The two-week lockdown of the economy to flatten the curve of the coronavirus has now lasted almost a year. In some cases when the lockdown was lifted, the cases spiked, and the lockdown was reinstated. However, in other cases, when the lockdown ended quickly, there was no spike in the number of cases.
Yesterday The Federalist posted an article about the success of Florida in dealing with the coronavirus crisis. The article contains a number of graphs, so I strongly suggest you follow the link to read the entire article.
Here are a few highlights from the article:
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis started lifting lockdown restrictions back in May, allowing stores and restaurants to begin reopening in all but three counties in South Florida. The stay-at-home order also ended at the beginning of May. Unlike New York and California, Florida never tried to bar people from going to religious services.
At the end of September, DeSantis lifted all remaining statewide COVID-19 restrictions. Traveling back and forth from COVID-conscientious Northern Virginia to Florida, I could notice a difference. In Florida, kids were going to school, wedding parties were throwing receptions, young people were studying at coffee shops, and families were taking Christmas pictures downtown on the square.
…Since April, Florida’s unemployment rate has remained better than New York’s and California’s.
Schools in Florida are open too, and have been since August. My brother goes to one of them. I’ve seen kids playing at recess.
Amid all this, Florida ranks 33rd in pediatric cases per capita, better than California, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The state of New York has not released its numbers on pediatric cases.
…Not only is Florida’s economy enduring the effects of COVID-19 much better than locked-down states, its death rates are below the national average. At the beginning of February, the Heritage Foundation reported that Florida’s death rate was 123.3 per 100,000 residents — a tragic number, but below the national average of 132 people per 100,000.
Florida’s experience is consistent with epidemiological experience and research, as the infectious disease experts who authored the Great Barrington Declaration pointed out last October: “Basic epidemiological theory indicates that lockdowns do not reduce the total number of cases in the long run and have never in history led to the eradication of a disease. At best, lockdowns delay the increase of cases for a finite period and at great cost. ”
This is also consistent with recent, peer-reviewed research done on COVID spread in different countries that finds lockdowns and their severity have no ultimate effect. Numerous other recent studies make this conclusion.
Florida was also below the national average rise in total deaths per capita, which would include deaths caused by lockdowns in other states. As early as July, CDC Director Robert Redfield said of young people: “We’re seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from COVID.”
Nationally, there was a 16.9 percent increase in total deaths, regardless of cause. Florida’s increase was lower at 14.8 percent. Meanwhile, New York saw a 30.1 percent spike and California’s deaths increased by 18.6 percent.
If the states are considered laboratories to experiment with programs to see if they are successful, the rest of the nation should be following the example of Florida. That would be ‘following the science’ or at least ‘following the statistics.’