Q&A – Was Reopening Florida A Mistake?

Today’s entry: Don't businesses reclosing in the state show reopening to be a bad idea? What's to keep the state from locking down again?

Bottom Line: Obviously the news in Florida hasn’t been the best recently. We’re battling the highest case count yet, hospitalizations are rising and yes, we’ve heard stories of businesses that have had to shut down temporarily because of employees, customers, or both being diagnosed with the virus. Seeing the opportunity, Florida’s top elected Democrat, Nikki Fried, has sized on the moment saying: 

Governor DeSantis has lost control of Florida’s COVID-19 response. His policies are simply not working, and he’s recklessly reopening Florida despite the data screaming for caution. Refusing to acknowledge the alarming patterns in cases, hospitalizations, and positivity is not only arrogant, but will cost lives, public health, and our economy. To our citizens, I implore you to wear masks and continue social distancing — and just because a place is open, doesn’t mean it’s safe to go there. To our local governments, please encourage your residents to stay home, mask up, and socially distance. If the Governor is unwilling to make the right decisions, then they must be made in our cities, our states, and our homes."

First, in case you hadn’t realized, Nikki Fried has been running for governor since the moment she put her campaign sticker on every gas pump in Florida. You literally have the state’s agriculture commissioner calling on local officials to keep their constituents at home. It’s also insight into how she’d govern given the opportunity. Now, where I agree with her is regarding the use of masks and social distancing. We should be doing both. From the onset of the pandemic we’ve heard about the need to follow science, that’s precisely why Governor DeSantis is right not to revisit lockdowns. 

We’ve learned a lot since the pandemic began. In March, when lockdowns were ordered, all we really knew was that the virus was far more contagious than the flu, far more deadly than the flu, and hit vulnerable people especially hard. All of those notions have proven to be correct, but just about everything else we were told turned out to be false. Starting with the WHO, we were told masks really weren’t effective to stop the spread and social distancing was only somewhat effective because of how long droplets could linger in the air. With no good options to avoid the virus being presented, lockdowns were ordered. As science has since proven, the information pertaining to the effectiveness of masks and social distancing was false. In fact, knowing what we know now, the best approach would have been and should currently be, masks rather than widespread lockdowns. Five studies have now shown masks to be more effective than lockdowns in stopping the spread of the virus. The most recent and comprehensive study showed that the use of the average mask and social distancing by just three feet reduces the spread of the virus by 97%. This takes me back to your question. 

I’d suggest that businesses choosing to close down on their own is a positive. It shows that concerns over health and potential liability can be as effective as the government ordered lockdowns. It also serves as a reminder to other businesses of what can happen if they aren’t especially careful. The American way isn’t one of the heavy-handed government lockdowns. It is about personal responsibility and accountability. And as to what’s keeping the state from locking down again? Elections. Governor DeSantis won’t lock Florida down again. A Governor Fried sounds as though she would. As I frequently say. All elections have consequences and those closest to you often have the biggest impact on your daily life. 

Submit your questions using one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1

Photo by: Getty Images North America

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