|

Several Hundred People on Longboat Key Are Going to Die

BLAKE FLEETWOOD
Guest Columnist
opinion@lbknews.com

This is not to create a panic, but to make sure that everyone — government, individuals, and businesses — must continue doing all they can to guarantee that this will not happen. It’s a worst case scenario. Nobody, not the doctors, public officials, or even the CDC, knows what the real numbers will be, but this is what has happened in other places.

I can never say this enough: our island is especially vulnerable. We are an aged population, in our seventies and eighties.

The grim statistic:  85% of the people who die of Covid19 are over 65.

And if you are over 65 and become infected; 6 to 10% of us will die. If you are sick enough to go on a ventilator, 83% will die.

Calvin Sun, an emergency room doctor in NYC said “I try and keep infected people off ventilators, because I know that most of them will die.”

The president has stated that we have reached the “peak” due to his swift actions, and we are doing great.

Yet this week the country experienced the highest death toll ever.

Medical authorities are not saying it’s time to get back to normal. Florida’s surgeon general says we have to keep social distancing and wearing masks until there’s a vaccine — in about a year!

Florida is increasing its positive infections by about 700 per day. It has over 25,000  so far, and deaths are over 700 and growing. Florida lags behind 20 other states in testing: only people with symptoms are tested, excluding people who are not sick, but might be spreading the virus to other folks.

Contact tracing is very important and is still not widely done in Sarasota or Longboat Key.  Germany has a lower death rate than the US due to widespread contact tracing. According to the Johns Hopkins University, the Covid19 death rate is 2.96% in Germany and 4.81% in the U.S.

Florida will not reach its peak until May 3 under current conditions, with 112 deaths per day, according to the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics.

If restrictions are lifted, Covid Act Now projects that Sarasota hospitalizations will soar from April 15 to May 11, peaking at 4500 cases. High hospitalizations will persist into July. With lifted restrictions, Covid Act Now predicts that 70% of the  Sarasota population will be infected over the next three months — with 4000 deaths. This scenario will lead to deadly consequences for the elderly on Longboat Key.

If lax “stay at home” restrictions are applied, 52% of Sarasota residents will be infected — with 3000 deaths. With stricter “stay at home” restrictions, only 8% will be infected — with less than 1000 deaths.

Longboat Key, which is behind the rest of the county and state, will probably peak a few weeks into May.

We have been lazy. What we call staying home and quarantining pales in comparison to what they did in China. It is antithetical to the American way of life.  We have not even started to shut down the island, as other vulnerable towns have.

Every day thousands of cars and trucks pour outsiders onto the island. I have personally seen construction crews building new houses, and landscapers galore. They are not social distancing. They are not wearing gloves and masks. They are not getting the message. Governor Ron DeSantis calls them essential workers.

They are mostly young and probably won’t die. But they will stop at  Publix, or Whitney Beach for their morning coffee and donuts or go to the toilet. They will touch things, leaving microbes, and we residents will be made vulnerable.

Publix still doesn’t require its workers to wear masks and gloves.

Mary Anne, from Publix, told me today, “some are, and some are not. It’s all up to the individuals”

This is not a decision that private business, or individuals, should make.  Longboat Key should issue an emergency Executive Order mandating the wearing of gloves and masks in all stores for workers and shoppers, Delivery people should also be wearing masks and gloves. Let the courts decide if it’s legal.

Longboat Key standards should be stricter than state standards, because we have so many old people, like me. We are essentially a retirement community.

Grocery workers are the unsung heroes of this pandemic. Many are getting sick. In many other towns and counties masks and gloves are mandatory for grocery workers.

Tom Harmer, the Longboat Key city manager, should be commended for encouraging Publix to arrange for curbside grocery pickup. “It works. My wife did it twice this week, but you have to go through Instacart.

But there are still gaping holes in the social safety net on Longboat Key.

543 people  have tested positive for Covid19 in Sarasota and Manatee counties. There are probably a couple hundred more who are mildly sick and don’t bother to test. And most dangerously, there are hundreds more asymptomatic, who are walking around, transmitting to others.                                                                                               

So far Longboat Key has been lucky. There have been only 12 positive cases and surprisingly no new positives in the last two weeks. Unfortunately, there are many more positives out there, and they/we don’t know it.

We cannot relax our vigilance until testing, and contact tracing, is easily and freely available for everyone on Longboat Key and a vaccine is found.

Tags: , , ,

Longboat Key News

35 Responses for “Several Hundred People on Longboat Key Are Going to Die”

  1. ghostrider says:

    Remember folks that when you have a committee of ten sharing the same opinion, you have a committee of one.

