Florida is the reason we can’t have nice things
America has been suffering through the pandemic for about a year and a half now, but thanks to the widespread availability of vaccines, we’ve made a lot of progress — in some places. In other places — places where too many people are opting not to get vaxed — the virus is showing no signs of slowing down.
That’s especially true in Florida — where several hospitals and health systems are reportedly seeing the number of patients with Covid rise rapidly, in some cases to record levels. And what do those patients have in common? I’ll give you one guess.
A doctor at one Jacksonville hospital said that 90 percent of patients admitted with the virus were unvaccinated — which seems like a pretty strong argument in favor of getting the shot. Only about half the state’s population has been fully vaccinated, and even that varies widely by area. In some counties, it’s closer to 20 percent.
The best thing Floridians could do right now to protect themselves and their loved ones from the virus is to get vaccinated. One University of South Florida doctor estimates that the current rate of vaccination would need to double to keep people from getting sick and to stop hospitals from running out of beds. If that doesn’t happen — ICU’s across the state could soon be overflowing once again.
It’s a bit tough to feel sympathy for people who end up in the hospital because they chose to get their medical advice from Facebook memes instead of say, actual experts, but I feel terrible for the doctors and nurses who have been working themselves to the bone for months on end — only to end up right back where they started in terms of patient load.
And unfortunately, Florida is far from the only state seeing rising cases among the unvaccinated. Florida, Missouri, and Texas combined account for about 40 percent of the Covid cases in the entire country right now. They all just happen to be states that are anti-mask mandates as well — what an incredible coincidence.
We all want this pandemic to be over for good so badly — but it’s not going to happen unless people everywhere start using a bit more common sense. Cases in those areas with large populations of unvaccinated people seem like they’re just going to keep rising — and all that suffering and death is almost entirely avoidable. As one doctor told the New York Times, “If we were able to get more people vaccinated earlier than this… we probably wouldn’t be here.”