The closure of tourism and entertainment giants, like Disneyworld, Disneyland and Universal theme parks in Orlando, or the cancellation of traditional sporting events like March Madness and Spring Training, brought home the seriousness of the COVID-19 concerns in the United States, however, it was grocery shopping at the large Publix on Marco Island that was a surprise.
You know when a hurricane is 500 miles off the coast and you stop for groceries, but once you get there, the frenzy of shoppers rubs off on you and before you know it you have enough bottled water and duct tape to last you through the next ice age? My family typically shops on weekends, so we had NO idea when people spoke about the lack of hand sanitizers, peroxide or rubbing alcohol that it was a local concern. Who would think shoppers would completely wipe out toilet paper, paper towels and napkins as well as any germ-killing cleaning supply on the shelf! I certainly didn’t want to buy a package of 500 napkins, but there was only one on the shelf so in the cart it went! Photos are from Publix on Barfield and San Marco Road. Staff assured me they will restock as items become available to their warehouse.
Who knew over a week ago we needed to buy as much toilet paper and paper towels as we could? Certainly not my family…and WHO bought all this stuff? I’ve not heard one person say, “Yay, I grabbed the last bottle of rubbing alcohol today!” One Naples resident posted on social media two 32-ounce bottles of bleach for $240.00! Fortunately, the price-gouger was immediately banned from the site. So, who needed these items so badly and how did they know over a week ago?
Many of our snowbirds are staying put! They don’t want to travel back home, it is beautiful here and if they’re going to be stuck, it might as well be in this beautiful area where one can walk the beach barefoot or enjoy the outdoors fishing, gardening, etc. A quick trip through the Publix parking lot reveals every other plate is from elsewhere: Ontario, New Jersey, Minnesota, Maine, Delaware, Illinois, Wyoming, and those are from just half of one row.
Keep in mind this is not a permanent way of life. It may be we hunker down over the next couple of weeks until we get a grip on the situation. While we will try not to play into fear and panic, we do want to keep you up-to-date on event and meeting cancellations and closures as well as possible. Please feel free to tag your events here and check with organizers before heading out to an event.
There are HUNDREDS of places to pick up your copy of Coastal Breeze News each week which will not require social interaction, or you can find the entire paper online (page by page) at www.coastalbreezenews.com.L
From the Executive Director of the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce:
As in usual fashion the Marco Island Community is banding together to protect our visitors, snowbirds and residents during this outbreak of the COVID-19. Many of our local events which would put Islanders in compromising situations have been cancelled, but the Island’s restaurants, businesses and retail shops have put all the CDC recommendations in place to keep the public safe.
As everyone can tell, the Island is buzzing with cars, bikes, walkers, out enjoying our beautiful beaches and the warmth of our spring sunshine. The best place to be to ward off COVID-19 is in the warm sunshine and Marco Island has plenty of it. Our businesses continue to prosper this season and want to make sure visitors, those on spring break and their families have a great time on our Island Paradise.
From Dr. Carlos Portu:
To say that we are passing through an interesting time in History is an understatement.
As a Doctor these days, almost every other discussion revolves around coronavirus and what it may ultimately mean for us. Sadly, the reality is no one knows for sure and even within my own family there is plenty of debate!
But, there are some things we do know, and I thought I would share those with you in the hopes of drowning out some of the noise that we are bombarded with daily.
- Coronavirus is a serious viral condition. It is more serious than Influenza in terms of overall risk. Exactly how much more serious is a moving target and the statistics will likely change as testing expands and treatment protocols emerge.
- I would suspect that we are beyond the point of ultimately preventing the complete spread of coronavirus throughout our country and community.
- What does that mean? Coronaviris (COVID19) essentially disappearing without impacting our lives in some way like SARS or MERS is unlikely. That said…. the vast majority of us will be fine.
- Of greater importance is what it means for those of us in the community whom are at greater risk of serious complications- namely the elderly with multiple chronic medical conditions. Much like influenza, exposure avoidance and early treatment are critical to reduce morbidity and mortality.
So what can we do?
- If you’re sick, stay home. With any infectious conditions, be mindful of your neighbors and the risk you might pose to them if exposed to coronavirus or anything else.
- Wash your hands regularly…. soap works fine; actually better than hand sanitizers. There is little need to overstock sanitizers and much less toilet paper (of note, GI distress is not a common symptom of coronavirus).
- If you are considered high risk, avoid unnecessary exposure to large crowded situations with lots of close contact. Be smart, but don’t over-react. Give some consideration to previously planned travel… and shop for a good deal on a cruise for next winter or spring!
- If you don’t feel well, call your doctor. Be specific about your symptoms so we can properly triage you and avoid affecting otherwise healthy patients in our office. Many of us offer an option for telehealth visits as well.
- Lastly- go out for a walk, take the boat out. Read a book in a hammock or call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. The sun will come up tomorrow and we all still live in Paradise—
Here is what we know right now, watch as many of these events will be rescheduled in the coming weeks:
3/13-14 Echo Farms Global Festival, going on as planned
3/14-15 Goodland Arts & Music Festival, going on as planned
3/15 -Concert at Resident’s Beach, 4:00 PM Sunday going on as planned
3/15- Marco Island Half Marathon and 5K Sunday, going on as planned
3/15 Stan’s Lobster Festival, going on as planned
3/17-Nacho Mamas St. Patrick’s Day Celebration going on as planned
4/19-Taste of Marco Island, going on as planned
From the COLLIER COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT:
The Commissioner of the Florida Department of Education has directed all public schools in Florida to be closed for two weeks inclusive of their Spring Break. Since CCPS was on Spring Break this week, our second week of closure will be next week. CCPS will be CLOSED to all students Monday, March 16th through Friday, March 20th.
-Knights of Columbus have cancelled all bingo and Friday night Fish Fry’s
-JCMI bingo, Film Festival, Alter Eagles concert, Passover Seder as well as any small group activities – cancelled
3/14 – Naples St. Patrick’s Day Parade – cancelled
3/17 – Networking after 5 – Cornerstone cancelled
3/18 – Lunch with Friends – cancelled
3/18 Marco Island Business Expo – cancelled
3/19 Medical Cannibis Education Forum – cancelled
3/21 -Cure PSP Walk- cancelled
3/20-22 Marco Island Seafood Festival – cancelled
3/21-Marco Island Women’s Home Tour – cancelled
3/27 Frank Gervin Memorial International Boxing Match- cancelled
3/29 -Fire Foundation Pancake Breakfast- cancelled