  2. ghostrider says:

    Mr. Keller and Mr. Scott

    Permit me to share with you my favorite censorship quote:

    “Without censorship, things can get terribly confused in the public mind.”— General William Westmoreland

  3. Steve Keller says:

    Completely agree with John Scott. A continuing stream of Fleetwood’s editorial garbage does not belong in this otherwise excellent publication.

  4. C Morales says:

    One month later and how many deaths have there been on LBK. You were predicting hundreds. Have there even been five? Next you will be saying to wear masks every October thru May. Perhaps lower the speed limit on 75 to 40mph. The lives we can save. If you really care about people, quarantine until a cure for death is found.

  5. Alfred Shay says:

    This is one of the ONLY smart informed pieces of writing I have read in the local press. The idiocy of local behavior is beyond belief. Only surpassed by the absolute failure of the governments response. and by governments I refer to State of Florida Sarasota County and Trumps White House. All should be ashamed for all the misinformation they’ve propagated and for their total failure to support your citizenry in time of desperate financial need. This beach stuff is bull. Beaches open without parking make them accessible to only a tiny fraction of the population. Tiny. Stop wasting our time. CAUSING thousands of unnecessary deaths based on misinformation and lies is despicable. Forcing people who need to eat and have no income through no fault of their own should be among your top priorities. Not whether Lido Beach concession are open or closed.

  6. Ray Whitmer says:

    Irresponsible at best!

  7. Marian Gay says:

    Thanks for your concern for the elderly in Sarasota. I fit into that group. It is easily to become uneasy when reading stats about the death rate.
    So far, to my knowledge, Camolet Lakes has been spared the virus. We have all been diligent to heed the “Stay at Home” order.
    As a whole, we believe it is wise to still stay at home. Many living here get meals from “Meals on Wheels”! They do a tremendous job taking care of those in need of that service.
    Susan, our CAMELOT, office Manager has been faithful to care for us as tho we were her own families!
    We Praise her and her staff for being so considerate.
    Hopefully, all MPH Associations are as thorough!
    Let us ALL continue distancing and constant Hand Washing!
    It is going to take ALL of us to achieve this life saving goal!
    Shall we pray for each other through this trial of our Faith!

  8. John Scott says:

    Why are you even allowed as an editorial? Longboat Key News should be ashamed.

  9. James Adams says:

    Sir I think you’re sadly mistaken ,there is a vaccine out there and you’re just scaring the elderly in your community. If you would just paid attention what the president and the medical staff that are working with him, you would have heard them state that. I know you can’t help reporting this way , but you’re apart of the , FAKE MAINSTREAM MEDIA.

  10. Get a hobby or better yet if you’re so concerned about your neighbors then go shopping for them and pick up their meds so they can stay home where its ” safe” !
    You dont give seniors enough credit for being smart enough to know what they should do to stay well. C’mon you clown , do you really think a 70 year old person needs some politician to tell them not to be reckless during a damn Global Pandemic. Whoever let you publish this piece of trash needs his ass kicked. You’re just a lonely fool who watches too much CNN

  11. Jen Young says:

    Just another journalist desperate for attention…….

  12. Bonnie says:

    Hey Blake…keep it coming!!!

  13. Todd says:

    Why don’t BLAKE FLEETWOOD write about how Obama funded with America’s tax money the lab in Wuhan that started this

  14. Rd says:

    You go on and on about how people are pouring onto Longboat Key and they aren’t wearing masks, they’re working and not social distancing excetera excetera and yet your infection rates are incredibly low so I’m not sure what your problem is nor do I know why they published your rant.

  15. John Jonsson says:

    Mainland Resident: “Let’s strip all our rights…” OFFS. Our fathers and grandfathers fought to the death from disease-filled foxholes to preserve our American way of life. You are being asked to sit on your sofa and watch Netflix. Grow up and do what is best for the Community, not for your ego.

  16. Dennis Campanaro says:

    We must follow the lead of New York & require that people follow the same guidelines or this virus will get out of control in Florida. Governor DeSantis has done absolutely nothing to stop the spread especially reopening the beaches

  17. We have been coming to LBK to vacation every year for the past 32 years. This year we are staying home to protect the Island. I dont believe we will be in the clear in a month or 2 or 3 months. We live in Atlanta and people here are throwing BBQs..visiting..and others are staying home. The Virus is serious! I dont want to see anyone get sick or die. Please protect yourself and your Beautiful Island the best you can. If you dont agree with the article that’s fine but I dont want anyone to die trying to prove others wrong. FYI I’m surprised the Island is open to the public…Unacceptable.

  18. I think everybody is correct I think we have people who are scared who are seeing the numbers increase and then we see people who are not being socially responsible like wearing masks gloves sanitizing you name it. I think our senior population stays more isolated as a general rule of thumb and this is coming from someone who works with seniors every single day and it’s considered a national expert at keeping senior safe. I think everybody needs to take this seriously and we can prevent panic by doing the socially responsible things for everyone.

