CORONAVIRUS: 2020’s biggest threat so far

Alexander Speid

By Alexander Speid, Westside Gazette

As we transition into Spring Break, many were filled with preconceived plans to enjoy the week-long vacation on the beach or travel via plane. However, those plans were dashed from under their feet at the first sign of the pervasive Coronavirus which has swept the World by storm. Now, as it becomes a more prominent issue across the globe, people have been forced to recluse themselves into their homes, so as to not risk infection.

Many rumors have surfaced of the virus taking its toll on Florida all the way up to July and even beyond. Many have begun to feel the stress that comes with being cooped up in the homes; others ignoring the instructions of the county to practice social distancing, and interacting with hundreds of other people in crowded areas. The situation could not be any more dire and now, more than ever, we must reflect on ways to find stability. Even so, many were caught off guard by the severity of the virus’ effects.

“No one was prepared for it—county or state.” Said Dale Holness; Broward County Mayor. “It’s not like a hurricane. We’re learning many lessons from it and must put measures in place for the future, because it could repeat itself. What we’ve learned is that someone could have it, and pass it on, and we’re going to be more prepared in terms of proximity, since we’re use to hugging. Now we need to be more cautious. Shaking hands won’t be as prevalent as it used to be.”

As the Coronavirus continues to spread, Broward County must be prepared for any updates from officials who can give us instructions towards the next step. Some still lack internet connection for basic necessities, while others are forced out of their apartments due to the inability to pay rent without a stable job. Trying to apply for a home job can be strenuous with many other people flooding the opportunity to be hired.

Holness gives his words on the issue. “What we learn is that in terms of crisis, when people can’t go to work, we must now find ways to work at home with private businesses and stay-at-home jobs. We need to find out how to do many of these services online.”

It seems working from home online is now the new big trend for many. Now more than ever, the internet is the prime component in our society to make an honest living until the virus blows over. This is more than true when it comes to the education of the children and teenagers during the last half of the school year. Just recently, the district has decided to cancel FSA’s for most school students, with options on what the parent can do for their child’s curriculum.

“What this virus has done from an educated stand point, is that it has shined a light on some structural issues,” said Robert Runcie, Superintendent of Broward County Public School System. “It exposes the digital divide and how some students don’t have access to internet and an education; which is why 64 thousand computers were given out.”

Clerk of the Court, Brenda D. Forman, responses with what her office is doing in terms of recording the events;

“My office is the recordkeeper for the courts and the community.  As such, my office complies with all local court orders with regard to court operations.  We are currently operating under our Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) which means we are handling only essential functions.  The safety and well-being of my staff is a priority.  As a result, all non-essential staff are on leave, some staff are working from home and only those that absolutely have to be in the courthouse come in.  Attached is my most recent press release which outlines what services are deemed essential.”

Recently, a Dr. David L. Katz had written an article for the NYTimes titled “Is Our Fight Against Coronavirus Worse Than the Disease?” In which he goes a little more into detail about the virus.

The data from South Korea, where tracking the coronavirus has been by far the best to date, indicate that as much as 99 percent of active cases in the general population are “mild” and do not require specific medical treatment. The small percentage of cases that do require such services are highly concentrated among those age 60 and older, and further so the older people are. Other things being equal, those over age 70 appear at three times the mortality risk as those age 60 to 69, and those over age 80 at nearly twice the mortality risk of those age 70 to 79.”

Despite this percent, it still puts a great risk on the elder community, which accounts for a majority here in Fort Lauderdale and Broward County. Dr. Katz goes on to name at least several major problems with the subsuming of the vulnerable with the now-applied policies of social distancing:

       “First, the medical system is being overwhelmed by those in the lower-risk group seeking its resources, limiting its capacity to direct them to those at greatest need. Second, health professionals are burdened not just with work demands, but also with family demands as schools, colleges and businesses are shuttered. Third, sending everyone home to huddle together increases mingling across generations that will expose the most vulnerable.

“As the virus is already circulating widely in the United States, with many cases going undetected, this is like sending innumerable lit matches into small patches of tinder. Right now, it is harder, not easier, to keep the especially vulnerable isolated from all others — including members of their own families — who may have been exposed to the virus.”

So far, as of yesterday, the number of infected has toped over 1,200. All we can do now, is keep ourselves safe, stay indoors, and always be informed for updates from the county.

I believe we will see a slowdown in the near future.” Said Dale Holness, “As for getting back to normal, I don’t know. But it needs to be quick for people in low income jobs. It’s critical. people still have to live, eat, have shelter, and take care of themselves, but if you’re not healthy, then it doesn’t matter. It’s a balance to figure out.”


Robert Runcie

As for whether we were ready for the virus, I believe that is for history to say. It is a debate but the larger question is that if the current strategy that were using will be able to have an impact on the economy and mental health? Does the preparations for the quarantine and social distancing

Dr. David Kats, “Our fight against corona worse than the disease?” speaks on ways we have tried to prepare for the virus as

I don’t see the ending to it. It won’t be completely eliminated and shutting down multiple times isn’t going to help. Runcie thinks that article will help shed some light on it.

Runcie says as long as we are going through this social disruption, coronavirus will continue to thrive as a word in the news.

Dale Holness

Percentage is impossible to give. There are people who are ill that don’t know that they’re ill. I believe we will see far more percentage of sickness through the drive-thru testing across the county and in other states across the United States; each with their own different methods, and testing large numbers per day. The results won’t come for a couple of days, but I expect there will be double of what we think. Currently 216 cases in Miami.


About Carma Henry 16902 Articles
Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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