The rate of people in Florida that tested positive increased from 4.22% to 5.01%

From September 15 through September 28, 2020, based on the thousands of tests performed in Florida during that period, over 5% of those tested did test positive for Covid 19.

Source: miamiherald.com and Florida Dept. of Health

The article goes on to say that the percentage exhibiting Covid symptoms is trending upwards, and has exceeded 7% of those tested on some days. I don’t know how many tests were performed, but I do know, based on the article, that on one Monday in this period, over 70,000 persons were tested.

These are the results of the test performed BEFORE the governor of Florida decided to open all bars a restaurants last week. Oh my.

Friends living at our village in Florida were kind enough to send a photo of our front garden with our mandevilla in full bloom. We miss our Florida home, and sure hope that we will get there in the winter of 2020/2021.

Our Florida village home

Our Florida village home looking very lonely without the owners being present.

No choice but to wait and see.

Florida opens restaurants with no restrictions – a good idea?

I was quite surprised today to see the following:

Florida, hard hit by coronavirus this summer, will reopen bars and restaurants with no restrictions Gov. Ron DeSantis said Florida was moving into Phase 3 reopening on Friday, lifting all restrictions for restaurants and bars.

Article:www.nbcnews.com

This from a state with almost 700,000 cases on record and with almost 44,000 persons hospitalized since this began, that and the fact that by their own statistics the numbers of cases are trending upwards again, does it make sense that the governor would relieve restrictions on bars and restaurants and put even more folks at risk?

It seems to be so, at least for this avowedly Republican governor, one who’s President truth does not recognize, and one who apparently drinks from the Kool Aid of false and mis-information served repeatedly by that President. This, in opposition to the recommendations of the scientists who are qualified to make recommendations about how to start to minimize the horrors of Covid 19 foisted upon those not fortunate enough to receive a mild infection from the lottery of viral infections.

One shakes one’s head in disbelief.

At what price,Florida covid insurance?

We received an email from our historical travel insurance supplier the other day. Good news, it said. They’ll insure us for travel to the U.S. to give us help in the event we contract Covid.

That’a relief, as the second biggest stumbling block for us to go to our Snowbird home for a good portion of the winter is if we can be insured against contracting Covid 19.

That carrier provided a link to their own proprietary “insurance risk indicator” for various countries around the world. If course, we dialed in Florida.

insurance risk indicator

Insurance risk indicator

This indicator shows their perception of the situation in Florida in late September 2020.

The fact is, all indicators there now (Florida Dept. Health, CDC stats etc) show that the “tendency” in Florida today is that the risk of Covid 19 is, once again, increasing, and not stable at all.

It’s a guide of course, and the rubber will hit the road when we decide when we’re going what the actual cost of the Covid rider will be. More on this as it develops.

A Canadian gets some answers about life in Florida today.

Another Canadian friend, a friend today because we met them in Florida during their “away”, lives in the Canadian Maritimes. She and her husband are early Snowbirds, arriving there in October and staying until April. She’s a FB aficionado, and recently posted a question to her FB friends still at our park. “What are conditions really like there?” she wrote.

Unsurprisingly the responses were as contradictory as the political reality of Florida today appears to be.

Our Florida park is in Highlands County. We are blessed to be a good distance from major cities and their denser populations. As a result, the incidence of Covid in our Florida county is less than other Florida centers.

The following information is taken from the Florida Dept. Health statistics site as of 11:50 a.m., September 13/20.

CASE DATA FOR HIGHLANDS

Total Cases: 1,996
Residents: 1,987
Residents Not in Florida: 0
Non-Residents: 9

Conditions and Care
Deaths: 77
Hospitalizations*
Residents: 209
Non-Residents: 2

Demographics of Cases

Age:
Age Range: 0 to 99
Median Age: 47

Gender:
Male: 918 (46%)
Female: 1,068 (54%)
Unknown/No data: 1 (<1%)

Race:
Black: 300 (15%)
White: 1,178 (59%)
Other: 309 (16%)
Unknown/No Data: 200 (10%)

Ethnicity:
Hispanic: 547 (28%)
Not-Hispanic: 1,150 (58%)
Unknown/No Data: 290 (15%)

I show these statistics to show how some of the year-round residents at our park in Florida can feel comfortable about carrying on life as if there was no pandemic. They feel no sense of urgency or threat it seems. They say that they are going to church, don’t wear masks, are shopping (but refuse to enter stores where masks are required), going out to restaurants regularly, in short, doing as many of the things they did before Covid that are available to them during this difficult time.

