Earlier this month Bunnell City Commissioner John Rogers revealed at a commission meeting that he was just coming off a Covid-19 infection, when he twice thought he was going to die. Other local elected officials have had the infection, but he was the first to speak of his publicly, and to later go on the radio to urge people to get vaccinated. He had not had his shot.
Shortly after 7 p.m. this evening, Victor Barbosa, the Palm Coast City Council member, announced in a terse Facebook post: “3 day in the hospital fighting covid and pneumonia.” He wrote of having a “hard time breathing,” but otherwise engaged little with the nearly 200 people who’d written him there within less than two hours of his announcement. AskFlagler, which first noted his announcement, reported he was at the Mayo Clinic.
One of the people commenting on Barbosa’s post told him he “looked pretty wore out at the watch party,” suggesting that he was ill at the time. The watch party is a reference to the July 27 evening at the Hilton Garden Inn, where mayoral candidate Alan Lowe gathered with his supporters to await the results of the election, among them mayoral candidate Kathy Austrino and Barbosa. The event was not heavily attended, but a video taken by Jearlyn Dennie at shows two or three dozen people, none masked, hugging, singing and dancing in close quarters. (Singing is considered to be among the higher-risk spreaders of covid-19.)
The Centers for Disease Control had not reversed its recommendation of mask-wearing indoors for unvaccinated people. But it was only the next day that it again extended mask-wearing recommendations to the vaccinated, now that the delta variant was raging across several states, and especially in Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas and other Southern states.
“It’s a party!” Dennie says, moments before capturing Barbosa giving the thumbs up, soon followed by the same scene with Lowe. (“I’m taking a little break from FB but not going anywhere,” Lowe posted on his Facebook page two days later. He has not posted since.) Dennie shuttles from guest to guest, dancing, posing, singing and making announcements. Barbosa has not addressed his vaccination status publicly. Notably, however, while he has almost systematically placed a heart next to comments wishing him well on his Facebook post, he’s been quiet on comments asking him if he’d been vaccinated (though others left emojis of their own, some of them sarcastic).
Flagler County Health Department Chief Bob Snyder on Friday said the county ended the week with 665 confirmed covid infections, shattering the previous weekly record of 400 set in January. There were 61 in-patients with a primary diagnosis of covid-19 at AdventHealth Palm Coast alone, a number that–as Barbosa’s example indicates–does not necessarily reflect the actual number of Flagler residents currently hospitalized with the disease. But the county had a positivity rate of 26 percent, and an infection rate of 83 per 100,000 people, 20th-highest out of Florida’s 67 counties.
After gradually scaling back its visitation policy, AdventHealth’s hospitals announced today that beginning Monday will limit visitations to virtual contact only for patients admitted with a covid diagnosis. Children under 18 will still be granted two adult caregivers at a time per day. Visitation for all other patients remains unchanged. AdventHealth’s Central Florida division is at an all-time high of covid patients, exceeding its peak in January.
“It was absolutely terrible,” Rogers, the Bunnell commissioner, said of his experience with Covid in an appearance on WNZF a little over a week ago. He had agreed to speak of his experience to encourage people to get vaccinated and stop procrastinating, as he had done. “I had a fever of 103 for over a week. I was first diagnosed with a sinus infection, and I tested negative at the walk-in clinic. So, my wife is a nurse so she was thinking that it was something else because of the pain. So, she made me go to the emergency room and that’s when I tested positive at AdventHealth there. So they started a series of medications on me, and it was a battle, man. The pain was unreal. My wife being a medical background she compared it to like cystic fibrosis patients, the mucus stuff, it was a rough time. I went to the ER three times. I was never admitted. But AdventHealth put me on their monitoring app. They did a very good job making sure my oxygen and my temperature was right and the doctors and the PA checked in with me every day.” He has since recovered.
“I usually wore a mask and I was real diligent about social distancing and stuff and then, as you know, I think everybody thought this thing was going away. And I just procrastinated,” Rogers said. “I should have I should have got vaccinated. If I had to do it over again I would have, but you know you live and you learn.”
On Friday, Flagler Beach Mayor Suzie Johnston, speaking from City Hall-but not for the City Commission–issued a two-minute video statement urging residents to again mask up and get vaccinated, the first such explicit statement endorsing both measures by an elected official in Flagler, though Rogers had also urged vaccinations and Sheriff Rick Staly in a community update had referred to vaccines and masking as personal choices (and shown a picture of himself getting vaccinated).
Karma. How she managed to overlook Mullins, Lowe and Danko is anybody’s guess. Maybe she’s saving the worst for last.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed!!!! I’m hoping Lady Karma let’s us see when she delivers a Karma cactus for Mullins & the rest, to sit on… Corrupt as they can be…
David S. says
You reap what you sew homer, you better check on your boy Ed Stanko…..
Get vaccinated covid is no joke. Covid is a killer. The stats speak for themselves. We are responsible for our own safety. Not the governor of Fla. Hope speedy recovery for Mr. Barbosa.
Friend of a friend. says
Thank you for wishing him well. Many assume he’s not vaccinated. Not my story to tell though. It’s his.
