Floridian’s, you’re cordially invited to preview the most anticipated open house of the year. This (floor) plan is exquisitely designed by Governor Ron DeSantis with Task Force oversight whereby the stay-at-home order is lifted whilst maintaining social distancing guidelines for the Recovery Road Open House Phases. Some are ready, others skeptical, many worried, plenty anxious but all in all let me share my perspective in trusting and welcoming the next phases in re-opening Florida.
On or about March 16th, 2020, social distancing guidelines were instilled into every thought, fiber, breath and step we took (and still take). Simultaneously I found myself rampantly researching websites and reading articles regarding increasing Covid-19 cases worldwide. Life changed overnight in what seemed a hazy dream; we needed to stop the spread and flatten the curve pronto. It was an Amazon, Instacart, delivery driven panic that is still in force over 5 weeks later with no sure end in clear sight yet.
We’ve seen, heard and experienced the massive Zoom webinar boom, toilet paper and hand sanitizer deficit, home work-outs galore, dwindling economy, struggling businesses furloughs and unemployment explosion meanwhile thinking what’s really going to happen with Covid-19. My mind was hyper-focused on the truth about this un-novel virus which was unraveling way too quickly. With the abundance of information online my focus needed to be on real vs. fake news even though conspiracy theories note online data is not accurate but it’s the information we have at hand so I began to track and chart this data.
My first entry was on March 25, 2020 tracking the confirmed State of Florida total cases and total deaths on an easily manageable, interpretable, formulated and analyzed spreadsheet within this certain data series. Florida’s population is 21,992,985 and as early as March 25, 2020 Florida contained 1,839 confirmed Covid cases and 23 deaths which was .00836% and .00010% of the state population, respectively equivalent to a 1.25% death rate (total deaths/total cases). Not until April 7, 2020 did the death rate increase in Florida to 2% and another 13 days later on April 20, 2020 it jumped to 3%. To the contrary and as comparison, on April 5 and April 20, 2020 in just 15 days the death rate in states like New York doubled from 3.38% to 7.5%, Michigan increased from 3.93% to 7.71%, New Jersey 2.45% to 5.42%, Louisiana 3.67% to 5.42%, Illinois 2.43% to 4.28% and California 2.31% to 3.63%. Expanding the data abroad, on March 25th and April 20th, 2020 countries like France skyrocketed from 5.28% to 13.04%, Spain from 7.36% to 10.42%, Italy from 10.09% to 13.31%, USA from 1.5056% to 5.3628% yet Germany controlled the spike from .055% to 3.31%. Countries like Germany, Sweden and Taiwan have constrained the Covid growth and definitely a matter for further exploration.
Translating the challenging virus data into percentages has provided me with a certain reassurance that our civic quarantined duty has safely secured our near future in flattening the curve. One death is too many but other states are almost doubling whereas Florida is steadily sailing through these rough waters. Could it be our ingrained hurricane preparedness training, our gubernatorial direction, our Miami heat and humidity indexes or the incredible citizens and small business owners which have selflessly stayed home and abided the challenging quarantine measures for the good of our world? Whichever the attack method, I firmly believe the Governor, Mayor and Task Force have our best interest at hand by opening government owned public spaces as the initial means of controlling our population’s reaction and interaction enforcing a zero-tolerance policy imposing fines and/or jail time. As a small business owner, I stand behind the Recovery Road Open House (Phase 2+) provided we continue complying via face mask use, proper disinfecting practices and the ensuring social distancing guidelines. United we will continue tackling this invisible enemy in pursuit of a Phase 4 official Open House.
Phase 1 = quarantine mode ON
Phase 2 = stay-at-home order lifted allowing in-state travel/vacation; includes social distancing + mask worn while in public places
Parks, waterways and golf courses partially open
Beach activities limited to walk/jog - beach equipment not allowed
Basketball – bring your own ball - three players max per half court
Boats must remain 50 ft apart at all times; no tying up or anchoring; no gatherings of more than 10 people and rafting up, beaching and landings of boats are all prohibited
25 ft or less = 4 adults max
26 – 36 ft = 6 adults max
37 ft or more = 8 adults max
Kayak and canoe launch areas will reopen
Jet ski rental for single riders only allowed
Golfing allows one-player to a golf cart, players bring their own equipment
Phase 3 = beaches fully re-open + minor social distancing still in effect
Phase 4 = BC (Before Covid) normality