Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

Do you think senior snowbirds in Florida should get vaccinated before younger Floridians?

Asked by JLeslie (63519points) December 27th, 2020
37 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

A friend brought to my attention that snowbirds visiting Florida this winter will be eligible to be vaccinated for covid while in Florida.

They are not Florida residents, they just spend a few months in Florida during the winter.

It’s not clear to me if they will be ahead of Florida residents who are younger adults, but that might be the case. It seems like it is likely the case if they can get vaccinated sometime in January, February, or March.

My friend is saying Florida will receive extra vaccine to accommodate snowbirds. I have no idea if that’s true. Even if the state gets vaccine per capita including snowbird population, it still takes time to vaccinate people.

Do you think snowbirds should come before residents?

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JLeslie's avatar

My husband and I stay home for the most part. We are not traveling, we are trying to reduce risk of getting covid and I don’t do any of my usual activities that I used to do in the usual way. I zumba at home rather than in a class, I get almost all my groceries delivered, I’m not seeing my family. I only visit with a few friends sporadically at a distance with masks on. Once every few months I go to see live music outside if it isn’t crowded and I can distance at least ten feet.

I don’t know if I will qualify as high risk, my husband definitely won’t. If I don’t both of us will be at the very very end of the line in Florida after many many millions of others in the state. I feel I am high risk, but feel unsure the state (or whoever decides) will agree.

So, someone who travels to the state (which some countries aren’t even allowing that sort of travel) is going to go ahead of me? I was fine with people over 70 going before me, even over 60, and fine with workers who deal directly with the public, but I’m not happy about snowbirds going ahead of me. I’m not even happy they are coming to town and probably most of them won’t bother to quarantine.

chyna's avatar

I understand your concern. I’m sure I wouldn’t like it either. But your governor doesn’t seem to care about the people in Florida anyway. He hasn’t shut down beaches and restaurants as he should have. He is allowing the snowbirds in the state.
So, since they are allowed in, they need to be vaccinated too. If for no other reason than to keep the residents safe.
They are adding to the economy by shopping, paying for rentals or rental spots in RV parking areas, etc.

canidmajor's avatar

More than half of the snowbirds I know have their official residences in Florida, because they are there during election times. I can sort of understand the frustration you feel, but I have faith that every one who wants a vaccination will be able to get one, and, like @chyna, I will just be glad that more and more are protected.

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor I have no problem with Florida residents. Actual residents who have their driver’s license here and are eligible to vote here should be vaccinated in the state of Florida.

@chyna I agree DeSantis might actually vaccinate non-residents for money reasons. His motive for at least half of what he does is tax money for the state. It is frustrating.

DeSantis did close restaurants and bars for many weeks, he even opened restaurants more gradually than he CDC guidelines. We were at 25% when we could have been 50% near the beginning when states were first opening back up. Right now most restaurants are open, maybe full capacity I am not sure, except for counties and cities that have different orders in place. It is too loose in my state, no question, I wish there were more orders in place for a variety of things.

I have never seen DeSantis try to usurp an order in a county or city. He has banned fines and penalties, but not putting in orders. Counties with mask orders have fairly good compliance. I know people who live in South Florida counties and they all wear masks indoors. I sometimes am in Orange County (where Orlando is) and also really good compliance with masks ever sine the order went into effect.

jca2's avatar

@JLeslie: If there are no fines or penalties (for mask orders or other orders), then what would compel someone to obey an order?

kritiper's avatar

Why? Are Floridians more special than anyone else in the country??
Yes, any old timers anywhere should get vaccinated first.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I agree with @kritiper – Florida is nothing special. Anyone over 65 (or 75, or whatever they are saying) should be in the next group.

Doesn’t matter what state. I would argue that since DeSantis is pretty much ignoring the threat, Florida ought to be one of the last.

JLeslie's avatar

@elbanditoroso @kritiper So, if my parents go to your state for two months they should be ahead of your siblings and children who live in your state who are in their 40’s and 50’s? My parents are just vacationing for a couple of months where your family lives.

