By Milissa Holland, Matt Morton, and Jerry Forte
From the beginning we’ve been open, honest, transparent and consistent in our messaging and our approach to the Covid-19 pandemic. The decisions we’ve made, and continue to make, have relied on the best evidence and the timeliest facts. We have acknowledged our responsibility for identifying and delivering essential services and crisis response throughout this event.
Each member of the City of Palm Coast team is keenly aware of the trusted and vital role we serve together. We have all been living our core mission that you, our residents, are the purpose of our work.
We know the weight that each of you are carrying. We hold each of you – our residents, health care workers, teachers, first responders, front-line workers, business owners, vulnerable populations and our entire community – in our hearts. Hope inspires the good to reveal itself – consistent and responsible actions bring that which has been revealed into reality.
The entire staff at the City of Palm Coast and their families would like to sincerely thank the Palm Coast community for their diligence and understanding during this challenging time. Although we are near the peak of the pandemic, there is still so much more to do. The projected height of the pandemic in our area is constantly changing, with residual outfall expected to last several weeks or months. Current data still shows we are on the rise with Covid-19 cases and that we have not flattened the curve in our community. We remain diligent and focused on what is truly important, our citizens.
As your leaders, we make tough decisions every day based on what we know is best for the health and well-being of our community. With over 90,000 residents and a significant portion falling in a higher at- risk category, we must personalize these decisions to best serve our community. Please continue to support the restrictions that are in place for not just the community, but also for the people that are continuing to be on the front line of this pandemic: firefighters, law enforcement, EMS workers and hospital personnel.
These resources are crucial. The pandemic has significantly taxed our systems. Currently, we still face a nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and various supply chains have experienced disruption. We must remember that we are also in wildfire season and hurricane season will return in a few short weeks.
These actions we take today must contemplate the stability, strength and resiliency of our response systems to endure our readiness in managing these coming challenges. From our doctors, nurses, hospital staff, law enforcement, firefighters and paramedics, we remain mindful about strengthening and protecting our front lines. I assure you we are up to this task, but it will take community partnership.
As the impact of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic continues to shape our daily lives, affecting how, where, and when we work, getting sick or anxious, or worrying if our families are at risk, it’s easy to feel like your individual actions may not matter in the grand scheme of things. But every single one of us plays a part in our community’s health.
In Palm Coast, teams of subject matter experts have been working diligently through this disaster to ensure your calls are answered and we are operating effectively. As we have demonstrated in other trying times in the past, we are carrying out our mission with many successes while overcoming challenges and obstacles. By reducing exposure, creatively planning for PPE and maintaining a healthy workforce, we are ensuring our response not just to the Covid-19 pandemic, but also to all your regular emergencies as well.
We have seen the worst life has to offer and have been inspired by those who have rose above to overcome those difficulties. We strive to keep our staff safe so that, in turn, they are ready to be there for you. We lead by example and empower those to be responsible for your sake. The best decision we can make is to help our city to not only survive, but also recover from this pandemic. Premature lessening of the lifesaving restrictions will prolong the city’s recovery process and can cause a danger to our most vulnerable population.
Shortages of personal protective equipment, nationwide, can demonstrate how reliant we are on the simplest of needs. When those resources are unavailable, it places firefighters, medical workers, nurses and doctors at risk. The city has created alternative utilizations for our PPE so more supplies can go to the ambulances and the hospital. Extraordinary demand on a system that is already searching for PPE can cause strain on a delicate system.
The measures taken to this point were to ensure the city response is optimized and the health care professionals are ready to serve the community safely. The risk to our population is too great to reopen the city too soon.
Let’s come together as a unified Palm Coast and take ownership of this pivotal moment. We have a responsibility as community – to our friends, family and neighbors – to do the right thing in this most crucial time. Our economy will recover. Our way of life will return.
We must remain steadfast in our approach and see this through to the end. While the Governor has a responsibility to the entire State of Florida, we have a responsibility and commitment to you, our more than 90,000 local residents. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to this pandemic. We manage that responsibility through the value of our local perspective, knowledge and the specifics that make Palm Coast truly unique.
We have not forgotten the importance of helping people feel connected by understanding we are all in this together. We will continue to promote additional avenues of community support like the Mayor’s Rise Up Palm Coast and Feed Palm Coast Initiatives to the fullest extent for the well-being of our community.
Our residents are incredibly resilient, as we’ve seen through wildfires, hurricanes and now a pandemic. We’re asking for your strength and resolve once more as we face down the next phase of this global crisis.
Our leaders have been meeting and are committed to releasing this week our reopening strategy that will benchmark when and how we are opening. Please continue to stay informed on all of the latest updates. This reopening strategy might need situational adjustments, but it will be thoughtful, timely and on an appropriate schedule to begin our return to normalcy.
Until then, stay safe and please continue to do your part. We are all in this together and we will all get through this together.
Dave Preat says
The someone please explain why the Leigh trail remains open. I have no problem with it being open, but to claim you have responsibility and commitment to me and our more than 90,000 local residents. Why not open all or none. How about a county wide agreement.
Because like always the City thinks they are better.
I must have missed the part where you and the others were voluntarily giving up your salary while mine has been deemed unessential.
What a nice idea.
How about we, the taxpayers, (remember us?) start & sign a “virtual” memorandum stating just that.
And when you immediately state “virtual, or digital” signatures are invalid, we stand right in front of your office(s), and ALL public places, collecting actual signatures…
One, by socially distanced, one!
