if they’re six feet apart and seat inside up to 25% of capacity.
In addition, elective surgeries can start again. Retail can re-open, also at 25% capacity. And sporting events can begin again, but without spectators.
Bars, movie theaters, gyms, and hair salons will remain closed. Nursing homes will remain closed to visitors, and distance learning will continue for Florida’s schools.
I’ll say what Govenor DeSantis can’t say about this plan: people will die who wouldn’t have otherwise died. Everyone knows this.
Some will die of Coronavirus. Some will die of car accidents. Some will die of freak accidents. But people will die.
We’re experiencing a global pandemic. Death is part of the definition. Just because you want to try a measured re-opening doesn’t mean you’re a soulless ghoul who would trade the lives of a hundred poor people for an extra four cents of profit.
Outside the idiots who storm state capitals dressed like the fifth infantry, the people who want to re-open tend not to be robber barons or their useful idiots. They’re people with families and mortgages or rent to pay. They’re worried and sitting around the house with nothing to do and no money coming in.
In addition, hospital visits for life-threatening conditions like heart attack, stroke, or even appendicitis are down 40 percent. People won’t go to the hospital because they’re afraid to get the Covids.
Also, being shut in, away from people, sunshine, and the outside is difficult when things are good. If you already have a predisposition to mental healthy issues, then they’re like a match to kindling. Although no data is immediately available, leading indicators show there might be an uptick in suicides as a result of isolation.
Much of life is based on choosing the least awful alternative. Regardless what Governor DeSantis–or Governors Newsom, Cuomo, and Whitmer–do, people will die. And at the end of this, a politically motivated group will find the nearest microphone and scream about how they have blood on their hands.
DeSantis’s plan isn’t perfect. But it’s sensible. It doesn’t tie the entire state to the portions with the biggest infection rates. It’s a test run. If we can start back and not see a huge spike, then additional steps can be taken. If there is a spike, then we roll back to previous state.
In short, no one knows with absolute certainty what should happen next. If you think you do, you’re wrong. This allows us to see what’s possible, then move forward or back based on the results.
It’s the best you can do when perfect’s not an option.