Dear Friends,

I awoke this morning to the distressing news that yesterday we had 10,000 new cases of Coronavirus in Florida in one day. Folks I live in Palm Beach, it is a beautiful paradise, and people are terrified. I rode my bike along the inner-coastal at 7 a.m. this morning, cruising by majestic Palm trees and gorgeous, colorful gardens.

Every so often I would pass a walker, jogger, or another biker — all masked — and as we met up, they would turn their heads, but not before I could see the fear in their eyes. Everybody is wondering, “Could she have it, could he?” The virus is everywhere here, and finally this time people are beginning to take it seriously. This old warrior is diabetic and that combined with 3 months of isolation, listening and watching our country turn into anarchy, has frankly got me on edge. We are all in the same boat, however, this pandemic is terribly disconcerting and I don’t want it!

Interestingly, a month ago, Florida was the pristine state. The virus was under control, and all the indicators were it would be safe to reopen the closed economy, including bars, restaurants, beaches, gyms, and so on. This was allowed under the condition that people would engage in social distancing and wear masks.

Unfortunately, many people took the reopening by Florida’s positive Governor to mean, “Let the party begin!” The virus was still lurking, as the bars opened in full swing. Absolutely no social distancing — NONE! The beaches looked like anthills with folks snugged together. The virus spread like wildfire! The protests we had in south Florida did not help either.

As far as I am concerned, Governor DeSantis did the right thing in opening the state. The people did the wrong thing in not following the rules. We cannot stay isolated. Our businesses must be open. Until there is a vaccine, business and the pandemic must coexist. Poverty will kill us faster than the virus. Therefore with some minor, logical regulations, DeSantis is determined to keep it all going. Additionally, Florida schools will be opening in the fall. Right now, the bars are again closed and there is no indoor dining. Masks are now mandatory in public!

Folks here is the bottom line, we have got to open our businesses and we have to send our children back to school. At the same time, we have to avoid close contact and wear masks. Washing hands, vitamins, zinc, constant vigilance are all extremely important. Guys like me with diabetes, have to be extra careful.

Please stay safe, I pray for better days. God bless America!

Respectfully yours,

JUDSON Bennett-Coastal Network