Yes, vaccine demand is waning and yes, we’re still technically in a pandemic. Also, India is currently going through the worst run of new cases of any country yet. But look beyond those specific concerns and the big picture is rapidly improving. Especially in Florida.
After a five-week surge in cases, in predominantly young adults coinciding with Spring Break, Florida’s new coronavirus case trend is rapidly declining. In fact, we’re pacing over 1,200 fewer cases per day than a week ago. This while vaccinations continue to rise, albeit at a slower rate but now reaching meaningful swaths of Florida’s population.
First, let's look at how Florida has performed since the onset of the pandemic. The population-adjusted case has us 22nd, which's slightly below average. In population-adjusted deaths, we're 28th, which's slightly better than average. So basically, Florida’s been right about average in overall performance in avoidance/outcomes despite the Spring Break surge in cases. This while maintaining the 7th least restrictive policy in the country allowing for a top-performing economy with an unemployment rate that is 24% lower than the national average.
Now, let's look at those with at least some immunity. Forty percent of Florida’s population has been vaccinated with at least a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. And, eleven percent of Florida’s population has had COVID-19. We’re at a point in which more than half of the state has at least some immunity to COVID-19. That along with the already improving trend and the ending of the traditional flu season leaves a lot of room for optimism.
Photo by: CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP