In the end, the governor’s response will be judged by many a Monday night quarterback and almost none of them will even take a second to consider the unprecedented situation he was in and could they have made the call to tell most of the state’s business that survives on the tourist trade they will need to close shop.

This content is being provided for free as a public service to our readers during the coronavirus outbreak. Please support local journalism by subscribing to the Northwest Florida Daily News or the Panama City News Herald .

On Sunday, March 15, Disney World announced it would close its door for the foreseeable future. And like all things capitalist vs. government throughout history the market is correct long before the government.


Two days later I wrote to the Panama City Beach City Council and the Bay county commissioners that they needed to shut down spring break after the state closed the restaurants and tell everyone it was time to head home, given we as a town were more or less shut down save the beach and Walmart — that was running out of food fast.


Fast forward a few days and they closed the beach effectively doing just that. I then called for DeSantis to put the word out that we as a state are closed for business and I wrote the following.


“I think DeSantis, given the unprecedented situation he finds himself in, has done a good job but he should have listened to the capitalists and the same goes for the counties and cities. See, we can divide the state into three distinct parts, the retired/elderly (most vulnerable), ranch/farmland and the Disney World/beach amusement park.”


And what did the non-government part later do? Shut it down. See, the governor, like all local authorities should have issued a hurricane-type mandated evacuation of all non-resident or property owners in the state, period.


I know what you are saying, he has lost his mind but it’s a very simple proposition.


Is he not doing the same thing closing everything? Yes, and he is making it worse especially for the elderly who are the core of the state by driving all those people into places like Walmart where they have to go daily.


When the left, EU, Mexico and the like have a momentary lapse of rationality already foretold by the capitalist, governments at all levels would be well served to listen.


(If we are circa 1918 the beach is the best place a person can go save the hospital, that has been infected after you closed the schools and then sent their parents to work with tourists from larger cities with the highest probability of being infected. Just saying.)


Then the unthinkable happens, Gov. DeSantis holds a news conference on the 25th and says, “we saw flights for New York and New Jersey go from 20 a day to 197 a day at its peak.”


Now keep in mind, this increase occurred after they were ordered to shelter in place and our governor stood by and watched this happen. And now he is having to tell the three counties that were the primary destination of those flights to shelter in place.


In full disclosure, I am a lifelong Republican and up until two short weeks ago, I thought Gov. DeSantis was doing a great job. More importantly, though, my hope and prayer is that all this panic is for nothing.


And when all is said and done, hopefully it will not be much worse than the regular flu save, sadly, its laser focus on the elderly. But that makes the Florida response even more critical given we have the highest average age of any state.


In the end, the governor’s response will be judged by many a Monday night quarterback and almost none of them will even take a second to consider the unprecedented situation he was in and could they have made the call to tell most of the state’s business that survives on the tourist trade they will need to close shop.


The sad part is instead of doing a rolling thunder that will please no one he should have picked which half he would make mad and done to New York and New Jersey what Trump did to China at the end of January and shut it down. Instead, he sentenced our residents and himself to death by a thousand cuts.


The author is a resident of Panama City Beach