If you live outside of Florida I bet you believe that those of us still crazy enough to live here are on borrowed time. It is a Covid hotspot dontcha know. We are on the cusp a bubonic Armageddon. Bodies are piling up in morgues. Nurses and physicians are committing mass suicide out of despair brought on by this plague inflicted by Donald Trump. We're talking wrath of God. Beirut bomb levels of catastrophe. Swarming locusts. Dogs and cats, living together. Mass hysteria. Must be true. I saw it on the TV.
Oh wait, that was Ghostbusters.
Ready for the truth? Can you handle the truth? Let me give you the report for Sarasota and Manatee counties. This is the metro area that encompasses Sarasota and Bradenton. This is the fastest growing area in all of Florida. What is actually happening in terms of Covid should shock you.
Florida is home to 21,933,000 people (see here). How many have succumbed to Covid since March 6, when Florida's Government started keeping tabs on the disease? 7,084. That means 0.032% of the population have died from Covid in the last six months. To put this into perspective, the CDC reports for 2017 that 46,044 Floridians died from heart disease. I do not recall nightly news broadcasts wailing hysterically about fat Floridians eating double cheeseburgers and clogging their arteries. But less than 8,000 deaths in six months and we are supposed to put on masks and hide in our closets? Nonsense.
Let's take a closer look at Sarasota County over the last 30 days. According to the US Census, Sarasota County was inhabited by 433,742 souls as of July 1, 2019. Here are the numbers according to the Florida Covid 19 "Dashboard." Just follow this link and click on Sarasota County. Five thousand nine hundred seventy four Sarasotans tested positive since the first of July (July 7 to be precise). That is 1.3% of the total county population. Hospitalized? 360, which represents 0.08%. How about deaths? 160. That is roughly consistent with the number of deaths recorded state-wide–0.036%.
What about neighboring Manatee County (seat of the city of Bradenton and winter home of the Pittsburgh Pirates)? Manatee has a slightly smaller population than Sarsota, weighing in with 413,655 happy inhabitants. Eight thousand nine hundred fifty six Manatee maniacs tested positive for Covid–i.e., 2.1%. More have been hospitalized–589, which represents 0.14%. The death count is 189 or 0.045%.
Ever hear of the concept of "perspective?" I am sure that the families of those whose kith and kin perished from Covid and/or co-morbidities exacerbated by Covid don't care a whit about the stats. But the truth is the disease is not spreading like wildfire. People are not flooding the hospitals. Just look at today's stats for the major medical center in the region:
Sarasota Memorial Hospital:
Total hospital beds: 839
Today’s patient census: 642
Today's COVID+ patients total: 70 (no change from yesterday)
Most of the media is irresponsible and alarmist. They report positive tests as if those equate with people destined for the hospital and then the morgue. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Yes, Covid is a disease and a very small percentage of the population will die if they contract it. But it is not a health crisis that requires shutting down businesses and forcing kids to stay away from school. It is time for the American people to demand honest reporting and deal with real facts and actual science instead of the voodoo scare tactics being spread by partisan pundits and doctors masquerading as experts.