@jca2 Just like so many Democrats said for months, if Trump would just wear a mask and reinforce mask wearing more people would do it. Those counties have been doing that for months. It is simply an expectation there.

Many people will follow orders without penalties. Most people don’t even think about a penalty except the media blasts it across the airwaves that IN FLORIDA THEY WON’T DO ANYTHING TO YOU IF YOU GO AGAINST ORDERS. Ugh. I wish they would stop promoting that. The media is helping to kill people here.

A lot of people see the order as an indication that masks NEED to be worn. Young people don’t watch politics and news, they will do what they are told though. They will put on a mask if the sign on the store says they have to.

People will form a line even if there is no fine for cutting a line. Social expectations do effect behavior.

Palm Beach County just sent cloth masks in the mail to all residents just over a month ago.

chyna's avatar

I disagree that the news is promoting that if you don’t wear a mask, you won’t get penalized. They are reporting the news and I think they might be doing it to open peoples eyes as to what is going on in the area. Maybe they are trying to get people to complain or protest this policy to make it safer.
I also disagree that young people follow rules. Did you not see all the news broadcasts about the kids at the beaches and in restaurants ALL SUMMER LONG without masks? Packed together like sardines!

jca2's avatar

@JLeslie: I think wearing masks in stores is more because the stores have a rule that you must leave if you don’t wear the mask. In a way, that’s a penalty.

If there’s no penalty in other places, and it’s not posted, it seems a lot of people will just do what they want.

A friend who lives in Florida just posted about someplace where she went that there were multiple people without masks on. It seems that without enforcement or a penalty, people who don’t believe in masks won’t wear them.

kritiper's avatar

@JLeslie That is exactly right.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca2 I saw 20 somethings saying in interviews, “well, since they allowed the bars to be open we assumed it was safe again.” It’s similar with masks, they will just comply, they aren’t really thinking. Chain stores here require masks and most people comply, there is no real penalty though, no one is throwing anyone out of a store without a mask.

You’re right that if it is not posted and no one is ordering it, people do what they want, but the penalty is only required for a certain subgroup of people. That’s my opinion from what I have observed.

Multiple people indoors without masks? Not restaurants, but other stores?

@kritiper I don’t see why anyone thinks that is ok. So, what about my dad getting his vaccine before other 75 year olds in your state? Oops, gotta wait for the next shipment, that guy on vacation got the last dose of this shipment. You think if you fly into my state tomorrow you go ahead of the residents here?

JLeslie's avatar

@chyna Sorry, I missed answering you. Florida has not traced many cases back to the beaches, it is traced back to the restaurants and bars at the beaches. For a while DeSantis closed the bars for a second time because of it. I thin Miami mayor also reclosed beaches for a while, because people were just congregating too much period and they have more of a problem down there. I am not trying to defend DeSantis, he could have and should have done much more, I am only trying to relay what actually happened. My argument about the media is not that they shouldn’t report what is happening, my argument is they should report the full story and stop putting emphasis on things for political reasons and ratings.

Your information is one sided because you are not watching DeSantis in full, you are only reading what the media reports. At this point I would say the whole thing is out of control and DeSantis has basically thrown his hands up, but that was not the case for months. For months DeSantis gave a reasonable message, but stopped short of an order (a mistake) but the advisory could have been carried by the media with the same force as an order. The media helped DeSantis decide to do nothing in my opinion. When he did anything he received no recognition for it. That means he is a bad leader, but I also find fault with the media.

Here are quick links where I give you the time to forward to. My guess is most people on this Q have no idea DeSantis said and did any of these things over and over again. What if these clips were promoted over and over again as much as where DeSantis fell short? What if media showed what our Florida Health Department sent out over and over again to follow the three C’s? Sent by my republican representative via email promoting what the governor asked of us? Here’s just a few clips:

See where DeSantis tells people to wear a mask at minute 2:40 and then puts on his mask when he steps away from the mic minute 11:20. Link from June.

Minute 15:00 steps away from mic and puts on his mask, Link from May 5/6/2020

Minute 50:15 DeSantis talks about superspreaders and higher risk activities funerals, church services, choir, business convention. Link from April.

