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The Closing Word on Florida’s self-inflicted Summer of Death.

Over 25,000 Floridians have died since May 1 – a good “start date” because vaccines were available to everyone – plus a few weeks for them to kick in and people already sick to either recover or pass away. Some numbers show 20,000 of these death in 10 weeks – from July 1 to mid-September. No other state in the US has come close. To put post-vaccine deaths in perspective, here are a few examples:

Post Vaccine (May 1-Oct 15) Deaths from COVID – CDC/IHME Data
Adjusted for Population (based on FL base*)
FL – 25,000
TX- 14.000
NY – 4,000
CA – 5,500
MN – 5,200
MA -3,600
*adjusted means, for example, that 3,600 people didn’t die in MA – it was < 1/3rd that amount but MA has 1/3rd the population.

The Big Question is Why?

The answer is simple. The very same policies, lack of leadership and bad behavior which has caused Florida to become the laughing stock of much of the civilized world. If it seemed like Floridians were almost INTENTIONALLY infecting everyone – well, that is the FL Plan!

Even if we give Florida some slack, 20,0000 “extra” deaths occurred – and as I write this, deaths are still high (120/day). However, that particular Delta wave is over – it burned out.

Bad leadership and bad behavior caused this. It’s as simple as that. It’s wasn’t “seasonal” – there is no such thing as a respiratory season in summer in Florida. It wasn’t “age-adjusted” – you can read some of the other articles on that particular subject.

“Oh, but watch, this is because Floridians are indoors in the hot summer – and now cases are going down because summer is over” – I wonder if people listen to themselves as they spout this nonsense? The temperature has come down from a high of 89 to a high of 87….and, how many lawyers, CPA’s, doctors, bankers, retail workers, hair stylists, etc. work OUTDOORS? Basically the same amount of people are indoors (in their cars, shops, offices, doctors) all year round.

As noted in many other articles, summer is by far the lowest death time of year in Florida – for various reasons including a smaller population AND it’s not “season”.

Lay it our for me!

Here is what happened. The Gov. did the vaccinations incorrectly and incompletely. Due to this AND the lax attitude the state has assumed, people dropped their guard before they should have. This is the “behavior” part. The chart below shows observed mask wearing in Florida – note how it went down – about 50% down by the middle of June. Other chancy behavior followed along with it.

By the beginning of August, Floridians were noticing people around them dying and getting very sick – and what happened? Mask wearing went up quite a bit! However, by then it was too late. COVID had been given a warm welcome by the leaders and population of Florida with positivity rates hitting 20% and above. These are about as high as they can go when considering even a position vaccinated and millions with some antibodies from previous infections. For comparison, a chart of the positivity and deaths of my other state (MA) is below. The “summer surge” can be seen as a small bump – positivity may have reached 2.3% and deaths as high as 11 a day (equiv. to 35 or so in Florida). However, the population and leaders watched the numbers and squashed Delta in the Bud.

Self-Harm for what?

Florida gained nothing by letting extra 10’s of thousands die. In fact, the reputation of the state is probably harmed by being in the news cycle for mass death. A sane person would ask why…

Much of my opinion is spelled out in other articles so I won’t repeat it here. IMHO, this rises to the level of a Crime Against Humanity. In fact, there is a name for this – the abandonment of older people to die (when it can be helped).

Senicide is one name – Geronticide is the other. They both mean the same thing. Sadly, this is who we are (in Florida). I wish it were not so.

The new Fallacy – “Age Adjusted” COVID Deaths in Florida

“THE #1 PREDICTOR OF LOWER COVID HOSPITALIZATIONS AND/OR DEATHS IS THE ABILITY TO AVOID GETTING COVID.”

As has been mentioned in a recent post here, the Florida COVID denier crowd, after running out of ALL other excuses, now is standing upon a new and FALSE premise – that “age adjusted” Florida deaths somehow explains the 500 death per day peak and #1 Ranking of Florida in Post-Vaccine deaths.

When I first ran upon this I knew (you know, in my GUT) it was wrong. This was due to many factors, including it being repeated over and over by people who didn’t know things! This is the sure sign of “Tucker told me what to say” or what many call the Echo Chamber.

However, I wanted to explore this in more details – as just calling “BS” does not help the few who might really want to understand the relationship between COVID and Age – and.or who might want to understand why FL is now #1 in COVID deaths post-vaccine.

For those who get dizzy easily w/numbers, let me start with some broad statements which may help show how ridiculous this particular talking point is.

  1. TEXAS is one of the youngest states in the USA. Yet, it’s in the top few in DEATHS post vaccine. This, of course, goes 100% against the “old is big factor” point.
  2. Vaccinations lower the death rate by 4X (assuming 80% effective). This is such a large number that “adjustments” of many other types become just rounding errors.

For purposes of my short study, I used New England to compare to Florida. This makes sense for various reasons. New England has an older Population with some states as old or older than Florida in some categories. In terms of averages, the sum total of New England is approx. 1.8 years younger than Florida. All of New England has a population of 15 million, which – in all calculations – I am adjusting upwards to match Florida seasonal population.

Average Age Florida = approx 42 years. – Average Age New England = 40.3 years.

For those who may not get to the end of this article, I will start with some of the summary of calculation. All of my reasoning and calculations will use April 1, 2021 forward, as that is the “post vaccination” world we live in currently and covers the detail many are interested in – the massive waves of death that Florida experienced in Summer, 2021.

Apples to Apples – Excess Deaths (CDC, IHME)  in Florida in the time period noted were 30,000. In New England (adjusted), they were 3,700. The FLORIDA Death Rate from COVID is 8x as high (800%).

On the Specifics of Age Adjustment

There is an old expression concerning “Baffle them with BS” – which holds true in many discussions of complex subjects. I am not using Grad School Computational Statistics – this post is not destined for Nature or JAMA and needs no peer review. The differences are so vast that there is no need to take things out to many decimal places. Here are some short answers/calcs/guesses to the “What About” that is sure to follow.

Floridians are not in Florida NOW

To a Floridian this is fairly obvious. Myself and most of my friends and neighbors are NOT IN FLORIDA in the Summertime. This means the Population of Seniors” is much lower than the calculations (which are based on a Census taken in April). While I knew this – due to 50% or more of the houses in our area being vacant, I previously had no actual figures on it. Florida to the rescue – it appears some work was done on this very topic. A very low guess would be that 600,000  Floridians 55 and older are elsewhere during the Summer. This figure alone may counter the slight difference in years – yet alone other adjustments!

What About When New England Gets Hit Hard in the Fall/Winter?

These projections are already in – to some extent – and I agree that the North will see increases over the late Fall and Winter. However, death and taxes and COVID are all things better put off for later. The real answer here is that whether FL is 8X New England or 6X or 4X or even twice (2X) is of little meaning in the Big Picture. If 15,000 of those 30,000 could have been saved that’s a really big deal.

Craig, you didn’t Adjust for Age above!

Ah, now you are thinking – and reading! Congrats. YES, there is an adjustment for age. It would be very complex and most of it pre-dates vaccination, but it would look something like this.

Out of 1,000 COVID deaths, the pre-vaccination difference in the 1.8 years of age might be as large as 10%. Whereas 1,000 would die in Florida, 900 would die in New England. If no one had ever been vaccinated (ONLY behavior and leadership and demographics/density/lifestyle), this would be the largest theorectical difference.

Vaccines would likely reduce that 1,000 to 100-200…tho.

Summary – Age Adjustment is total BS for we Lay Persons

That MAGA individual parroting “age adjustment” on Twitter should be asked “Well, What-about Texas, that super-young population dropping like flies?”. Or, to put it more professionally, the repeating of an “age adjustment” slogan (or, let’s face it, an excuse) is not valid.

If you are a researcher or scientists studying millions of cases over the post-vaccine period – even then, ages are usually classified into 5 year periods…at the most! No doubt that Age is one of the many factors involved with COVID mortality but it pales in comparison with MANY others.

If two states or regions are being compared and the differences are small, say <20%, it might be valid to confirm ages and other demographics. However when we discuss double, triple, quadruple and more the amount of deaths in a period when all tools (testing, treatment and vaccines) are available, a couple years difference is not likely to tip the scales.

Older is actually BETTER

Again, I had the feeling based on Common Sense that Florida had great advantages. Retired people have the ability to stay home. They self-select for being mobile and healthy ($$ to buy property and move). However, a lifelong health care expert has done the deep statistics and math for us. His finding is exactly as per my “gut”. With COVID, there is no such thing as age-adjusted when looking at state and county populations. If anything, the opposite is true. He states something obvious which few pay attention to.
THE #1 PREDICTOR OF LOWER COVID HOSPITALIZATIONS AND/OR DEATHS IS THE ABILITY TO AVOID GETTING COVID.

Seems simple, eh? It is. A place like Florida or Texas where the Virus is intentionally spread will see vastly more death. Period.

“Age is not a population wide determinant of COVID death rates. This is because higher-risk demographics spend more effort NOT becoming infected”

Why the Florida “Old People” and “Age Adjusted” talking point is BS

In the time period between my last FL COVID articles and now, things have gotten vastly worse – almost indescribable how high the body counts and other numbers have become. It safe to say most numbers doubled from the massive peaks of early August.

Estimates and Reports have Florida deaths peaking at over 450 per day – and, as I write this (9/21) that is a 14 day average! This marks, by far, the highest ever seen in Florida during the pandemic. A short discussion of “why” is in order.

The Reasons are simple – I wrote extensively about the Gov. failed vaccination program (wrong people vaccinated, not enough people vaccinated) – that, combined with bad behavior and poor leadership (the Gov. policy IS mass infection) mean even more death and suffering.

On cue, the defenders of the Gov. policies and the “Florida Way” have made up a number of new excuses. Did you expect them to cry “Uncle”? “We were wrong?” – of course not! There is never a situation that they cannot get SOME FOOLS to belive.

We might think they’d run out of excuses – or be embarrassed about putting new ones forward due to how wrong the old ones proved to be – this is not the case. They have put the best minds together – including Doctors and the Mass Infection Experts and have come up with a Novel Excuse for the Novel Virus which is killing more people in Florida than ANYWHERE – and is, by far the most deadly event in the Human History of the state.

Florida has Old People in it

 

Yes, folks, after 16 months of hearing how superior Florida was at handling disease – after bragging of “we are #1, then #5, then #10, then 1st 1/2, then middle…then “I found worse”, it’s now “Don’t you know, Florida has old people there? – old people die from COVID”

The first and very obvious response is that we hardly heard this mentioned for over a year – and now it is almost the single most used excuse! As with all propaganda (propaganda is not lies!), this contains a grain of accuracy. If we were to express the actual truth regarding this statement, it would be something like this “The sum of ALL the age and health related dynamics in Florida is that the extra 1 or 2% of older folks here makes no difference – and, in fact, it very well could be the other way around (a benefit). Here are some facts and discussions for those enjoying more of a deeper dive.

