How Palm Beach County Helps Us Help Each Other

Voters now realize more than ever what government means to them. And in the case of the coronavirus pandemic, lives and livelihoods are now at risk.

Nick Moschella, Executive Editor, The Palm Beach Post writing about Political Editor Antonio Fins.

With Florida’s coronavirus cases surpassing the 1 million mark, Governor Ron DeSantis surfaced from weeks of laying low to give voice to an imaginary universe. “I’m opposed to mandates period. I don’t think they work,” DeSantis appears to be still playing up to Trump, who disdained masks from the start and made mask-wearing so voluntary that he turned the White House and his rally locations into infection hot spots … At this point, DeSantis is just sucking up to a guy who’s a month away from hiding out in Florida in an illegal long-term living arrangement at the Mar-a-Lago Club to avoid the New York tax-fraud prosecutors.

Thank god for local government. As Isaac Morton reported in the Florida Phoenix, many of Florida’s 67 counties have mandated masks, including Palm Beach County where we live. When the governor threw open the state at the end of September — ushering in the explosion in cases — he also appeared to take the teeth out of the mask mandates by denying counties the ability to impose fines for rule-breakers.

What he didn’t say was that counties are empowered to establish the rules for businesses operating within their jurisdictions. Palm Beach County’s June 24, 2020 mandatory masks order continues in place unaffected.

Mandating the wearing of facial coverings in all businesses and establishments and in outdoor public spaces where social distancing is not possible.

Palm Beach County Executive Order

Palm Beach County backed up their words with a good deed — mailing out County masks to all its residents. We have used them in place of my early, hand-made efforts.

From what we can see, and unlike the push-back videos that went viral over the summer, people are following these orders in their daily errands. The county hasn’t had to fine anyone, though — as a former budget examiner — I’ll bet their fiscal office would love to count on the revenue stream from people like this Costco customer.

What you can’t change, you should at least make money on. Maybe it’s time for a sin tax, like those on cigarettes and alcohol. A pandemic pay-up, to be earmarked for PPE.

Meanwhile, the rest of us are rolling up our sleeves and masking up. We just received a new batch of masks from Palm Beach County and will wear them with pride.

Get the picture?

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