COVID Bits

#AloneTogether

* Emergency room visits are down nearly 50 percent across Florida. But it’s not, alas, because there are far fewer emergencies, but because patients, including those suffering heart attacks and strokes, are increasingly delaying–or refusing–care because they are afraid of going to a hospital during a pandemic.

* 83 percent: That’s how much profits in the Florida tourism industry dropped in mid-April.

* The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tampa has reopened–with a new-normal ambience that includes masks, thermal imaging and sanitized chips as part of a “safety first mentality.” But will its customers feel comfortable enough in a pandemic casino, safety measures notwithstanding? Well, they are gamblers.

* 12.9 percent: The Florida unemployment rate for April, a modern-day record. The national unemployment rate is 14.7 percent. Highest unemployment rate: Nevada (28.2 percent); lowest rate: Connecticut (7.9 percent).

* No mandatory COVID testing in nursing homes yet? Nearly half of all Florida COVID deaths are tied to long-term care facilities. What’s DeSantis waiting for? Trump intervention? Not much he can do about cruise ships or ICE detention centers, but nursing homes?  How about whatever it takes, including diverting state and federal funds? Or are nursing homes de facto triage operations?

* The Tampa Bay Comic Convention (July 10-12 at Tampa Convention Center) is set to return–as in “green light to proceed.” Watch for all those Comicon Spidermen with masks.

* Sign of re-opening: an abandoned scooter.

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