Today's dystopian hellscape news is that covid-19 cases have apparently become so severe in Orlando that it has begun to impact the city's water supply. Yes.
At a Friday press conference, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer asked residents not to wash their cars or water their lawns for more than a week. He cited the recent rise in hospitalizations as the reason. He explained that the Orlando Utility Commission usually treats city water with tanks of liquid oxygen to make it safe for drinking. These tanks are currently being used to provide oxygen for the record-breaking covid-19 patients at the hospital.
Dyer stated at a news conference that hospitals should be the first priority when it comes to liquid oxygen.
Patients with covid-19-induced lung disease will find the concentrated oxygen in these tanks a valuable resource. We have seen it run out in other states like California and New Mexico. According to the Associated Press, the Orlando Utilities Commission usually uses 10 trucks of liquid oxygen per week to treat the city's tap water. To keep covid-19 patients healthy, however, three to five trucks of liquid oxygen are now going to be headed to hospitals.
The largest crop in America, lawns, accounts for 40% of potable water used by the city. Residents are asked by the utility commission to conserve 25 % to 50% of their normal water consumption per day. The commission points out that we currently pump approximately 90 MGD (millions upon millions of gallons per hour) and that our goal is to reduce this number to 50 MGD. The mayor's appeal could cause water quality problems in the city if residents don't heed it.
This area is full of negative things. Lawns can be considered a biological dead zone. Mark Hostetler, University of Florida conservation and ecology professor, said that lawns are essentially a biological dead zone for native species. (This is not surprising, as millions of Americans do the exact same thing.
Beyond the lawns is the grim state of Florida's covid-19 affairs. Dyer did not mention another simple step that people could take to keep hospitals and the city's water system from being overwhelmed. Wearing a mask, and getting vaccinated. These public health measures have been criticized by the state of Florida.
Gov. Ron DeSantis was the leader of a law giving his office the power and authority to repeal rules intended to slow the spread covid-19. Some of those include allowing businesses to limit operating hours and requiring proof that people have been vaccinated. The man has not changed, whether it is because of his denials, blindness, or blind political views. It didn't matter if 21,000 COVID cases were added to the state in one day, or whether state hospitals and crematoriums were literally buckled under the weight of all the dead and dying, or even if DeSantis is being sued by the businesses that make up the free marketplace. Maybe a few wilted grasses can help him get out of this mess.