James R. Watkins | October 6th, 2021
Has Florida Reached Herd Immunity?
If you watch the daily COVID-19 counts provided by Johns Hopkins and Our World in Data, you can spot check how each country, or State within a country, are trending with new cases and deaths from COVID-19. You should check it every day. It is why we have it on our website on the menu bar.
I check it everyday to see how my State is faring. I live in Florida. In fact we are the fourth highest State for both cases and deaths. Miami has always the highest area for COVID cases and deaths. Tampa and Orlando are the next two areas hard hit by cases and deaths, but it makes sense because these are high population areas, and many people retire here.
Over the past 20 months Florida has been more or less a test case, a beacon if you will, for how this virus mutates and spreads in a State where, like Sweden, people have not been in lockdown, are not required to wear masks endlessly, and our kids not been kept home from school, unlike other States that have endured crushing lockdowns since the beginning of the pandemic.
In total cases Florida ranks third in the nation with 3.6 million reported cases (though we must remember many people take repeated tests). Florida also ranks eighth in average daily cases at 4400 per day. In total deaths so far Florida ranks fourth overall with 55,622 deaths.
When you consider Florida houses the highest number of people over 55 years of age per capita, there is no question our State suffered major casualties and continues to be vigilant with both vaccinations, among the highest in the U.S., and with treatments being offered via its monoclonal treatment center stations throughout the State for people who have COVID-19 but may not yet be seriously ill.
We were among the first to offer vaccinations to frontline health workers AND teachers, but we never mandated these vaccinations, nor did we keep businesses closed, and our leadership allowed local businesses and its people to decide where and when masks were appropriate.
We followed the science, not power hungry politicians who wanted to show they were “getting things done” by forcing people to stay in doors.
A few weeks ago my sons and I attended a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game and it was crowded. Very few people wore masks, but there were clearly many who did, which was fine, but life goes on and we are not all panic-ridden, angry, or despotic. Our children are not suffering from depression to the degree you see in places like Washington, Oregon, or California.
Florida is a shining example of common sense – and not heavy-handed government being applied to solve a problem. Despite many who critique Governor Ron DeSantis as being too lax, his policies kept businesses thriving, schools open and allowed the general population to make decisions on their own. I believe the notion of “controlling spread” was in-conceived because keeping people away from each other delays herd immunity.
,Today both cases and deaths are down 80-90% from two months previous (see below). But more than just down, they are staying down despite the fact the virus is still prevalent in places like Georgia, Texas and especially in Vermont and Massachusetts were vaccines are mandatory.
There has not been a surge in people taking vaccines in Florida, but there have been a surge of people getting sick and recovering, coupled with available therapy that have allowed us to “manage the curve” and has allow natural herd immunity to take its course.
Having taken the vaccine, I still believe at some point since doing so I have come into contact with others who may have given me covid. That I didn’t get sick and end up in the hospital could be a combination of the virus working and my body having been exposed. It cannot be avoided when you go shopping, see a ball game or even fill up at the gas station. To think COVID isn’t in the air where there are people breathing denies common sense.
Florida is a very open State. This is why the decreasing numbers in both cases and deaths is a positive sign of herd immunity kicking in. There are less people who are extremely vulnerable, COVID is finding less and less victims to attach itself too, deaths are dropping, and new cases, while still common, aren’t leading to overfilled hospitals as they did in early summer before DeSantis set up treatment centers for people who were getting sick.
Florida should be an example of how do do things right. But instead, and because of pride and probably a profit-driven pharmaceutical industry, is blacklisted from the national media.
Sweden did things almost the same way and they, too, are reaping success (see below).
What it proves is that lockdowns don’t work, closing schools has a negligible effect, and large crowds have little impact as super-spreader events in the way they are portrayed by the media.
Follow the science. Vaccinating those at risk, people using common sense guidelines in public, wearing masks where appropriate and allowing nature to take its course has worked and is working even now.
What these charts show is that massive government overreach does little to make us safer, and in most cases has ended up causing more harm than good because we aren’t allowing mother nature to take its course.