A fool can bluster all he wants, but Darwin is always there, waiting and watching.
You plant it, you harvest it.
Anyone dumb enough not to get vaccinated is too dumb to serve as an elected official. We need leaders and thinkers not followers and deniers.
Retired teacher says
Amen! You play dumb games, you get dumb rewards!
Percy's mother says
By now it would be imagined that you know there’s a rather substantial contingent of VAX deniers here in Palm Coast / Flagler County.
I refer to the well-attended anti-VAX rally back in May which was held at Church on the Rock which was fronted by the Flagler Liberty Coalition for the Fake Pastor. Joe Mullins was in attendance.
Who was the guest speaker at the Fake Pastor’s anti-VAX rally? It was Dr. Simone Gold (Google her). Not only is she anti-VAX, but she was also in the capitol building on January 6, and was subsequently arrested for same.
But getting back to the anti-VAX rally at Church on the Rock back in May . . . it was attended by primarily LOWE-type supporters, many of whom have been commenting nonstop at the Victor Barbosa news. (Even ‘tho they’re very vocal about their thought that The Palm Coast Observer and Flagler Live are FAKE NEWS and garbage only fit for the trash bin).
Joe Mullins and the Fake Pastor were presenters for Dr. Simone Gold at the anti-VAX rally at Church on the Rock.
And some of us wonder why there’s a large percentage of the population in Flagler / Palm Coast which remains unvaccinated, including those who attended the “victory / UN-Victory” party for LOWE at Hilton Garden Inn last Tuesday, 7/27 . . . again hosted by . . . The Fake Pastor. Have you seen THAT video?
Is anyone starting to put 2 and 2 together to get to the sum total that there’s a very dirty subversive element here in this county which hides behind the “church”, “pastor” and religion”.
Wake up people and see what’s been going on.
We’ll said. I am starting to feel better about the idea that a bunch of dummies might perish because of their ignorance.
I bet at a lot of people that attended Lowe’s party are very concerned and worried now. Too bad some will learn a lesson the hard way.
Is the Hilton Garden Inn going to be quarantined as the infected one’s party was held there? Wonder how many more of all those wide open mouth screaming including at least a child and laughing will come down with it! My son visiting as was the last chance he had not to loose his airline ticket delayed twice for Covid and us went out to dinner looking for a place to eat outdoors only obviously none available that would look safe the crowds along the barrier island eateries all shoulder to shoulder dinning no masks patrons or servers so we didn’t even park and kept on driving. We are fully vaccinated but still wear masks and ended once more on the only safe place in town Carrabas patio with well spaced seating and all our cordial and caring servers wearing masks and the food excellent! Only way out avoiding Covid. City needs to offer again the online connection to attend virtual council meetings as is too risky again to do in person attendance. So please Mayor Alvin (welcome) and Council offer again the virtual attendance as we specially elderly need to attend safe! Thank you in advance.
I forgot to wish Councilman Barbosa sincerely, a very soon recovery! This bug is unforgiving and looking for any of us that let the guard down. Lets forget about politics and do all we know that we have to do, not to get infected! I do not even want to imagine what is to be gasping for air…
I wish him well. No one “deserves” illness.
David Schaefer says
Make him pay out of his own pocket for all medical bills .
I’ve seen more people at a Little League game than the small group at lowe’s loser party
Dawn N. says
For Mr. John, I’m so glad you have recovered 🙏 I haven’t seen you in many years but you have always been a good person that truly cares about the residents of Bunnell and Flagler County. Health and happiness to you and your family. God Bless
If you were at this party, go and get yourselves tested, please. It is a quick and easy procedure and available at any walk in clinic.
Wish Him a speedy recovery. And there you have it. Its all fun and games until its not. Reality sets in eventually.
Just the latest case of the unvaccinated, anti-medical science brainiacs who are being unsafe during a global pandemic, then wondering how they ended up in the hospital with COVID-19! While I don’t go out of my way to wish ill on others, this is the latest proof that you just can’t fix stupid. Trust the vaccine, wear your mask when around other people, don’t do intentionally unsafe things, and both you AND others will have a much better outcome… and we will get past this pandemic quicker so we can all return to our normal lives. Enough said.
Barbosa, Lowe, Danko and Mullin the Flagler County Conspiracy spreaders can all thank DeathSantis for not taking this virus serious and thinks by ignoring it like his idol Trump did he will get elected in 2022. Someone hasn’t told DeathSantis yet Trump lost the election and he is heading in the same path. The Cult Republicans thought they were big and strong pretending they were immune to this virus well they are finding out now they are not. They are killing off their own party members.
So what’s the downside? They’re going to continue to do just what they want, they are beyond reach, LET THEM GO!
Just asking says
How’s the contact tracing going?
Can the public be kept up to date on the contact tracing from this incident?
That would be great to know who all caught the virus.
It cannot. The health department’s Contact-tracing is confidential.
