Thanks to Brahms, Copland, Pensacola Symphony Orchestra and the Enlightened Leadership of Gov. Ron De Santis of Florida!

Jim George

February 26, 2021

This is an exuberant, enthusiastic note of thanks for the first experience of live classical music in over a year, thanks to the genius of Brahms, Copland, the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Peter Rubardt, and, last but not least, the enlightened leadership of our new home state of Florida and its Governor, Ron DeSantis, for letting us live and laugh and enjoy life and dine out (or in!) and make a living and, this past weekend, enjoy the thrill and the magic of live classical music once again!

Yes, masks were required and there was limited, distanced seating, but there was magnificent music, starting with Copland’s Appalachian Spring followed by one of the most challenging pieces ever written for violin, the Brahms Violin Concerto, performed flawlessly (in the most humble opinion of this musically uneducated person) by the brilliant, two- time Grammy Nominee, Jennifer Frautschi. 

We moved to our new home state 2 1/2 years ago from our lifetime home of Baton Rouge, Louisiana for many of the same reasons more and more are doing so now, especially those who are trying to escape states run by petty tyrants like Cuomo, Whitmer, Wolf and Newsom. Little did we know, however, starting our new life here in the Florida Panhandle well before the pandemic went into overdrive a year ago, how many benefits would accrue to us as a result of our choice, and how much richer and more open our lives would be compared to what has to be the miserable locked-down, triple masked-up, no outside activities at all existence of so many of our fellow Americans. My Lady and I were at lunch a few days ago at a very nice and jam-packed restaurant and I looked around and saw happy, lively, spirited, laughing Floridians having a fine time, which would have been impossible in states led by those power-mad little martinets listed above. I remarked to My Lady that the Mask and Distance Compliance Police in many states would be aghast at such a happy and life-filled scene–quelle horreur! 

Gov. DeSantis and Florida are clearly leading the way or, as was so well put in an article in the Federalist a few days ago, 

Gov. Ron DeSantis has put the leaders of locked-down blue states to shame, and Democrat politicians are ashamed to admit it.

One of the best discussions of his common sense approach was authored by our colleague Susan Quinn, appropriately entitled Gov. Ron DeSantis Defies the Media and the Federal Governmentin which she relates facts about our governor most assuredly not reported by the mainstream media which has attacked him repeatedly and relentlessly as he is such a living, breathing refutation to their ongoing narrative about the pandemic and the multitudinous ways our rights have to be taken away to combat it. I highly recommend her piece and note my 100% concurrence in her conclusion:

With his courage and defiance, I hope DeSantis will consider running for the Presidency in 2024.

As a matter of fact, I have started touting a DeSantis-Noem ticket for 2024 in the event President Trump decides not to offer himself (and his family) up for another four years of demeaning abuse and degradation.

The Federalist article offers a brief summary of the main features which make DeSantis’ approach so different from the draconian approach of the Democrat governors:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis started lifting lockdown restrictions back in May, allowing stores and restaurants to begin reopening in all but three counties in South Florida. The stay-at-home order also ended at the beginning of May. Unlike New York and California, Florida never tried to bar people from going to religious services.

At the end of September, DeSantis lifted all remaining statewide COVID-19 restrictions. Traveling back and forth from COVID-conscientious Northern Virginia to Florida, I could notice a difference. In Florida, kids were going to school, wedding parties were throwing receptions, young people were studying at coffee shops, and families were taking Christmas pictures downtown on the square.

By my observation, people wanted to keep living their lives, and they came to Florida to do it. The numbers suggest the same thing. Florida ranks third in the nation for one-way U-Haul rentals in 2020. (The state was behind only Tennessee and Texas, where lockdowns have also been comparatively less extreme.)

Despite the media’s rapturous coverage of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo — who sent more than 9,000 potentially contagious patients into nursing homes and then covered it up — New York ranked 42nd on U-Haul one-ways. California, which was still shut down at the beginning of 2021, ranks dead last of all 50 states.

“When I go around Florida, I will see New York license plates here,” DeSantis told Tucker Carlson on Monday. “I doubt you see very many Florida license plates making their way to New York right now.”

Also noted is the fact that the Biden administration has, in just one more of its many authoritarian moves, threatened to ban travel to and from Florida, an idea so breathtakingly stupid and totally unconstitutional it is hard to believe that even this Marxist/Socialist cabal would attempt it:

As Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has pointed out, Biden called Trump’s proposed travel ban on China “xenophobic” and insisted a European travel ban would “not stop” coronavirus.

The only reason to shut down travel to Florida — where coronavirus numbers are often below average and no lockdowns have crippled the economy — is political theater. DeSantis has put the leaders of locked-down blue states to shame, and Democrat politicians are ashamed to admit it.

If they have been put to shame by governors like DeSantis and Kristi Noem of South Dakota they are about to have more reason to resent their solid approach as it appears the whole raison d’etre for their autocratic edicts may be crumbling soon. A recent analysis appearing on the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal by Dr. Marty Makary, a professor at the John Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health predicts, as stated in the title, “We’ll have herd immunity by April.”

This rare dose of good news has caused quite a stir and has drawn howls of derision and condemnation from “our betters” but it is supported by very convincing data–those pesky facts that get in the way of a good, dark, pessimistic narrative:

Amid the dire Covid warnings, one crucial fact has been largely ignored: Cases are down 77% over the past six weeks. If a medication slashed cases by 77%, we’d call it a miracle pill. Why is the number of cases plummeting much faster than experts predicted?

In large part because natural immunity from prior infection is far more common than can be measured by testing. Testing has been capturing only from 10% to 25% of infections, depending on when during the pandemic someone got the virus. Applying a time-weighted case capture average of 1 in 6.5 to the cumulative 28 million confirmed cases would mean about 55% of Americans have natural immunity.

***

My prediction that Covid-19 will be mostly gone by April is based on laboratory data, mathematical data, published literature and conversations with experts. But it’s also based on direct observation of how hard testing has been to get, especially for the poor. If you live in a wealthy community where worried people are vigilant about getting tested, you might think that most infections are captured by testing. But if you have seen the many barriers to testing for low-income Americans, you might think that very few infections have been captured at testing centers. Keep in mind that most infections are asymptomatic, which still triggers natural immunity.

As these developments take shape they more and more firmly corroborate the wisdom of governors like Ron DeSantis and Kristi Noem — as an article I saw recently put it, from memory, “the pandemic is coming to an end, whether Dr. Fauci likes it or not.” No one can, in good conscience, even seem to downplay a pandemic which has taken 500,000 lives from us, and nothing said here is in any way meant to be so interpreted. However, if these apparently soundly based predictions prove correct in the next month or two, as Dr. Makary said: “… we also need to reopen schools and society to limit the damage of closures and prolonged isolation.” 

How inestimably glorious it would be to get back to living! Everywhere! It may be happening soon! 

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