Oh, the choices, the choices.
As I write this, plans are all set re-open Disney World this weekend. This is happening as Florida is suffering from an increase in COVID-19 infections. As you might recall, our state was one of the early pioneers to re-open its economy back in late April. While those namby-pambys up in New England wasted valuable time — sans haircuts, manicures, and pedicures — we here in the Sunshine State all cleaned up early and looked absolutely fabulous in time for our re-opening. If there’s a price to pay in the pursuit of happiness, you’ll definitely find it here in the south at the moment.
By now we’ve all seen quite enough of the video antics of those weirdly-monikered Karens and Kens, who openly mock and flaunt the advisories of public health officials. But what does it mean when your own governor basically chooses to join that chorus too, albeit in a more restrained way? Florida governor Ron DeSantis has a different approach to “We are all in this together.”
Instead of cautioning state residents, DeSantis is one of Disney’s biggest cheerleaders for their re-opening. He believes that by opening safely — yes, yes, wear a mask and distance if you wish — the state’s economy can continue to rebound, and Florida can show the nation just what a hearty and savvy bunch we are. Or he is. Or we are. Well, you get the point.
And speaking of savvy, you’ve really got to hand it to the governor for keeping the actual statistics of COVID-related hospitalizations completely under wraps. Unlike other states, Florida is not reporting the number of people currently being treated in its hospitals. Just as the President would rather we not see his tax returns, Governor DeSantis wants to keep secret the number of people being treated in hospitals. Transparency is cumbersome.
Needless to say, I have no plans to visit Disney World anytime soon. In fact, neither will a fair number of people who actually have jobs there. The Actors’ Equity union, which represents over 750 performers, reports that Disney rescinded recall notices after failing to come to agreement with union negotiators on a request for COVID-19 tests for all performers.
Oh, Mickey. Say it ain’t so.
Before I completely leave the subject of Mr. DeSantis, I would be remiss if I didn’t share this one last anecdote: As the topic of school openings in the U.S. dominates the news lately, the good Florida governor has let it be known that he stands firmly on the side of opening up the schools this fall. Last week he said, “If Walmart and Home Depot are open, schools should be, too.” He’s right, of course. Kids in Florida will soon be able to understand just how thin that line is between learnin’ and spendin’.
So how does this all affect your humble blogger? It doesn’t, other than the fact that I live here and am no doubt walking past people in grocery aisles who will soon travel to Orlando, or will have kids starting school in about four weeks.
We’re all in this together, indeed. I do hope someone buys me a t-shirt.
New Yorkers, by the way, are doing comparatively well. Remember when states were being asked to send ventilators to them back in April? Well, the tide has sure changed. Just this week Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he is directing his state health officials to send the drug Remdesivir to medical authorities in Florida as a help with our surge in cases. Thank you, New York.
By about this time, I think most of us had hoped that things might be better than they are presently. The stay-at-home orders of March and April were done so that by perhaps mid-to-late summer we might all be able to enjoy picnics with friends, meals at restaurants, and maybe even a road trip to see family. Heck, I even had a challenge from Judy at New England Garden and Thread on which of us would be the first to go out for a haircut (she won; I’ve not gone near a barbershop). Of course, one can do all of those things right now if he/she wants. But I’m just not comfortable in doing so.
Thankfully, though, it’s not all doom and gloom at the moment…
I’ve been able continue with my part-time job once a week because up to 90% or more of the employees at those firms remain working from home. This allows me to work alone and really not be in proximity to anyone else…
Out of the blue, my nephews decided that they wanted to do a bit of genealogical sleuthing about their grandparents. So I’ve been scanning documents such as birth certificates and army discharge papers for their assistance. One of them follows up with occasional questions, and this too has been a pleasant surprise…
Also, the local fish market here opened up! They’ve instituted some safe practices, including taking orders from those queuing outside, plus a rule of no more than three customers inside the store at any one time. It is wonderful to have tasty, fresh fish and seafood again…
Finally, while I’m still not at all interested in venturing into a barbershop, my lovely bride has been more than happy to wield the clippers and offer me a shearing. I’m pretty sure that this is the first time I’ve ever felt up a barber.
I probably should do better with the tip.
So folks, I know many in my state would probably disagree with me on this point, and that surely would include Mr. DeSantis too. But I am requesting of you the following: Stay the hell away! You really don’t want to experience the Magic Kingdom right now. Just stay home. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and even Goofy, G-d willing, will all be here next year. Come then, hopefully after a vaccine is available.
In the meantime, make the right choices, and remember to follow my adopted Irish Granny’s admonition about following the rules.
Until next time…