On May 3, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis suspended all COVID-19 restrictions in the state, saying that he doesn’t consider the state to be in a crisis anymore with the vaccine now in ample supply.
DeSantis issued an executive order immediately suspending COVID-19 emergency orders put in place by counties and cities. This includes masks orders and orders governing social distancing. The Governor also signed legislation that will make his COVID-19 vaccine passport ban permanent.
Following the announcement, several local leaders including Broward County Mayor Steve Geller, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman expressed their disapproval for DeSantis’s orders. Although it means more freedom, many South Florida residents also disagree with the Governor. We asked residents if they think it’s a good idea for the state to do away with all COVID-19 restrictions. Here are the responses:
Anasa Payne: Personally, I think it’s a terrible idea. I understand that we have a vaccine now, but it’s important to prioritize these restrictions as well for everyone’s health.
Imani Ingram: No, I don’t. The virus is still alive and well, and everyone is not yet vaccinated or willing to get the vaccine. I think that we should still be following COVID protocols until the virus is completely under control.
Maya Williams: Not ‘all’. COVID-19 is still a threat. New cases are being reported by the day. C-19 restrictions should align with the level of threat. As more people get vaccinated and as numbers decline, restrictions can be lifted. And eventually ‘all’ restrictions can be lifted once this pandemic is a thing of the past.
Christy Brown: No, I think the state should gradually reopen in phases and still enforce social distancing, as well as a mask mandate so as to not cause another surge in positive COVID-19 cases. As it is right now though, masks are required by some companies. People have a lack of regard to follow the companies’ standpoint in protecting everyone, whether vaccinated or not. And it’s sad that this pandemic has changed the world but some people still take it lightly. Though more and more people are getting vaccinated, you can still be infected during the phases of your vaccination, i.e. during the 21 or 28 day time frame from your first to second shot. We should err on the side of caution until the majority of the population is vaccinated and we truly have a better grip on COVID-19.
Stacy Rose: Absolutely not! Why the hurry? We’re finally turning the corner on this battle with COVID-19. What’s the harm in waiting until a larger percentage of the population has been vaccinated? We are an indisciplined nation. We want what we want when we want it with little regard for consequences.
Michael Taylor: I strongly feel as though re-opening the state is a step in the right direction. It’s time to get back to a sense of normalcy. However, I feel as though the governor should save a more smooth transition into reopening the state. It’s like he just ripped the Band-Aid off without gradually peeling it back so a lot of people may feel uneasy because they feel as though it’s happening too soon.
Mel Timothee: I think we need to go under a strict lockdown. My grandmother currently is in the hospital with COVID going on 2 weeks so they need to put very strict laws in place to avoid this from getting worse.