It’s easy to forget during times of civil unrest and protests across the country that we’re still under quarantine during a pandemic. Today, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida announced the state’s move into Phase 2 of his three-step plan to restart the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Under Phase 2, bars will be able to open at 50% capacity indoors, and at full capacity outside with proper social distancing of 6 feet between tables. The reopenings also include businesses such as movie theaters, bowling alleys and concert halls at 50% capacity, with necessary social-distancing restrictions.
The changes go into effect Friday but importantly don’t apply to the three hardest-hit counties in the state: Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach in South Florida.
The governor acknowledged, however, that coronavirus is still a threat.
“The virus isn’t gone,” he said at a news conference at Universal Orlando’s CityWalk.
The announcement comes five days after mass protests began around the country in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. It also comes amid curfews implemented in cities across the country, though they differ in precise time. It also takes longer than 5 days for someone to be cleared of COVID-19 after self-quarantining, which many protesters have not done.
Opening up the state now after days of mass gatherings during protests could be seen as a very dangerous decision.
PLACES TO DONATE:
Minnesota Freedom Fund
George Floyd Memorial Fund
I Run With Maud
Black Visions Collective
Reclaim the Block
Communities United Against Police Brutality
Black Lives Matter
NAACP Legal Defense Fund
American Civil Liberties Union
SIGN A PETITION:
Justice for George Floyd on change.org
From the petition page: “We are trying to reach the attention of Mayor Jacob Frey and DA Mike Freeman to beg to have the officers involved in this disgusting situation fired and for charges to be filed immediately.”
#JusticeforFloyd on act.colorofchange.org
From the petition letter: “I am outraged and disturbed by the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police Department officers. For seven minutes, George Floyd and bystanders cried out and pleaded for his life as your officers choked him to death in broad daylight. This is an act of police violence committed on an innocent, unarmed Black man. No one deserves what happened to George. And it’s up to you to grant justice. I’m calling on you, the Mayor, to 1) block their pensions and 2) ban them from becoming police officers ever again. And County Attorney Freeman and Attorney General Ellison must immediately charge ALL four officers with murder. We’re counting on you to secure justice for his family.“
CONTACT STATE AND LOCAL LEADERS:
Reach out to representatives to demand justice and accountability. Find contact information at the links below:
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey
Minneapolis District Attorney Mike Freeman
Photography by Juliana Bernstein / Get Tiny Photography