Time to seal off Longboat Key

Guest Columnist

This is no joke. A tsunami is coming.

The Town manager and the Town Commission must abandon any passivity and should act decisively to avoid needless deaths in the face of this rapidly expanding, deadly crisis.

The math and the science are simple. The average age of our residents is over 70.

From a virus point of view, we baby boomers are in the nursing home category.

As of last late week, I have heard of five cases on LBK, most experts estimate that for every documented case, there are 50 residents who have it and don’t know it.

250 cases on Longboat Key right now! In a week this might double, 500. If we don’t do anything, in a month this number might be 2000.

If 15% of our elder infected population dies, that’s 300 deaths. (Nobody, even experts, knows what the real numbers will be, but these are best estimates). Could be a couple of hundred, could be worse.

Town officials should immediately seal off the island by blocking, with checkpoints, either end of the island. A sanitary quarantine.

It will be easy.

We are lucky we live on a small, self-contained Key.

All non-essential traffic should be blocked. No visitors, landscapers, construction workers, maids, or maintenance men. Food and drugstore workers should be exempt and screened.

Many large communities on the East Coast of Florida, and elsewhere, have already instituted these strong measures. They work.

Vo’, a remote town in Italy near Venice, beat Corona virus by quarantining themselves for a month on Feb. 23. As of March 23 the spread of the illness had stopped.

The Florida Keys closed themselves off to all visitors four days ago, even though they have had few infections. Towns in Northern Italy have been closed off for more than a month. Beijing Suburbs were closed off.

For a month or two, we can do without our housekeepers, gardeners, visitors and construction workers.

We are not that lazy.

Hundreds of lives depend on this. Our public officials must be courageous and decisive.

We can’t all sit back and act as if we don’t know the horror that is coming.

Blake Fleetwood was formerly on the staff of The New York Times and has written for The New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, The New York Daily News, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Village Voice, Atlantic and the Washington Monthly on a number of issues. Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/blake-fleetwood

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Longboat Key News

15 Responses for “Time to seal off Longboat Key”

  1. Brady Ross says:

    Clearly anyone can be a guest columnist. Can I be one too?

  2. Brady Ross says:

    This guy has been staying up too late watching CNN and drinking coffee, I think..

  3. Trump 2020 says:

    Written by another clueless liberal.

  4. Marcia says:

    Really? Then y’all get your own hospital and don’t come to mine!! You wrote the dumbest article with a billion mistakes, not to mention all your adjectives.

  5. Connie..it’s you’re, not your. And if you want to blindly follow this faulty logic, it’s your choice. Apparently, you don’t live on the island, so how about you mind your, not you’re, own business. You don’t know me, so what gives the right to paint LBK property owners with such a broad brush. Careful, hon, your, not you’re, ignorance is showing.

  6. John sharp says:

    I think it’s a great idea . I don’t live there but would like to
    Protect yourselves that’s the key
    Be safe folks

  7. John mainland Sarasota says:

    It’s too late now. The 15% death rate is pretty accurate though. Residents of Longboat Key can also expect a drop in property values close to 40%-50%.
    Don’t forget the Red Tide.

  8. Lou Irmisch says:

    You must be kidding, this is truly one of the most ignorant statements I have heard in my life!! This guy wants to turn longboat key into a police state . By the way his numbers are wrong re folks with the virus on the key. Many of us have left for our homes in the north, who is going to pay for the damage to our property when no one can care for it . Please tell me where to send the bills to. I also notice the fellow who wrote this article wrote for The NY Times that makes him suspect to begin with. If this happens we can rename longboat key to longboat concentration camp. I think that was tried once .. didn’t work out well !!!

  9. Norma Santiago says:

    Your infected rationale is off the charts.
    This isn’t the zombie apocalypse.
    Hoards are not invading our island.
    Calm down, boomer.

  10. Robert kenny says:

    You are a alarmist and shouldn’t be spreading your fear and your false numbers. Only non residents can catch the virus right. No residents would ever leave the island and bring it back would they?if your assumptions are correct than we now have over 2.5 million cases here in the United States. That would take the death toll percentage down to less than most anything that can kill you. Let’s come up with common sense solutions. Work together and that means everyone not just longboat residents which by the way I am one full time. The real horror is watching people spread fear and hopelessness to those that are afraid already. You should be ashamed of yourself

  11. Carole Notari says:

    This is a terrible idea, we are not in prison! Our daughter is self isolating in Sarasota but comes to help us once a week and we need her. Also, we use Instacart and they come from Sarasota and how would we get our groceries? We are not leaving the house but we need outside help.

  12. Frank Del says:

    Hey Connie, do you get to choose who lives and who dies? The virus doesn’t seem care except it’s killing our most vulnerable. Rich or poor… Is it OK if it’s my mom and dad or should it be yours?

  13. karen says:

    HI BLake! I knew you back in NYC! I worked for a latin banking firm, and you were the agent we worked with. I also lived on UWS !! small world thanks for your comments.

  14. Mary Bohmer says:

    When will this happen? I need to close up a condo @ Beach Place.


    Your a bunch of spoiled rich brats! Suck it up you deserve no better no worse than every one else
    The world won’t close just for you! You should be ashamed!!!

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