Publisher's note: This post appears here courtesy of the LifeZette, and written by David Kamioner.
On Tuesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said that the Sunshine State will not reimpose drastic shutdowns amid greater coronavirus infections, saying that going back to severe lockdowns would hamstring the economy without saving lives.
Governor DeSantis drew the line even as Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered all bars closed, and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey told residents to home quarantine and declared that the state was "on pause." Last week, after the state recorded 25,000 new infections in only five days and 9,000 in one day alone, Florida again halted the on-premises drinking of alcohol at bars; though there are no restrictions on occupancy at gyms or retail stores. For a state that relies on the parched summer throats of tourists who come to Florida to quench that and other thirsts, the drawback on booze will further erode the recovery of the state economy.
"We're not going back, closing things,"
DeSantis told reporters. "I don't think that that really is what's driving it, people going to a business is not what's driving it. I think when you see the younger folks, I think a lot of it is more just social interactions, so that's natural. Obviously, you had a lot of different activities going on in different parts of the state. ... So that's just the reality."
As a Floridian, allow me to translate: Kids mostly under 21, we hardly ever card, got royally toasted and then got the virus. We wouldn't care, as they are mostly idiot tourists, but it's bad press so we had to act.
The Florida governor expounded: "We're open, we know who we need to protect, most of the folks in those younger demographics, although we want them to be mindful of what's going on, are just simply much much less at risk than the folks who are in those older age groups."
DeSantis further explained, "In our phase two, we will be going with bars being able to operate consistent with this guidance diminished standing room occupancy so basically outdoor seating with social distance, a certain amount indoors, but you're seated to get served. I mean...go enjoy. Have a drink. It's fine. We want to kind of not have huge crowds piling in... If you go in and it's just mayhem, like 'Dance Party USA' and it's packed to the rafters, that's just cut-and-dry and that's not just an innocent mistake."
As Florida's reported cases spiked to highs over the past two weeks, the DeSantis administration ordered bars to essentially limit their indoor spaces again. Officials in New York and New Jersey have also debated slowing their re-openings as a result.
But Floridians and their northern seasonal acolytes are a hearty and occasionally debauched lot and will find alcoholic sustenance in many places normal people would not think to look. Drive-through liquor stores that serve cocktails to your car window and outdoor bars that feature drinks mixed in your mouth while you recline in dentist chairs are just two ways Florida will struggle through the end stages of the virus.