Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida says that the state will remove all remaining coronavirus restrictions imposed on businesses. Through an executive order (EO) released last September 25, 2020, local governments are also prohibited from closing businesses or collecting fines related to pandemic mandates such as mask requirements. The EO however, allows local authoritities to limit restaurant and bar capacity to 50% if there is valid justification for such an imposition.
The decision came as the state has shown a reduction in hospitalization, as well as decreases in new cases and deaths from COVID-19. Amidst criticism of his decision, DeSantis had this to say: "The fact that you continue to move forward with this economy, it doesn't mean that the virus disappears...But imposing lockdowns where society flounders people are out of work, kids aren't in school - that is not going to work. And that's not the way forward for us."
Editor's Note: Governments deciding to lift lockdowns even with new cases being detected and no assurance of a vaccine requires courage. The courage is not just for going against the mainstream, but really, taking full responsibility of the future direction of the society entrusted to government leaders. We hope that there will be more leaders like DeSantis, who are clear on the kind of future they want for their societies.
It is easy for government authorities to impose lockdowns and wait for vaccines because in the short term, it looks like it works. But as we are seeing now, the impact in the long term is worse than the disease. And because some of the impacts are not yet manifesting presently, they are not readily traced back to the coronavirus interventions and hence, the accountability of current leaders for its future impacts cannot be readily established [also read New Study: Lockdowns ten times more deadly than SARS-CoV-2].
In this sense, lockdowns are a short sighted solution designed to protect the reputation of leaders today. Meanwhile, those who are already marginalized will bear the bulk of the burden, as they will have to deal with the long-term suffering it will cause.
Florida reopens: DeSantis lifts state’s coronavirus restrictions
Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order Friday removing remaining capacity restrictions on bars, restaurants and retail stores statewide. The order also prohibits local governments from closing businesses or collecting fines related to pandemic mandates. The order takes effect immediately.
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