floriduh finally gets social distancing message and closes beaches. covid-19 spotlights lack of leadership.
above > left public pinellas county clearwater beach 19 march / right 21 march
on 19 march the clearwater council votes to delay closing the clearwater beaches until tuesday 24 march. BUT, they had a change of heart and closed them yesterday, 21 march.
florida, the last u.s. state finally gets the message. amid national criticism as early as 15 march, on friday 20 march, governor ron desantis closes beaches, restaurant dining rooms and bars in the state, as well as concert houses and other entertainment venues in broward and palm beach counties which includes fort lauderdale.
that same day, the city of miami beach and miami-dade county took even larger emergency measures by closing all commercial lodging establishments. this means hotels, suite hotels, hotel units within apartment-hotels, hostels, dormitories, motels, and temporary vacation/short term rentals are ordered to shut down operations and tell guests they must leave. the order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. on monday, march 23. and a curfew throughout the city from midnight to 5 a.m., goes into effect tuesday, 24 march at midnight. “our hotels have always been the lifeblood of our economy, so shuttering them is not something to do impulsively. but right now, as painful as it may be, the reality is we just cannot be a tourist destination,” said miami beach mayor dan gelber in a statement.
above > saturday 21 march
the second to last u.s. state was texas, where on 19 march, governor greg abbott signed an executive order limiting crowd gathering to 10, and to avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts, or visiting gyms or massage parlors; provided, however, that the use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options is allowed and highly encouraged
we certainly can point fingers at the clueless and selfish during spring break as well as st. patrick’s day. but the real problem here is lack of leadership. we applaud the pro-active governors including new york’s andrew cuomo, illinois’s j.b. pritzker, and california’s gavin newsom and city mayors including chicago’s lori lightfoot, and miami-dade’s carlos a. gimenez.
so you ask why is this note such a nastygram? a simple answer is let’s compare governors. when illinois governor j.b. pritzker saw how chicago o’hare was handling international travelers, keeping them bunched up in a line for six hours, he went a little nuts and said that’s exactly what we don’t want to do. we need a social spacing mentality. the result, the airlines kept the passengers in the plane until it was ok to go through immigrations.
new york governor, andrew cuomo, is on cnn every morning soothing worries like mr. rogers. nothing political but common sense examples and suggestions on how to behave, protect seniors and kids, how to be responsible. it definitely impressed the president who we see every day but not sure he’s so soothing.
the spring break crowd. an annual rite of passage. there was no one in florida to protect them. the man at the top failed them. so yes, nastygram seems, just right.