Too bad for Florida. The state is doing very well in the battle against COVID. The numbers are better than expected. The theme parks are open and as of yet not a single case has been tracked back to the big three parks in Orlando.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings is not exactly happy. He would prefer to keep things locked down much tighter in what he calls “the new normal”. The point being, some political leaders are hooked on their brave new normal. They have power they never imagined and media attention never seen before. COVID is their new reality and they are getting quite used to being the center of the COVID universe. It is as if they don’t really want to succeed in the battle against COVID.

The following is an excerpt from a front page story from today’s Orlando Sentinel.

Amid declining COVID-19 infection rates, Orange County will be holding its breath that trend will continue with more gatherings expected, starting with schools reopening Friday.

In-person classes begin Friday at public schools, while more college students are returning to campus at the University of Central Florida where classes begin Monday, and Orlando City will be allowed to fill its stadium to 20% capacity at home games starting Wednesday.

This comes amid eight straight weeks of declining infection rates in Orange, culminating with its lowest single-day positivity rate since mid-July in data released Thursday. Just 5.2% of test results Wednesday were positive, a state report shows, down from 5.85% the day prior.

In the latest return to normalcy, Orlando City will host its first home game in the league’s return Wednesday, with the franchise announcing this week it would allow Exploria Stadium to be filled up to 20% of its capacity.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said he was impressed with the soccer franchise’s plan, which was developed with counsel from Orlando Health and Major League Soccer. It includes increased cleaning and more hand sanitizer, masks to worn at all times except when eating and drinking and people to be socially distanced from everybody outside of their party.

“I think this is about learning to live in the new normal,” Dyer said. “If we want to have schools open, if we want to have ballparks open, we have to take the appropriate measures… It’s a responsibility of every one of our citizens if we want to be successful with coping and living with this virus and having some sense of normalcy, we have to do the things the medical professionals tell us.”

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said under state rules, local governments don’t have the authority to stop the team from playing, even if it wanted to.

“I’m going to be cautiously optimistic. I think it’s risky,” Demings said. “If I had to make the decision myself, I wouldn’t allow it.”

From: “Central Florida virus rates lowest in 2 months, as schools reopen, soccer crowds expected”
Orlando Sentinel, By Ryan Gillespie and Stephen Hudak