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

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.


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!


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


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 (mid-July, 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 over 5%.

How is this possible? In theory, it can’t be happening because a proper vaccination program is estimated to cut COVID deaths by 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. 10,000. 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 2/3 of those , say 6500 – and other 2000 going forward (to Oct, 2021).

It can start to boggle the mind. Why would the Gov. let 8500+ 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 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 thought 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 and 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.

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 Hospitals PR person was on Social Media answering some questions so I sent a PM 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…but 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 150,000 of us were qualified and waiting in the local area. That would mean 300,000 doses – the county next to us would need the same. 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….leyet 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 wed 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 upscaled HOA’s and others who were rumored to have gotten their vaccines en masse. 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 head 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 parrots say he “protected the most vulnerable” – the assumption or misinformation 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.



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:/

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.

Sales – retail, wholesale, importing, brick and mortar, online
Construction issues
Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights – basic advice.

Just some of the subjects I have experience in.

Craig sells to Dronelife Crew

I decided to sell/transfer my Drone web site and other content to my friends at 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,, 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 site.

Press Release:

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

Nashua, NH, August 15, 2018 –(– 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 and associated Domain Names and web properties to their drone-focused ecosystem. Continue reading

Facebook Follies – don’t put too many eggs in that basket!

Update – Important recent article illustrating some of the potential problems.

Lately, it seems, Facebook is ON FIRE as a platform for marketers (advertisers, etc.) to promote their products and “harvest” data from you and I. There is a very good reason for this – Facebook allows almost anyone to access their full sets of data – data which tells more about you than any previous web site or data-mining tool could ever hope to!

As told to me by an expert “it’s criminal”….relating to what he or anyone can gleam from FB. Realistically, it probably is criminal in the real sense….but the government as well as individuals tend to be years behind the curve in terms of catching up. Without going into gory details, suffice it to say that Facebook (and the world) probably knows if you wear depends (adult diapers), are depressed, plan to have a wedding, have family members who recently passed away and MANY MANY other things. Moreover, unlike most other data sources, they know ALL of that in addition to things such as where you live, who your friends are, what your political slant is, etc.
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Part #5 How to start a successful (or failing) Blog in 2013-14

It’s now going on one year since I had the idea of starting the blog and web site. This post will bring readers up to date on the effort and also offer some additional tips and advice.

Statistics of Traffic (Readership)

First, a quick update on readership – a metric webmasters call “traffic”. I use two measurement services to study the traffic – one is google analytics and the other is quantcast. Both are free. In order to get the most accurate measurements, you need to place a piece of code which they give you onto your pages.

Our quantcast stats are public and can be found at:

If you hit the “month” tab, you will see that we are up to as many as 100,000 pages being read per month. The growth has been fairly slow and steady – expect for a very strong uptick during the holiday season. This was due to interest in quadcopters for gifts AND the amazing amount of free publicity given to drones when Amazon ran their story about using them for future deliveries. Our site traffic doubled during the week following that story. I expect our traffic to settle down somewhat now that the holiday season is over, so rather than compare it to the previous month, I will be comparing (internally) to the same month the year before.

Google Analytics chart - click to enlarge

Google Analytics chart – click to enlarge

The basics of the chart are shown in the upward angle of the chart. We had about 10,000 page views in the month of Feb, 2013 – the first month I started this blog. In December, we had about 10X that many, and in the previous months 4-6X as many. Once again this reaffirms the wisdom of purchasing an existing (but, in this case, abandoned) blog which had some traffic – as opposed to starting from scratch. I don’t think Droneflyers would be doing nearly as well if we hadn’t spent a few bucks to get a baseline of traffic and articles.

Current Setup of Site

The original site was a blog with articles posted by one author. The current site is still following this basic format, however I added a forum section which allows others to login and post their reviews, comments and questions. The forum part of the site has not been really busy – but that’s OK – in many ways it serves our purpose of not being complicated. In terms of keeping the site going, here are some of the important points which contribute to it’s success:

1. A very focused and clear mission and subject – We are a site geared toward beginners, those getting started in the hobby. More experienced hobbyists have plenty of other sites to visit – there is almost unlimited technical material on drones online! However, there is not much for those getting started – so we are focusing on those who are in their first couple years of R/C (radio controlled) quadcopter experience.

I should note that one of the biggest mistakes I see made on the internet is the tendency to claim too much “real estate”. In my opinion, you will be much better off to be narrowly focused and do a good job on that piece.

2. A mature attitude and member “vibe” – since the site is about quadcopters for beginners, we don’t allow off-topic conversations, arguments and all the stuff which seems to ruin much of the internet these days.

3. A subject which is growing or underserved – this is an “either/or” proposition. Let me explain. My other site,, is focused on a very tiny niche subject – mostly people who heat their homes with woodstoves and firewood. Yet it has millions of page views per month – because the subject is underserved (not a lot of independent info) on the internet.
The quadcopter (drone) site covers a quickly growing subject. These consumer drones are really quite new – the last two years has brought the real explosion in their use. Also, to repeat, by focusing on beginners we are chasing a bit of that underserved market.