Others rigorously maintain social distancing,  wear masks when in closer proximity to others and avoid the 25% of the park inhabitants that don’t do either,  only shop where masks are demanded, and don’t go out to eat in restaurants, though they are picking up food and eating it at home.

As we move closer to Snowbird season in Florida, it will be interesting to see how these percentages (case counts and attitudes) change. For now, we’re on the fence as to when we’ll go or even if we’ll go this Snowbird season. More to come as the Snowbird season approaches. Wondering what your thoughts are too?

Some American Snowbirds are heading south soon!

Along with meeting lots of Canucks at our Florida Snowbird destination, we’ve met a lot of really nice American folks too. And, like many, we stay in touch with some of them over the summer months when they’d made their trek back to the upper states.

Further to my last post on the straw poll about who’s going south to Florida at their normal time, again, we’re surprised at how many of our U.S. friends are planning to head south at their normal time of the year?

Are we too conservative in Canada? Are Canadians somehow too concerned about Covid, while some of our friends south of the border don’t appear to be?

All we can do really is view the facts from afar, hope that some of the statistics pouring out of the U.S. are grounded in reality and are not under-playing the numbers and severity there (though I don’t see how it could be much worse) and make the call based on the facts. The stats in Florida shows that over the last 3 days there has been a significant trend upwards in cases there. Rats!

As a result, right now, the facts say don’t go. More on this as it unfolds.

Covid cases in Florida in September 2020

Covid cases in Florida in September 2020 Source: Fla Dept Health

Straw poll of Covid response?

We have a number of Canadian friends that we met in and through our Snowbird village in Florida. That’s the beauty of going to the same place in Florida each year (or any other Snowbird destination I expect). When you meet folks from your Canadian neck of the woods each season in Florida, a lot of them then become friends in Canada too with the new relationship carrying on in both countries. Neat.

Anyway, we asked a bunch of them recently what their Snowbird plans were for the upcoming winter. The typical travel period for them is between November this year and late March or April in 2021 and we expected that they, like us, are postponing planning until the situation clarifies.

A surprise to us… they are heading south!

An overcast Florida sky in March... but it's warm!

They are heading south!

These three couples all have cars in Florida, so they can fly down. And they are doing so. One couple is flying down in late October, and the others are airborne to Florida in November. A surprise to us, for sure, given the relatively scary stats about Covid coming out of the Florida Health people.

We’re drivers, not being in a position to leave a car in Florida. For us then the discussion is still moot as we cannot drive to Florida right now even if we wanted to as the border to the U.S. is still closed except for business (trucks, transport etc).

We wouldn’t be driving south until mid-November in a normal year. Even without Covid we wouldn’t have been going down to Florida until after the end-of-November this year, that decision due to the circus we expect to arrive throughout the U.S. in late November. Covid adds a significant element of risk on top of the election there.

With friends heading down before us, they will unwittingly become our canaries in the coal mine. We hope that they arrive safely, and stay safe during their stay. But if they don’t, and the issue that threatens their health turns out to be Covid, that’s warning to us to stay home. And we will.

Your thoughts on this? Are you heading to your Snowbird destination during November / December 2020?

Covid Thoughts by a Canadian Snowbird.

We felt forced to leave our Snowbird home in Florida in February 2020 due to the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic virus.

Like many, I expect, we’ve been monitoring conditions in Florida to determine our plans for the winter of 2020/2021.

Are we going to go to Florida for the winter?

If we are going to Florida for the winter, when will we go?

How will we handle the Covid crisis in Florida?

Covid cases in Florida in September 2020

Covid cases in Florida in September 2020

Things aren’t looking good in Florida so far in September 2020 as far as numbers of Covid cases go.

What are your thoughts? Are you heading to your Snowbird destination at the same time in the fall of 2020, or have your plans changed?

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