Get off your collective butts
We get enough nice talk from the White House
DO SOMETHING BESIDES TALK
Marlene C says
Thank you, for your attention to keeping us safe but I have 1 request for you. That is to see that all long term care facilities, rehab facilities, senior day cares, and nursing homes and their staff in Palm Coast get tested for Covid-19.
I have been in, know people in, know staff working in these facilities and I, along with many Palm Coast residents, are concerned.
no mask says
they cant, it makes no sense . 3 have died from covid in flagler while 20 have died in car accidents!
if you do not have a PEC your chances of dying are .0000005!
if you have a PEC stay home, and hide under your bed leave the rest of us alone!
“Hide under your bed?” Really? Is that what you think those who have serious or chronic health issues should/are doing? I am a nurse with a chronic health condition. You need to quit hiding your head in the sand and discover reality. What’s it going to take?
NO MASK says
yes- real numbers don,t lie. I have friends that are emergency room nurses in flagler and volusa and 1 who is a nurse in NJ.
turn off MSNBC AND CNN AND GET REAL
You have friends that are nurses…so? Continuing to refer to auto accidents is a red herring. Prevention of Auto accidents and the rate of death in them was decreased by the advent of the seatbelt and the airbag. Attempts to decrease the effects are constantly being worked on in automobiles. The same goes for this virus. Until a vaccine or medications come along, there is no cure. So, masks, hand washing, social distancing etc. will be the order of the day. Why is it so damn hard for you inconsiderates to comply?
Billy C says
I have a better idea, since you find wearing a mask an imposition how about YOU stay home where you don’t have to wear one and the rest of us can wear ours. Since the mask prevents the carrier from spreading the virus then mask wearing citizens are taking precautions. You don’t want to take any? Stay home. You’re welcome.
Christopher Lemke says
A better idea is to stay out of other people’s business. Do exactly what you want to do and I will do the same. Even the best masks filter about 70%, so they are essentially ineffective. So, I personally am not buying into that fantasy. Don’t even think of telling me to stay home. This whole mask thing seems to appeal to the sanctimonious side of some.
Billy C says
Other people’s business? LOL..you forgot this is called a society not a Christopherville. What you do or don’t do is not a matter of personal business but a matter of participating in a society. You are obviously inconsiderate of others so maybe you shouldn’t live among others if you find it so hard to comply with rules that will provide safety for others. If you think this is a fantasy then check the bodies at the morgue. Do you remember when seatbelts became mandatory? Same concept. No one is telling you to stay home. But what is so hard with adhering to social standards? P.S. 70%? You may want to look up why the masks are called N95.
What a meaningless mess of convoluted nanny-state Mumbo-jumbo. Save our local businesses
No one is stopping you from getting a job at Publix. They are hiring…unless you feeling working with an infected public is too dangerous. If the nanny-state did nothing and someone you loved died, you would be crying and whining not enough was done.
Awchew -- it's not covid says
Healthdata.org has SIGNIFICANTLY reduced the projected impact of covid-19 on our city, county & state. While I and my small family have been understanding, relatively supportive and empathetic with the difficult circumstances our leaders have faced and will still face, we are not convinced that your open letter reflects an adequate scientific basis to continue a crushing lockdown. Please, let us get back to our lives! Palm Coast is a service economy. Far too many individuals and businesses have suffereed. You claim to have acted prudently based on the information at hand. Then please, continue that responsibility and adjust for the current information at hand.
The numbers have decreased because of social distancing. Models exist that show spikes in cases and deaths if social distancing is relaxed. Can you ensure the safety of others? Or what about you and your family? What if you come in contact with an asymptomatic spreader? Are you willing to risk the life of your family just because you desire normalcy?
I am not sure you fully understand what a plateau and downward slope mean regarding a pandemic. You speak of factual science and yet you speak of none. You use conjecture and talking points with no real understanding of how this ends. 1918 was awful in the second wave because they relaxed measures too soon. You want to risk your family’s life that is fine, they are your family but I need to protect mine.
Sing it Sister! School these ignoramuses!
I agree totally. The ones That are staying home and following the rules are the ones that actually care about their lives their families and the community of Palm Coast. You are worried about normalcy in a pandemic where how many lives have been lost??? Worry about others instead of going back to opening up everything and spreading this further
Christopher Lemke says
Worry about yourself and I’ll worry about myself. Stay at home if you wish. By the way, homes, being enclosed spaces, are very conducive to harboring and spreading the virus.
I have a very hard time taking anyone seriously who hides behind cute handles and “Anonymous”. One should own one’s comments and stand behind them as a real person, not just some troll with a keyboard.
Maureen russo says
I agree as people are tested numbers are rising for godsakes let’s not have the deaths rise
Concerned About Flagler County’s Left Tilt says
I think I heard violins playing in the background. This is a load of crap. We need to get back to work! Notice she says “MONTHS”. This will be remembered on Election Day.
The experts have been saying it will be months at a minimum, could be over a year before we get back to normal.
It wont be easy but together we can do this!
Thank You Mayor!
CLOSE THE PARKS AND BEACHES!
It will be and I will vote for her and against Trump. You make idle threats. Until you’ve lost someone from this and cannot say good-bye you have no idea what it’s like to deal with this virus. You want to go to the beach, fine, drive to the beach, but when you cannot say good-bye to someone you infected, you will realize why these provisions are in place. That is unless you are someone selfish and narcissistic that wouldn’t care.
I will be voting for both. Trump said he would like to see the country open up as soon as it is safe and that decision rests with the state and local governments. Every city knows its own threats . If we are spiking it is the exact wrong time to relax restrictions. I was in Walmart and people are not maintaining the distancing or wearing masks. When people are not even taking this seriously, how can we open the city?
