Florida grapples with Covid′s deadliest phase yet

Florida grapples with COVID-19′s deadliest phase yet
Wayne Bright, funeral director at Wilson Funeral Home, arranges flowers on a casket before a service Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, in Tampa, Florida. Source: AP
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Daily US Times: The US state of Florida is in the grip of its deadliest wave of coronavirus surge since the pandemic began, a disaster driven by the highly contagious delta variant.

While the state’s vaccination rate is slightly higher than the national average, Florida has an outsize population of elderly people, who are especially vulnerable to the Covid-19; a vibrant party scene; and a Republican governor who has taken a hard line against vaccine passports, mask requirements and business shutdowns.

As of mid-August, the sunshine state was averaging 244 deaths per day, up from just 23 a day in late June and eclipsing the previous peak of 227 during the summer of 2020.

Hospitals in Florida have had to rent refrigerated trucks to store more dead bodies and funeral homes have been overwhelmed.

Cristina Miles is among those facing more than one loss at a time. ‍She is a mother of five from Orange Park. Her husband died after contracting the coronavirus, and less than two weeks later, her mother-in-law succumbed to the Covid-19.

She said: “I feel we are all kind of in a weird dream state,” adding that her children are grieving differently, with one feeling inspired to pass a hard swimming test, another one is shutting down, another and the oldest going about her life as usual.

Hospitals have been swamped with coronavirus patients who had not gotten vaccinated.

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