I sense an attitude of friendliness, and camaraderie with strangers rather than fear of them. Normality is alive and well in Florida, as much as corporate media don’t want to admit it.
If your perception of the world is based on what corporate media tells you, you might think Florida is overrun by wild spring break revelers who are running around killing people by flaunting COVID precautions.
“How spring break in South Beach spun out of control,” the Washington Post blared. The Associated Press reported “deaths” and “violence,” while “police have arrested hundreds of partiers involved in violence and property destruction” in South Beach.
Business Insider lumped “street fights, arrests, and maskless crowds” together in its description of the debauchery. On March 20, the city of Miami Beach established a state of emergency, complete with an 8 p.m. weekend curfew.
The narrative that “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ ‘open-for-business’ policy is backfiring in Miami Beach,” as Slate suggested, is as lazy as it is inaccurate. I’m sure there are some ne’er-do-wellers in Miami, as in any other place on earth. But the corporate media is so busy trying to dunk on DeSantis’s successful and freedom-centric COVID-19 response, they won’t tell you what’s really going on in the Sunshine State.
I’ve spent the past week in Florida, and visited beach towns on both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. I’ve seen cheerful street musicians, sailboats unloading in marinas, kids on playgrounds, and moms pushing strollers in seersucker dresses. I’ve seen a few groups of what look like spring breakers too, walking down sunny sidewalks or sitting at beachfront bars enjoying fresh fried seafood.