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!