  1. There are other states as old or older than Florida – especially in certain categories (80+ or 85+, the most vulnerable). These include, but are not limited to, Maine, Vermont, PA, WV, RI and Delaware. Those who are detail orientated and do research – watch out….do not use 2010 Census data! Many of the other states which joined the “age” club have done so slowly over the past decade.
  2. Florida is NOT an Obese State – as we know, Obesity is one of the leading co-morbidities associated with COVID. Floridas good position here (likely because so many of us are FROM other healthier states and bring our health with us), probably itself cancels out years of age.
  3. Self-Selection – this is a big deal but one which very few think about. Older Floridians – many of them have retired here or moved here later in life. Those who have both the money and mobility to buy a 2nd house or to move are NOT the “average or below” person. As an example, a multi-generational family in NJ or NY or Chicago where the older members are often sick already at 60 – those people are not moving to Florida and playing tennis, golf and going sailing! The poor and lower middle class are generally forced to live and die where they already are. This self-selection means that Florida Seniors, as a full group, are likely much healthier and active than Seniors from many other places. This type of dynamic can cancel out MANY years – and, together with the lack of obesity (which is part and parcel of self-selection – 300lb seniors aren’t flocking to the tennis courts in FL) – offsets many years.
  4. Fewer of us are there when we don’t have to be – This Summer Surge is happening at the time of year when there are less people in Florida. Millions of us own 2nd homes there but also have a house or apartment somewhere else. ANYONE with the choice of not being in Florida during the Summer generally will take advantage of that choice. In fact, many Florida Residents (natives!) own 2nd houses in the Mountains of NC and similar locations and spend 6 months at their more northern home. This effectively depopulates seniors to the tune of 100’s of thousands – during this COVID massive wave.

Even if one had no common sense – and took zero stock in these dynamics – the “age adjusted” type of scenario could not be responsible for anything near the levels of death we have seen in Florida.

One dynamic I have not mentioned is that the entire “Florida Plan” involved the Gov. telling us he had a way of protecting the most vulnerable. Therefore, anyone using the excuse “they are old” should just as well be saying “DeSantis Lied About Protecting Seniors”.

It’s understandable that no one wants to take responsibility for this disaster in Florida. We seem to live in a time where it’s rare for leaders to do so. However, when the same leaders are involved in misinformation campaigns in order to “protect their brands”, it’s troubling. DeSantis admits favoring mass infection. OK, then, Ron – just say out loud “My policies were unable to protect Florida Seniors and now they have to pay the price”. That sounds much more accurate than “but they are old – and they have to die sometime!”.

Why “What About” may be the two most Dangerous Words!

No doubt you’ve been hearing “what about” – in relation to the massive COVID spikes in places like Florida and Texas.

What about India?
What about Bangladesh? (yes, I’ve heard this!).
What about California?
What about NYC?
What about Sweden?

In general it is usually best to consider those words and statements as a good time to end the “debate” . In the Twitterverse, one may even consider it akin to a person telling you to look at the Bald Eagle over there whilst they pick your wallet out of your pocket. In short, an attempt to make you and others take their eyes and minds off of what is most important.

Disinformation or Lack of Information

There are two main reasons why one might use these words in the present discussions of COVID. Some sincere and honest folks just may not know better. They heard it somewhere and it makes sense to them on the surface, so they repeat it. MANY others fall into the disinformation category where they are likely quoting an Echo Chamber which they believe will lead readers to, again, take their eye off the ball.

Where I Reside – Where I/You are Concerned

The world is complex enough without attempting to understand every corner of it. Predictably, most of us are concerned with where we and our families reside, work or travel. In my case that is Florida and Western MA.

This is the obvious answer to the question “Why are you concerned about MA and why are you comparing it with Florida?” and similar queries. When you spend many months or years in a place – including during a pandemic, the sum of your experiences and knowledge about that location will likely exceed that of random places. Living here, it is natural for me to post a tweet like this below – which lays out the vast differences in how the Pandemic is being handled now. Whoa! There is another key word and concept “NOW” and/or “now and in the future”. It should come as no surprise that worrying about last year will do absolutely nothing to change our status!

Mid-August 2021 Tweet

“What About” can go from Plain Wrong to Friggin Crazy!

The plain Jane “what about” may refer to Sweden, an example often used to argue that the pandemic can be handled without major swings in the way we all live. Examples such as this are just plain wrong in that the persons using them are completely unfamiliar with Sweden and their policies/populace so the point being made could actually be the opposite! A perfect example of a similar Talking Point used by the same general type of person was Switzerland…used for years to illustrate that “gun culture” and weapons ownership cannot be responsible for the US high violence, murder and suicide rates relating to firearms. Those using this example fail to mention (or do not know) that the weapons which the Citizen (Citizens make up a militia/guard there) are allowed to own at home HAVE NO AMMO. Yes, the Ammo is kept locked up in an armory in the local town or city. To even compare that to unlimited gun ownership and the ability to buy 1,000’s of rounds of ammo is off-the-wall. It makes the complete opposite point!

So, yes, those types of “what about” are plain wrong – the person may be clueless (which there is no excuse for) or, again, trying to spread things which are wrong…knowing that many won’t look it up.

Now we go to the crazy. There seems no end to how far folks will go to prove they are correct. One of my recent favorites may be related to Horse Dewormer in the sense that some have pointed to India during the pandemic as some sort of an example (along with claims that they eat horse dewormer which has saved them from COVID).  The same folks were pushing this when Deaths and Cases in India were 20% of what they are today – updated facts cannot be expected to sway these people.

When I hear claims which sound “off”, I immediately ask the question “What am I missing here?”. I’m not talking nuances or rounding errors, but rather questions which are fundamental to understanding the theory being put forward. The very obvious is “Why would we EVER have to look at somewhere 1/2 way around the world which has almost nothing in common with us?”. Yet this type of reason and/or common sense doesn’t appear to be popular, so we need a larger “hole to poke in theory” to illustrate why we should throw out “What about India”?

A person born in India in 1950 or before – those who would be most subject to death and complications from COVID – lived to 31 years of age. If born in 1940, they would be of Prime Avg Age for death from COVID (80+) – that population lived to an average of 27 years old. 

Put another way, the targets of COVID might have died 3X over waiting for the time of the pandemic when they might be hurt by COVID. 

If you do not fully understand the part above in italics, it’s time to delete your ˇTwitter Account and/or go back to the Sports interests you first joined for. If, however, you immediately “got it”, you can also now consider that knowledge as being foundational to COVID – that is, where much longer life spans exist, COVID will likely hurt much more.

We could get into Indians being mostly vegetarian….I’ve never noticed that being pushed forward. Why? Likely the folks pushing “India did great” are big consumers of meats. They may enjoy “fat shaming” their own countrymen, but get really quiet about whether a vegetarian diet might be associated with some better health outcomes. As with the Swiss example, the “what about’ crowd seems to overlook foundational facts!

Those of us here in the USA have plenty of examples close by – in our own country, Canada and even Mexico. There is no need for us to dig around the world and find narratives that we think fit our already decided conclusions. Not to say most Americans know even their own demographics well – but they might know them better than 1/2 way around the world.

Knowing the Ground which you Walk Upon 

Many years ago a direct marketing firm that took phone orders insisted that every one of their employees in the call center have a college degree. When asked for the reason they said “If the customer service people know more basics about the country, they are going to be able to relate to the caller much better”. I had experience with this in my own business – we took orders for $7,000 heating systems – sight unseen – over the phone. If a customer called from Stowe, VT and I inquired “is their snow on the mountain yet?”, it becomes a very personal connection. If they called from Eastern PA I might mention the Anthracite coal mines or the iron foundries and my own ancestors that lived and worked in the area. These are yet more examples of how we can better understand that of which we are familiar (by living, visiting, reading about, etc.). Given the Topic, I am more likely to listen to a person from South Carolina explaining to me about how the locals live and think.

The Current “What About” CA and NY, etc.

This is an “extra credit” subject – for those who wish to know why we currently hear the What About in regard to California, NY, NJ and similar places. At heart it’s simply a matter of trying to somehow find a place that might be worse than Florida. The problem is, when all dynamics, metrics and variables are figured in, there are no places in the USA that are worse than Florida.

The “method to the madness” involves certain sleights of hand. Current popular is the “since the beginning of the pandemic” trick. Putting aside that FL is projected to catch up and surpass even the hardest hit of states, the idea of comparison of the 1st wave to ANYTHING ELSE is foolish. The “excuses” matter very much. With no testing or treatment available it was impossible to identify or help many of those infected. The ramp-up of testing capability and the basics of treatment discovered in the first 60 days lowered mortality (deaths) by 70%. Since Florida didn’t get the first wave, they were spared a 5 or 6% mortality rate. If Dr. DeSantis had developed these tests and treatments we’d hail him…but we all know both tests and treatments came from elsewhere- the later from those first hard hit areas. The “luck” of missing the 1st wave is not an accomplishment, but a happenstance.

“What About” in relation to the crowded NE is well know – but, again, skipped over. Most dense places in the USA. 100X the arrivals from overseas hot spots into the airports. Public Transit. Multi-generational families in a house. Lack of any ability to distance. Lack of testing and treatment protocols…and so on. It’s that same old story – COVID is about “What you do with the hand dealt” – NOT about the hand dealt.

Any fair measurement of COVID actions and results would use two dates forward:
1. June 1, 2020 forward – as the date when testing, treatment and tracing – as well as most suggestions for mitigation of the disease – were known.
2. April 1, 2021 forward – which encompasses all of the above plus many millions of vaccinations – enough to do, if done right, the majority of the most vulnerable populations.

Talk about California – NOT

The whole “this state vs that” can lead to poor conclusions….as if comparing RI (1.2 million people in a tiny area) to CA (40 million, vast) or WY/ND/SD (less than a million, large areas) is going to inform. There are some cases where you can do this – for example, VT, NH, ME and SD/ND – all rural, small populations, less travel, etc. . The NE states blow away their midwestern counterparts in this COVID contest. However, in the case of California we have a state which is not like any other. Those who have interest in the state should probably consider it by regions due to both size and vast differences in behavior.

The “what about” crowd often uses CA. as a codeword or dog whistle, either not understanding or wanting to understand that region of the country. Did you know that some of the very first anti-mask protests were in SoCal? (southern California). April 17th – they surely didn’t have much patience!

I suspect many readers don’t know about – or understand – Southern California nor inland California. SoCal is the “Florida of California” and, in fact, was probably Florida before Florida was Florida. What do I mean? Everything. Hells Angels, Nixon and Reagan came from there, the “ME ME” always being elevated above the “WE WE” and so on. The same culture of selfishness you see in many places today was perfected there long ago.

The California that many people think of – and the one the Dog Whistles an What About crowd think they are critiquing, is the Bay Area – about 8 Million people who live within 100 miles or so of the Golden Gate. Unfortunately for the CA-Haters and What-Abouters, this area did relatively well w/COVID considering it’s massive density and many other factors. Again, we have those international airports – this time with vast Asian communities and so on. Incredible mobility of the population – Hong Kong one week, Europe, China etc – not the more limited Florida type of situation where most travel to the NE or Midwest.

