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Written By NaviPay Blog Contributor:
Suzanne Davis
Coastal Business Evolution, LLC

Tomorrow will be the start of a long holiday weekend! Independence Day, the 4th of July is Saturday. The 4th of July is celebrated as the day 13 North American colonies declared their Independence from the British Crown forming the United States of America. But in fact, the historic vote for Independence occurred on July 2, 1776, and on July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed. Just a little fact that many of us probably do not remember from American History class. When was America born? Well, July 4th, 1776! WRONG! It was two days before, but we must have been busy and didn’t get around to the official business of drafting the declaration for a couple of days.

Seems like we were confused even back in 1776 on how to handle this historic event. Now, 244 years later we are even more confused on how to handle July 4, 2020! For American’s, this day symbolizes our freedom and is often filled with family fun, cookouts, having a few cold ones with friends at your local bar, and you might hit the beach. At night we congregate together and watch spectacular fireworks displays synced to patriotic music. But not this year. This year our freedom is being infringed upon by another dictator. King Corona Virus, Mr. Pandemic or COVID-19 for short.

In addition to making a lot of people sick and killing a whole bunch of great Americans, this dictator is forcing us to make some unpopular decisions which appear to be infringements upon “our rights as Americans”. There are no easy answers when it comes to how to control and eventually oust this very novel, complex, dictator from our lives. Every decision that has been made to control King Corona creates great debates among Americans. Some people are happy or at least grateful that we are trying to do something to oust him, some believe that we aren’t doing enough, others are unhappy, furious even saying their rights are being violated. One thing is for sure; King Corona is dividing this country in ways that I didn’t think were possible.

A few other things that I could not imagine were possible have also occurred. There will be no fireworks events that we can attend this Saturday. West Palm Beach will conduct two fireworks displays at undisclosed locations to prevent crowds from gathering. They will be broadcast on a local news station. All fireworks displays and events in the Treasure Coast and in all other local communities have been canceled or postponed. Our beaches, across Florida, including those from Martin County to Key West, will be closed. If you want to go to the beach, I would suggest that you to go on our real Independence Day, July 2nd—but do it before 5 pm a few local communities will be closing the beaches by then. All are scheduled to reopen on July 6th or 7th.

You also will not be going to your favorite watering hole. All “stand-alone” bars, those who receive less than 50% of their revenue from food sales were closed indefinitely. Bar closures were announced on Friday, June 26th in a tweet from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation at 11:13 am. That date and that time are significant because that was about an hour after Florida became NUMBER ONE! At approximately 10 am on June 26th we found out that Florida had 8802 new positive cases of Covid 19 on June 25th. We became NUMBER ONE because that was the highest one-day total of positives ANYWHERE since we began reopening. Always the overachiever, on June 26th we broke another record with 9557 cases. It hasn’t gotten a whole lot better in recent days either. So, we are holding the record since the opening. We have the third-highest population in the United States right behind Texas and California, but damn we are number ONE! Let’s not claim it is due to more testing. Simply not the case because our positive rate has risen to a high of 15%! If you want to really see how we stack up visit John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. We are poised to be the next epicenter-King Corona’s favorite little vacation spot!

Why no fireworks, beaches, or bars? Because Coronavirus loves crowds more than anything else. Especially when we get super close and cannot socially distance. That was a major force behind the DBPR decision to close bars. Bars and restaurants were instructed to operate at 50% capacity with patrons seated at tables six feet apart. Congregating at the bar or in other areas, like a dance floor was forbidden. But we are social creatures by nature and the secretary of DBPR said that enforcing the rules became impossible. He did, however, acknowledge that this was not occurring because people are evil like the virus. It was occurring because we all just want to get out an experience normalcy. We are very social creatures even during a pandemic.

Unfortunately, we will not really be able to experience normalcy until King Corona is controlled if not completely killed. We absolutely do not want to stay at number one and become the new epicenter. We need to come together as Floridians, as Americans whether we approve of these restrictive measures or not because in truth, we don’t know what else to do to stop the spread. Whether we triumph or falter during this pandemic will be in the history books. How do you think we will look for future generations? For 2020, this 4th of July, maybe it’s time to hang out with family, barbecue at home, and do our own fireworks display-DeSantis made them legal for the 4th…..and try to take just a little bit of time to reflect on the meaning of freedom, patriotism and coming together as Americans.

“The time is always right to do what is right” –Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”- John F. Kennedy

“May we think of freedom not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right” –Peter Marshall

“My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together”- Desmond Tutu

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others”Nelson Mandela

Choose to celebrate Independence Day differently for hopefully just this one year! May your 4th of July be filled with compassion, understanding, family, hand washing, health and happiness!

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