Lance Carroll says
Good question. A question well worth an answer. Anyone know about the contact tracing of this hotel that has, maybe, a hundred or so rooms? Hospitality industry is a gamble as to infection. As one commenter mentioned, Flagler Beach restaurants are wall to wall with patrons. Was there a Flaglerlive article, recently, that outlined a Flagler Beach restaurant that had a substantial number of employees positive with Covid? Are there others? Feel free to chime in Flaglerlive? I try to be careful; I don’t always wear a mask. Who would think that hospitality venues could be super spreaders in a State where tourism is, possibly, the greatest generator of per capita revenue? My wish for everyone: keep safe, keep healthy.
The virus has been quite ironic in this way. Many people mocking it and the protections against it are catching it and dying. Seems biblical almost that the false believers are being punished by our lord and savior.
Hopefully he survives this battle to come back on the right side of God
Wow, many comments on this
post are just mean. No one, no one, deserves to get Covid. You make assumptions that he is not vaccinated but you don’t know! Many of you berate Republicans because you say they are terrible people. But look at yourselves-you are doing the very things you find repulsive. Barbosa being sick with Covid has nothing to do with his political affiliation. I am finding that Flaglerlive is a breeding ground for mean, vindictive people with both party affiliations. You make me sick!
Many Republicans are not getting vaccinated and then when they catch covid they are claiming they are vaccinated and that the vaccine doesn’t work ,just to sew more disinformation
Mary Fusco says
Just be Nice, the issue is not whether he was vaccinated or his party affiliation. The issue is that he knew he was sick and still went to this party. In fact someone at the party mentioned that he didn’t look well. This virus, like most, has an incubation period. Therefore, he did not contract the virus at the party, he went with it and most likely spread it. The problem with today’s society is that they can only concentrate on what they want or need in the moment. I Don’t think that observation is mean or vindictive. I truly hope Mr, Barbosa fully recovers and others learn if they don’t feel well, stay home. There will be another party or dinner out or concert.
I beg to differ. It has everything to do with his politics of denial, just as the orange guy and all of his sheep continue to deny medical science saying it is some type of liberal conspiracy, even going so far as to suggest that it allows Bill Gates to implant computer tracking chips into people LOL! Gov. Deathsantis is following right along and should be held culpable for lives lost here in FL after he actually put school age childrens’ lives in peril by signing a law making it illegal for local jurisdictions and school districts to implement common sense virus protections that are designed to minimize infection and save lives. You cannot make this stuff up – it is TOTALLY political for the sole purpose of furthering their political ambitions and appealing to their wacko base instead of doing what almost every singe medical and health expert has pleaded for them to do. And by the way, these idiot GOP politicians are helping to kill their own voters, because so many of the rest of us have already done what is necessary to remain safe and ensure the health and safety of our own family and those we are around.
They are only mirroring there idiot savior. And to quote him “It is what it is”
They don’t get vaccinated and wear masks ? They’ll likely get COVID 19.
I’m sick of wondering when these trump republicans will wake up, it’s just not gonna happen.’
They’re reckless behavior is putting us all at risk, I have no sympathy.
Cleansing the gene pool.
Fernando Melendez says
Hoping everyone comes out negative from this virus, and wishing Barbosa a quick recovery. Although from opposite political points of views I certainly don’t wish anyone to come down with any virus or illness. Let’s keep vigilant and keep safe 🙏
You can’t fix SYUPID.
Steve Robinson says
As the article explains, it is not clear whether Barbosa was vaccinated, but I am reminded of a snarky comment law-and-order types used to make back in the ’60s and ’70s: A conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged. The idea was that no human misfortune is real until it happens to you personally. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, I am left to ponder the bleating of those in the anti-vaccination crowd who cared nothing about the health and safety of their fellow citizens until they themselves wound up in the ICU gasping for breath, while their loved ones could only observe their suffering via Zoom. It would not be a stretch to suggest that many of these same people flaunt their obeisance to compassion and brotherhood every Sunday, while emitting plumes of viral saliva the other six days of the week.
Dawn N. says
Oh my gosh I feel horrible for not sending well wishes to Mr. Barbosa, in my previous comment to John Rogers. I hope and pray that Mr. Barbosa makes a full and speedy recovery. Sending prayers.
Wow, such haters here. Karma is a bitch, yes. And for wishing ill on someone else, karma will be looking at you as well. As for the commissioner, he does NOT have to disclose whether or not he has been vaxed. Anyone ever hear of HIPPA? Here is to a speedy recovery for Barbosa and anyone else who has the misfortune of contacting this virus. Left, right or middle.
Couldn’t agree more skibum. “…like everyone else who thought this was going away.” Tens or hundreds of millions in America alone, who know this is far from over. How we rationalize our cognitive dissonance. Luckily, he “lived and learned.” 600,000+ and counting weren’t so lucky, were they?
Look at Ken McDowell, the biggest political brown noser in Flagler County!
DeSantis is the biggest brown noser of Trump and has been for a very long time. His and the republican legislature’s hatred & disdain of Floridians is showing in all the laws and regulations they have passed over several years now.
What effect will this infection have on Barbosa’s charges for kidnapping and armed robbery?