San Francisco – with all the disadvantage (massive public transit, tight spaces, international airport, etc.) has about 600 deaths for a population the same as South Dakota. Imagine that! SD – with total room for distancing, months of pre-warning, testing and treatment available, has over 2,000 – well over TRIPLE the deaths. In theory, it should be the other way around – by a LONG shot. Germ Theory indicates that density and mixing (public transit) are two prime spreaders of disease.

Yet here we are. The “What About” crowd doesn’t consider 3X or 5X or even 10X the deaths to be indicators that science works.

However, if you have gotten this far reading – you are almost certainly not one of those people. Congratulations!

Why DeSantis is pushing expensive Treatments instead of Vaccines

As is clear in some of my other posts, Florida is in a worst case scenario with COVID (Summer of 2021) due to various reasons, all preventable. At a time when it is almost impossible to have a major COVID STORM, DeSantis and his allies (including masses of clueless citizens and cruel politicians) somehow manage to do the opposite of what is right.

Jaws dropped, and for good reason, when last week the Gov. started pumping monoclonal therapy as a “cure” for COVID. Not only did the Gov. promote these vastly more than Vaccines, he opened various infusion clinics statewide – in stadiums, libraries and other public and private facilities.

Let’s be clear here. This is, once again, a uniquely Florida situation. No other Gov. or high placed official in the USA is pushing  these drugs in the same fashion – instead they remain one of many tools that doctors, hospitals, clinics or others can use in treatment of the disease. Being as it is 2021, Vaccines – that is, the PREVENTION of serious sickness from COVID, have been the go-to, so it seems weird to heavily promote a treatment which only works once your are sick with COVID.

This “Florida Man” move has both experts and laypeople wondering….why?  The monoclonal therapy treatment is experimental, derived from Fetal Cell lines in testing and doesn’t work in MANY cases. Very sick patients, the sickest of all, have to travel and congregate in centralized places to obtain the treatment. Given the cost, time and energy promoting these – a much better result (more lives and hospitalizations saved) could be obtained if the Gov. heavily promoted Vaccines full-time – and went to work giving them. Instead, he got his own vaccine in secret and has not made a single widely distributed Public Service Announcement about the Vaccines.

Cost – Benefit

The Vaccine costs about $35. The monoclonal therapy is closer to $2,000 when all is figured in. It’s not just the cost of the drug ($1200 to $1500 in bulk) but the initial qualification, travel (sick patients), administer (IV Infusion) and then follow up. It’s fair to say that the less effective of the two costs 30 to 40X as much as the better one! What “conservative” (or sane human) would make that choice?

So, Why is the Big Question?

As I am writing this the Govs infamous Press Secretary, Christina Pushaw, was banned from twitter for her poor (and threatening) conduct against the Associated Press. Seems she didn’t like an article they published detailing the Gov and his donors relationship with the Stock and Securities of the company which manufacturers this expensive treatment. Many similar articles and comments have been written – which appear to have hit a tender spot in the Gov. and his Press Sec (we wish he had tender spots for Mom and Dad). Here is the AP article: https://miami.cbslocal.com/2021/08/20/ap-desantis-donor-regeneron-investor/

The counter to that article – that Gov is pushing this due to his donors or others having stock in the company, goes like this “We have so much money that these millions and tens of millions is a drop in the bucket – so you are wrong to think we are making policy based on just 17 million or so”.

In this very rare moment – I’d argue that the Gov. is largely telling the truth! Does anyone really think this massively corrupt Gov. and State are moved by a few million dollars? That would be fantastic. I’m sure the Gov will do you a small favor for 10 million donated to his re-election account, but he’s not going to actually WORK (this effort is the first actual work I’ve seen him do) to benefit just one of his big donors w/chicken feed. This kind of money isn’t even enough for a one year nice Netjet account!

The More Likely Answer(s).

We have to start with the fact that most everything the Gov. does is non-sensical, inefficient, ineffective, immoral or just plain wrong. Therefore, a weird action like this doesn’t fall outside any of the normal behavior – like hiring an uBer Driver to re-count FL COVID deaths! With that said, let’s line up the likely forces at work in Florida when it comes to the highest possible profits and $$ that can be associated with the Pandemic.

Occams Razor – the theory that most things are the obvious fits, but you need to know things.
1)  1st, Florida is a corrupt Narco/Banking/HealthCare/Mob/Dump_Pollution/Etc. state. From Opiate Pill Mills to destruction of Public Health and vast Medicare Fraud, this has become a BIG part of the “success” of modern Florida. Was it an accident that CEO of one of the largest health care “criminal” (his firm and many executives) actions in history was the last Gov? Or that he is the Senator now? Of course not! One of the many terrible things Rick Scott has done is to continue to destroy Public Health in Florida – moving it to the vast modern Hospital Corporations with the resources to siphon $ from medicare, medicaid and other Fed Taxpayer funding. Florida is #48 in health care access…while having all these amazing Modern Hospitals. Think! How is that possible? Well…..”access” is the key word with the 2nd part being who is paying? Florida takes 4X as much from the Fed. Gov. as it gives, and Health Care is the single largest item (by FAR) in the budget of these United States.

2) The Money involved in the Gaetz (LTC), Greenberg, Pot (legal), Corruptions (much Russian/Ukranian these days), Real Estate, etc – is in the 10’s or 100’s of Billions – Ron and the 100’s or thousands of other corrupt officials and businesses are into THAT, not into a few bucks in a stock portfolio! Many people own stock – but that’s tiny compared to taxpayer and other money which can be skimmed or assigned to friends.

3) Further as to #1 above – Florida is designed as a giant vending machine designed to suck either your, or Fed, money away. It turns out Health Care alone puts Heroin, Pot, Cocaine, etc. to shame – and so, when FL gives Vax (free), GDP goes up by tiny amt. When it allows mass infection and spends thousands of dollars on each, it adds more to Florida GDP. In other words, it may be of more perceived benefit to the totality of the economy of Florida to have as many people sick as possible for the longest time period possible.

Yes, I know you are scratching your head right about now. If you care to understand a little of what I am getting at, please listen to this – it’s only 2 minutes and I promise it will give you a new perspective on a major defect in our system and thinking.

4) Lastly, Gov has 100% admitted he favors infection with COVID as the solution to the Pandemic – mass infection is his game. This is no secret nor a conspiracy! He made videos about it (removed from youtube). Only Naive would ask why Gov. wants to infect people! Answer – because he said that’s his policy! Again, read just a little about his policy of mass infection!Do you know the saying “When someone shows you who they are – you would be wise to believe them”? IMHO, the case is as simple as this. Due to stubbornness and ignorance the Gov. thinks that best cure for COVID is for most everyone to get COVID. Independent of that, the Gov. values money and power over human life (or seems to). Making Florida GDP stay the same or get larger is a “win” for DeSantis – because when he brags about it he won’t say “FL GDP was up 4% last year, but 10% of that was money the Federal Government gave us out of debt and deficit”. No. He will just say “As proof of how great I am and the fine decisions I have made, note the amount of money that has filtered through the Florida economy.

That’s my opinion – and, frankly, there are not many possibilities left. We could simplify it to a sentence as simple as “Increased GDP and Mass Infection fit with the mass Antibody treatment narrative”. If you have ideas, leave them in the comments or tweet to @craigsfire

Florida is, by far, the worst state in a bad Nation RE: COVID Handling

As I write this FL is headed for a peak of over 200 deaths per day – and has record hospitalizations. All avoidable -with no consequences! To see what FL has done in a simple graph (#51?), click here.

Approx. Aug 1, 2021

But…But…. FLorida is somewhere in the middle, says World-O-Meter or somewhere else – or someone else. If that is the extent of your inquiry then it is unlikely you wish to learn more. The COVID situation is incredibly complex and requires vast numbers of inputs, both in data and the social sciences, to gain even a basic perspective.

Summary

For the many who don’t care to read and/or understand, the summary of why Florida is the worst of the worst would look something like this:

  1. It’s not the hand dealt – it’s what you DO with the hand you are dealt.
  2. Population matters – with 21+ Million people, what happens in FL affects vastly more of us than what happens in Utah.
  3. Mobility matters- In addition to population, 120 MILLION visits are made to Florida – many of them undefined in terms of length (seasonal residents, 2nd and 3rd homes). This effectively means that Florida cannot be walled off from the rest of the USA – and what happens in Florida will always spread…to a degree
  4. Personal Behavior AND leadership matter – Leaders who try hard (MI, OH, etc.) cannot force an ignorant population to behave properly. It takes a combination of good or decent leadership and good behavior.

The first “Big Picture” item for folks to realize is that the entire US did terribly with the COVID Pandemic. Many lives could have been saved, as the final death count will be at least 1 million. After leaving the White House COVID team, Dr. Birx stated that ALL deaths after the first surge (1st 100,000) could have been mitigated. Long into the Pandemic the White House had projected only 100K death – a figure eventually raised to 200K. It was never considered that a certain percentage of Americans would have a Death Wish and refuse to cooperate with even basic public health behaviors. This is NOT a matter of “lockdowns or not”, rather a matter of preening around as if the Virus didn’t exist (the Hoax narrative).

Make no mistake about it. The single largest blame/fault lies with the White House during the last administration. Many of the actions are well known – we won’t repeat or lay them all out. However, suffice it to be said that the White House did not act in the interest of the People of the United States. They did not lead – or, put another way, they led in the wrong direction.

This caused, or allowed, the public who had such tendencies to follow along with this selfish and non-caring attitude. Such behavior was 90% plus exhibited on the Right Side of the Aisle (politically) and continues to be so. Society, and Adults by extension, are impressionable and subject to peer pressure much like children. When the POTUS and your preacher and your friends all take something for granted (a Hoax, fill the Pews by Easter), many people will go along even though they do not have the real information (the truth).

Since I like to take a centered and common-sense approach to novel situations, I use a number which is double that of Dr. Birx. That is, my take is that 200K should have been approx death toll from COVID-19 and that the other 800K were largely preventable. An exact number is not important since the saving of 100K or 300K lives are both so large that the mind numbs trying to compare. We don’t want to fall into the trap of “every life matters” – because in a large analysis this is not the case. It is a truism that many COVID victims were extremely sick and very late in life. There was no possible avoidance of all excess deaths, however vast amounts of money, trouble and suffering could have been saved (some still can be!).

There IS a bottom in Florida – not as much so in some other places.

A certain percentage of Floridians, maybe even a majority, protected themselves and others. These people – by and large – survived the pandemic. Given the mobility of the more well-off (they can leave the state for their other home, etc.) if things are bad enough. Since many Floridians are retired, the capability of many to stay at home exceed that of more balanced working populations.

This ties in with a certain self-selection. Some have noted that Florida has an elder population. Actually, many states are catching up and even exceeding Florida in the very oldest (80+). The reason is simple – those who have less wealth and social mobility have to stay in place. The multi-generational family who lives in a dense place like NYC has no option to move to Florida – and such families often have elders with the typical conditions (diabetes, etc.) which further limit their mobility. Many Floridians, like myself and my spouse, self-select as much healthier elders due to our ability to afford moving and living – AND, taking part in sports and other active lifestyles requires that same level of health. The point here is – that while Florida may contain elders, a significant portion of them have options (such as not using Public Transit, etc.) that are not available to their Northern counterparts or those that cannot afford two houses, etc.