Yeah, you have to be alive for that.
Open the country too early and many more will die.
Your choice, Citizen.
Ed Hannon says
Agree 100 % according to John Hopkins Cov-19 web site since Friday the reported cases in Flagler County increased from 52 to 75 a 44% increase, we are accelerating at an alarming rate. Had curbside food pick up yesterday at Walmart and the majority of customers entering the store were without masks and in violation of the 6 foot distance requirement so in my opinion we’re failing currently so any relaxing at this time will be a disaster. We have a small hospital that will be overwhelmed unless we WAKE UP NOW!
Exactly. People cannot even follow the arrows at Publix. Palm Coast is a hot zone in terms of size, those tested, and those infected. If this increase came from the 47 people tested at the drive-up site then only 15 tested negative. This is only in the first responders and over 65 groups too. My age group cannot get a test if I paid for one on the black market. People just don’t understand or care. Personally, I think it’s the latter, sadly. They feel invincible and do not care about the people or families around them that require social distancing to survive. Most of these vulnerable people receive the flu and/or pneumonia vaccines to help them but social distancing is the only way they can help themselves now and society needs to be compassionate and caring for a little while. It is someone’s grandparent, or parent, or sister, brother, aunt, uncle, or child. “You” may not know them but someone does and losing them to this is unimaginable. It’s horrific. I wish that on no one.
C J H says
I agree with you totally I think they should change the age group that gets tested I am 60 years old I got sick last week running close to 104 fever for four days all I had was a headache or should I say one hell of a headache but because it didn’t follow the guidelines for the symptoms I could not get tested Luckily whatever I had is gone now no more fever thank god just feel really weak from it all.I think if anybody is running a fever over 103 they should be allowed to get tested.may God be with us and let’s use our heads Even if they open everything back up please don’t go out unless you need something if you need to get out of the house go for a ride in your car that doesn’t mean you have to get out of the car but think about the others around you do to the fact that I do not know what I had I’m not going out for 14 days. Because right now I’m so weak . I get something if I go out ! Be safe and stay in !!!
A happy citizen says
I greatly appreciate this approach to keep people at home and safe for the time being. I know how trying this is for everyone but at the same time, it is necessary. We rely on our leaders to make sound, well thought out decisions and I am grateful for your efforts to do what is right.
Linda H. says
I would like to ask the City why Home Depot, Lowe’s, Target, Walmart, big box pet stores, and the ABC store…basically all big box stores are still open? The ONLY businesses Palm Coast shut down were SMALL businesses, the Mom and Pop stores, small shops that can’t hold very many people, but are the life blood of this community.
How’s that working out for everyone?
Our cases are rising because we are finally testing. How many people are in Advent Hospital? And how many had surgeries and procedures delayed because of this?
Our virus numbers are lower than last year’s flu. The people in this city have the right to get back to work. Life must go on.
Coral G says
It’s been a month! Those that want to stay home, stay home!
This is all a cover up of numbers of the virus.
You can’t keep us locked up. It’s inhumane.
You’re elected don’t forget that!
I’m sure you have at least an internet connection at the house. Power, water and other luxuries. Food can be delivered. The beach is not essential. This is in no way inhumane.
Let’s not rush the social distancing and lockdown. This is horrible and we all are scared. I commend the courage of our leaders here in Palm Coast. We are not alone. We recently moved here from southeast Pa. I talked to our friends and family in Bucks County, N.J. and Phila. and they are all locked down. In Philadelphia, cops are pulling people off public transportation who don’t have masks. 11 more days to May, then let’s evaluate our status then. Anyhow, if you open business now many of us won’t come. Stay united.
Earl Johnson says
My goodness… paragraphs of babble. Did you think all those words would confuse or distract people?
Here’s the deal- as leaders you’ve done well in moving to contain and control. Thank you. You now seem intoxicated on maintaining control, couching it for the good of the people. There’s no need to delay a waved opening. Data supports this.
Parks, beaches and outdoor recreation along with limited retail (including social distancing precautions) should be a part of Wave 1. We have delayed the virus so our health care system could manage. People have made more sacrifice than necessary, and it’s now time to take a small but meaningful step. Wave 1 should be starting now, followed urgently with appropriate waves 2,3 etc. Show sympathy for those suffering because of COVID. It’s time to move forward.
It seems to me that back in March, people wanted to save lives and were willing to shelter in place. Now, we have seen it work in some places, but it is boring and for many financially difficult. So, we call for opening up before we reach our peak. Losing our resolve now will just eliminate any good we may have done. I hope Palm Coast will not succumb to our president’s or governor’s lack of resolve. We need to continue our mitigation efforts.
Good on them. You want to work? Publix is hiring. Do you really think you will be working as you were in the past? No. The world has changed. Jobs have changed. Just because you were laid off doesn’t mean you will get the call back. It will never be the same again. That restaurant will only need half the staff. That lawn service? I bought my own lawn mower. I don’t miss eating out. I don’t need the things I thought I needed. Retail store? Why bother when Amazon gets me whatever I want in a day or two. All these other places now I’ll shop online. No need to go into a brick and mortar store except for grocery’s.
You may want to work but I want to protect my elderly family. Frankly, I care more about their lives than I do your paycheck, especially when there are plenty of places hiring right now that you can work at temporarily until whatever you did before reopens, if it ever does. The cases are growing here. The ratio of tested to infected makes Palm Coast a hot zone. Sorry if you are too inconsiderate and selfish to realize this is about protecting a vulnerable population. This crisis is bigger than the one you see in the mirror. The most vulnerable have no way of protecting themselves from the ignorance of others that already do not follow social distancing in grocery stores. You want to responsible for their deaths, fine, but I’ll take a little financial pain over being someone’s grim reaper.
