Florida rolled out its phased reopening today in all but three counties. This happened before noon:
— Scott Keeler (@SKeelerTimes) May 4, 2020
I’ve got concerns. It’s not that the phased reopening plan is bad. Our governor is a Trumpster and therefore an idiot, but he seems marginally less stupid than, say, Brian Kemp of Georgia or that bespectacled ham hock that leads the state of Mississippi.
As of today, restaurants, shops, museums, etc., in Florida can reopen but only at 25% capacity. People are still supposed to maintain their distance at beaches, parks, etc. But the thing is, there’s not been sufficient testing to know if it’s safe to move to this stage, and nothing I’ve read about the situation in Florida gives me confidence that the testing and tracking assets are in place to quickly detect and squash outbreaks.
THAT’S the problem, but the authorities have apparently decided it’s an insurmountable problem,* so here we are. I’m with Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts on the issue:
I get that businesses are suffering. But I refuse to eat in a crowded restaurant, sit in a packed movie house or fly on a full flight again until I feel I can do so safely. And I am emphatically not assured by TV carnival barkers, political halfwits and MAGA-hat-wearing geniuses.
No, I need to hear from serious, credible people. I need to know sufficient testing has been conducted and that they feel the virus is no longer a threat. If other people want to die of stupid, I can’t stop them. But if America wants its economy back — this part of its economy, at least — it better do whatever is necessary to persuade Dr. Anthony Fauci it’s time to give the all-clear.
Look for me two weeks after that.
Amen to that. It’ll be fascinating to see how people respond. Even well-meaning and reasonably intelligent people who don’t find Trump’s antics persuasive will find reasons to believe that what they want to be true (that it’s safe to resume “normal” life) is true, especially when there’s a ton of peer pressure.
Among the people I know, I’d estimate half are hanging back with Pitts and me and half are ready to believe the danger has passed. It mostly breaks down by party lines too. What’s happening in your area with regard to the rules being relaxed or maintained? What do the folks you know think about it all?
*ETA: FWIW, I think that’s true in the sense that the Trump administration’s criminally irresponsible mismanagement of testing development and capacity squandered the time the lock-down orders bought. So now we’ll get the worst of both worlds: economic catastrophe AND preventable deaths.