The 95% Metric

Adding to the “luck”  of Florida w.COVID was that the 1st surge of COVID missed Florida almost completely. This was due to the lack of travel between Florida and Asia/Europe as compared to other states. COVID was brought into the USA mostly by air – and a few airports represent an outsized share of these specific travelers. These airports are JFK, Newark, Boston and Philadelphia on the east coast, Chicago in the Midwest and San Francisco/Seattle/LA on the west coast. Florida thereby escapes mass infection “from all sides” in the first waves. It is likely that the Florida initial cases (very light numbers) were from Cruises (international crew!) as well as some travelers from the Northeast who had unknowingly been infected by the European returnees. The “cancelling” of Spring Break and docking of Cruise Ships in FL in 2020 ended up exporting most of the first surge – Cruise Ships were allowed to dock and the passengers shuttled right to Ft Lauderdale airport…with no testing or tracing…to go back and infect their home states. At some point the Fed. Government limited the number of airports where foreign flights could land – none of these airports were in Florida.

Only 5% of Florida infections and deaths happened prior to June, 2020 – meaning that 95% have happened after the 1st surge and after we already had testing and treatment. This realization is what should change the minds of those clinging to the “Florida did middling” narrative. Just the testing and treatment alone – being available – reduced the COVID Mortality Rate from 6% to less than 2%. Putting this another way, if Florida had been unlucky enough to get the first surge (due to international travel and no testing and treatment), the 2.7 million infections in the state would have resulted in 180,000 resident deaths (plus deaths exported to other states) as opposed to 1/3rd that amount which is more likely the case (60,000+). Obviously, decisions of the Gov. of Florida and behavior of the population have nothing to do with the discovery of treatment protocols and the production of testing chemicals and kits. It was happenstance (luck) that allowed for Florida never to experience the terrible 5-7% mortality seen in many early situations.

Florida Failed using the Gov. own Words and Goals

Gov. Desantis and his spokespeople repeat the same thing – no matter what happens! They continue to rely on the “luck” of having months of warning as if that casts a light on leadership. It does not. This where “what is done w/hand dealt” comes in. The decisions of Florida effectively started with the Gov. decision to partially open against his own written plan – at the end of May, 2020. The Chart from Florida DOH (Dept. of Health) below shows what happened immediately after his first real decisions (and since).

This is a chart that cannot be denied nor misinterpreted. The state has experienced Mass Infection almost from the exact day the Gov. become involved w/managing COVID. As a comparison, a NE state that experienced the first surge heavily might have a chart that looks like below – a heavy surge when no testing or treatment or tracing was available and an immediate decline to near-normal as soon as the behavior and leadership kicked in

The Florida June/July/August cases were incredibly high – the result of DeSantis and his cohorts not believing in the Virus (Hoax, overblown) and acting as well as legislating accordingly.

Not content to let people and local cities and counties be responsible for themselves, DeSantis made it against the law STATEWIDE to require masks. Put another way, he became the Best Friend of the Virus and did everything he could to make sure the population of Florida did not practice basic health.

But But But – The Economy!

The excuse used by DeSantis and the pro-infection crowd was that “the economy” was more important than lives of our elders. The Lt. Gov. of Texas said it outright – he would “give his life” so his kids and grandkids could go shopping more. This same ideal was promoted in Florida. The facts show, however, that this was short term thinking and – as usual – resulted in the opposite effect claimed. Let’s look at a few metrics which give us some idea of the harm done to the economy of Florida by NOT beating the Virus as soon as possible.

If one listens to the Pro-Infection crowd they’d think Florida is BOOMING – doing amazingly well, But the truth is that Florida would be bankrupt or worse without the injection of 10’s of Billions in Free Federal Money. The money was supposed to help beat COVID – but much was just put into the General Fund. When the Gov. tossed out his Vax plan or his re-opening plan he “saved money” but “cost lives”.

Florida Tax Revenues were down in 2020 while many so-called “lockdown” states were up. California declared a 75 BILLION dollar budget surplus – an unheard of number in 2020. Meantime, Florida continues to be a “taker” which uses 4X as many Federal Dollars as they produce.

My opinion is that Florida pursuers a Lose-Lose-Lose strategy w/COVID as well as a shift of risk from the State to the Federal Government, other taxpayers and other States (exporting of COVID). Florida might make $500 “profit” from a tourist, but when that family goes back to NY or NJ and starts a chain of infection, the cost to us all is vastly more than the small amount made.

But it gets worse! Even with risk shifting (offloading of responsibility – costing others). Florida tourism is WAY down….not just in 2020, which would be expected, but in 2021. It is actually lower still than it was a year back (which was low!). Banks and experts agree that it may be many years before Florida Tourism recovers to what it was in 2018….then many MORE years until it enters where it would be with normal 3% yearly growth from that date onward.

Many have claimed they will never go back to Florida – some with the caveat that they will never return while DeSantis is Gov. This is not due to his being a member of the GOP – the same people would gladly visit MA. or OH. or many other states with Republican leaders. It is simply due to his callous disregard for human life and basic public health. As it stood even before COVID, Florida was rated at the very bottom of the states when it came to various health care metrics. One can only imagine where it is now.

But WHY?

Why would DeSantis follow policies which ruin the state? Why could he disinvite virtually every source of money (except Free Federal Grants) to Florida? He has specifically chased out tech, liberals, democrats, new yorkers and many other groups – calling them by name and telling them not to come to Florida unless they changed into a Human more similar to him!

The truth is he is not a leader. He has zero executive experience and would not be able to run Florida even if he wasn’t ignorant of Public Health and the very basics of Germ Theory. It’s yet another example (GWB, Trump) of elevating people to positions that they have no business being in.

Whether re-elected or not, DeSantis will leave Florida in a terrible long term position. Pollution, traffic, crime, over-development and disease are ravaging what is left of “natural” Florida. When a tourist comes twice over 5 years and both times has Red Tide making it so they can’t go near the Beach, they are unlikely to be excited to return.

Florida COULD BE a great place. It’s not written in stone that it must become an over-populated polluted and crime-ridden Corrupt Narco (and Oligarch) corner of the USA. However, that is the narrative currently winning out. There is, unfortunately, a lot of truth to the “Florida Man” and Carl Hiassen comedy narrative of Florida – that it contains large numbers of people who do crazy things – many of whom are in positions of power.

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink. Even the citizens of Florida have shown enlightenment in their votes on Bond Issues – only to have them squashed by the Gov. when no one was looking.

Opinion, of Course!

It goes without saying that this article represents an opinion – although it is one held by many in Florida and elsewhere. We could argue that, for example, SD or ND or LA are worse when it comes to COVID – but these places lack the population size, the mobility and therefore the influence on the rest of these United States. The take presented above takes into account that Florida is very important – in everything from disease control to Federal Elections. It is in this light that Florida becomes the worst of the worst.

To whom great power is given, great things are expected. Florida needs to set examples as opposed to being a joke or the laughing stock of the world.

Strange, but true, Thoughts

The final cost of the failed COVID Response – in the USA – will total approx. 20 TRILLION dollars. based on population, Florida will cost well over a Trillion Dollars. If we “play pretend” for a moment and say that Florida decided to pull in the economy for a FULL YEAR to squash COVID down to way less than 1% – and then did Vax correctly – what would the cost be? For a round number, let’s guess we cut the economy by 50% for that year. The cost for that would be approx 1/2 a Trillion dollars.

Put another way, we could have paid the entire state budget in full PLUS made sure every citizen and business was made 100% whole in terms of their former income for well less than 1/2 of what it is going to end up costing us now! In addition, we’d have saved 50,000 or more lives and endless suffering AND been able to restart the economy at a much higher level – say 90% of what it was for the 2nd year and 100% (plus growth) in the 3rd year.

But the “Florida Way” was to force low-wage workers back to non-living wage jobs…where they could be easily infected and infect more.

Sometimes you have to think outside the box. Spending double the money for a situation vastly worse than what could have been is not a good deal.

If we allocated money this way, we could have offered States the balance “free” – so Florida would have an extra 400 Billion or so if they handled it properly. This is 4 years of the full state budget – imagine how much this money could do to fight Red Tide and to improve Floridans environment, education and health care? Used properly, it would catapult Florida into the top tier of states in most all categories which are measurements of civilization.

Why should you Listen to Me in regards to COVID and Florida

This is a informal presentation of my qualifications as well as some of my personal timeline regarding the Pandemic in Florida. The article itself is at this link

“So, Craig, you are writing this long article detailing COVID in Florida  – why should I consider your take as anything more then just a run-of-the-mill partisan (or tribal) rant”

First, congratulations for getting this far! If you are considering reading the article you are a person who considers that real world experience as well as other viewpoints might be of value! If you are reading THIS, you are going even further by investigating my reasoning.

Firstly, I am a citizen and voter in Florida – I own a house and spend 1/2 of my time there – the other 1/2 being traveling and another property in Western MA (New England).

I am a Amateur Historian – who has read 100’s of thousands of pages starting when I was 10 years old (that’s 58 years of reading!). By the time I was 13 I had read the entire World Book Encyclopedia and, along the decades, read only memoirs and history. The details of earlier US and other Pandemics and Epidemics have always been part of my regular reading as disease has killed vastly more people than bullet and bombs (even during most wars!).

My working life and hobbies/interests have been in the fields of business, engineering, innovation, journalism, computers, communications, construction, alternate energy and many others. I have never worked for anyone – always started and ran my own enterprises. I have been online since 1986 and on the Internet (as a founder, writer and programmer) since 1995. I have created web publications from scratch that garnered millions of page views – and ran internet sites which made a profit every year for 20+ years. This was largely AFTER most of my regular careers. I have written technical manuals, authored best-selling books and done technology journalism. I have taught adult classes in various subjects from Marketing to Digital Photography. Along the way I have always worked with numbers, whether it was Sales charts, income statements or web site statistics.

I am not new to American Politics – having experienced first hand the upheavals of the late 1960’s, Vietnam, Nixon’s resignation and many other historical events. I am most definitely Socially Liberal (even Libertarian) – a Perot and Nader voter!

I do not have Cable TV of any kind – I do not regular watch or listen to any radio program – no “dittos” for me, thank you very much! Might I make a suggestion that you – if you do partake of these things – find some educational podcasts and listen to those instead?

Being largely retired from day to day business, I had endless hours to spend studying every detail of the COVID Pandemic as it occurred. I was in Sarasota, Florida when the Pandemic first hit and was well aware of what was going on by Mid-February 2020. Some of my volunteer jobs involved personal interaction with Senior Citizens – a situation which concerned me greatly when I saw little being done even as March arrived. In fact, I had to write a “for your eyes only” letter to the manager of one volunteer org I worked for telling them we (his org) was endangering the lives of Seniors by taking them to Church and other events. A snippet of that email is below – this was dated March 9, 2020.

Sadly, the Churches were still all hugging people and the assisted living facilities managers were scared because they had no tools/advice and very little communication from HQ or the State.

