South Florida in the middle of the Pandemic — My Coastal Network Perspective

OPINION

Dear Friends,

I am living in Palm Beach, Florida right in the middle of the apparent epicenter of the dreaded, Corona Covid-19 virus that the Communist Party of Red China intentionally dumped on America. I am now a senior citizen and I have diabetes. I have spent all of April, May, June, and July totally isolated. I exercise in the early morning by either a 10-mile bike ride or a mile swim in my condo pool. I shop at Publix for groceries and get take out for breakfast.

I wear a mask always. I don’t eat out, I don’t go to bars, and I don’t date anybody. When I am driving or getting gasoline, I worry about “Black Lives Matter” and “Antifa” anarchists that frequent intersections and gas stations. They never wear masks and crowd together, either begging for money or casting hateful stares that are slightly unnerving with the constant possibility I might have to defend myself. I carry a loaded pistol everywhere I go and keep a 12-gauge, loaded shotgun next to my chair at home. I am doing my best to survive and I have been following all the suggested or mandated (which change daily) precautions.

I have a cat that snuggles in my lap and purrs affectionately. She is the only real, alive close contact I have and indeed I love that delightful animal. I spend my days watching TV, writing articles, and communicating on Facebook, fighting to help re-elect President Trump who I believe if not re-elected, will result in the end of America as we know it.

Folks, it has not been a happy time for this old sailor. I am, I must admit, somewhat afraid and worried about the future. I have it better than many folks, however I feel tremendous anxiety and at times frustration because of the acute uncertainty that we are all living with, week-in and week-out!

Interestingly, compared to the operation of some absurd Governors, I felt Governor DeSantis of Florida has done a good job. A few months ago, while NY Governor Cuomo was sending thousands of seniors to their deaths in nursing homes, DeSantis was doing everything right here in Florida — protecting the elderly. Nationwide and especially here in Florida we obeyed the rules, closed our businesses and our beaches. We even had and still have a curfew in Palm Beach at 10 pm.

Unfortunately, this virus is terribly contagious. We were lulled into complacency and figured it was no big deal and DeSantis opened up everything while requesting, volunteer conditions. We were asked to maintain social distancing and to wear masks. The old saying, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink!”, is so very true!

I think every bar in Florida suddenly became packed, young people juiced themselves up like never before and stood 2 feet apart and without masks. I witnessed it myself and I can’t begin to tell you how disgusted I was! Beaches looked like anthills and everybody was literally on top of each other. Protests throughout Florida have not helped. BAM BAM, the virus leaped out again and we are now having 10,000+ new cases a day and 100+ people dying some days in Florida alone!

IT IS REAL AND IT IS HAPPENING! It is not a hoax!

All this being said, I find myself further disconcerted as there are huge arguments over whether masks are really effective or not. Apparently the cloth masks are porous and the virus can go right through them. The others are better, however, the data indicates social distancing is the most effective and masks could make a small difference.

Unfortunately, people are going broke and we must stay open or we will die as a nation. The bottom line is that until we get a vaccine, the virus and the economy must find a way to coexist. Each individual has to make his or her own decisions and take responsibility. If you are 40 and have no pre-existing conditions, go for it. If you are like me with diabetes, stay away. DeSantis intends to keep Florida open and to also open the schools. He has stopped the sale of alcohol across bars. Big signs everywhere — MASKS MANDATED! WE HAVE NO CHOICE — starve or open up!

There is an issue that might freak everybody out. The numbers may not be accurate and it might not be as bad as reported. The Florida Department of Health confirmed Wednesday that some private labs were not reporting negative COVID-19 test results to them, as required by the state. That ended up leading to 100-percent positivity rates being reported for those labs. Department of Health spokeswoman Olga Connor told Miami television station WPLG in an email to the effect that “public and private labs are required to report all of their COVID-19 test results to the state, regardless of whether the tests are positive or negative. In recent days, the Florida Department of Health noticed that some smaller, private labs weren’t reporting negative test result data to the state,” Connor wrote. “The Department immediately began working with those labs to ensure that all results were being reported in order to provide comprehensive and transparent data.” She went on to say that “the Department of Health will continue to educate labs on the proper protocol for reporting COVID-19 test results.”

On the other hand, some experts say the state might be minimizing the depth of its coronavirus problem by underreporting its rate of positive tests. They explain that the method used to calculate the “positivity rate” puts more emphasis on negative tests, thereby skewing the results in that direction. A person who tests positive is counted only once, although negative tests can be counted repeatedly if the same person gets tested multiple times. The state also reportedly mixes two different types of tests, including one that produces more false-negative results. The upshot is that the rate of positive tests provided by the state health officials makes the situation appear possibly better or worse than it is, experts say. What a mess! THE DEAL IS RIDICULOUSLY POLITICAL FOLKS!

So Folks, DeSantis who is a caring and intelligent man, who recognizes the need to open Florida back up, has got his hands full. Our children need to go back to school so they can effectively learn and so the parents can go back to work. He did remove the multi-million dollar virtual/internet study program because the kids are going back to school, so we don’t need to spend the money.

It is paramount that DeSantis, who is a good man, determine the true results of all of the massive testing happening here daily. It is important to know if things are really as bad as the experts say? This virus is truly esoteric and nobody really understands its constant re-evolvement, in different locations at different times.

I hope I am lucky and don’t get it. I hope you don’t either.

Regardless, this old Captain is hunkering down, trying to stay alive, fighting for life, liberty, and happiness without fear! Please stay safe and God bless you all.

Sincerely yours,

JUDSON Bennett-Coastal Network