Big food drops like Palm Coast’s effort to feed 5,000 families are fine, but only an expanded SNAP (or food stamps) program can reach all families in need with an existing system that also acts as an economic stimulus for local business.
Gov. Ron DeSantis took a wisely cautious approach on reopening, but his caution contrasted with his ridicule of models that predicted grim outcomes for Florida in March. His criticism reflects a simplistic misunderstanding of models’ purpose, especially when they have their intended effect: to minimize loss of life.
The coronavirus emergency is raising ethical questions as communities reopen: how many deaths are we willing to live with, and whose deaths? The questions are at the heart of the debate on reopening, but are not being confronted honestly.
The coronavirus has mutated into ideological variants. We are moving from a natural disaster to a man-made one, from statistically unavoidable deaths to deaths willed by indifference, ignorance, selfishness, and the political calculations of a single man. The consequences will compound rather than mitigate the pandemic.
Misapplications and misinterpretations of the federal medical privacy law known as HIPAA are conspiring to kill more of us than otherwise would die from the coronavirus. And officials are taking advantage of the law to cloak their failures.
If it’s perspective we’re looking for in the age of coronavirus, we could do worse than looking to Voyager 1 and 2, emissaries from Florida in another century, whose language and distance remind us of our random place in the universe.
The only option to buy time and minimize coronavirus deaths until universal testing is available is to enforce a lock-down, without which voluntary half-measures will only prolong harm to the economy and increase the death toll.
With the coronavirus and its many knowns and unknowns, what may look like an overreaction today is the most effective form of prevention, and should not be given the chance to look like playing catch-up weeks from now.
Just as Flagler County commissioners started proffering prayers at public meetings, as the school board almost did, the Brevard County Commission paid out $490,000 in a settlement for doing so illegally for years.
The Flagler County School Board is considering speech restrictions at its meetings that include comment cards before a person can speak and prohibiting references to staff, students or anyone in the district.