The Coronavirus has hit the world, the United States, the State of Florida, and Miami-Dade County.  We’re going to share the latest numbers and how people are coping with the situation.

Coronavirus Numbers

As of Sunday night, the Florida Department of Health is reporting over 1,000 cases of COVID-19 with 227 cases in Miami-Dade County or 23% of the state’s overall total.  That number is also more than double what we reported on Thursday.

Florida:  1,007 Cases

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Miami-Dade: 227 Cases

Coronavirus Count Florida March 22

Impact

As you know, restaurants are no longer allowed to offer dine in service.  Most restaurants have switched to delivery and take out services.  Hotels and motels were ordered to shut down effective tonight.  All parks, beaches, and marinas are closed.  Non-essential businesses have been ordered to suspend operations.  This is resulting in residents working from home and the unprecedented first of countywide online teaching.

Social Distancing

Hand shaking is history.  We’re all moving to the elbow bump in scenarios where we even want to get that close.  Right now, everyone’s trying to stay 6 feet apart.  Milam’s was protecting their staff and customers by limiting the amount of people inside the store at any given moment.   This helps to enforce social distancing within the store.

Hand Washing

Social Distancing, hand washing, and not touching your eyes, nose, and mouth still remain the most effective way to prevent the acquisition of COVID-19 (aka the virus, Coronavirus, Chinese Coronavirus, Wuhan Virus, Novel Coronavirus etc.)  And it’s not just a regular hand wash.  The CDC recommends washing your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds.

WHY?

Why are we doing all this?  Aren’t my chances of dying low?

Yes. Most people who catch Coronavirus will survive, but the fatality rates get ugly for the elderly and those with underlying conditions.  But that’s not really the reason for all the shutdowns.  The reason for shutting everything down is to slow down and reduce the spread so that our existing Hospital systems can handle the virus and it allows our government and healthcare systems time to prepare for extra equipment, medical support and testing.

Last week, there was minimal testing.  Now, there’s drive through testing available at CB Smith park and Hard Rock Stadium.  Soon, Marlins Park will offer drive through testing.  So far, our healthcare systems have been able to handle this and as you can see, slowly but surely, more resources are coming online to combat the situation.

What we don’t want is the Italian situation.  A situation where the disease spread rapidly and overwhelmed the Italian healthcare system.

When a healthcare system gets overrun, people who would normally survive a healthcare situation, regardless of whether is COVID-19 or something else like a heart attack or a serious car accident, may not be able to survive since the hospital cannot deal with the overwhelming number of patients.  The following video does a great job explaining the flattening of the curve.

ITALIAN SITUATION

On Thursday, we reported 3,405 deaths in Italy.  On Sunday night, John Hopkins University Coronavirus Dashboard was reporting 5,476 deaths.  That’s 2,000+ deaths in just 3 days.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?

The short answer is, nobody knows when we will win the war against this virus.  But, the quicker we limit the spread of the virus, the quicker we kill it off.  By promoting social distancing, quarantining those who do become ill, the virus eventually has no place to go.  In other words, the more seriously we all participate in social distancing, the sooner we can kill off the Coronavirus and get back to a more normal life.  In other words, let’s take the big hit now in terms of social disruption, for a better personal and economic future.  Of course, that’s only part of the story.  We eventually need to travel to other countries which leads to the possibility of re-introduction.  Long term, the solution to Coronavirus will be a vaccine.  That’s going to be a solution we most likely don’t see in the mainstream until 2021.  So, the idea is to limit the spread now so that we can kill it off.  Furthermore, those people who catch Coronavirus and survive become a firewall to future infections.  For example, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who is recovering well from the Coronavirus will never be able to be infected by COVID-19 again as his body will become immune to the infection.  This is the heard immunity concept.

Outdoor Activities

Kayakers Fishing on the Ludlam Canal
Kayakers Fishing on the Ludlam Canal

In the meantime, Miami Springs residents have been out and about enjoying our beautiful Miami Springs weather and keeping their social distancing while enjoying the outdoors this past weekend.  A beautiful thing has occurred with social distancing and being stuck at home.  I’ve seen a record number of families out and about riding bicycles on Miami Springs famously calm residential streets.  So many folks have gone out to enjoy a stroll along our tree lined streets.  People roller skating along the sidewalks.  People fishing our canals.  And even some kayakers enjoying our waterways.

Biking on Oriole Avenue
Biking on Oriole Avenue
Fishing on Westward and Esplanade
Fishing on Westward and Esplanade
Skating on Royal Poinciana Boulevard
Skating on Royal Poinciana Boulevard
Family Biking by Miami Springs Middle School
Family Biking by Miami Springs Middle School

Helping Local Businesses

The world, the United States, and even our community have been jolted by the economic impact of the shutdown.  If you want to support some of your favorite local restaurants, you can call them to order delivery and/or take out.  This is a great way to support local businesses that have taken a major shock to their business model.  Don’t forget to tip the delivery drivers and or the cashiers who are not receiving the normal tips they would typically enjoy.

Helping the Elderly in Miami Springs

Milam’s Markets serves a unique role in our community providing the largest assortment of essential materials within our community.  As you know, they’re enforcing a social distancing protocol by limiting the number of customers inside the story at any given moment.  But they’ve also implemented special hours for the elderly and those most at risk.  They open on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 8 – 9am exclusively for the elderly and those most at risk.  In other words, the elderly don’t have to leave Miami Springs to find a safe place to shop during this war on the Coronavirus.

Milam's Markets Helps Seniors
Milam’s Markets Helps the Elderly in Miami Springs

Time to Pray

Blessed Trinity streamed Mass live while parishioners stayed home per the Church’s recommendation to help with social distancing.  We live in a wonderful time where we have the technology to hear the Lord’s message from our own community.  As Christians are within the Lenten season of sacrifice, remember that the suffering of the Lenten season got worse before it got better.  As you know, the lenten season of sacrifice culminates on Good Friday with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  But the celebration begins with the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

I believe the Coronavirus sacrifice will get worse.  Unfortunately, more people will get sick, and yes, more people will die.  But fortunately, with the shutdown of international travel, the closing of schools, and many businesses, and practicing social distancing, we will limit the suffering.  And much like Easter, we prepare for an incredible celebration the likes we’ve never seen before as we eventually win the battle against this virus.

May God Bless You All.

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