In the aftermath of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ victory in Super Bowl LV, residents of and visitors to Tampa wasted no time in celebrating. But to Tampa’s mayor, the sight of so many unmasked partiers was shameful. In fact, Mayor Jane Castor apparently plans to identify and fine anyone seen not wearing a mask at the game or at afterparties, threatening them with $500 fines. That will set up a showdown with Governor Ron DeSantis, who last year signed an order prohibiting localities from enforcing mask mandates through fines and penalties. Will the good guys win this one?
That anyone still believes that masks stop the spread of viruses is comical. Florida is ground zero for a return to normalcy, with Governor DeSantis’ refusal to allow localities to enforce mask mandates. And as we’ve seen, that hasn’t harmed the state one bit.
Compare coronavirus in Florida to coronavirus in California and you see that Florida’s daily new case numbers have been about a third of that in California, a state with double the population, demonstrating a smoother curve than California’s. And while Florida’s daily deaths were higher last summer, they’re far lower now than California, which is seeing a surge of deaths. It looks like the real way to “flatten the curve” was to open up society and refrain from mask mandates, allowing the virus to spread naturally and work towards herd immunity rather than trying to isolate people from the virus.
Real world results don’t matter to Democrat ideologues, however, which is why we’re still going to be subject to mask mandates for the foreseeable future. They’ll bleat about science ad nauseum while ignoring the actual science and data. And they’ll ignore any law on the books that restricts their power in order to do so.
Florida could become ground zero in the mask wars if local officials decide to test their limits. Let’s just hope that DeSantis shows them who’s boss, and protects the rights of Floridians to determine for themselves how much risk they’re willing to take.