Cheers: To all the residents of Monroe County and everyone else who participated in the peaceful demonstration on Monday in Key West to address ongoing concerns about excessive use of force by law enforcement. Of great significance is our community's response in a nonviolent and organized fashion. This is a fine example of how the Keys demonstrates to other communities and individuals the value of working together to bring an end to injustice without destroying our assets and communities.

Jeers: To those individuals who attended the peaceful protest and either forgot to wear a face covering or chose not to wear one and did not practice proper social distancing etiquette. The sad reality is that no amount of peaceful demonstration will result in a vaccine for COVID-19. Moreover, let us not try to solve one vexing problem by creating others that are equally deadly.

Cheers: To all the local candidates who have filed to run for local public office, especially during these extremely difficult times. Public service has never been more important.

Jeers: To the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, Tinsley Advertising and any other county entity that signed off on the tone-deaf marketing campaign aimed at luring visitors to the Keys by evoking the lines of an iconic civil rights speech, particularly at a time when there was such nationwide unrest precipitated by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. Perhaps there was a small degree of unfortunate timing, but there was also a large degree of poor judgement. We all want to see life return to normal and to see our businesses and their employees prosper, but let us be thoughtful with our words and not operate in a vacuum. Words have deep roots.

Cheers: To the announcement that the annual Fourth of July fireworks display will take place in Key West next month. While not without its potential for social-distancing abuse, it's still a welcome sign that “normal” life is returning to our community. We can use any responsible diversion we can get right now.

Jeers: To the distinct possibility our population will be distracted from the ongoing and still very dangerous COVID-19 virus because Florida announced a statewide move to Phase 2 status and our BOCC ruled Thursday that face mask use should only be a recommendation, not a requirement. Florida had its highest number of new coronavirus cases since March just this past Thursday. Both those decisions could easily be interpreted as an “all clear” message, which they are not. We cannot take our eye off the ball. We are not out of the woods by any means.

The Citizen

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