A few weeks ago, everything was freewheeling and fun in Florida, just as the announcement was made about the Covid-19 virus becoming a Pandemic, the dominos started to fall, in Florida, and other places across the country. Things started changing rapidly as MLB baseball ordered a shutdown and other recreation and entertainment companies like Disney, Sea World, and others followed suit there in Florida.
Florida got much of its Spring Break money in house, the college students were there, and for the most part except for some beach closures at sporadic locations, but ever-expanding to most locations by the time a lot of the heightened risk was being touted in the media and different states started recommending ‘stay at home’ orders. Florida seemed to play catch-up and then reports of road blockades for cars with out of state license plates started surfacing in the press, in different parts of the state.Embed from Getty Images
Suddenly Florida was on an offensive against anyone from outside the state that wanted to go to Florida. Governor Ron DeSantis demanded that people who flew or drove into the state from NY, NJ or Connecticut to have mandatory 14-day quarantines. This after several weeks of having nothing but full beaches of often rowdy college students who do what they do on Spring Break. It continued to make little sense. Drivers from Louisana were being pulled over in the panhandle at a checkpoint Charlie style road blockade demanding Louisianians do the same 14-day quarantine.
On April 6th the counts looked like this, reported persons with the Covid-19 virus from Florida 13,214, and 415 persons in the state of Florida being non-Florida residents. The problem was already in Florida.
Enter in Major League Baseball to all of this, one of their edicts about starting up at some point in the future is that “There are no travel bans throughout the US or Canada” and another is that “There are no bans on mass gatherings that would limit the ability to play in front of fans.”
Florida was at first very non-eventful about what was going on and then swung in the complete opposite direction towards the end of March, sounding like the wheels were coming off down there in certain government edicts. Counties have sprung up with their own rules in Florida, in Brevard County, it was just passed that no rooms would be rented to any travelers to motels or hotels there, without a note of course from an employer if your stay wasn’t leisure. Several MLB teams that used to be based in Florida for Spring have left there over the past several years, and don’t seem to miss it.
There was little amazement that in the headlines last night was that MLB Baseball is now considering a start in Arizona with having a neutral site that perhaps all 30 teams will play from, to get a season started at some point. If not play all the games from there. Perhaps with no fans.
It would cost Florida dearly if this would happen, you never know, it just could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back too, when teams that have homes in Florida now find out the differences there are between the two states, it could be its own domino effect, and cut Florida out of one of it’s biggest Spring cash cows.