Covid in the U.S. rear view mirror
I’m back in Bermuda after our little sojourn to Miami Beach. We stayed just a couple of miles south of Chaplain Towers in Surfide, the site of Thursday’s building collapse tragedy. We drove by it last Monday to have dinner in Bal Harbour, a condo building in a row of non-descript 1980 oceanfront buildings punctuated occasionally by plush hotels.
My heart goes out to every family and friend waiting on news of loved ones 💔
Although my family are still away, our trip was short but very sweet. There is a lot to do and prepare for in terms of paperwork, prep and Covid testing when travelling, at least from here. I have my fourth PCR test in 8 days tomorrow. The trick I found is to be organized. There are many stories circulating of Bermuda residents not being allowed on airplanes due to not having the right paperwork. When in doubt and unable to tick a box, an airline check-in employee will not compromise or bow down to pleading and anger.
In Miami we relaxed, swam, ate great meals and did a lot of walking. Two things struck me though, and they were the much increased number of homelessness, and secondly how Miami and Charlotte (where I travelled back through) had moved on from Covid.
Miami’s violent crime has really spiked in this year’s first quarter and in Charlotte beggars and vagrants were also very obvious even in what was still a very quiet financial district where I stayed overnight. Increased urban crime I’m sure a future vestige of the pandemic.
On the other hand masks in both cities were a rarity. Almost every public place openly encouraged vaccinated visitors and deterred the unvaccinated by window posters and door signs. How you know who is what I don’t know, so although liberating I was always prepared to slap my mask on, even though I’ve been fully vaccinated since March.
Miami was busy, with large groups of young people hogging pavements sucking down neon blue drinks through straws and wearing very little. When they really should have been wearing a lot more especially after I’d just eaten.
America is obviously keen to put Covid behind them, but similarly to Bermuda and the UK the jab rate is falling .
The fully vaccinated rate in the state of Florida is 50%, a long way behind country-toppers Vermont at 70% but a million times better than the countries lowest in Mississippi at 32%.
Bermuda incidentally is at 56% and the UK 48% by comparison.