Florida COVID-19 Deaths Soar 36% Last Week

Editorial: COVID-19 Vaccines
Editorial: Florida COVID-19 Vaccines

Editorial – Boy, what a week it’s been with Florida hitting a new pandemic record as more COVID-19 patients are still dying.

There were 2,345 additional COVID-19 deaths in Florida during the past week, the most ever in a similar period. That’s a 36% increase, and Cleveland Clinic Indian River County nurses tell Sebastian Daily that it’s only getting worse.

We’re not trying to instill fear, but these are the facts.

All the doctors we’ve talked to encourage people to get the vaccine to help slow down the spread of the virus. Sound familiar? We’ve been hearing this for months now.

Some people can’t get the vaccine or wear a mask for health reasons, including children under 12, and we understand that. 

Some health experts believe the COVID-19 spike could be declining soon, but our local hospitals tell us differently. There is also talk of herd immunity, but people still need to get vaccinated. 

Vero Beach Police Officer Darrel Rivers

“Get the vaccine. I’ve lost so many in the past months. Not forcing my beliefs on anyone. Your Body and Your Choice. That’s all. Hate me or Love me,” Darrell Rivers, Public Information Officer for Vero Beach Police Department, said.

Constitutional Rights and Government Conspiracy

At the same time, a few Facebook groups argue that forcing people to get the vaccine or wearing a mask violates their “Constitutional Rights,” and freedoms. Meanwhile, they are infringing on other people’s rights. They also believe the virus and the vaccine are all conspiracies by the government. 

And every time I publish an editorial about this virus, someone will post a link in the comment section for people to read how the government is lying.  Everyone on Facebook is an expert on the subject because they believe the world’s best scientists and doctors forgot to read something they found on the internet.

You would never know we were in a pandemic, and boy did the movies have it wrong. 

When watching films about a pandemic starring Will Smith or Dustin Hoffman, people panic as they try to do everything to avoid exposure to a deadly virus. In the movies, some people were immune, just like today. 

But I doubt the scriptwriters could ever predict what real life could be like during a pandemic, with society breaking down with arguments and challenging facts from the experts they feel are lying.

Some people mention the survival rate, or “you got to die sometime, it’s like any other virus or the flu.” Are you sure about that? Influenza patients don’t fill the hospitals, and the flu vaccine is the main reason. 

Experts tell us the COVID-19 vaccine will not protect us 100%, and people can still get the variants after the shot, but it’s better than not having any protection. 

Many people in Florida praise Gov. Ron DeSantis for keeping the state open as deaths soar. Other people praise him for protecting their freedoms. But little do most of them know DeSantis got the vaccine to protect himself and others.

Nurse Practitioner vs. Doctors of Medicine

I watched a video of a nurse practitioner in Sebastian telling people she is fearful of the vaccine. She is not a doctor of medicine. When I showed her video to a few doctors in Sebastian, they were horrified. These are doctors with COVID-19 patients on ventilators in the hospital. They claim she is misleading people who could die from not getting the vaccine. 

Please, don’t mess with this virus. Instead, listen to the advice of a real doctor of medicine. 

It seems everyone was OK getting shots and vaccines when they were children, and nothing happened to them. Then people created a myth that the vaccine was developed too quickly; therefore, it must be wrong. 

When that was debunked, people created new myths. So please be careful what information you read on the internet, especially from questionable “Facebook groups.”

One life gone from this virus is too many, and it’s preventable. 

When to Wear Masks?

The CDC said for several months now that even vaccinated people should wear masks when indoors in tight quarters with others. The vaccinated can spread the virus to the non-vaccinated. I always have my mask on me as a result. 

I don’t usually wear a mask outdoors. And I don’t always wear my mask indoors if I’m near people I know have been vaccinated. It is also true that even the vaccinated can get the variants, as they are mutating and spreading.

The mask is a small part of protecting yourself and others, which is why the vaccine is essential.

Parents Want to Oust School Board Members, Superintendent Over Mask Mandate

People are angry over masks, and some parents groups are trying to get people to sign a petition to oust three Indian River County School Board members and Superintendent Dr. Moore after passing a mandate for their children to wear masks from K-8. An exception is a note from a doctor.

Doesn’t sound that awful, does it?

The group alleges the school board broke the law. When watching the video of the last meeting, I could not believe how the parents were behaving after the vote. They stood up, approached the school board members, and yelled before a deputy arrived.

They think the governor will intervene, but I doubt it. Sebastian has experience in this after asking Gov. DeSantis to remove Damien Gilliams and Pamela Parris when they broke multiple Sunshine Laws. DeSantis did nothing, and it took a historic recall by the people to have them removed.


Society is breaking down because of politics and misinformation. It’s quite sad when the human race should be taking this more seriously during this pandemic.

When people say “do your research” or “do your homework,” I cringe. I mean, do they have information that world scientists and medical experts missed? 

I love everyone, including those who believe the pandemic and virus is a conspiracy. However, we need to wake up and stop reading misinformation online or lies they watched from a YouTube video.

If you still have any doubts, just read the CDC facts on the COVID-19 vaccine with an open mind. We need to stop this spread. 

We can slow this pandemic down as a community. So let’s do our part to protect one another. It is a matter of life!

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About Andy Hodges 2862 Articles
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland, and raised in Jupiter, Florida. He has been a radio and TV personality since the mid-1980s. He has worked for WFLX-TV (Fox 29), WIRK, WLIZ, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and others. In 1994, Andy took a break from broadcasting and was a software and systems engineer for various companies. In 2002, he permanently moved back to Sebastian, where Andy's family has lived for over 45 years. He returned to the broadcasting sector in 2005. Andy joined Sebastian Daily as our editor-in-chief in 2016.