After that time I watched, minute by minute as all of this played out. I wasn’t alone – not my a long shot! Just our local COVID Facebook Group had over 4,000 members! Most of us agreed on many of the basics (the poor handling and behavior).

We watched as the Gov did largely nothing. We applied pressure and finally he took some steps to shut down the Spring Break Craziness which was underway in Florida. We then watched as all the infamous Florida Events took place. When we knew it was about to REALLY get bad, DeSantis opened the state back up – despite the evidence that the COVID metrics did not meet HIS standards. We know what the result was going to be – and, sure enough, we watched it all happen. People on our groups got sick – they went to the hospital, were put on ventilators. Some neighbors died….at home.

After almost a year of these nightmarish scenarios we watched the Vaccine come out – and, again, the Gov – seemingly intentionally – tossed out any semblance of a vaccination plan. We ranted, screamed and begged for Florida to do the vaccinations in proper priority – claiming that if this was not done, thousands of extra deaths would occur! No changes were made – the chaos continued and Florida became the Leader in Deaths and Hospitalizations post-vaccine (still true as I write this).

The article itself summarizes a lot of the events and results. This post is simply a way to say that I was there watching this first hand. I wasn’t getting my information from a distance nor was it faceless and nameless.

Lastly, I have been blessed (or cursed) with a very good memory. I could recite many of the details of what happened in Florida almost day by day (at least by week!) over a year later. This quality, if nothing else, allows me to put it all together and see it as a whole.

My wife often chides me “You were right again!”. I have a fairly good track record – she used to claim I was right almost 100% of the time – now she has lowered the score to 95%. It’s not Magic – it’s more that I am evidence based and experienced in many disciplines (Jack of All Trades).

Independent of my qualifications or lack of such, I was present as much of the Florida Debacle occurred. Similarly to some parts of the Trump administration, I kept thinking “No, the Gov. could not possibly do THAT (something which would result in death or suffering) – and, sure enough, he would go right ahead and do it.

Shut down the Surgeon General? Check.
Didn’t follow the Plan he made up himself? Check.
Made the Pandemic purely political? Check.

None of it made sense…not even from the so-called “economy” perspective. Yet it all happened – and is still happening.

Thanks for visiting my Blog and I hope you find the referenced article interesting!

All About COVID, with a Focus on Florida Follies!

Oct Update – Wow, these articles are aging quickly! As bad as things were, DeSantis and his mass infection plan have made them MUCH worse. As I write this FL experienced a peak of 500 deaths in a DAY as well as record hospitalizations. We are on the down-turn now (wave burned out – NOTHING to prevent another in Jan/Feb).  All avoidable -with no consequences! To see what FL has done in a simple graph (#51?), click here.

It appears Florida has finally gotten the recognition for what I and many knew long ago – and wrote about long ago. It is now officially the worst – or very close – state in the USA as far as COVID deaths since basic testing/treatment available, and certainly the worst post-vaccine.

Introduction 

But…But…But….Compared to….We did OK…what about? WhatAbout? – If the preceding sentence contains terms and ideas you use to understand the US and Florida Failure of COVID Policy, my suggestion is that you stop reading here and go back to repeating BS.  Also, if you don’t believe in Logic, Reason, Germ Theory, etc.  – you are wasting your time. However, for those who have an open mind there is much to be learned in this “endless” post.

Yes, it will be long. However, I will soon add chapter links here at the top allowing readers to skip to various sections quickly.
Here’s a separate article if you want to know why – just maybe – you should read this article…that is, what my basic qualifications for writing it are!

This overview may provide a fuller understanding of current problems in the USA . Although we will focus through the lens of the Trump Admin and Florida, these issues have been similar to other historical movements in terms of “know nothings”, selfishness and False Patriotism – together they are causing our Republic to be shaken to the core.

The Founders famously said that our Constitution is ONLY for a moral and ethical populace. It is not designed for others. The so-called “checks and balances” only apply within the scope of logic, reason and moral/ethical debates. The Constitution is not – and can never be – a document which covers everything…one which cannot be gamed.

It is likely that, if nothing else, most readers will agree that our Constitution has been gamed – that our Leaders are often not “For The People” nor “For the General Welfare” but rather out for themselves or their paymasters (lobbyists, foreign powers, dogma, etc.).

Jump to (under construction!) – DeSantis Picked Mass Infection – doomed Floridians

Jump to- DeSantis decided against Proper Vaccine Program – RESULT: Florida is #1 NOW in new Deaths

General

There are certain reasonable and human viewpoints which you must possess to learn more about the Floridian and American response to COVID. If these type of statements ring true ,  you are likely flexible minded enough to read on.

  1. With Great Power comes Great Responsibility.
  2. Honor thy Mother and thy Father – the Meek (weak) Shall Inherit the Earth (these are the targets of COVID).
  3. It’s not the Hand Dealt, it’s what ONE DOES with the Hand Dealt, that defines a person.
  4. A Politician does not make the Sun come up in the Morning, nor does everything that happens “under” them, both positive and negative, happen because of them.

If your view is that Donald Trump is a moral and capable man and a great leader, you may be wasting your time reading further. If we cannot accept basics such as Gravity, Germ Theory and Leadership Expectations, Morality/Ethics – we likely can’t agree on much else other than perhaps the Flavors of Ice Cream we enjoy (please – no mint!).

Please – no rebuttals using World-o-meter and.or “joe blow’ or Fox News metrics or sources. The entire idea of this post is that the Big Picture contains much more (in nuance, let alone numbers) than “self-reported” state figures. As a simple example, if a person from NJ flies to Florida, becomes infected, and starts a chain back in NJ and NYC which grows to 100’s of cases, who caused that? I’d say Florida, the Fed Government, the Airline and the 1st Individual in that order (there are multiple responsibilities)

The Really Big Picture – Claims from Our Leaders

We all know the story of “6 cases and down to zero”, “go away in April”, “pews will be filled by Easter (2020)” and similar statements. There are too many of these to quote, however there is an number range which we must consider if we are to understand Cause and Effect with the COVID Response – this involves the Realistic Predictions and Scenarios made AFTER more was known about the Virus. A good middle ground involves a statement recently made by Dr. Birx, member of the Trump Administrations COVID Team:
“There were about 100,000 deaths that came from that original surge. All of the rest of them…could have been mitigated or decreased substantially.”

This was not Pie in the Sky but rather came from a Doctor (expert in Pandemics) who was on the Front Lines and clearly saw that effects of Lack of Leadership (failure to act).

This figure, 100K deaths, lines up roughly with statements from other experts as well as Trump himself. Initially, Trump claimed that if we keep deaths to 50-60K it would be an amazing accomplishment. A few week later this was revised to 100,000 deaths (end March, 2020), a figure which scared Americans as this was an unheard of number of deaths from a novel disease. Finally, as the level of failure became clear, the figure was broadened to 100K-200K. Given the variables, this is/was a realistic scenario. All of these projections fit into the general realm of the Birx statement – whether 60K or 200K – the range seemed applicable.

As I write this in July of 2021, the total death toll in the USA (IMHE) projection is 950K – which includes excess deaths and adjustments from related causes (lack of seeking medical attention, MV differences, Suicides) – some of these add to the toll, some of them may lower it! Given the variants and recently increased positivity along with continuing deaths in some places (Republicans are not taking the vaccine enough to achieve herd immunity), we can use One Million as a rough figure. If we are generous on the low projection side of things and use the 200K number, we can start with the assumption that we have killed 800,000 of our Mothers and Fathers and Weak intentionally – through our foolishness, selfishness, etc.
Another way of expressing this is we have seen 5X (500%) as much damage/death from COVID as need be – given the modern world and our resources. These excess deaths were optional.

Hello Florida! Quick Overview

As per the Introduction, the COVID response is much too complex for comparisons in general – and especially for State to State comparisons. This should be evident – Germs don’t care about State Borders. Germs travel in cars and on planes. However, Florida is very different from many states in some aspects – which does make it somewhat of a “Petri Dish” study.

  1. It is a Peninsula, therefore COVID isn’t coming in from all sides by ground transportation.
  2. Mass Transit is almost non-existent – car culture allows for separation of the population
  3. Ventilation (outdoors) is accessible year-round
  4. Many Residents have some living space – i.e. single houses
  5. Vastly fewer Direct Flights from Asia and Europe – No Airports in Florida were FAA/Fed Gov. airports taking US Travelers back in when COVID struck)

Unlike many hard-hit states, the vast majority of Florida Deaths and Infections hap. pened AFTER the first 100K deaths (see: Birx above).  A date of June 15, 2020 is a good cut-off point since that was after both testing and treatment were available and also allowed time for those already infected weeks back to add to the mortality. The percentage of deaths vs. infections were cut by 70% or more once the basics of treatment were known, one important reason why “comparisons” are moot. Florida did not develop these treatments, but having their infections later meant much lower deaths per 100K infections.

IMHE shows approx. 4K deaths in Florida by June 15 – a time when the Gov. claimed the state was out of the woods and could largely re-open. IMHE now projects 58,000 Deaths in Florida before the end of 2021, meaning 93% of Florida deaths happened after the cut-off date – the date when Birx and others claim we could have stopped or slowed ALL deaths. This is a very important point – as it is the best indication of “what was done with hand dealt ONCE treatment and testing and avoidance techniques were known”.

DeSantis Quick Report Card

The Gov. of Florida claimed that the State was largely finished with COVID at about 3.5K deaths. This is a tweet direct from his Press Sec. – saying that projections of 4K or 4400 Deaths were flatly wrong. In addition, this was approx the time (end May, 2020) when Gov. claimed that all numbers were so low that the State could start opening up.

Those who have followed Florida probably know some of the situation with Rebeka Jones, a Dept. of Health Employee who was let go (and then her house raided for computers, phones) for “insubordination” – in this case her knowing that Florida was likely to get much worse and not being able to live with herself if she went along with the Story Line that the State was Ready to Open. However, Jones was one of tens of thousands of Floridians who had been closely looking at the Florida Situation and KNEW it was too early to open…and, in fact, that the numbers were going UP, not down….meaning the Gov. was going against his own plan and promises to open Florida in the face of Mass Infection waves starting.

In the end, Florida deaths will be 10 to 15X what the Gov. claimed (promised) as he re-opened the state. His promises were not made early when no information was available. Those would have been excusable to some degree – these were made months after the whole world knew what COVID might do to us.

It Gets Worse – MUCH WORSE

Given such massive numbers – as many deaths in Florida as were projected for the entire nation  – one might be excused for trying to reconcile these deaths by using the common techniques of comparisons and/or what-about. However, there is a important subject regarding Florida which has largely been overlooked – that being the question of how many COVID cases and deaths Florida has spread to the rest of the Country. There is no other state that comes close to the “Florida Effect” of COVID spreading – which has to include ALL these criteria.