Pick up your phone and make calls to your credit card companies, your mortgage holder, your bank that has your car loan, and so on. Don’t just sit and whine about it. Do something. I did. I called all my bill holders and got myself a three-moth reprieve. They tacked the payments on to the end of my agreements. I negotiated interest-free minimum payments on my credit cards. I deferred my student loans for a year. I took action and in doing so, I am not feeling as much pain as if I sat around and complained all day long about perceived injustice. You want the government involved when it’s convenient for you or to push an agenda of hate but when they try and help save lives, forget it, you are suddenly not as pro-life as you think you are.
Thank you, Palm Coast government for thinking of your citizens and the most vulnerable. My 96-year old grandmother with COPD thanks you. My 76-year old mother thanks you.The rest of my elderly relatives and in-laws thank you. And I thank you for allowing me to continue to help prevent them from contracting this disease by limiting their exposure as much as possible.
And I thank you too. I thank you for my daughter and son and their spouses and for my three granddaughters. All of whom are safe and well in their homes. We FaceTime. I zoom with the women that I heretofore baked bread for our church and parishioners every Thursday morning. I watched the church services this morning on my iPad. I use bill pay each month to take care of my bills. I order from Amazon or Walmart. Freshly delivers some meals while Publix delivers food and Walgreens delivers my meds. I live alone but I have wonderful neighbors who shout from their yard to my yard to check on eachother. I walk in the early evening up and down my cul de sac.
I teleconference with my doctors and thank them for being there for me and others.
All this is not perfect but it’s the cards I’m dealt with. For myself at 75, I need to stay home until everyone’s been vaccinated so then I can get vaccinated. I still have a lot of living to do and I want to continue chatting with my friends on the phone. So please, please, please think about others before yourself and stay home and stay well.
Kudos – well-reasoned, well-spoken. How would you like to be President? :)
Happy Happy Joy Joy, you are so right. We all need to do our part and stay at home. We are so fortunate to have social networks to stay in contact with family and friends. Please everyone be patient as our Mayor stated we are all in this together. Also, please pray for those who are on the front lines, medical workers, police firefighters. All who are taking care of the sick, hospital administrators and staff, etc. Remember, this is a prolife decision, if we open everything to early more people will contact this virus and die. We need to continue to do our part and have concern for others. I pray everyone stays safe and have patience.
Thank you Mayor! You have secured out votes for next election! You truely are in tune with the people of your community and we stand with you.
STAY HOME FLAGLER COUNTY!
A few months more and we will be closer to normalcy!
A few more months and small business owners will close for good. This scare tactic has gone on long enough. We have been quarantined since the end of February. You don’t speak for most of Flagler.
John Stove says
Yes Coral….yes they do speak for the vast majority
Bill C says
While I am totally sympathetic with your economic complaint, I also understand the Mayor’s plea to keep the city on a semi-lockdown. Your care seems only to be for you and your personal issues. We live in a town of over 90 thousand people. The demon at our door is a virus. In time the economy will recover. Those who succumb to the virus will not. How about a little compassion for your fellowman. Stay home. That little sacrifice is all you are being asked to do.We can all pitch in to pick up the pieces when the coast is clear.
Foolish to allow the beaches to be opened
Richelle Nowak says
You know what sucks…we are renters that are in the process of the owners selling the house we live in. Our lease is up at the end of June but have now been burdened not only with packing up our home and all the anxiety that goes with it but cannot understand how during this time our family and it’s health are disregarded as it is clearly essential to sell the house. In the meantime we are required by the realtors to allow people to visit our house whenever asked. No masks, no gloves….just random people walking around my home. It’s so upsetting and frustrating. What happens when my family becomes ill bc of this?
Does not sound right. Insist that they have on a mask. Not right.
Speak up to the agent and insist the listing agent be at the showing.
You have a right to tell the seller no, you won’t allow the house to be shown. I’m a realtor and if I were a renter I wouldn’t let anyone in my house.
It amazes me that people want to just ‘go back to normal’. Do you all understand that less than one month ago the county health director was touting that we had ZERO cases. Well guess what people, we now have over 60 cases in this county and probably more. Why on God’s earth should we just ‘open’ everything back up and make pretend we are all just invincible to this illness. I get it, it’s an inconvenience, but let’s be real….because this illness is real. Ask the people that have it, had it & the families that have had relatives succumb to it.
Eva Mowry says
True leaders do what’s right even when it is hard.
Thank you all for your leadership.
Praying we see the turn we need to see, soon, and praying for all of you who are entrusted with these decisions.
CB from PC says
Open up everything, beaches, bars, restaurants and for all the Citizen’s sake, keep up the toilet paper delivery. Also, due to the lack of Palm Coast entertainment options, it has been reported that webcam session bills are maxing out locals credit cards.
Concerned Citizen says
@ Linda H
You make great points.
All of the big box stores which can fund the Mayor and BOCC’s re-election campaigns were allowed to remain open. All of the HOA gated communities were exempt. Hammock Beach Resort was allowed to remain fully operational. I’d like to see if Dr. Patel is a major contributor to any election-funds. I bet we wouldn’t be surprised. Flagler County and Palm Coast specifically targeted local busniess to shut them down and ensure they can’t recover.
The lock down for Florida was half-ass. Laughable at best. Criminal at worse. The list of “essential” was a joke. And our own citizens blatently ignore the stay safe stay home order. Imagine what would have happened if it had been mandated with curfews and the National Guard had been called in to enforce.
