This week's biggest local news was a one-two punch. First, we had Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' decision to extend his reopening order — which caught attention mostly because he appended a statement forbidding local governments from enforcing any fines or penalties on businesses that do not meet local standards for COVID safety, like those who flout mask mandates or restaurant capacity. Next, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings made a statement of his own — that Orange County strike teams would be visiting businesses to assess whether they were complying with county COVID safety standards, and, indeed, fining those "bad actors" who ignore said standards. Get out the popcorn!
I loved the article "Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings signs executive order instituting fines against local businesses for COVID-19 violations." I am of the same mind as the mayor that businesses need to have consequences. People don't learn and often won't care if they don't have consequences and I think that this order is a step in the right direction. The only thing that I worry about is if the fines will be enough to make the businesses listen and fix what they are doing. Depending on how much they make, some places could afford a fine depending on which level it is. They also could simply raise their prices to accommodate for the extra charge. Hopefully, though, this will not be the case and we will see less cases. People should not be going to bars and nightclubs until we have all had the vaccine. It's not safe and it is extremely irresponsible. — Rachel Daniel, Davenport
We need a governor who is not in Trump's pocket. The idea that he would ban all previous preventions is suicide for many people. How in the world can he justify this when the total cases have now reached over 1,000,000? — Charlene Brooks, The Villages
@Rachel Smith I'd love to see Orange County pair some carrots with this stick by recognizing and rewarding businesses that comply with CDC recommendations. Businesses who enforce masks and social distancing should get priority consideration for CARES Act grants, for example.
@Adam Massimo I love all these "adults" who need the government to protect them from a virus with a 99.8% survivability. I bet all these snowflakes are loving the colder weather!
@Virginia Wright He's doing the right thing! Offenders have been given adequate chances to comply!
@Dave Hardison Putting aside the arguments about the purpose of government, just wear your face masks. It is easy, cheap, and works almost as well as a vaccine.