  19. Robert Jones says:

    Worst headline ever – total BS move. People want to extend the shutdown becaues they like it and they are lazy. People like not working and collecting checks. Wear a mask, if you’re at risk stay inside and move on with the world. I bet 100% you’re a dem and this is a political move for you. Only way you’re going to win in NOV is to crush the economy – plain and simple.

  20. John Hansen says:

    You are wrong, you have been lied to, seek the Truth

  21. Lazawn says:

    See y’all on the water! ✌

  22. Bonnie says:

    Dear “Mainland Resident”…

    Don’t wear a mask, don’t wear gloves, do what you want to do, it’s America, you have rights…see you on a ventilator with all the people you have infected after being asymptomatic & spreading to everyone around you! We have rights too and we have the right to stay well! Ignorance abounds!!!

  23. Bern says:

    My suggestion is that you should call your yard men and tell them to stop coming. You live with the weeds and snakes. Close to entrances to Longboat Key and you do not exit and we will not enter. Have a happy life. By the way have you considered helping your neighbor.

  24. Debra Forsythe says:

    I pray too Jesus please please Jesus do not let this come t rye ue
    These people have worked and now it’s time to enjoy life. Cover all with the blood of jesus Amen

  25. Mike Watson says:

    —- Leave your rhetoric for the birds. We don’t need your “unofficial” b.s. scare tactics. We are all exposed to a lot aside from this. Get lost.

  26. Eric Rohde says:

    Social distancing is an individual obligation. There is no right to it. If you want it, implement it for yourself. Lock in, mask up and wash wash wash. Do not expect anyone will or must do likewise. It is their RIGHT not to. Panic if you must. It neither solves nor calms your issue and prefacing your article by disavowiing any intent to cause a panic is poor journalism at best. We are in the midst of a virus that is not yet understood. Take precautions that you believe will be effective up to and including leaving a place you find unacceptably dangerous. Problem is, you can’t protect against your apparent and inherent vulnerabilities of age and poorer health. You may have to use your accumulated wealth to better distance yourself. Spending it lobbying the politicians to take away personal freedoms is unamerican and should fail or what is freedom for?

  27. G. HINES says:

    Many people unwittingly do exactly what they profess they are not intending to do, ie.g. ” this is not to create a panic” you have some excellent points but you should rewrite that and resubmit it’s out of bounds come on man!

  28. Sandra Fabiano says:

    We, that is my and I are in our 70’s. My husband has underline medical conditions.We abide by social distancing, were our masks and gloves and disinfect our home daily. We believe that the stay at home and the steps should apply to all Floridians. This includes store personal and essential workers.
    The opening of the beaches is not a good idea and we feel that this opens the door that will let the virus in.

  29. Paul Bready says:

    I strongly believe in Americans being able to do the right thing without government dictate .A Virus is beaten via a vaccine or by one’s immune system developing it’s antibodies against it ! Toughen up and / or quarantine yourself ….I say open up the economy as not everyone is “quarantined ” on longboat key !

  30. BWalden says:

    You sir are spreading lies and fear! How can you give a death rate with out knowing true number of infected. Erroneous information don’t believe one word of this clowns article. Google CDC website for 2019-2020 Influenza info. The media has spread fear and lies. Covid-19 is a flu strain. It’s a form of SARS. Can it be deadly yes but 98% survive infection. Geez this person is what’s wrong with America. #FireFauci

  31. Dilip Mathur says:

    Excellent analysis. Extra care now will prevent deaths later and the prolongation of the problem. No one has the right to infect others. The saying goes: your right to swing your arm stops at the tip of my nose.

  32. Ronnie says:

    Your numbers are no better than anyone else’s. Irresponsible click bait headline. Move on.

  33. Mainland Resident says:

    You fail to remember that this is STILL America, where you can’t dictate to people, not without a fight. Let’s strip all our rights and let the courts figure out if it’s legal. OMG. Your paranoia is off the charts. And your rhetoric is dangerous.

  34. gene jaleski says:

    Opening too soon will most likely increase risks and deaths on LBK for a much longer time. Stupid is as stupid does.

  35. Robert kenny says:

    Why are you so hell bent on spreading fear and panic. Last week your numbers were way off and you said longboaters didn’t give a dam. This week we are lazy. The cdc recommends that you do not wear gloves while grocery shopping so who gives you your info. Have you asked the president what he thinks since you did tell us last week you knew him.Mabey just mabey the reason longboat is doing ok on cases is because we do give a dam and we are not lazy. Our local government here on the key is doing a great job and we should be happy we have them.

Leave a Reply