  1. Heavily travelled – over 100 Million visits per year – many of them by quasi-residents and many to and from heavily populated areas.
  2. A continuous high positivity in Florida for over a year – the state never having settled even at the highest “community spread” number of 5% – but rather exceeded 20% (% is over 5% still as this is written in July, 2021).
  3. Leaders who promote Mass Infection and make laws and statements regarding the “freedom” of a lack of mass mandates.
  4. A Culture, and specifically a Travel Culture, of partying, drinking and general Lack of Responsibility toward others (a selfish culture).
  5. A poorly educated populace – many who value the Medical Advice of a Preacher (the Bleach Church and other such institutions pervade Florida) – combined with vast Media devoted to Hate and Backwardness, affect the thinking of many.

Regarding the last items, Florida (along with NY – where many Floridians come from!)  just came in last among ALL states in a measure of Patriotism – one that used various statistics such as volunteerism, participation in the military or Americorps, etc. – As with some other areas of the US (SoCal), it is a ME ME ME culture.

There is already proof of Florida infecting and re-infecting much of the country over and over again – what we don’t have yet are actual numbers (statistics). In the coming months we are likely to see some additional studies. However, it is safe to assume – even from anecdote – that millions of cases of COVID elsewhere were spread by travel to and from heavily infected Florida back to much lower infected areas. No matter what other states did, it became impossible to tamp down COVID as long as Florida itself didn’t take the disease seriously.

As a single anecdote, I was in my Northern home of MA in the mid-summer of 2020 – the citizens of the State had tamped down COVID to less than 1% positivity. A single hospital employee traveled on vacay (w/o telling the supervisor), came back and infected 33 people in the hospital (staff and patients). If one person – luckily found and traced – could do that, just imagine 100 million travelers to Florida!

It now becomes clear why Gov. DeSantis never took contact tracing seriously – why would he want to know what Florida was doing to other states? That would be something only a moral or ethical person would care about. In this case, out of sight and out of mind – as long as the numbers didn’t add to Floridas, all was good for the Gov.

Back at the start of the Pandemic, a number of infected Cruise Ships were anchored off Florida as decisions were made as to what to do with them. The Gov. finally acted – he let them dock,. shuttled the passengers directed to Ft. Lauderdale Airport, and sent them on their merry way – WITHOUT ANY TESTING OR TRACING. Imagine the infections resulting from just this?

Florida is costing ALL US CITIZENS vast Sums of Money – The Economy still Sux

Florida has always been a “taker” state. Try hard to think what was invented in Florida (nothing) or what large companies from there are paying big time into the US Economy (taxes). Whether Drugs, Housing Booms/Busts, Oligarch and other Money Laundering or Organized Crime, Florida has always relied on “alternative” means of making money. By ignoring Public Health, Florida assumed they would make money (tourism, etc.). However, the Florida economy is not only in Recession but it will take many more years to recover and grow than other states – as this is written, Florida is #37 among the states in how quickly it is recovering financially.

As with the exporting of COVID Cases to other states, the Gov. was happy to make $500 profit from a tourist visit. He was not concerned if that person ended up costing “US” $40,000 in terms of spreading COVID back home and a hospitalizations associated with the spread.

As a quick illustration of how badly COVID turned out for Florida, not only is/was the COVID infection rates incredibly high and avoidable, but there is no “up” side – that is, the talking point about “the economy” is wrong. Florida has now gained a bad reputation nationwide (and worldwide, to some degree) and tourism and business development will suffer for many years. DeSantis vendettas against “liberals, democrats, New Yorkers and tech companies” means fewer of all of these will be loving the idea of Florida.

Not to say that “the short term economy” is worth killing 10’s of thousand for – but if one buys that argument, Florida didn’t get the intended result anyway! Lose-Lose – lost the lives and losing the economy.

The Federal Government (taxpayers) could have simply given a couple 150 Billion to Florida  (1 and 1/2 years of the Budget) and a few extra hundred billion to keep business afloat and it would have been much cheaper – with few or no deaths. As a comparison, the total cost to the US Economy of Florida COVID is projected to be 1.4 TRILLION dollars!

These few tourist dollars ended up costing both Florida and the US many times the initial “profit”. However, the media and experts will never do these calculations. We don’t employ Generalists in our institutions so many policies which make sense are often overlooked.
(total US cost of COVID Pandemic is current estimated to be approx. 20 Trillion Dollars). 

Why Would DeSantis Let So Many Die?

Normal people can’t conceive letting others die when it could be changed with the stroke of a pen or a couple of sentences. Yet DeSantis, when presented with easy choices to save lives (with NO economic or other penalty) almost always chose to do the wrong thing.

No one can read minds – but there are only a couple possibilities as to why – my opinion is the first (most of this article is fact, so I will make it clear when I throw opinions in!).

  1. DeSantis simply follows what Trump does or what he thinks Trump would do – this makes sense because Trump was in office for most of the Pandemic.
  2. DeSantis is a Sociopath or Psychopath making it so there is no difference – and perhaps even some pleasure – in doing the wrong thing. The evidence for this lies in his seeming lack of caring – it is very rare (if ever) that DeSantis choked up or shed a tear as 10’s of thousands died. In fact, quite the opposite.
  3. DeSantis is Lazy – doing things requires work. I have seen a lot of direct evidence that DeSantis takes the easiest path he can get away with. If the Fed Government (Trump) and.or Florida Citizens are OK with mass deaths, he doesn’t have his own person conscience that says “Ron, you can save many lives because it’s the right thing to do”.
  4. DeSantis is Ignorant and/or Stupid – It’s hard to imagine a Harvard Grad being unintelligent – but it is possible to be ignorant. His believe in Mass Infection (the Great Barrington DeClaration) is an example. It’s doubtful that he reasoned out this approach (mass infection) as the best path – however, it became a Name Brand he could hang his hat on – that is, he can claim Mass Infection was a Real Policy based on Science.

He Opened, Floridians Died

One of the stickiest claims made in regards to Florida is that the Governor along with a large team (who I believe will be shown to be Rubber Stamps) created a Plan to re-open which involved step-by-step and the meeting of certain metric (downward trends in positivity, cases, deaths, hospitalizations, etc.) in order to move from one step to the other.

This particular claim is not in question. Nor is the fact that the Gov. did not follow HIS PLAN. Nor is the fact that not following HIS PLAN resulted in mass infection and death. How can I make these claims with such confidence? Simple – the Plan Exists, the Numbers and Dates exist and The Gov. Himself claims that he is sorry he even made the plan and started with it (an admission that he never followed or finished it). For those who want the shortest explanation, it went like this.

  1. Plan stated that re-open cannot occur until COVID was way down and headed down lower. In fact, plan stated that any reversal of such would result in rolling BACK of the plan.
  2. There has never been a time since Late May, 2020 when Cases, Infection, Deaths or other Metrics met the goals.

We cannot be more clear than that! Here if the chart from Floridas own site with the opening data noted. You can see what happened after that – making it clear that no plan was followed.

If you would like to do more reading on Floridas Plan, which was obviously tossed in the trash, you can download it from Floridas servers.

You will note that the Plan starts off with bragging about how Great Florida was doing – a very dated claim which clearly shows that marketing and PR was more important than the lives of Floridians. As stated previously, 93% of Florida infections and deaths happened AFTER this time – therefore this document shows the complete opposite of what the Gov. thinks…it shows that actions COULD have been taken to save lives, but were not.

If you want a single Page PDF we created – which spells out the Plan and Failure in a simple manner, click this link.

The Folly of Mass Infection and/or “Protecting the Vulnerable”

Mass Infection Kills

Gov. DeSantis believes in “herd immunity through mass infection” – i.e. The Great Barrington Declaration. This approach has been disproven throughout history and once again during this pandemic. It is not in question. It is not part of a reasonable debate. Given the extended lifespans that modern science and medicine have brought to us, we cannot let diseases freely “run their course” without major consequences.

DeSantis was spreading disinformation on this subject and had his video removed from Youtube – even late in the pandemic he was content to spread lies that would result in excess deaths. Part of the misinformation of “Mass Infection” involved the talking point of “We will protect the vulnerable so that Mass Infection won’t end up killing them”. This is, of course, impossible to do in the real world. Elders and those with disease cannot be isolated – as they need food, housing, caregivers, medical care (in-person appointments) and more. If one state allows COVID to spread unchecked (15% positivity, for example), many more seniors and disabled will end up getting sick as compared to another state/locale where the positivity is 3%.

As mentioned in the Introduction, comparisons of large states is very difficult due to the large number of factors which are involved – international airports, other travel, density and more. However, a small “control experiment” in Mass Infection results can be viewed in a state like South Dakota…vs. Vermont. Both states have similar (low) populations and a rural lifestyle. Neither are heavily traveled. In fact, Vermont probably has more Negatives in the case of COVID being within 2 hours of Boston (a COVID epicenter) and also having an international airport in Burlington. Below are the COVID statistics to date for both of these states.

The State where the leaders (Bernie Sanders!) and people (general liberal and science based) tried hard to manage the Virus ended up with vastly better results – results which reflect almost perfectly the original premise – that the USA allowed 5X as many people to die as might have if we had decent leadership and less ignorance among out citizens

These numbers leave no room for discussion. DeSantis bet on the wrong horse – a powerful Stud Named Mass Infection – who ended up stomping on us all.

Vaccine Failure Kills Floridians AND others!

As I write this (Oct 1, 2021) Florida is 1st among the states in current deaths from COVID – also among the top in Hospitalizations and Infections – with a recent positivity rate as high as 20% – wave burned out and down to 6-8% now, still 3X what many stats are. 23,000 (or more) excess deaths among Floridians in the past 90 days – now passing 76,000 total in the pandemic – NOT INCLUDING exports and many other populations.

How is this possible? In theory, it can’t be happening because a proper vaccination program is estimated to cut COVID deaths by up to 99%. Florida has had enough Vaccine for MANY months in order to give shots to that population. This is a true miracle – but not in the “positive miracle” sense, rather it’s a Evil which required direct action (and inaction) to produce.
(Document – click here to see the 99% reduction list).

The following paragraphs will tell the story – as I saw it while residing in Florida during the time when Vaccinations were important to prioritize. As with the other writing (above) you’ll have to sharpen a bit of your math and reasoning skills to see how big the failure was/is. Those who use talking points such as “He protected the vulnerable” will never get to the truth…because not only didn’t the Gov protect the vulnerable, but his actions, orders and words did the complete opposite.

To set the stage, we have to understand so the basics of COVID Mortality. An 80+ year old male with typical health conditions could easily have 50 to 200X the risk of dying from COVID than a healthy 65 year old. It is incorrect, therefore, to say they are both in the “most vulnerable” group and should have the same priority in getting vaccinated. Vaccinate a single 85 year old and you have saved as many people (or more) than vaccinating 100  65 year olds.

A good vaccination plan, with the proper priorities,  requires a massive effort – even more so in a state with over 20 million residents. The Federal Government required all states to submit a detailed vaccination program by October, 2020 – long before the vaccine was available. Florida created and published a plan – which still exists on the Florida State servers. It’s 52 pages and quite detailed.

Ron DeSantis threw that plan away. This is not an opinion nor an issue up for debate. He admits to tossing it – claiming later that “No plan is the best plan”. As I write this I find it hard to believe – but Floridians and other DeSantis supporters somehow eat this stuff up….or, perhaps they aren’t paying attention?
“Florida is the only state without a clear vaccination plan. DeSantis says it’s better that way”. 