To most this has been a minor inconvienience. But many have been irreversibly affected and will continue to be for a long time.
@ Flagler County and Palm Coast and other leaders,
Make up your damn minds. We are either dealing with a major Pandemic that will kill half the population. Or we are dealing with nothig more than a serious case of the flu. Half of you tell us we need masks and to stay home. Others say no busniess as usual. Not one of you have really stepped up to take lead to fix this. Or to develop a real response plan. Hell where has Jerry Cameron our County Administrator been?
Take note Mayor and BOCC’s. We are pissed and an election year is at hand. Shape up or prepare to be like many of us and unemployed after the votes roll in.
“RESPONSE FROM A MICHIGAN NURSE TO PEOPLE PROTESTING ABOUT “STAY AT HOME”I have seen 4 patients die, 5 intubated, 2 re-intubated, witnessed family consent to make 2 more patients DNR, sweat my butt off during COPT, titrated so many drips to no avail, watched vent settings increase to no avail. We are exhausted and at a total loss. Some of you people have never done everything you can to save someone and watched them die, and it shows….You wanna complain because the Garden Aisle is closed? Your garden doesn’t matter. If killing your plants would bring back my patients, I would pillage the shit out of your “essential” garden beds..Upset because you can’t go boating, in Michigan? You wanna tell my patient’s daughter (who was sobbing as she said goodbye to her father over the PHONE) about your FIRST-WORLD problems.Upset because you can’t go to your cottage up north? Your cottage…your second property… used for leisure. My coworkers can’t even stay in their regular homes. Most have been staying in hotels and dorms not able to see their spouses or babies.All of these posts, petitions online to evade “TYRANNY” it’s all such bullshit. I’m sorry you’re bored and have nothing to do but bitch and moan. You wanna pick up a couple of hours for me?Yeah, didn’t think so.I wouldn’t trust most of you with patient care anyway. Not just because of the selfish lack of humanity your posts exude, but because most of those posts and petitions are so riddled with misspellings and grammatical errors, that it makes me question your cognitive capacity.Shout out to my coworkers, the real MVPs.”
Sherry says: I would say the same for the “Floridiots” posting here!
May God bless you for the work you do.
sherry is not the hero ,she is quoting a nurse from michigan
Mary Fusco says
Wow Sherry, very well said. My daughter is a home health RN and right now is working 7 days a week because most of her patients are old and have chronic conditions. They have already been warned about the onslaught of patients they will be receiving for the next months and maybe into the next year. I don’t know when I will see her again and she only lives a hour from me. The reality is that hospitals will eventually run out of room and patients not needing ventilation will be cared for at home. I may be callous too if I didn’t know about her days running from patient to patient, talking with doctor offices, running Iv’s on a patient, going to see another and running back to finish the IV. Every time she is a patient’s home, she runs the risk of being exposed because she does not know who has been there. The stress is unreal. I applaud every medical person out there working their arses off. This too will end eventually, but there will be something else to bitch and complain about from people with nothing else to do. Please stay safe and healthy!
Sherry, thank you for all you and your coworkers have done during and continue to do during this unprecedented time. And THANK YOU for your post. Hopefully this will put a ‘lid’ on all the NAIVE and selfish/entitled people up. Because yes, anyone who bitches/complains is exactly one of those people.
Granny to 4 says
Very well said!! I appreciate what you are doing for those that are ill. I had a relative die from this virus–alone, no family allowed, etc. Your letter is point on and I admire you for telling it like it is!!! I do not know you but you sure are at the top of my list of good people!!! And my family is staying in and staying safe!!
SASHAY AWAY says
The Voice Of Reason says
Well said Sherry. Thank you for all you do. A lot of our residents have been blessed with selfishness in their hearts. City leaders have displayed intelligence and foresight. Fire season and hurricanes are real and on our doorstep. We need healthy first responders. We can’t afford to lose them to entitled babies spreading covid-19. Our numbers have basically doubled in the last week to 75. Now is not the time to go back to business as usual. Only a fool would think that.
May God Bless you. I was a nurse and I agree with you 100%
Most of those floridiots you speak of have come here from places like Mi, NY, MA……I lived in Michigan for 10 years. They have no shortage of ignorance there.
Donna Heiss says
In one of the comments above. The poster stated, “we are all scared”. This statement is not accurate. We are all going to die at some point. What’s the saying? Nobody gets out of life alive? I am not scared of dying. We are all going to do it. I’m scared of living. Living in fear, being made to stay at home, being told where I can go and when. Is this living? No. Rethink what you are scared of.
I’m scared of the people who aren’t even remotely concerned about potentially infecting other people. You may not care if you die, Donna. I don’t know you, so I don’t really care if you die either, to be honest. But I do care about the healthcare workers you may ultimately infect and I personally happen to care about potentially being a carrier and causing the death of someone who isn’t ready to die yet. People have a right to not want to die because of someone else’s negligent behavior. People have a right to be nervous and scared of catching an early death due to the selfishness and ignorance of fools. People have a right to want to Live.
I’ll be mad as hell if myself or one of my loved ones die because of someone else’s stupidity, Donna.
