Florida has announced that all efforts to prevent the spread of COVID are over. Mask mandates cannot be enforced statewide, and restrictions are being lifted. This is so unfortunate. Again, as I’ve been saying, let’s compare this to Israel, then let’s think about how hard we work to stop people from dying from car accidents.
Israel, which is about half the size of Florida, started a lockdown over 4,000 new cases in a week. Florida had almost 20,000 new cases in the past week.
Given the different responses, it’s hardly surprising that Israel has lost a total of about 1200 people to COVID-19, in total, but Florida has lost more than 14,000.
I’m not saying that a total shutdown is necessary for Florida. Florida has a lot of advantages against this illness, especially this time of year, when people can spend more time socializing outdoors. But the fact that something as simple as wearing a mask is not even encouraged, and actively resisted, is just dumb.
In so many ways, COVID could, and should, be treated like car accidents.
Think about all the things we do, nationwide, to prevent deaths from automobile accidents. We have speed limits. We have traffic lights. We have lanes. We have yield signs. We have street lights. We require brakes and headlights. We mandate seatbelts.
Now think about the number of accidents, and the case fatality rate of them.
We have approximately 6 million automobile accidents in the United States each year. We have about 7 million COVID cases so far. On an average year, about 37,000 people die from car crashes in the United States. More than 200,000 people have died from COVID and the year isn’t over yet.
The mortality rate for car crashes is 11.2/100k and is currently 61.99/100k for COVID. The case fatality rate for car crashes is about 0.7% and for COVID it’s 2.86%.
COVID is more deadly than car accidents and COVID deaths are more than five times as common as deaths from car accidents.
Yet, we drive carefully to avoid accidents. We stop at red lights. We turn on our lights at night (sometimes during the day too). We wear seatbelts and safety features are selling points.
We make all that effort for something that’s far less deadly than COVID, and in Florida, it’s now illegal for a local government to punish people for not wearing a mask.
That is insanity.
And it’s 100% because Trump took a position on one side of this in the beginning.