Our family hadn’t left New York since March. We had read about how Florida was able to maintain a case rate similar to or lower than New York’s while shunning our crippling lockdowns. Still, we were apprehensive. “Be careful down there, no one wears a mask,” was typical of advice I got from well-meaning friends.
And indeed, Florida has a reputation as one of the looser states. In mid-April, after a short lockdown, Gov. Ron DeSantis gave the green light for beaches to open. “Wait two weeks!” the naysayers urged back then. But two weeks came and went, and Florida’s numbers remained relatively steady after a peak in mid-July.