Two days before departing from my home in Cincinnati for a month in the Florida sunshine, I became eligible and received the first covid shot. When the staff asked when I wanted to schedule the second shot, I told them I would be out of town, and would take care of it in Florida.
Last Monday I checked with the St. Lucie health department and the Florida state health department and learned that they have a “screw the visitors” policy, which means that they don’t provide covid vaccinations for non-residents. I was stunned. Haven’t the public health authorities been telling us for months that “We’re all in this together”? Don’t non-residents pose the same, or greater risk of spreading this pandemic around Florida as the residents do?
I believe the federal government gave a lot of tax dollars to the drug companies to speed the development of these vaccines and that all the vaccines are being purchased by the federal government and given to the states for distribution. Since my tax dollars helped pay for this, just like everyone elses, how can Florida discriminate against me simply because I don’t reside there? Why would a state have such a short-sighted policy, and mistreat visitors like this? I thought tourism was a major source of revenue for the state.
This is the kind of experience that figuratively leaves a lingering bad taste one’s mouth. The next time I look for a sunny place to escape the Midwest winter weather, it won’t be in Florida.