This is the equiv. of crashing an airliner into the ground and then stating that you saved the trouble for the recycling company because it’s now in small pieces!  And, of course, the result in Florida has turned out MUCH worse than just crashing a couple airliners in the Ground. COVID deaths in Florida since March 1 (IMHE) are approx. 34,000. This does not include the likely massive chains of infections that Florida is still exporting (millions of visitors – some going home with COVID) nor any resulting deaths. Even a poor job by DeSantis could have saved 60% of those – 20,000. In perspective, a state such as MA, adjusted for population to match FL, had about 15K total in that time period. MA is the 2nd most dense state in the USA – massive public transit, 1 million in higher education, etc. – so, in theory, it has potential for worse COVID results.

It can start to boggle the mind. Why would the Gov. let 20,000+ extra people die even AFTER Vax was available – when he could have changed it with a few sentences outlining a real plan for vaccine priorities? Why won’t he, to this day, make multiple PSA announcement and take some tours around Florida trying to get the vulnerable vaccinated?

The above is a summary of what has happened – some of the details follow. Some of this is either opinion and/or guesswork because it must be – I obviously do not sit in the Board Rooms of Hospitals nor am I in the Gov. Mansion. It has been reported quite often that DeSantis is largely a 2 man show – he and his wife (who does marketing and PR). – The team has expanded to three with his new “Russian/Ukrainian Expert” Press Secretary.  The Point here is – there is no true leadership team involved – the COVID response and Vaccination Program have been chaotic – as you would expect when no one is running things.

Let’s Start at the Beginning

No state needed the vaccine more than Florida! Given the policy of “Hoax/Mass Infection”, COVID has been out of control in the Sunshine State for much of the pandemic. Luckily for DeSantis, Trump was in the White House and the political situation looked good for all involved. Ron helped Trump win Florida  – one of the reasons was a slow-down in COVID death reporting – mysteriously happened in the weeks before the election. We can be sure that Trump made sure Florida had the proper allocation of Vaccines – or better. But having vaccines and GIVING vaccines are two different things – and the most important, giving to the right people, is yet another step which had to be taken to tamp down the body counts.

There is no doubt that any planned Vaccine program was tossed. The question(s) are WHY and then the issue is what happened instead of proper planning. As to why the program was tossed, we can use Occam’s Razor and/or known events (and even rumors and speculation) to make some guesses. It could very well be a combination of reasons.

  1. As guessed at the start of this article, we can speculate that the Gov. has a mental issue which results in him not caring about human life. As hard as that is to imagine, there are very few other possibilities given his words, attitude, actions, etc.
  2. He was/is incapable as a manager and executive of doing anything of this level – we have to remember that DeSantis has no Executive experience. He was a lowly Congressman – unheard of – whom Matt Gaetz helped promote to political success. Being part of the legal crew at Gitmo is a LONG way from being a General (making decisions!).
  3. His well-known temper and lack of being able to get along with others (his former employees claimed they have PTSD and started a support group) might have made it impossible for him to assemble and give responsibility to a team. We have to assume that there WERE people in Florida somewhere who could have accomplished this task – the Vax Program. For whatever reason they couldn’t be organized.

Further to the last item, this rumored email showed up on twitter many months back – 

Both the style of it – and the general subject – fit in with much else that IS known. For example, we do know many state employees quit during the Pandemic – which is very strange in itself. Wouldn’t a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic be the time where a State Employee would want to be part of the team? I know I would….IF the team and leaders were doing the right thing.

I also have it direct from an employee involved that turnover is extremely high – the State is said to pay terribly and, according to my source “most anyone who gets a chance to leave – does”. It pains me to think about one of the largest states in the USA – one located in the sub-Tropics and/or Tropics, is “saving money” on Public Health, yet that is – without question – true.  Public Health in Florida also has been decimated over the long term, going into overdrive with Rick Scott, who is, of course, against Public Health and in favor of Corporate Health Care. If you’d like to read up on the Public Health Defunding in Florida- here’s one story to get you started.
“state-run local health departments spent 41% less per resident in 2019 than in 2010”

All of the above fits perfectly in with the Deregulation and Privatization policies of some of our Political leaders.

No One Is Home!

As the Vaccine started to arrive in Florida, it quickly must have become evident that there was no one in charge. This is not a guess. There as nothing spelled out about how things were to proceed. The Plan was tossed and replaced with a 3 line Executive Order from DeSantis. Unfortunately, Executive Orders and Signatures do not do logistics!

The Executive Order had only 3 Main Bullet Points:

Long-term care facility residents and staff;
Persons 65 years of age and older; and
Health care personell with direct patient contact

Notice there is no priority given – who gets it and when? This is also missing the #1 causation of COVID hospitalizations and deaths! That cause involves “co-morbidities” such as diabetes, organ transplants, etc.

To personalize that last sentence – our local Facebook COVID discussion group had a member who was 64 years old and had a lung removed. Her other lung was only 50% functional. She was begging – pleading – for MONTHS….to get a vaccine. She could not. I watched a PR event where the Gov. was asked Point Blank if he was including pre-existing conditions – “We can’t sort them out” was his answer – even though the Vaccination Plan which he approved and signed previously DID sort them out! Most all other states sorted them out – as this was the REAL order suggested to minimize deaths:
1. Phase 1a:  health care workers and long-term care facility residents
2. Phase 1b:  persons aged ≥75 years and frontline essential workers
3. Phase 1c: persons aged 65–74 years, persons aged 16–64 years with high-risk medical conditions,

By using the 75+ age priority, many (perhaps most) with serious medial conditions would overlap – which is not true of 65+. That is, people over 75 are more likely than not to have co-morbidities. Within these guidelines, states and localities had some differences – for example, some states (like MA) vaccinated all “congregate settings” such as prisons, group homes, etc. as these are obvious sources of spread.

In Florida it was “Every man for himself” as the Gov. promised 6 million people (12 million doses – it would take to cover all in his executive order) when he had only 1 million doses…and then more little by little. It was complete chaos. A 65 year old Marathon Runner or the Accounting Department at the Local Hospital (those are not “patient facing” health workers) might get a vaccine – the very vaccine that should have went to someone with 200X the chance of death!

Once it became clear that no one was in charge – and no one was watching – we can only guess at all the possibilities for malfeasance. We do know of some – as reporting has been done on the matter.

No, Really, there was No One Home!

Due to the magic of Social Media (Next-door, Facebook and Twitter) we were able to keep up by the minute with the chaotic rollout. The DOH in Sarasota is 4 blocks from our house – and we surely hoped we’d be able to get a vaccine there eventually (never happened). Florida is a big state so I am going to limit the next tales to our local area – however, I have heard first hand stories from many other parts of the state.

The first Vaccines to land in Sarasota were at two places – the larger Hospital in the area and the Department of Health offices. The Hospital claimed their vaccines were for them (internally) although they likely received many thousands (perhaps tens of thousand) of doses. If the Hospital followed the initial guidelines the first vaccines would go to patient facing Medical Personnel – those much more likely to be infected with COVID. Public Health and Common sense would dictate that you’d give them (internally) in order – first to those working in the ER, ICU  and COVID areas, next to those who are in the general area of COVID patients (but not in contact) and so on. It goes without saying that a local mid-sized community hospital does not have tens of thousands – of “Patient Facing” employees.

Within a week or two we began to hear first hand stories of Hospitals giving to “any or every” employee….or, with some, to every employee over 65 even if they had nothing to do with medicine or patients (the accounting staff, etc.). Then we heard people say the Hospital was also giving them to the families of health care workers. Some may think “oh, well, that’s not too bad because maybe the Nurse will go home and infect their own family” – but keep in mind this was well before the 90 year olds at the Nursing Home got their shots! In these cases, once again, the shots that anyone healthy (or outside the lines of the order) got were shots that others did not.

The Hospital’s PR person was on Social Media answering some questions so I sent a Message  with my concerns about whether large numbers of vaccines were going outside of the Gov. Executive Orders. Like any good PR person, she danced and skirted the issue 3 or 4 times…like any good Bulldog, I rephrased the question until I finally got the answer. Yes, they were giving vaccines outside of the Gov. Executive Order. But what did it matter? There was no enforcement. There was no PR by the Gov saying “if we find you taking vaccines from our most vulnerable and giving them to your families, we will fine you $10,000 for each instance. The point here is not our local “community” Hospital – evidence suggests this was done to a much greater degree all throughout the state. Some hospitals had to be reprimanded when they decided to try and make their own rules (remember, it’s a Federal Vaccine – paid for by US taxpayers!). It’s the old story – if we pass a candy bar down a long time of people and each of them takes just a little bite – there is none left at the end! I’m sure these people getting vaccines were happy – and, in their minds (and in reality) they were doing nothing wrong. It was the System (the Gov) who was doing wrong by allowing it all to happen.

At our local Board of Health the vaccines just showed up one day. Yes, they just landed. No person to contact (at State) about them. No software program to keep track. No email. NOTHING – just vaccines showing up at their doorstep.

It’s hard to imagine but this is exactly what happened and it illustrates just a small part of the chaos involved. A stripped down DOH gets thousands of vaccines with no idea what the plan is! If I remember correctly, it was 3,000 doses on the first delivery, yet the basic demand for vaccines was unlimited (since you can cross county lines). A basic idea is that 250,000 of us were qualified and waiting in the local area. That would mean 500,000 doses – including the county next to us (3 miles away). So, what was the Dept of Health supposed to do?

This isn’t leadership. It’s embarrassing to think this happened in the USA – given TRILLIONS of dollars in free money awarded to states and business….yet the State couldn’t provide a relatively simple database system and apps? The DOH was left hanging out to dry – and so starts the next chapter in the Florida COVID Lottery, Sale, Flea Market and Mob Scene. With no tools in their shed, the DOH scrambled and used EventBrite – a web based system you’d use to set up your local Club Meeting – to schedule Vaccines! To do this they created an “Event/Meeting” with 1,000 attendees (on three separate days with tickets going to the first-come, first served. But wait! How would the public even know there were vaccines available? How would the “most vulnerable” those who are very old or very sick, know? This population is not on Facebook or Next-door. Well – there was no time to worry about such details – the shots had to go in arms, so EventBrite became the only way locals could get a vaccine.

This, of course, favored the connected and tech-savvy…with NO priority either for age or co-morbidities or mortality from COVID. It also invited gaming of the system – which started immediately and continued for months. You see, just like getting tickets to a Springsteen Concert, the tickets for COVID Vaccines went to those with the most computing power and best connections. Pictures were posted of people in multiple states – each with multiple devices – all ready to go at the very second the “tickets” were released. It goes without saying that said vaccine were gone within one minute or less. Thousands, or tens of thousands, were let 1/2 way in – that is, EventBrite would allow them to submit their form – tell them to await their ticket – and then give them the “Sold Out” screen a moment or two later.

