Live free, don’t die: A locked-down New Yorker explains Florida’s ‘rational’ policies

Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, January 13, 2021

The Jan. 10 op-ed by the New York Post’s Karol Markowicz should be required reading for every hack in the biased Florida media.

Markowicz’s piece is headlined “Florida puts New York to shame in rational pandemic policies”.

The headline says it all.

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is relentlessly slammed by the biased left-leaning media in the state. But Markowicz notes how “it’s a lie” that because DeSantis has chosen to trust his citizens over the media somehow “Floridians aren’t taking the novel coronavirus seriously.”

Not true, Markowicz notes: “What they have done is discard the policies that don’t work, while retaining the ones that do.”

“Our family hadn’t left New York since March. We had read about how Florida was able to maintain a case rate similar to or lower than New York’s while shunning our crippling lockdowns,” Markowicz wrote. “Still, we were apprehensive. ‘Be careful down there, no one wears a mask,’ was typical of advice I got from well-meaning friends.”

Markowicz continued: “Stepping off the plane, we noticed something odd: Everyone was, in fact, masked. And keeping their distance. There was hand sanitizer everywhere. The COVID ‘Mad Max’ world was nowhere to be found. Yes, everything was open, but precautions-wise, southern Florida looked a lot like New York.

“The main difference: Masks aren’t worn in no-risk situations. In Gotham, it’s very common to see people masked even when all alone on empty streets. Small children wear masks outside. In Florida, we saw maskless children playing together outside. It looked like the Before Times.

“Which is a good thing: We act like it’s no big deal to wear masks even where risk is nonexistent. But, of course, it does matter. In Florida, we saw the smiling faces of strangers for the first time in nine months. It’s hard to overstate how much that mattered to our well-being and the feeling of normality. There’s also the element of pandemic fatigue: Wearing a mask all the time, even when unnecessary, will at some point discourage use when it actually matters.”

On Jan. 9, New York ­reported 17,839 new coronavirus cases. Florida, with about 2 million more people than New York, had 15,445.

“An open state like Florida having fewer COVID cases than a mostly closed state like New York proves protracted lockdowns are a ­failure,” Markowicz wrote.

Markowicz continued: “A New Yorker in Florida constantly wonders, ‘Why doesn’t my own state government trust me the way the government here trusts its people?’

“New York authorities have no faith in our people to do the right thing for themselves and their neighbors. Our lives are left hostage to Cuomo’s whims. Floridians know what to expect, and it normalizes their lives to a large extent.

“They have sanity. We don’t.”

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