4. Consistency – although I don’t spend a lot of time on new articles and content for the site, I do make sure that it does not appear or become abandoned. Maybe I’ll post some good pictures, links, a couple comments, etc – and a few other forum members do also. Maybe I will update an existing articles and/or some links. It’s important to not let a week or two go by without adding something to your ongoing blog or forum…

5. Not forcing the issue – I don’t suggest putting a bunch of new features on a blog or forum unless there is a clear use for them. KISS is the word (keep it simple)….better to have fewer features which are used more than to have too many and have them languish. Watch the statistics and only offer new features, forums, subjects and articles based on what people actually want and need.

Promoting and Advertising Updates

In the former installments of this series, I mentioned the use of google adwords and similar programs as a low-cost way to spread the word. In this update, I’ll review most of the ways you need to promote your blog – both free and low-cost….

Cost per click advertising – These are programs such as google adwords – Bing has an equivalent as do some other large sites (Yahoo!, etc.). – My blog,, is currently spending about $50-$60 per month in google adwords. This amount sends about 400 extra visitors to the site per month.

Twitter – I have to admit it. I have never been a big fan of Twitter as a consumer. There is just TMI (too much information) to follow! However, Twitter does create a decent platform for you to promote your new site and articles. It also establishes you as a “player” in the particular sector which you blog about. In fact, one company contact me via Twitter and sent me an expensive sports camera (free) to review! It is also a good way for you to find decent links, stories and happenings which relate to your subject – and perhaps post them or blog about them.

Facebook – Many internet sites would benefit from having a page on Facebook. However, most of your real content should be on your site (blog, forum, etc.) NOT on Facebook. Facebook also allows low-cost advertising – called “boosting your post”, while allows your page to quickly become popular. Our Facebook page has only been active for a month (as of this writing), but as you can see we have a lot of exposure and “likes”

Other Forums and Sites – can provide traffic to your new site for no cost. Take part in valid discussions elsewhere on the net. Some sites allow you to post links to your site (reviews, for instance). Even Amazon product reviews can steer people to your site!

Of course, the original advice always applies – that is “Content Is King”. Adding quality articles, posts, pictures, videos, link and other content to your site is the best way for the search engines to “bless” you….meaning more readership at little or no cost.

Show me the $$$

In some of the former posts I mentioned the potential revenue sources for your blog/site. However, there is little need to concern yourself with these until you have decent traffic on your site – realistically, until you have a couple thousand pages read per week you are unlikely to be able to “monetize” your site if you are a publisher. However, some of you may be in the business of E-commerce, that is…selling things directly from your web site. Your content may be a way of educating and informing the customer. In such a case, it’s possible that $$ can be gleamed from a smaller readership…assuming the readers are targeted. As an example, if you sell consulting services, it may be that one out of every 500 visitors to your site contacts you for paid advice.

My experience is mostly with web publishing – that is, sites which provide information as opposed to products and services. In my case, income can be made in these ways:

1. Ad programs such as google adsense allow you to make money from ads served by google.

2. Sponsors you obtain – in this case you have to find sponsors who are willing to pay you for banners, text links or other promotion on your site.

3. Affiliate links – these are the Amazon (and similar) programs where you can place product links on your site and get paid a small commission if your readers click on them and make a purchase.

4. Book sales, etc – I used my blog writings as the basis for a book – called “Getting Started with Hobby Quadcopters and Drones”. This is an e-book (paperback available also) which I self-published at a very low cost. The book is selling well.

Currently, I am making 70% + of my site income from Amazon affiliates, 20% from book sales (which may be unrelated to the site – they find the book on Amazon) and 5% from Google Adsense.

While the site is not making enough for a full-time living, it is doing very well and is more than paying for my pursuit of this hobby and my investment of time and money. If I was able to invest more time into the effort it’s likely that it could provide 2X or 3X the current income, which would bring it up close to being a “full time job” in terms of $$.

In closing, I hope these posts provide some hints for YOU to succeed on the web.


Part #3 How to start a successful (or failing) Blog in 2013!

Part #1 is here
Part #2 is here
This (below) is Part #3

Ok, I know y’all are waiting with baited breath as to the report forthcoming after 3 weeks of taking over the Droneflyers blog – so I will start with the fun stuff (the charts!) and then detail how I got there and also what my predictions are for the next couple of months.

So, without further ado, here are our WordPress stats – click on the pic for the larger version!

Chart shows growth in 3 weeks since purchase

Chart shows growth in 3 weeks since purchase

I’m very pleased. Based on these statistics, the decision to purchase an existing blog (with some visitors) seems valid, as I doubt I would have ever been able to build things up this quickly. The stats are self-explanatory – more people came and read more pages and stayed longer! So, let’s get into some details so that YOU can figure out what may be best for your efforts……

One question which you may be asking yourself is “Well, I don’t know shit….so how the heck am I gonna be able to find and buy a blog or domain which get’s some visitors….you know, like Craig did?”.

A valid question. However, there are many sites where people are selling domains and chances are that you can find one to buy for a very reasonable price which may be related to your subject. Here are some places you can buy existing web sites:
and eBay!

