A weekend story in the Sun revealed a harsh reality. The story, concerning a couple’s experience in an area restaurant, highlighted the fact some people inexplicably believe the coronavirus is a hoax.

Despite more than 100,000 deaths in the U.S., people don’t think COVID-19 is real. And some, like the woman in the story, will go so far as to make a joke of COVID-19 — rubbing her unwashed hands all over a table and menu.

Peter Schorsch compiles a daily news bulletin on happenings in the state. It’s called Sunburn and is circulated via email to news outlets, politicians and others in Florida. Just last week he reported on a new model for the disease’s impact that was made by MIT graduate Youyang Gu that suggests Florida could see 73 deaths a day by Sept. 1.

Right now, about 30 a day are dying in the state.

If the model holds true, 7,744 people will have died from COVID-19 in Florida by Sept. 1.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention incorporates Gu’s statistics among the 16 models it uses in its national COVID-19 forecast.

It is important to understand the model has been very accurate so far, even underpredicting the pandemic’s impact on Florida. Gu’s model predicted 2,150 Floridians would be dead by last Tuesday. According to the Department of Health, 2,259 residents had died by Tuesday morning.

We see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are not trying to scare anyone. It’s just smart to realize this isn’t over. We must continue to be cautious as we venture out and the world begins to return to semi-normalcy.

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