Pathetic PC says
Unless our city officials are going to give up their FAT salaries to help all those small businesses they have basically forced to close (most likely permanently) and nothing about all those that have lost jobs and now are facing evictions next month. This is another sad attempt keep those that don’t actually suffer from their decisions happy. As usual all they are concerned about is the image they put out there. Big reason they didn’t start testing earlier. Of course our numbers are going to go up because they are testing more. All those that are older or have underlying health conditions STAY HOME and keep safe. I have older medically fragile parents and they are staying home. I have not been able to visit with them in over a month my mom cries every time I call because they are so lonely. Some of us do not have the luxury of staying home. We don’t get an automatic check every month. State Unemployment website is a complete joke, the stimulus check won’t even pay basics like rent, water and electric never mind FOOD. This shutdown was NOT thought out at all for the long term. This Mayor is only concerned with keeping the public perception good for her. If this was one of her pet projects you know it would move forward without delay. The stay at home order was put in place to not put a strain on the health care system not to keep the City image perfect. This town already has a bad problem with suicides and they think keeping people isolated and locked down will make it better. What about all those that will be financially ruined by your power hungry decisions. Anyone think the 2008 recession was bad well hold on because of this continued shutdown it will be 10xs worse. We will remember this when it comes time to vote
Knock it off already, the lies are just compounding to the point that nobody believes anything our leaders/experts say. So they even lied about testing increases ? Not only that, but the kits are erroneous packages of junk. Someone needs to go to prison for this. Lives are being ruined over a damn Fire Drill. They still have 2 deaths, were those even COVID-19 ?
Well you all blew it in the beginning now the back pedal to cover. I’m not impressed . I will self quarantine best I can until this runs its course. Thank God Elections are here this Fall.
Quarantine is when you restrict the movement of sick people… Tyranny is when you restrict the movement of healthy people…
Remember that at election time…and remember the names Holland, Morton, and Forte.
Whether you’re one of the sheep who gladly give up their (and every one else’s) freedom for the illusion of safety…OR…the people who are getting tired of the nanny-state nonsense…Vote!
And remember…when you hear and believe phrases like “this is for the Greater Good”, “We’re all in this together”; that’s their way of saying ‘sit down and shut up, because we’re in charge’
A Fool and their ode to self righteousness. May you first hand experience Freedom as you think you know it.
Proud american says
An open letter to: Milissa Holland, Matt Morton, and Jerry Forte
From YOUR employer, a citizen.
Since you want to shut down the city, parks, and the beaches. Please make sure to also shut down your tax payments, water bills, electric bills, mortgage payments, rents, food costs etc..
advice to all: these payments don’t go away. It’s hard enough to come back from one month behind, never mind two or three. You can’t.
While our teachers have done the best they can given the circumstances, our children are not learning. They are working on assignments in front of a screen all day.
Yes you can shop online, but guess what, you’re tax dollars don’t go to our county.
Why is it ok for a liqour store to be open, but I can’t go To the dentist?
WHo are you trying to placate at home?
We have a right to pursue our happiness.
Yes we all feel for those who have perished, but we cannot live like this.
The virus will NEVER go away. There is no cure. Not every one will vaccinate, and that isn’t available for maybe a year or more if ever.
While some can work from home others cannot and are out there everyday. Who are you to decide who can and who cannot.
How about we lay you off until the government can open safely?
PS there are hundreds of miles of beaches they are ours, a gift from GoD, not yours.
Do you understand that death is literally……..God….stopping you from living your life?
Here is another way to look at it: If one person dies, your taxes are going up. If you are just a paycheck behind in your bills, you need to ask yourself if you got everything you were promised in the last election four years ago. Patriotism is not going to pay your bills.
If your kids aren’t learning in front of the computer screen, now is a great time to sit with them and help them though their lessons.
We must Adapt says
I read the letter. It appeared reasonable. Opening the city/county too soon because people are getting itchy to get back to “normal” is not worth becoming deathly ill or dying or being responsible for someone else’s death through exposure to the germ you carry and may be unaware of.
It is hard, the waiting, the worrying, the inability to return to your old job/career. My advice to those who feel it is time to re-open society, is if you feel so strongly about it please feel free to apply for a job at any one of our tri-County hospitals. If you do not have medical training, you can do food service, transporter, or housekeeping work. The people currently doing this work are also heroes and needed. The grocery stores are hiring, take a job as a shopper with Instacart or Shipt. Landscaping and mowing, construction, the list goes on. A crisis like this requires humanity to be adaptable. Things might not be the way you wish they were but at least you are alive. So, please continue to do what is right and sane to protect the citizens around you. If you are young and enjoy great health be part of the solution instead of part of the problem. Thank you.
Facts, Data & Honesty need to prevail. Fact: The hospitals are laying off staff and many are approaching financial disaster. Most Small businesses are within days of collapsing as it appears banks moved the biggest companies to the front of the SBA line. People are going without surgery, healthcare and needed procedures which is creating its own morbidity. The stresses of good hard working people who are perfectly healthy and willing to go to work have another morbidity cost. Your state, city and county are hemorrhaging money and will never see the tax revenues that subsidize most of the single family homes in this county. Hurricane season is upon us. The state has zero sales tax revenue and the city is collecting the last of the building permit fees. When will the run out to clean your ditch, service your pep-tanks or pay for the deputies. Building permit & impact fees that pay much of your utility, school, fire and park maintenance will be gone in 60 days. Those who callously critique even the discussion of a rational, systematic RE-opening are doing so out of economic ignorance. Your supply lines have been impacted, inventories are depleted. There comes a point where the cure is worse than the disease. I agree that all retirees and vulnerable should stay home. Heck, if you have anxiety and want to stay, have at it. But, if you think your heavy pension or bank account is going to provide you endless door services including health, power and food you too will be impacted. Your Amazon will not be doing hernia surgery or pay the mortgage you just received 90 days forbearance on. Not to mention food production is now showing cracks. Order away and couch surf till 2021 but know the solution to your needs will be in short supply.