There are various ways of confirming the statistics given by the domain sellers. You are welcome to email me for more details on this, but the basics are that any serious webmaster can give you direct access to their google stats so that you can see the figures without them having manipulated them. Some larger sites may have enough traffic to be verified by Quantcast – you can go to and type in the domain name (try it with, etc.).

You could also check in the basic common sense ways! See if you can find the site by searching in google for the terms which are related to it! Notice whether article or forum posts on the site were written recently – or has it languished for years?

So what should you pay for a site? Obviously, as little as possible! For those starting “hobby” sites, you have to have a total budget and work within it. Because I am already in the web space…that is, I have income from existing properties, I can probably afford a bit more for my startup effort. I intend to spend approx $3K total in the first year for everything, from buying the site to advertising to giveaways, but it could be done with much less. Still, a total budget at or over $1,000 for the first year is probably an advantage in terms of quicker growth.

Let’s move on to how I was able to double the traffic within 2-3 weeks. Firstly, as I keep repeating, starting with SOME visitors is key to being able to do this. I cannot stress that enough – you are probably already sick of hearing it!

The next move is to make sure there is some newer content on the site. This may involve a couple hours of you adding and editing existing articles, changing the “about” section and contact info, etc.
There is no use spending time and money promoting a site which visitors will be disappointed with! As will be covered in later posts, Content is King. In fact, you should paste that phrase as a desktop background or print out a piece of paper and tape it to your wall! Content is King. Content is King. Content is King. Content is King.

Along with your initial remodeling, you should start a google account (if you don’t already have one) and install the google analytics tracking code on your site. This will allow precise measurement of your stats.

Your next step is to spend a small amount of money advertising. Don’t skip this step – it will cost you dearly. Come up with a budget…even if it’s $1 a day, to promote your site. Open up two accounts – one on Google Adwords and one on Bing Advertising and place your ads using keyword selection. These systems allow you to bid on relevant words and show your ads (text or graphic) to visitors who type them into a search engine. You only get charged when a visitor is actually sent to your site.

I set up google adwords with a small budget, around $2. daily, for the Droneflyers site. I bid very low for the visitors – maybe a maximum of 15 cents per. The graphic below shows my 3 week history with adwords:

Adwords Stats for Droneflyers

Adwords Stats for Droneflyers

To translate this – google showed my ad over 45,000 times (impressions) and sent 332 visitors to the web site – for a total expenditure of $37.02, or about $2 per day.

Why do I suggest you pay for advertising – even if your Blog or site is a hobby site with no income? My theory is that google and bing add some “weighting” to advertisers who appear on their site – not because they sell out for the $$$, but because the willingness to advertise a product shows that your site is a bit more serious and respectable (better for search results).

My prediction for the next couple of weeks? The growth will slow – I don’t expect traffic to double, but rather (hopefully) to maintain at the current level and rise slowly. I plan to officially launch the site and new forum on Apri 1 or thereabouts – at that point I will do some giveaways, PR and other efforts!

Well, it may be time to wrap up this post as I don’t want things to drone (pun intended) on for too long nor to present too much information and have some of it exit your ears after your brain fills up. Although my first intention was to finish up at Post#3, I will continue for at least another post. The next post will detail the free ways I used to build up traffic as well as some of my dilemas and predictions for the future of this failure…or successful….blog.

Quick Update – as of May, 2013 we are still experiencing rapid growth. The chart below shows the record upward growth – to well over 5,000 page views per week. Furthermore, the site has started to bring in some small revenues…more on that later!

Chart of Growth

Chart of Growth

Happy Blogging!


P.S. A fellow author and friend asked me WHY it was very important to increase traffic. My answer is as follows:

The key to the benefit in traffic is that it means you are not writing or forming a community for nothing. Being general here, but most people write or blog for one of two reasons – either to get “read” (the old author thing) or to get read and eventually make a buck. You cannot make ad or sponsorship money from a web site without having a ton of visitors. And, if you are an author, you are gonna feel bad if only 4 people read that tome you spent a couple years writing. So traffic=value. In a broader internet sense, you may want to check out the meaning of Metcafes Law – that is, the power of the network increases with the square of the user numbers (traffic!) or something like that:’s_law

My first E-Book on Amazon!

Well, I did it.

I published one of my short stories on Amazon as an E-book and sales have actually been pretty decent! The Book is called “Growing up Hippie – Living with the Rastas” and is an edited and longer version of the Rasta stories which were posted here last year.

You can buy the book for only 99 cents!

The link is at:


How I become familiar with computers and then a Webmaster!

How I become a Webmaster and started

For those who are unfamiliar, I am the founder and publisher of, a popular web site about wood stoves and related appliances which has been active since 1995.

When I first decided to start this informational hearth site, it was my goal to have 10,000 readers per month…now we have more than that number in ONE DAY. Stats for Fall, 2011, show 460,000 visitors in November alone, reading over 3 MILLION pages!

In fact, is the most read stove and fireplace publication in the world and perhaps the only independent source of hearth information on the internet or in print!

Let’s turn on the wayback machine and discover how came to be.
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