To fully understand many of my Florida pandemic op-eds, you have to understand what was happening in Florida and Jacksonville at that time.
Early in the pandemic, Florida weathered the storm better than any other state in the country, then, sometime during the middle of the storm, the rudder of the ship of state was wildly turned toward a murderous iceberg. With premeditated zeal, we intentionally hit that iceberg going full speed ahead. The results were predictably catastrophic.
People went from acting smart to acting self-destructively, and Florida went from handling covid better than most of the country to experiencing some of the highest rates of sickness and death in the entire country.
At one point, Jacksonville, a city of one million, had some of the highest sickness and death rates in the entire world! We had freezer truck morgues, and the worst your imagination can dredge up from the depths of hell. All of this can be laid at the doorsteps of extremist ideas, opportunistic weathervane politics, and total blind acceptance of the resulting carnage by a large minority of the population.
Florida went from one of the safest to one of the most covid dangerous places to live in the world. That’s when the revisionist history began.
This 2023 NY Times article does a great job of explaining this human disaster: “The Steep Cost of Ron DeSantis’s Vaccine Turnabout.”
This human disaster that killed so many that could have been saved and a stubborn refusal to learn from grave mistakes is why we fled Florida for Massachusetts and will never go back. We lost loved ones to the hate and fear mongering political games that took place and are still going on. The politics of extremes can be deadly.
“Extremism is so easy. You’ve got your position, and that’s it. It doesn’t take much thought. And when you go far enough to the right you meet the same idiots coming around from the left.” ― Clint Eastwood.
“What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.” ― Robert F. Kennedy.
“There go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader.” — Alexandre Auguste Ledru Rollin (French Revolution).