The entire country must be shut down again
California took the lead, again. Texas, Florida, Arizona and other states must follow suit.
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It’s shocking that as Florida reached its single day highest number of coronavirus cases over the weekend — over 15,000, more than all of Europe — Disney World was open, and the main penalty for not wearing a mask was that you wouldn’t get a photograph on your ride. Talk about lax enforcement.
Disney World must be shut down. All of Florida must be shut down. Even if Disney park officials were monitoring perfectly for social distancing and mask-wearing, Florida is not a state in which tourists should be coming and going through airports and hotels right now. Disney’s chilling re-opening videos seemed like a parody, but underscored its desperation, and the danger it is promoting, all backed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Leaving pandemic responses to governors — rather than having national leadership — has put the United States in this horrendous position. But it’s not only that there’s been a lack of federal leadership to fight coronavirus from the beginning; the federal government is actually ramping up the pandemic — demanding children across the nation go to school with no plan, just pushing them into a massive hurricane, risking their lives and the lives of others. And it’s all so that Donald Trump can restart the economy by getting parents back to work and try to save his wretched presidency.
Education Secretary Besty DeVos, a billionaire who’s never been an educator and whose own children never attended public schools, made a mockery or herself in television interviews over the weekend, unable to answer questions about what the White House plan is, what assets it is devoting to the effort — just demanding kids be sent to school five days a week no matter what, defying CDC guidelines. The cost will be enormous if this were to happen, as kids come home with coronavirus and transmit it to parents, grandparents and others.
Much of the country is now exploding with coronavirus out of control, or seeing worrying spikes, except for New York and the Northeast, where states experienced terrible illness and mass death, and where states stayed locked down until the case count was very low and then opened up very slowly. There’s still a fear that New York, even with monitoring of, and penalties for, those traveling from states that are new epicenters and who don’t quarantine, could see the virus re-emerge in a big way, as we’ve seen around the world. But New York and the Northeast are now prepared, learned a lot, and will shut down immediately if necessary.
Only California has heeded that lesson. After being a model early on, the state saw a dramatic increase in cases and deaths, along with Florida, Arizona, and Texas. And most states are seeing the case numbers going up, while 12 are seeing deaths rise.
California Governor Gavin Newsom made the tough call yesterday to once again shut down everything in almost all of the state — indoor dining, gyms, shopping, bars, salons and museums. The two largest school districts in California, Los Angeles and San Diego, will not open in the fall, with online-learning only.
This is what other states must now do — California isn’t in nearly as terrible a place as Florida, but DeSantis is intent on keeping everything open and opening the schools, following the maniacal orders of Donald Trump. Yesterday, a man shouted down the governor, demanding he resign. This should happen everywhere he goes.
Florida, where hospital are filling up, ICU beds are short and deaths are rising fast — as they are in Texas and Arizona — is an epicenter of the United States’ pandemic and becoming the epidemic for the entire planet right now. And unless it is brought under control everyone in the U.S. will suffer, as will the world. South Florida lawmakers are calling for a full shutdown again.
Mask-wearing is essential, but it can’t be implemented far into the re-opening of a state — as Florida and Arizona cities did — and must be mandated while in lockdown, while the numbers are brought down and upon re-opening. It’s simply not enough for these states to now mandate mask-wearing.
And it’s likely not enough in many other states seeing rises in cases as well. Much of the entire country must go back to shutting down, with stay-at-home orders in place. It’s horrific that we’re in this place, having to see the economy take a double hit as well, and see families everywhere affected. But if we don’t do it, the outcome will be far, far worse.