I am a recovering Florida Man.
I haven’t lived there in decades, and after I lost my parents I haven’t had much motivation to go back there, even for brief vacations, during Michigan’s face-cutting cold.
I do know a lot of people in Florida and I’m related to some them, so I do keep up on things going on in that area, particularly with the surge of C0vid-19 cases.
Reading news last week, I was stunned into silence when I read some articles, within a few minutes of each other, where I learned that:
- The state was approaching 15,000 new daily cases (they exceeded the threshold days later) and
- Dozens of hospitals, in the state, including several near Orlando, were beyond their ICU capacity and
- The Disney theme parks in Central Florida were opening that weekend.
The parks were also opening in the hottest part of the year and during hurricane season. I don’t even want to think about where people with heat-related, or storm-related injuries, would seek care.
This a hot mess that is inevitably going to become hotter and messier.
Saturday morning, (July 10) I saw several tweets that made mention of the opening of the Disney Parks, and included Disney’s “Welcome Home” reopening video:
One tweet in particular captured my sentiments, Yashar Ali ( @yashar) simply stated: “No, Thanks.”
Moments later, my current thoughts drifted to some rather old thoughts, and I had a rather vivid recollection of dream I’d had years, and years ago, and hadn’t thought about much since.
Here, we queue up the flashback sound effect from old sitcoms:
As a teen recovering in an Orlando hospital after surgery, for several weeks, I had wacky-ass dreams/hallucinations because my sleep was disrupted by the pain, steroid treatment, etc.
I once had a vision that my hospital bed was in a huge room with hundreds of others, and Mickey, Pluto, Donald, etc….were tending to patients.
I realized I was at Disney World, in a hospital!
An alarm went off and I saw that there was coin slot on my bed and I had to put more money in. I had no coins, I was in a hospital gown….and I was sporting a Foley catheter ffs….
I was told by a (human) nurse that if I didn’t have any money, I had to leave the bed; she grabbed my arm to yank me out of it. I resisted. Then,
Right about then I awoke, stressed, with quickened breaths.
I saw cleaning staff in my room. My semi-private room. So, it just my bed and the one where the fireman with kidney stones slept.
The steroid-fever dream now seems like it could become Disney’s new business model: The Happiest Emergency Field Hospital on Earth.
What do you think? It could help offset some revenue holes for Disney.
Seriously, I understand, that like many other organizations that Disney has been been bleeding cash. Their theme parks rely on revenue from admissions, meals, souvenirs and that had been closed off for months.
Furthermore, one of their other key holdings, ESPN is likely suffering from the lack of sports; thus the viewership and ad revenues are down.
I understand that the reopen target date for the theme parks was set months ago, when Florida had few cases compared to some of hotspot states.
Still, reopening the parks, even with a reduced cap on guests, is an act of negligence. Doing so puts park employees, its guests, and the community at large at risk
If Disney being pressured by government, they are complicit in a crime.
I don’t have faith that Disney, or the government will make a good decision anytime soon.
My advice to all of you is to stay home: