The coronavirus outbreak has hit Florida. As the virus’ global death toll reaches 3,000, two Bay Area residents have tested positive for the respiratory disease. Consequently, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has declared a health emergency in the Sunshine State.
State authorities affirm that the threat to the public remains low. However, with confirmation of the second coronavirus death in the United States, these two initial cases of the coronavirus in Florida could have an outsized impact on the state and the rest of the nation.
The virus has already shut down towns and cities throughout the globe, from China to Italy. And it’s still spreading across Europe and the US, with New York registering its first case of the disease yesterday.
So the Florida coronavirus outbreak isn’t really surprising. But what’s concerning about the Florida case is that it officially completes the coronavirus’ spread to all four corners of the United States. We’ve already had cases in California, Washington State, and recently New York. And now, with Florida cases also confirmed, the coronavirus has effectively spread across the entire country.
Indeed, it’s now spreading even among people who haven’t travelled outside the US in recent months. It’s here. It’s in the air. And there’s not much we can do about it, save shutting ourselves indoors and living in plastic bubbles.
Speaking in the aftermath of the announcement, Governor Ron DeSantis delivered the usual spiel about how authorities were doing “everything” to stop the virus’ spread.
I have been working with federal partners and our Department of Health to ensure that communities are ready to handle the challenges presented by COVID-19. The dedicated professionals at our county health departments, as well as those working at local medical providers, are well equipped to address these and future cases.
Basically, they’re preparing to isolate people with the coronavirus. That’s it. Other than that, they’re just talking.
Other than offering common-sense advice, authorities in Florida and elsewhere are powerless to stop the coronavirus’ propagation. This is why the outbreak in Florida (and New York, Washington State, Oregon, California, Arizona, Illinois, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, etc.) is concerning. It marks a new step in the coronavirus’ spread.
The virus has already wreaked plenty of havoc on the global economy. China’s economy, for one, has almost come to a standstill, with the Chinese government pumping over $300 billion into it since January. So expect its growth in America to wreak even more.
But it’s not only investor confidence that will be sapped by the coronavirus. China has shut down upwards of 13 cities, telling over 40 million people not to travel. Even Italy has shut down several towns in its northern regions, which are pivotal to its economic performance. Its stock market has fallen 5.5% in recent days.
There’s no reason to think the United States will be spared such carnage. It already has cases on both sides of its continent. Is it doing anything special at the moment to halt further contagion? Not really, so it’s likely that the Florida coronavirus outbreak could herald a substantial growth of the disease.
And if the US does witness a significant increase in cases, expect the worst. Expect city lockdowns. Expect a stock market crash and another recession. Because with the Florida coronavirus outbreak, such nightmare scenarios are looking increasingly likely by the day.
Last modified: June 24, 2020 1:04 AM UTC