Minute 12:45 puts on a mask when he steps away from the mic

chyna's avatar

I’ll read it later, but my information is mainly from friends that live there.

JLeslie's avatar

A few of us have researched about the snowbird question and the way one friend and I read it, we don’t think non-resident snowbirds will be eligible, while another friend of mine who read the same articles thinks they will be. It isn’t clear. I wrote the Florida Department of Health to try to find out. The one who thinks it does include snowbirds who are not Florida residents has her sister coming down here and I think her sister is not a resident, so she is trying to figure out if her sister will delay getting her vaccine if she leaves her state. That was my interpretation anyway. The woman who agrees with me that we don’t think it will include visitors, she said they likely don’t have doctors down here and doesn’t see how they will be notified to make an appointment by the state of Florida or otherwise since they don’t really exist in Florida except as tourists. I don’t know if her logic is correct. Plus, some do have doctors here. My father goes to the VA here for instance.

@chyna They may also never watch the full DeSantis press conferences like so many of my friends here both Democrats and Republicans. People who love him and people who hate him both have their own slant on what he says similar to Trump. If you watched the full videos, which I would never expect you to do, he says things that you will like and things you will hate. He does a little bit of that dog whistle stuff like Trump.

janbb's avatar

I’ve read a few articles that says that snowbirds from Canada might be able to get vaccinated in Florida. Here’s one:

JLeslie's avatar

@janbb I read that one also. Thank you for taking the time to google a little. It doesn’t specify if they are Florida residents. That’s the problem with every article I’ve read. They say full-time vs part-time residents. So, is that people who make their primary residence here in both cases?

Most Canadians who are US citizens have it worked out that they get benefits in both countries.

Edit: I thought I would add this link. The Canadian Snowbird association is a reference tool for Canadians to maintain health benefits in their province and other benefits while also getting all possible benefits in the US. Here’s the link if you’re interested.

kritiper's avatar

@JLeslie Where I live, here in Idaho, it doesn’t matter if you’re from Florida or Timbuktu, everybody gets treated the same.

JLeslie's avatar

@kritiper Well, people traveling are risking spreading covid and actually risking harming the citizens of our country. Other countries have limited that to prevent the spread, but it’s a free for all here.

Vaccine is probably distributed by population to each state. If it’s true we are getting more vaccine to account for snowbirds then that makes me feel better. I hope you’re ok with your state getting less vaccine so Florida gets more assuming some of your residents will be here. Also, maybe we are vaccinating Canadians who are not residents or citizens here. My county is vaccinating for free right now from what I read. I don’t know where the tax dollars come from, federal or state. I’m not worried if it is state, since Florida taxes the tourists to pay for a lot of things. If it’s federal, not sure how people feel about that going to pay for tourists.

I found out at least one person who is a snowbird, and not a resident of Florida, received their vaccine today, so unless that was a mistake it looks like they can get vaccinated here.

Keep in mind over 65 in Florida is being vaccinated before some people who have to go to work every day. So, people on vacation are vaccinated before people going to work and having to interact with others. I’m ok with over 65 being vaccinated before younger workers who don’t deal directly with the public, but people on vacation? While many of us stay home. Why don’t they stay home?

kritiper's avatar

Vaccinating everybody is a major concern for the country as a whole. Getting a shot to everyone, no matter who they are or where they’re from is most important. Notice will be given to those concerned, by phone and/or mail, whatever the Army decides is most efficient. Anything is possible.

JLeslie's avatar

@kritiper In most counties in Florida right now you can be vaccinated if you are over 65. In the majority of states you can’t. Most states frontline essential workers are before older persons.

Nothing is perfect and people will fight about what’s fair and not fair. If you have a lot of money you can fly to Florida and get your shot I guess.

janbb's avatar

@JLeslie Since you need two shots three weeks apart, vacationers would have to be staying a fair amount of time to get the series.

