Florida COVID Cases Take Turn Toward the Apocalyptic as New Shutdowns Loom

It appears as though we as a nation are headed for a grand reckoning in the realm of coronavirus, and we might have The Sunshine State to thank for it.

Florida is a state that is largely dependent upon tourism dollars to survive.  Orlando and the smaller cities surrounding it are unable to function without amusement parks and the like, meaning that the social distancing component of our COVID-19 precautions is completely incompatible with the locale’s fiscal well-being.

And so Florida reopened to avoid the peril of an entirely lost year.

Now it seems that they are paying the price.

With the United States grappling with the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world, Florida hit a grim milestone Sunday, shattering the national record for a state’s largest single-day increase in positive cases.

Deaths from the virus have also been rising in the U.S., especially in the South and West, though still well below the heights hit in April, according to a recent Associated Press analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

“I really do think we could control this, and it’s the human element that is so critical. It should be an effort of our country. We should be pulling together when we’re in a crisis, and we’re definitely not doing it,” said University of Florida epidemiologist Dr. Cindy Prins.

The numbers are terrifying.

In Florida, where parts of Walt Disney World reopened Saturday, 15,299 people tested positive, for a total of 269,811 cases, and 45 deaths were recorded, according to state Department of Health statistics reported Sunday.

California had the previous record of daily positive cases — 11,694, set on Wednesday.

The numbers come at the end of a record-breaking week as Florida reported 514 fatalities — an average of 73 per day. Three weeks ago, the state was averaging 30 deaths per day.

If we’re not careful, we could find ourselves back in quarantine sooner rather than later.