This was not a one-off. As more vaccine arrived, more EventBrite events were posted and the vast majority of people failed over and over to get vaccines. This was beyond bad administration – it was downright cruel to have Seniors trying and failing day after day and week after week. Note: This was MANY weeks before the PUBLIX and other messes that hit the news. However, as we waited for our vaccines we saw troubling stories about upscale  HOA’s and others who were rumored to have gotten their vaccines en masse (rumor were confirmed as true – the Gov. even showed up!). It was also clear that most everywhere was in the same boat – no leadership from the State and complete chaos.

Nothing was Done Properly

Health Care workers – that is, your local Physicians Group, Dentist and the 10’s of thousands of others who are not directly working at the hospital….there was no program for them to get vaccines! I know…this sounds impossible. However, we had the posts, tweets and other direct evidence from people with names and occupations claiming they could not get vaccines! This went on for a LONG time – at least 2 months after the Vaccines were 1st available. Even many nurses and other health care professionals that later traveled to Florida to help out with the mess – they couldn’t get a vaccine. Here, for example, is a critical care nurse unable to get a shot in Florida as of 2/17/2021. This was not a one-off. We heard many stories from all different levels of medical professionals and even congregate settings (group homes, etc. for disabled, etc.).

The Biggest Lie – The Whole “Most Vulnerable” Thing?

From the very start and even today, DeSantis and his backers say he “protected the most vulnerable” – the assumption being that those in nursing homes, long term care facilities and other such situations were FIRST to get the Vaccine. After all, these are people with the 200X and greater risk of getting COVID and dying – they MUST have been singled out, right?

No. The big problem here is that people believe what the Gov. puts out as PR. As an example on the same subject, DeSantis got a lot of press when he said he was going to send National Guard “Strike Teams” to test every resident and worker in Care Homes. He admittedly never did. Under questioning months later he said the figure was 5 or 6 % – that’s a long way from 100% and a long way from protecting them. But now – he has the vaccine and he has all the Federal Money he wants and needs – surely he made sure to do our most vulnerable citizens? Well, I will let a picture speak for itself – this is the Government bragging about giving the first shots to the most vulnerable MONTHS after DeSantis donors and even the lucky (and tech savvy) public might win the lottery. Check out the date! Imagine – how clueless this Mayor had to be to BRAG about this? It just shows some of the disconnect.

Remember, many thousands were dying each month during the period between having plenty of Vaccine (for care homes) and when these were given. Not only is not “protecting the vulnerable” – it’s leaving them hanging as they had NO CHOICE. Other states quietly made sure vaccines went to the “right places” before tempting millions of 65 year olds with the possibility of getting one. Florida decided that people are ignorant – and that they would appeal to our most selfish instincts by letting us think that a chance of getting a vaccine (for ME) was better than an organized Public Health Program that would cut down deaths and hospitalizations.

Even I, a realist and cynic (given what I had seen) could not imagine that it took this long to do this population. I knew that vast populations were ignored – all the elders I often see in my volunteer jobs….no one was knocking on their doors and they certainly didn’t have multiple devices nor the tech skills (nor even the basic information) to know how to get a vaccine.

Myself and the thousands of others watching this were aghast- we were definitely making noise to ALL the authorities we could contact. I was begging for vaccines to be given to the eldest and co-morbid, having done the calculations which told me that MANY more Floridians would be dying given the ongoing Chaos.

As some real life examples, neither myself nor my 70-something neighbors could get a vaccine. I finally figured out a way to obtain one 90 minutes away in a county with less demand. Some ended up driving as long as 6 hours – of course, impossible for the truly vulnerable. My neighbors, multi-generation Floridian professionals, could not get a vaccine – they tried the County and various Doctors and then Publix when that Supermarket Chain was given exclusive or semi-exclusive rights to distribute vaccines.

No Publix Story Here

As to the exact story of Publix – some of which has been in the Media, I am not going to write much about it – except to say that Publix wasn’t even in the picture during the beginning of this mess. My guess is that, given the tossing of the vaccine and logistics plan, DeSantis hoped that he could “privatize” the distribution of the vaccine with one stroke of the pen. It didn’t work. Publix was the same mess as DOH – people waking up at 6am (when Public opened registration for shots) and failing day after day to find an appointment.

What I can say about Publix is that the narratives fit perfectly into all the rest of the nightmare – they were only available at certain Stores – and in very limited quantity before mid-April. It was just one more stab at DeSantis trying to get someone else to do the work that he failed at.

Favoritism – True or False

Were vaccines and tests in Florida shunted to the wealthy and to donors and friends of DeSantis? Of course they were. There are plenty of stories reporting on these – a few of them happened in places where we were on the waiting list. Manatee Country, with 150,000 on a “lottery” system waiting, had a “pop-up” clinic in an upscale area built by a top DeSantis donor – and the records (texts, emails) of the country commissioners rubbing their hands together (Gov. showed up that day) are available. In fact, one Commish started a VIP list of her and her contacts and friends to get special access – meanwhile, 150K others waited for the lottery – and it makes sense to say some ended up in the hospital and/or dying due to having to wait. When challenged about this, DeSantis said “You better not complain or I’ll take them away from you too” (my paraphrase). In any sane world, this would be enough to have a leader tried and impeached – but in Florida it’s accepted and Business as Usual.

The truth of the matter is that most of the dying and hospitalized are unseen…out of sight, out of mind. Many are likely in long term care facilities with hospice centers attached or nearby. Others may be elder retirees with little family left…and still others have left the state (they were snowbirds and.or tourists) and therefore not counted or thought about in Florida. For DeSantis, it seemed, it was all about the numbers that he could claim. If 10,000 people elsewhere died as the result of Floridians or Tourists infecting them, that meant nothing – as long as it didn’t add to “Florida Resident” totals….speaking of which, it’s very different to define a “Florida Resident”. But that’s a story for another time.

October, 2021 – But But – Florida has a high percentage of vaccinated…so either the vaccine doesn’t work or the entire country is going to get hit as hard as Florida did in the Delta Wave.

The above bold text represents some of the current talking points. After all, if Florida has as high as a vaccine %, surely – people cannot be dying there by the thousands each week?

This is perhaps one of of the most fascinating takes on Human Nature. Who counts the Vaccines? If there are no “vaccine passports”, then who has the accurate data? If DeSantis gave Vaccines willy-nilly to 100’s of different “distributors” with no software programs or other methods for perfect tracking, we are back to two questions.

  1. Can we believe ANYTHING DeSantis and the State of Florida say or report (NO, of course not!).
  2. Vaccine % does not separate out the co-morbid…so, we could have the exact same percentage of vaccines given and yet 5X or 10X the deaths if vaccines were not done right (as explained in the last number of paragraphs).

It is extremely troubling that so few Florida insiders have come forward and told the truth about what they have seen. Many may not know – due to compartmentalizing of data. Others have had the State come down on them like a Ton of Bricks for attempting to warn the Public.  Much of the leadership and others have left (the Surgeon General, Chiefs of Staff and head of the DOH response).

Likely someday this will all come out in books, articles and other investigations and testimony.  Odds, however, favor that DeSantis will either be re-elected by then…or, (shudder) even be POTUS.

I have know the American System for over 50 years – from my first run-ins with “Justice” to the affirmations along the way that we were headed downhill. However, the Florida (type) of response and full-on allowance of Senecide (leaving elders to die) is past even the worst I have experienced or considered. We have seen both the worst (FL, TX, etc.) and the best (MA and many places that care about Public Health and Seniors) play out, Given our broken political and education systems, it is very likely the worst will continually “win” in the coming years.

I would enjoy being wrong on this but there is no evidence to back this up. Selfishness seems to the Core of the New American Spirit.

Be Safe.

THIS MARKS THE CURRENT END – BOOKMARK FOR MORE LATER. MUCH MORE TO COME.

 

Sample Starter Consult/Coach Example – less than $100!

Hi, all.

It may be that I can claim more experience than most as I have been online since 1986 and working with “Social Media” from that time onward. Before and during that I was “online” on Ham Radio and in other fashions (real life!). I have started, run and sold multi-million dollars business – none of which are/were fast money or started just for money. In other words, I have been able to live out my passions and interests and participate in every form of business from selling containers worth of products to publishing best sellers.

I have also done a lot of mentoring and teaching – online and off.

Just as an example, one web I started in 1996 and ran for 18 years had traffic as large as Zipcar, Brookstone, Northface, GE and other such site – rising to about #4,000 in the USA. I consider this quite an accomplishment being as I ran it in my spare time. After selling that I started another successful web site educating people about consumer drones. It quickly rose in both traffic, income and reputation and was named among the most influential sites for this category. Affiliate income soared as high as 25K in  busy month…this on a site I never started as a money-making venture.

I have recently sold the Drone site (my last active site) but I want to stay involved in mentoring, teaching and helping others.

As per the title, I am a Generalist. I know a little about most everything and a lot about some things – business and numbers being one of them.

You can find some of my work and life experience at https:/craigsfire.com

Here is what I DO NOT wish to do: help anyone who is “harvesting” the internet in any way…that is, looking as it as a way to make income and not as a way to further knowledge (and perhaps make money also!). If you think the other “offers” on a page like this are going to get you somewhere you are probably not interested in my advice.

I don’t wish to help people who are starting similar sites to 50 which already exist – unless they truly have a better idea and better knowledge.

What I’d like to do is help, at first, in very general ways by acting as a coach and as the “adult in the room”. This can be for established site and/or for startups.

As a starter offer, I’d come up with the following:

1. One hour of phone discussion/consultation – I’d do this for $90, which is well below even my rates 2 decades ago!

2. Email discussions and consulting – I’d do some simple back and forth with a converation at $2 per communication – in other words, 25 total emails (yours and mine) would be $50 (that would be minimum).

3. Something else. Heck, if you want to hire an old salt with an extensive knowledge of just about everything, hit me up and we will talk.

Internet
Communications
Sales – retail, wholesale, importing, brick and mortar, online
Publishing
Marketing
Manufacturing
Construction issues
Innovation
Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights – basic advice.

Just some of the subjects I have experience in.

Craig sells Droneflyers.com to Dronelife Crew

I decided to sell/transfer my Drone web site and other content to my friends at Dronelife.com. A Press Release is below. I started Droneflyers for two reasons – one was interest in the subject, the other was to see if a successful web site could be created this late in the game! My earlier web site site, hearth.com, was started in 1996 where the game was often “first mover”. Now the internet is different. Much of this is explained in the blogging I did when starting the site.

The entire venture has been profitable and very interesting and educational. I will remain a Drone enthusiast as it is one more method of photography…which I love! I will eventually post a link to a collection of my best Drone pics and vids! You can still find all the drone info and articles at the Droneflyers.com site.

Press Release:

DRONELIFE Expands Drone Presence with Acquisition of DroneFlyers DRONELIFE today announced that they have acquired respected resource for remote pilots Droneflyers.com, adding a new site to their ecosystem of drone media and services.

Nashua, NH, August 15, 2018 –(PR.com)– The largest global news and information network in the commercial drone space has added a new property focused on products and education. DRONELIFE is pleased to announce the addition of Droneflyers.com and associated Domain Names and web properties to their drone-focused ecosystem. Continue reading