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Comparing Covid-19 Response in California and Florida

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When comparing how two of the most populated states in America have handled the Covid-19 virus pandemic, they both mirror one another. In California, a liberal, Democratic stronghold that seldom is Republican and with a Democratic Governor and Florida, the opposite in most respects (Republican Governor, more conservative), both states have the dubious honor of have more than 1 million Covid virus cases. Their death rates are similar.

But they got to the same numbers is different. Despite California being a liberal state and one that is innovative and trend setting, they closed down their economies off and on since March 2020. The latest is in December to try to curtail the accelerating cases and lack of hospital beds. Except for essential services, most of the urban centers and outlying areas are shutdown. California was slow to reopen after March, much of it remained shutdown until July when it opened in stages in various areas. Certain businesses never were allowed to reopen. For such a liberal state, they have acted very conservatively.

Florida, on the other hand, shutdown except for essential businesses, in March until May. At which time, the Trump wannabe Governor, who won by a narrow margin, reopened the state for most businesses, even gyms. Only a few businesses like cinemas, theme parks, remained closed until July. Today, everything is open at reduced capacity in many cases. Of course, the numbers in the state are probably much higher since the Governor fired the Covid-19 data officer for reporting the real numbers.

The end result is that in both methods both failed. Whether you reopen or shutdown, the virus spreads fast in groups unless the government takes Draconian measures and actually enforces it, as Italy did, which brought the cases down until the measures were lifted. The problem is unless there is strict enforcement, people will do what they want and this simply causes more chaos in trying to halt the virus spread.

Government can only do so much when it comes to this virus and the burden is on each of us to help deal with. California and Florida seem to prove this.


Ara Vahanian from LOS ANGELES on December 14, 2020:

That first line of your comment is perfect! Yes, there is responsibility with freedom. The larger question though is how are we going to convince these Trump supporters that the vaccine is designed to protect them? I think some of them will be reluctant to even get the vaccine.

perrya (author) on December 14, 2020:

with freedom comes with responsibility and when the country is at a war with a virus, some freedoms must be curtailed for a short time despite those who say it infringes on their personal rights. The constitution does not include a license to go out and say or do whatever you want if it hurts others, whether it is speech or the virus. But Trump has turned the mask thing as some kind of constitionall issue and his followers believe it.

Ara Vahanian from LOS ANGELES on December 13, 2020:

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The thing is though, there are still many people that are not even following the safety protocols. I think that many people have made the mask wearing to be some sort of political issue which it should not be. I think Perrya is kind of correct when he says that draconian measures may be necessary to stop the spread of the virus. The other issue is that in the United States, there is too much belief that oh the Constitution gives us freedom so what do people do? They choose not to even wear a mask thinking that wearing a mask infringes upon their freedom.

DW Davis from Eastern NC on December 13, 2020:

I agree that voluntary compliance is next to ineffective. Just imagine if income tax compliance were voluntary.

The Trump administration threw away the one and only best chance we had of achieving any control over the spread of the virus with their attitude and actions back in the Jan-Mar 2020 timeframe.

perrya (author) on December 13, 2020:

@Davis- while all those issues you mention do have an impact and I agree with them, especially, false reporting in Florida, the basic bottom line is that no matter how a either state tries to curtail the virus, nothing is very effective unless there is strict Draconian enforcement and fines. For example, at Costco, you don't get in without a mask, if you take it off while in the store, your escorted out unless you comply. At Home depot, big warning signs tell you that you must wear a mask, but nothing happens if you enter without one. Voluntary compliance has put us in the spot we are in. Temporary shutdowns help but just how effective are they?

DW Davis from Eastern NC on December 11, 2020:

Considering the population of California is twice that of Florida and that the virus arrived in California well ahead of when it did in Florida, the per capita infection and mortality rates for California are only half what they are for Florida. Also, we know Florida's numbers are ridiculously underreported and that the DiSantis administration ordered the falsification of death certificates so as to undercount how many Floridians have been killed by COVID19.

On top of those issues, Florida received billions in aid, PPE, and other medical supplies and equipment from the federal government while such was withheld from California - per the Kushner plan to let blue state residents die while delusionally believing the virus wouldn't cross state lines and infect red states.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 11, 2020:

Well presented.

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