OPINION – DISCUSSION

The City of Miami canceled public events including the Ultra Music Festival and the annual Calle Ocho Street Festival over fears of COVID-19 aka the Coronavirus.

That begs several questions?  Did the City of Miami do the right thing?  And if so, should the City of Miami Springs cancel the upcoming River Cities Festival?

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2020 River Cities Festival in Miami Springs

Let me start by saying, that I’m sure the decision to cancel the Ultra Music Festival and Calle Ocho were not easy decisions made by the City of Miami.  I’m sure they debated the pros and cons.

This is a public discussion I want to open up with you.

I personally believe it was the wrong thing to do to cancel the Ultra Music Festival and the Calle Ocho Street Festival.  I think this is the wrong message to send to the world.

The Coronavirus COVID-19 has spread and will continue to spread within the United States.  This virus can be deadly to the elderly and to those with underlying health conditions.  We believe people who are at risk can curtail their own contacts with the public to reduce their chances of contracting COVID-19.

However, most people, even if they catch the Coronavirus will be just fine.  In fact, there are probably far more people walking the streets with COVID-19 that have no clue they even have it, because either they’re showing no symptoms, or have had minor symptoms that haven’t necessitated hospitalization.

Miami’s number one economic engine is travel and tourism.  I’m all for protecting people, but there have been very limited deaths in the U.S. from this disease.  We have thousands who die each year from the flu and we don’t shut anything down.  Thousands die each year from drunk driving and the bars are still open.  Heck, thousands more die from regular car accidents and nobody stops driving.

My point is, there are risks in life.  We cannot prevent all risks.

If we shut down Calle Ocho and Ultra, then why stop there?  Shut down the airport.  Shut down every mall.  Shut down every club.  Shut down every movie theater.  Shut down every school.  Shut down every restaurant.  Shut down Disney World.  Shut down the beaches.  Shut down Miami Heat games.  Shut down spring training for baseball.

Can you see what a detrimental impact this would have on our economy?  Let me restate this, COVID-19 is already having an impact on the economy because of a four letter F-word:  FEAR

Catching COVID-19 is not a death sentence.  It’s not Ebola (as my kids like to point out).  Heck it’s not the Spanish Flu that was killing men and women in their prime.

Life goes on.  We are at a greater risk of an economic slowdown due to changes in economic patterns than dying from COVID-19.

If you don’t want to shake hands with people, that’s fine.  If you don’t want to go to work because you have the sniffles, that’s fine, too.

But honestly, shutting down public events is way too much of an overreaction.  Keep going to school.  Keep going to college.  Keep going to outdoor events.  Keep living life.

If you, personally, do not wish to go to a public event, you don’t have to.  But shutting down public events, at this point, seems ridiculous.  Your chances of catching the virus remain very low.  And even if you were to catch the virus, the chances of dying are only severe for the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.

And if you’re young, you really don’t have a lot to worry about.  Which is why I was so surprised they canceled Ultra.  The average age of partygoers at Ultra is clearly somewhere in their 20s.  They are at low risk of succumbing to COVID-19.

ELDERLY & SICK

If you are an elder person or have an underlying health condition, I would take more severe precautions.  I would avoid travel.  If you are elderly or have underlying health conditions, now is not the time to go on an airplane and a cruise is pretty much unthinkable at this point for the elderly.

If you are an elder person, you need to stay away from others and limit contact.  For those who have elder family members, it’s important that you take precautions like washing your hands before you interact with your elder loved ones.

As a community, it’s our duty to protect the sick and elderly.

Of course, the argument goes, that by canceling these events, we lower the risk of catching COVID-19 and then passing it along to someone who may be more susceptible to the more severe effects of COVID-19.

By canceling events, we help slow the spread, but make no mistake, it will continue to spread.  We’re humans.  We’re social by nature.  We have a desire and a need to connect with other humans.  We may slow the spread, but the spread will continue to happen.

YOUR OPINION MATTERS

I’ve shared my opinion on COVID-19.  I don’t think canceling events is the right thing to do, but that’s my opinion.

This is too important of a topic not to have a public discussion and hear from a wide variety of points of view.  I want to know what you think.

Should the City of Miami Springs cancel the upcoming River Cities Festival or should the show go on?  Do you think the City of Miami did the right thing by shutting down Ultra and Calle Ocho or do you think it was an overreaction?

We value your thoughtful opinion on this matter and would love to hear your voice.  Please share your comments below in the comments section or via social media.  This is a public debate that needs to be discussed.

COVID-19 FACTS

I gave you my opinion and I’m asking for yours, but it’s also important that we share some facts.

According to the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) March 8th update, there are 24,727 confirmed cases of COVID-19 outside of China.  There have been 484 deaths.  That’s a known death rate of 1.96% outside of China.

According to WorldoMoters.info, the death rate increases with age.  If you are under 50, you’re personally in good shape.  But even those under 50 have friends and loved ones who are older.  COVID-19 has a pretty severe death rate for those over 70.  And a 3.6% death rate for those over 60 and under 70 is pretty scary.

AGE
DEATH RATE
confirmed cases
DEATH RATE
all cases
80+ years old
21.9%
14.8%
70-79 years old
8.0%
60-69 years old
3.6%
50-59 years old
1.3%
40-49 years old
0.4%
30-39 years old
0.2%
20-29 years old
0.2%
10-19 years old
SOURCE:  WorldoMeters.info
0.2%

 

SEX

According to WorldoMeters.info, men have a 64% higher chance of dying from COVID-19 than women.

COMORBIDITY

As you know, those with pre-existing conditions are more likely to die from COVID-19 than those without.  Here are the pre-existing conditions with the highest death rate from COVID-19:

PRE-EXISTING CONDITION
DEATH RATE
confirmed cases
DEATH RATE
all cases
Cardiovascular disease
13.2%
10.5%
Diabetes
9.2%
7.3%
Chronic respiratory disease
8.0%
6.3%
Hypertension
8.4%
6.0%
Cancer
7.6%
5.6%
no pre-existing conditions
SOURCE:  WorldoMeters.info
0.9%

 

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