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Florida’s 1 million COVID-19 cases are not as bad as you think | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Saturday’s letters to the editor.
Health workers takes a nasal swab sample of a woman passenger to test for COVID-19 at a train station in Mumbai, India, Nov. 27, 2020.
Health workers takes a nasal swab sample of a woman passenger to test for COVID-19 at a train station in Mumbai, India, Nov. 27, 2020. [ RAFIQ MAQBOOL | AP ]
Published Dec. 5, 2020

Florida virus cases top 1M | Dec. 2

Florida’s approach not so bad

The focus this week on the one-millionth COVID-19 case in Florida is expected from the Tampa Bay Times, but needs a little perspective. If you look at the other side of the equation, this number means that over the roughly 10 months of the pandemic, about 95 percent of Floridians have not tested positive for the virus. And 99.9 percent of Floridians have not died of COVID-19.

While we would all prefer no deaths and no infections, the current surge in infections in states like California that have had statewide mask mandates and endured significant lockdowns shows that it is not possible. So maybe Florida’s approach to managing the virus by protecting the vulnerable while preserving the economy is not as bad as you think.

Barry Butler, Tarpon Springs

Fire commissioner arrested in spat over mask in Keys | Dec. 4

Can’t wait for Jan. 20

The East Lake Fire Commissioner arrested in Key West should wear his mask as prescribed — period. His actions display his sense of personal entitlement, which he feels is greater than protecting fellow citizens or the friends he was visiting. I don’t believe what his wife is saying, that “there were hundreds of people not wearing masks” at the time. Yesterday, in a local Walmart shopping center, four people during my shopping had no masks on. Employees were wearing their masks under their noses, and no one working in the store cared about enforcing the mask rule.

It amazes me how many grown people think mask-wearing doesn’t apply to them. Thankfully, some sense will be returning to the White House soon. President-elect Joe Biden is already calling for 100 days of mask-wearing when he takes office. January 20 can’t come fast enough.

Ron Kaiser, Gulfport

Fire commissioner arrested in spat over mask in Keys | Dec. 4

Mask over people? Really?

Like Tammy Dalrymple and presumably her husband, James, I too am “distressed that this is what our country is coming to.” But my distress is for a different reason. It seems that more and more people are putting their own self-interest and comfort ahead of concern and respect for the community. Wearing a mask is not that difficult.

John Doellinger, Wimauma

Reconsider highway projects | Editorial, Dec. 2

Exit the toll roads

When the Florida Department of Transportation and the M-CORES task forces released their final reports, I was disappointed to not see the “no build” option adopted. While the final report for the Southwest-Central connector makes mention of guiding principles to protect the panther and habitat connectivity, the report misses the mark. How are you going to protect the panther and ensure its recovery when 34 percent of the study area is panther habitat? The proposed guiding principles and instructions are not sufficient to protect Florida’s wildlife and waterways, and they put the remnants of wild Florida at risk of being paved over by the construction of these roads and the sprawl they will bring. Florida is home to many important and unique water features, such as our aquifers, the Green Swamp, and the greater Everglades ecosystem.

The proposed toll roads are unnecessary and will only induce harm onto Florida’s unique wildlife and waterways. As Floridians, we must prioritize protecting our iconic state animal and unique ecosystems over development. We need to repeal the roads and exit from this proposal all together.

Gabrielle Gonzalez, Sarasota

Hospitals: We’re vaccine-ready | Dec. 4

On vaccines, wait your turn

Since there will be limited doses of the vaccine for awhile, the following people and groups should be at the very back of the line for receiving the vaccine. Our governor and other politicians who refused to model good behavior by defying reasonable U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for mask-wearing and social distancing. Private citizens who also refused to put public health at the forefront to limit the spread of the virus. Sports professionals and other athletes who jumped the line to get tested even though many medical professionals and front line workers could not easily get tests. Seems only fair for them to wait their turn.

J.M. Romano, Clearwater

Is Florida doing better on coronavirus than ‘locked down’ states? | Politifact, Dec. 3

Is this success?

In a well-written article, Politifact writers Louis Jacobson and Amy Sherman do a good job fact-checking Gov. Ron DeSantis’ claims regarding Florida’s “success” on COVID-19. Yet, while they provide a large breadth of information, I feel as though their respectable quest for objectivity resulted in the omissions of some key details that better place DeSantis’ comments in context.

First and foremost, DeSantis has said this before. Think back to March, April, and even May, when Fox News and other conservatives were parading Florida and Texas around as success stories of how to handle COVID-19. We saw how that turned out. Even in late June, when the virus was beginning to ravage Florida in its first wave, he was attempting to point out that some parts of the country were seeing 50-60 percent positivity rates in March and early April.

These recent comments are nothing more than DeSantis’ attempt to shift blame, once again, from himself and the President Donald Trump machine.

Grant Edick, Hartsdale