Ive Been Living In Florida Since the Start of COVID-19, and Im Regretting Some of My Choices – WomansDay.com

When COVID-19 started ravaging large U.S. cities like New York and Los Angeles in March 2020, I was living in Orlando, Florida. And while the people working and living in the city were upended, my life remained relatively unchanged. As those with the means to leave their small apartments in largely inhabited cities considered moving to a much safer state, I was taking a trip to Siesta Key and Sanibel Island without a single concern.
It almost seemed like Florida was in a bubble, unsusceptible to the physical and social impacts of COVID-19. When the first COVID-19 case hit the United States in January of this year, the state of Florida was unfazed. Even when the virus attacked the east coast a month later, my city government didnt enact any restrictions. Aside from Disney World and Universal Studios, every business and tourist attraction remained up and running. The risk of joblessness was seemingly non-existent, and the state did what it does every year and started getting ready for a summer season that far a lot of us assumed would be busy.
Other states, nevertheless, made a severe effort to stop the spread. In Washington, the very first pandemic “location,” individuals were almost instantly advised to stay at home and non-essential businesses were closed. Today, homeowners are still sheltering in place, practicing social distancing, and using face masks in public spaces. These rules, amongst others, have helped Washington drop its brand-new case count from nearly 1,000 to less than 600 every seven days, according to The New York Times. When the virus grabbed New York, the state went into a total lockdown that left locals in their homes for more than 3 months. Now, as of July 9, New York has actually reduced its new case count from 12,000 to 600 a week.
But Florida hasnt seen the same outcomes. Since July 9, 223,775 brand-new cases have been confirmed in the sunshine state. This can partly be credited to the relaxed state of mind of a lot of Floridians have (consisting of the governor), as well as the absence of proper screening equipment.

A busy beach in Florida in June.
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As cases in Florida increase, so too does my remorse of not taking COVID-19 as seriously as I must have. Im worried those changes will not be enough, be cause far too many others in Florida just dont feel the very same.
Floridas smaller sized attractions are as hectic as ever.
If you were to take a walk through Siesta Keys Ocean Boulevard, you would believe its a common, pre-pandemic summertime day. A lot of dining establishments are open for indoor and outdoor dining, and hardly any customers are using face masks. The only noticeable CDC guideline being followed is the 6-feet rule, however even that fades as the night goes on and restaurants have had a few more beverages. Some cities, like Miami and Orlando, have enacted curfews and alcohol restrictions in an effort to stave the rise of new COVID-19 cases, however many establishments are ignoring that rule, possibly to keep the cash coming.
Using a mask is sometimes considered as a political action.
In some parts of the nation, compulsory face mask usage is considered as a needed action to secure human life. In Florida, nevertheless, it is often thought about an offense of ones civil liberties. Throughout a commissioners conference in Palm Beach county last month, homeowners were outraged after there was an unanimous vote to make face masks compulsory. In a video from CNN, citizens declared that the masks “are killing individuals” and accused the federal government of wishing to “toss gods terrific breathing system out the door.” Many likewise questioned the on-site doctors experience and understanding on the pandemic.
According to an evaluation conducted by The Lancet, wearing a face mask and practicing social distancing (6-feet apart) lowers your chance by 10.2% of contracting the COVID-19 infection. Even with concrete data provided by scientists and medical specialists, in Florida, and in other parts of the United States, using a face mask has become a so-called leftist political tool to press out an unidentified doomsday program. Kerri Quinones Lumsden, a nurse specialist in Central Florida, informs Womens Day that its anything.
” I personally dont believe theres anything political about wearing a mask, it just reveals you care about people,” Quinones Lumsden states. “We need to have an obligation to our loved pals and ones.”
Some Floridians think case numbers are overemphasized.
Given that the infection was never ever taken seriously by the states politicians from the beginning, its hard for Floridians to accept the gravity and comprehend of this exceptional public health crisis. Even after 56 extensive care systems in Florida medical facilities reached capability with COVID-19 cases, individuals still think the numbers are fabricated. One good friend of mine, who lives in Orlando, went so far ask to ask if the rising numbers were some sort of “media tactic to scare the public.”

Protestors demonstrating in Orlando.
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Attempting to get checked in Florida is a challenge.
When investigating how to get tested for COVID-19, multiple medical sites within the Central Florida area will inform you to either make a consultation or get a medical professionals recommendation. No one likes to have a hard time with a website over and over once again, and the concept of waiting in line for 4 hours or more hinders individuals from even going. As a result, people who feel symptomatic or are exposed to people regularly are less likely to get evaluated.
Even after getting tested, some centers take up to 5 or more days to deliver results. This leaves a countless amount of time to establish stress and anxiety and efficiently put a time out on your life, or assume youre unfavorable and gather together with other potentially exposing them to the infection.
I hope Florida locals begin acting more responsibly.
Since January 2020, COVID-19 has actually been taking the lives of people all over the world, and affecting the lives and future health of a lot more. The break out developed into an international pandemic in March 2020, and there have been 11,910,220 verified cases globally as of July, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at John Hopkins University. Whats even scarier is that, according to The New York Times, the U.S. presently accounts for 3.0 countless those cases. Every state in the country should be serving as quickly as possible to stop the spread. Thats not occurring.
At the start of the pandemic, I felt this infection was another H1N1 or SARS– something that happened “out of sight” and might for that reason be out of mind; a problem that hardly ever if at all interrupted most of individualss lives. I didnt believe common activities like traveling, participating in social functions, and sharing meals were a danger, to either myself or others.
As we enter summer, Im hoping that rather of waiting for our local government to enact quarantine guidelines, the people of Florida will merely start practicing them on their own. We do not require to wait to be informed to wear face masks, remain inside, or remain six-feet apart from one another.

Emy Rodriguez Flores

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When COVID-19 started ravaging large U.S. cities like New York and Los Angeles in March 2020, I was living in Orlando, Florida. When the first COVID-19 case hit the United States in January of this year, the state of Florida was unfazed. As cases in Florida rise, so too does my remorse of not taking COVID-19 as seriously as I should have. Even after 56 intensive care units in Florida healthcare facilities reached capacity with COVID-19 cases, people still believe the numbers are produced. As we enter summer, Im hoping that rather of waiting for our regional federal government to enact quarantine regulations, the individuals of Florida will merely start practicing them on their own.

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Emy is a journalist and Florida native covering whatever from way of life, travel, style, beauty and more.