It’s a tale of two stories, both in Florida – that discordant state. On one end, a water crises due to so many COVID patients in the hospital, on the other, a state threatening to withhold funding for schools.
Let me break it down.
On Friday, Orlando asked their residents to cut back on water usage, specifically water consumption that included washing cars, filling pools, and mostly watering lawns. Though…why people who won’t wear masks will stop watering their lawns is beyond me. Anyway, the rationing of water is due to the increasing number of Covid patients in Orlando hospitals. You see, liquid oxygen is used in Florida to treat their water (because it smells and tastes swampy) and it’s ALSO needed to treat patients who can’t breathe because of Covid. It’s dystopia.
In the midst of this news, another story came out. Officials (Republican politicians) are threatening to cut funding to Florida schools that maintain a mask mandate. It’s tricky, because really what’s happening is that the state is threatening to not pay the salaries of board members and superintendents that enforce masks. You know, because to make people compliant you should crush their ability to earn a living and threaten them personally. I’m sure that works. (Wait, did I just describe capitalism?)
I can’t believe I’m still saying this AGAIN, but we are living in a time where local politicians are allowed to play politics with our health, with our children’s health, and with our communities health. Florida is spiraling, with over 12,000 cases reported on Friday (when these two stories came out) alone. Masks work (as this amazing opinion article from Iowa discusses).
Monday, Florida doctors staged a symbolic walk out to urge people to get vaccinated. In my own state, the government has made it illegal for us to require masks in schools, and it’s at the point where our city mayor is essentially at odds with our state government. I could lament the lack of community, but honestly, we’ve passed the time where we were all selling radishes in animal crossing while waiting for our sourdough to rise.
Something has fractured in our Democracy. It’s been happening for a while, but Trump really brought it to light. He made everything political, but when the pandemic hit, he made individualism toxic.
Nobody has the right to condemn others to die. That is what is happening right now with local politicians. By banning masks, they have condemned some students to death. This is no more apparent than in Florida where a city is rationing water to divert oxygen to Covid patients, and at the same time state legislatures are threatening school board members for creating mask mandates.
Get vaccinated. Wear a mask.