The hard truth we all must face is society cannot exist to blindly preserve a specific few
that venture on their own free will into a virus that is very specific as to whom it attacks. To those with health issues this is Horrible! But, wouldn’t it be best to quarantine and service those folks. Even at the expense of catering to those whose life is built on taking advantage of everyone and everything. This community’s benevolence as demonstrated by food pickups is amazing and that can be done. Unless you have a health compromised child it is a complete farce to say you demand a shutdown for your children. The facts demonstrate this to be wrong. For whatever reason, un-compromised children are not at risk. Are they carriers? Yes, but just as we know that your grocery store is the most likely source of the spread we shouldn’t be banning kids from the beach, parks or sidewalks. School openings are off the table till Fall so let’s recognize the need for sanity, exercise and vitamin D.
Please recognize that America listened, reacted and has done a commendable job. Approaching 2 months in lockdown we now possess more and better data. The one size fits all, media lead with the graphic & tragic photos of heavy viral load, vertical cities doesn’t apply to most of the country or the state. Continuing on this course has a certain end, the collapse of society and that means an end to your pension, government allowance and short term company furloughed funds. Force Majeure is being declared and your fund will be raided for the public good to pay for bankrupt hospitals, government, sewer plant repairs, power and rising crime rate. Think Venezuela. If you are vulnerable, have a government pension and don’t want to risk going to the beach, don’t go to the beach. Logically, you should not walk your street and god forbid, do not go to the grocery. We do need to adapt and that means acknowledging the virus traits etc then having that discussion as to how and when to open and recognize that we are not New York City, or Northern Italy. If we don’t put aside politics, economic advantage and ignorance we will be circling the drain by years end.
Bill C says
Oh, i see where you’re going. “society cannot exist to blindly preserve a specific few that venture on their own free will into a virus that is very specific as to whom it attacks”. So, you are among those who cannot contract the virus and therefore you should be allowed to go about business as usual to hell with the rest of us. In striving to regain economic footholds (which can be regained later) you are willing to restrict and or sacrifice those more vulnerable. Stopping the death of any person should take precedence over your desire to rush back to normal so you can have your first world comforts restored.
We Must Adapt says
The supply chain is disrupted due to ignorant employers who made their employees go to work despite the fact they were ill and showing symptoms. These were not elderly workers for the most part but presumably relatively healthy middle aged men and women. Smithfield ham at my last count had well over 600 employees positive for Covid19. Also, children and healthy persons are spreaders. Teachers are not typically children and can easily catch the virus from the kids then take it home to their families. Who do you think will be coming into the small businesses of which you speak? Little kids unattended? No, adults who may or may not have underlying health concerns. Hypertension being one which is silent but is a risk for Covid. And BTW, I don’t have a pension but I am immunocompro-mised. The hospital is laying people off? Why then do I receive emails to please apply for a
Nursing position? I cannot do it for aforementioned reasons. I don’t care if the city opens the beaches and parks with strict rules and eventually things will open up again. I feel for small business owners who were left out of the SBA loans that went to big corporations first but What else would you expect from Trump? Vote in November for change. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make all this go away but I can’t so our next best alternative is to listen to the scientists so that people stop dying. Many ppl with underlying health conditions have them at no fault of their own. It is wise and prudent to consider every life worth this current hardship. My father was called
to war for his country and was a fighter pilot. We are being asked to stay home. We can do this. And yes, you are allowed to go outside for sun and exercise. No one ever said you couldn’t. I walk my dog
Every day and work in the yard. I understand what you are saying but please don’t forget that we can’t just open up everything and cull the herd. Young and middle age people are getting this virus as well. Also. things will open back up again. Maybe sooner than you think. Maybe not soon enough to save all small businesses. But life and limb take precedence over all, and who dare to put a price on someone’s mother. Father, wife, brother, son or daughters life in the name of revenue?
While that is all very concerning, we need to take this one day at a time.
John R Brady says
As a candidate for mayor I cannot sit on the sidelines and take a coward’s choice. I will be brief and to the point.
• I agree with the ultimate decision to keep the lockdown in place, but it should be a day-by-day decision.
• I disagree with the way this decision was made. A well-advertised emergency virtual meeting of City Council should have been held before a unilateral decision was made.
I have read the positions on both sides and find myself agreeing with points made by both sides. What we do here should be based on the higher rights of citizens in Palm Coast. This situation sounds like a hypothetical example debated in ethics classes in colleges and universities. unfortunately, this is a real-life situation. the overriding and prevailing right is the right to life. A person’s right to life trump’s every other right that exist.
Again, being brief
• The reopening decision should be fluid and changeable with short notice
• All members of City Council should weigh in
• The decision should be based on the most up-to-date science
• The model of what happened in South Korea should be studied and duplicated
• A call should be made to people in our community who by their training and expertise have knowledge on this subject to come forward and share that knowledge.
The worst-case scenario would be that the restrictions be lifted, and the number of cases increases and that must be avoided at all cost. If that means shut down continues so be it.
Finally, Palm Coast connect must be functional. I have made several attempts to sign in and the screen freezes.
Why do I have flash backs to Sheriff Manfre and the Calendar scandal whenever I see Mayor Holland in every news release the city issues? Looks like she is using the Pandemic to campaign just like Manfre did with the calendar. How about City Of Palm Coast issues the news releases and the Mayor stops campaigning on a crisis already.
