#Alone Together

* Timing, once again, is everything. More than 20,000 Americans remain overseas, still trying to return to the U.S. from vacations, work assignments and mission trips. International air travel is at a near standstill.

* So, after all that life-impacting vacillation, Gov. Ron DeSantis finally acted in the best interest of Floridians–not just lobbyists and the Florida Chamber of Commerce–by issuing a long overdue, public-safety, stay-home order. Better late than never, but not better than doing the right thing at the right time. There have been inevitable, unnecessary deaths. All activity will be limited to essential services for at least 30 days. And, yes, gun and ammo stores, are considered essential.  

But then later in the same day that he had issued the stay-home directive, DeSantis issued an amended order to override all local emergency orders. It confused and incensed any number of mayors and sheriffs.

So after a political honeymoon–prompted in no small part by the reality that anyone looks good after Rick Scott–DeSantis is looking increasingly like the guy who grew up in the Fox green room. At the worst possible time, we have had worrisome response delay, disconnects and now mixed, confusing messages. DeSantis should go on line and search for an Executive Order 101 class.

This is worse than “hanging chads” Flori-duh. This is the Sunshine State version of the Trump Administration clown car. Jeb! is looking better by the day.

* Dumb doubling down: How unconscionably outrageous that the usual suspects–aka COVIDiots–have targeted Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top government SCIENTIST in the all-consuming fight against COVID-19, for his lack of fealty to Trump. As if he’s undermining the Dissembler-in-chief with objective, scientific perspective.

* Speaking of COVIDiocy, how else to reference frolicking spring breakers and reckless religious congregants.  

* Speaking of religious services during a pandemic, what would Jesus say? Possibly “This is as alarming as it is embarrassing. I’m fed up with being represented by fakirs and fools. I don’t have a problem with megachurches, but I do have a problem with MAGAchurches. Remember ‘Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s’? It’s hardly a religious reach to say that saving lives via public safety damn (oops), darn well applies. Separation of church and state? Good Lord, how about separation of life and needless death? Remember, ‘In GOD we trust,’ not ‘In GOP, we trust.'”

* Jeff Bezos, richest man in the world, where the hell are you?

* Which businesses are essential? Pharmacies, check. Grocery stores, check. Gun shops, say what?

* The state has not mandated the closing of parks. Hillsborough County and Tampa have closed theirs, while Pinellas and St. Petersburg have left theirs open–for now. The rationale for the latter: They are a better option than crowding along the waterfront. But St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman could change that if residents don’t adjust their park behavior. The new park normal means no picnics, no touch football, no playground equipment use. Parks are escapes–not attractions. Not an easy, however necessary, sell.

* So much for the aesthetic respite of Bayshore Boulevard. The scary COVID new normal still allows for more tragic and unconscionable idiocy. Over the weekend, a motorcyclist and a bicyclist both died in an eminently avoidable accident. The motorcyclist who hit the bicyclist was one of three bikers riding together. One was being ridden on its back wheels. Yes, they are still among us.

* “We are continuing to see things go up. We cannot be discouraged by that because the mitigation is actually working and will work.”–That was Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, rendering an expert opinion that has everything to do with context and meaningful reassurance–instead of self-serving misinformation and disingenuousness.

* “It’s not just the movie “Contagion” that’s making a streaming comeback. Amazon is having trouble keeping Albert Camus’ “The Plague” in stock. Obviously pestilence fiction still has a market–even when it’s no longer fiction.

* Jewish irony: Passover canceled because of a plague.

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