JLeslie's avatar

@janbb 3 weeks or 4 weeks depending on which vaccine. Most snowbirds are here 1–3 months. We also have snowflakes who go back and forth constantly. 3 weeks here, one month back at home, back in Florida again, all sorts of schedules. Someone can just fly down get their shot, go back to work in their home state, and then fly back again in a month for another shot. One of my “friends” is in FL every other month from PA to spend time at her beach house. People who have small salaries can’t do that.

kritiper's avatar

@JLeslie There must be hoards of people lining up for shots in Florida. I’ll kick back here until April when I’ll supposedly get mine.
If I run into anyone from Florida I’ll be sure to say hello. (And “What the hell are you doing here???”)

JLeslie's avatar

@kritiper There are hoards. Lines are crazy here. The main county my city runs across has 2,000 doses coming soon and about 40,000 people are eligible for the shot now in that one county.

Meanwhile, it looks like anyone and everyone can get vaccinated anywhere they want in the country. The more I read the more it seems that way.

kritiper's avatar

@JLeslie What (publication/other) are you reading? Seems to me if what you say about hoards and crazy lines would make the national news and I have not seen anything on that and I watch the news ALL the time.
Not just anyone can get vaccinated here. We have to wait our turn, which is OK with me.

kritiper's avatar

Update 12/31/20 I just saw a report on the hews about long lines and hoards of people in Florida waiting to get vaccinations. They were all people who were age 65 and over, not just anybody.

jca2's avatar

It’s going to be like a bell curve, too. The health care workers and the people over 80 or very old were only a few. Now you get to the baby boomers- the people in their 70’s and 60’s and there are going to be way, way more of them, and it’s not going to be just a few weeks to get them all done. It’s going to be a long time.

JLeslie's avatar

@kritiper That’s who is eligible now in Florida, 65 and up. They are lining up at 5:00 in the morning in some places. It’s Florida! Hoards of people in Florida are 65 and up; 3 million people. Over half my city is 65 and up.

Here are some stories:

kritiper's avatar

@JLeslie Yupper, there are a lot of 65+ers down there. The news mentioned that, too.
Welcome to the pandemic! Stay tuned for more of the same.

JLeslie's avatar

Plus, I don’t need the news, I’m here. I’m hearing the stories from friends and people who live here trying to get appointments and waiting on line, lining up before sunrise.

kritiper's avatar

Trump calls that “fake news.” Good luck with that.

JLeslie's avatar

What does Trump have to do with it? I am telling you as a Floridian who knows people standing on line.

Here’s another link.

JLeslie's avatar

Several days ago Governor DeSantis, announced no more vacation vaccinations. People can’t come from out of state for a day and get vaccinated. Snowbirds who have a utility bill in their name or some other sort of documentation they can still get the vaccine here. Anyway, makes it a little more difficult for out of staters, but plenty of ways around it if someone is very determined I guess.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@JLeslie can’t wait to see how this is enforced.

janbb's avatar

@elbanditoroso Oh pretty sure it’s enforced. My cousin is going down to Florida for a month. looked into getting vaccinated down there and you have to show credentials to get an appointment.

In NJ too, you have to show credentials when you show up for your appointment and some venues are making you scan your insurance cards in.

JLeslie's avatar

@elbanditoroso We’ll see. It is a change from everyone and anyone being able to get vaccinated as long as they meet the parameters of over 65 or frontline essential high risk.

Previously, they just had to check ID for age, or workplace ID/paystub possibly dr.’s note if not over 65.

DeSantis said even a Disney annual pass suffices as resident ID. Welcome to La Tierra de Mickey.

There are ways around I think. My parents could just use my address for a credit card bill maybe? If the vaccination sites take that addressed envelope or statement as valid documentation that would be simple. I haven’t looked into what the state will consider ok.

Just the announcement hopefully discourages people from driving across the border.

There are snowbirds here bitching about Florida being run poorly regarding vaccines and they say their home state is running much smoother. When I ask them if they are eligible in their home state it is almost always a “no.” So, WTH?! Fine, go get your vaccination back up north in two months. I agree Florida could have been rolled out better, but it is getting better as long as we can get the supply.

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