I am retired and my wife is on paid leave of absence due to being over 65 with an underlying lung problem. This shutdown has no negative effects on us at all . We shop once a week using social distancing.We walk 5 miles a day and when we do see someone else walking ,jogging ,etc we stay away from them and them from us.3 times a week we get togo food from one of the local restaraunts. If I knew a good place to fish from shore we would be fishing. We have had people over a few times and again ,we practice social distancing and entertain outside in the yard only.If you are a person who has to go to work I can see how this is a pain in the ass, however for most of the old geezers in palm coast I would say follow the rules and still have fun, its not that hard.
Bill C says
Thank you, Mayor Holland. Mission #1 is to save lives and I concur with you decisions. Reading these “re-open” comments leads me to one conclusion: We live in a selfish, inconsiderate, spoiled society. Is it really so hard to stay in your homes with all the technology, resources and assets you have at our fingertips? The economic impact is great. But, the impact on the lives of those who have died, or are ill is far greater. With all the modern Zoom, Skype, videos, podcasts, books online and access to food, we don’t have it all that bad. We can survive this and move on once this pandemic has passed. But, for now. Stay calm and stay home.
When is our own government officials and those in Washington going to start listening to the medical professionals? Trump,
De Santis is lying about testing and isn’t doing one thing to prove it except continue to lie. Yes everyone wants to get back to normal but without doing in wisely and properly you are going to cause a worse situation.
The lack of testing in Flagler County is a downright shame and we can only blame our elected officials for that. Just because the numbers are low here without proper testing there are probably more people out there with the virus then these officials are aware of. When more lives are lost because of the official’s lack of responsibility to keep their citizens safe this will fall back on them 10 times over.
I am a high-risk member of society-and not a senior citizen. While my faith in God is great, there are nights when I wake up after a nightmare-it is: having trouble breathing and knowing that I have the virus, knowing that two of my daughters live out of town and won’t get to see me in person to say goodbye, knowing that I have to go to the hospital, knowing that most likely I will be saying a permanent goodbye at the waiting room to my soul mate, never seeing my granddaughter grow up and never seeing the rest of my family on this side of heaven. That is a nightmare that I would bet a lot of people are having, even if not high-risk.
I thank everyone for social distancing knowing that they are saving my life and the lives of others. Thank you City of Palm Coast for making the tough decisions. This is not a dem v pub issue, this is a country issue. We need to come together and support each other.
For those of you without jobs, I am truly sorry for you-there are churches in town that will help with rent, mortgage, food, other bills, etc. Please give them a try. Plus Walmart, Target, Aldi’s and others are hiring. While it probably won’t pay the rent, it will help.
Thank you for reading my rant.
Proud American says
Did you hear what Dr Birx said today! Jacksonville was doing great and was fine to open beaches…wake up people!!!!
Bill C says
Dr. Birx is in Washington. “Doing great” is a political statement meaning, for right now (fingers crossed) the numbers don’t show any result from opening the beaches. Are you kidding? It has been four days!!! Did you check hospitals for influx of new virus patients? Maybe you should wait a few incubating days before you start trumpeting victory.
How about you cut back on the city workers. see way too many mowing grass that doesn’t need it. standing and talkin close No 6 foot rule. Riding 3 in trucks. So I go On!
Lil bird says
The 44% increase in positive cases is only alarming when presented to those that don’t understand math. When put it in perspective via population numbers the number of positive cases in Flagler is much less than 1%. When in reference again positive cases divided by total number of tests (basic math) again less than 1%.
Now, Let’s really have fun… I have a 100 question math test. I get 5 questions wrong. Teacher records 95%… an “A”. My BFF takes the test and gets 6 questions wrong. Teacher records 94%. Now, if I posted I’m almost 20% BETTER at math than my friend you’d say I’m crazy but yet you believe these maligned interpretations done with math this same way!
Folks there is a virus. People will die. Sad but true. More die on 95, the US-1 white eagle intersection, or from suicide than ever have (or probably will) from this virus in Flagler. We are now battling ideologies here. Freedom vs tyranny. It’s basic history now…
Lil Bird says
Another noble idea: how about our city leaders who wrote this open lecture (er letter) on “essential” taxpayer dime (er time) show solidarity with their constituents (who they so casually acknowledge will be struggling “for months”) suspend their OWN paychecks OR at the very least reduce it by the same percentage that county (or city) unemployment is at, evaluated monthly, of course.
Then maybe we can sing along with your “All in this together”
Who are all these people in lockdown since the ‘end of February?’ and ‘going on 2 months?’ I remember it started the end of March. So, we put March in our head, then count April on 1 finger. Equals 1. Sounds like hyperbole math. Good thing, like metric it never caught on!
Dr. Birx also said the fine hair stylists and tattoo artists in GA may actually have a creative way to perform aforementioned tasks, while maintaining social distancing. I’ll take that grain of salt, please.
I can’t wait for Nov. Elections………. To ALL the Palm Coast elected officials that have kept their “slaves” locked in their homes for the past 3 months………. BYEEEEEEEEEEEEE
Chris Lemke says
If they stop making sense, they need to go.
Chris Lemke says
Please just get out of the way. We are all capable of protecting ourselves. The most vulnerable should be protected and the rest of us free.
That letter is just so much patronizing bull droppings.
Election time will come and we have the opportunity to replace these folks.
Show me real scientific proof for your actions. And then there is that inconvenient Constitutional issue. Only an idiot would think that one could contract the virus on the beach.
Billy C says
Spoken like a true graduate of the Trump School of Science. You are eschewing scientific proof on one hand and asking for scientific proof on the other. We don’t have a sure way of measuring who is vulnerable. You can’t even be sure that you are. Yet you qualify yourself as being part of the “rest of us”? Strange how those of you who trumpet constitutional rights only support those rights when they are convenient to your cause.