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Florida’s COVID-19 Crisis Is So Bad, It’s Affecting the Water

A stadium worker holds a sign reading "PLEASE WEAR MASK"

The COVID-19 numbers continue to rise in Florida to the point that hospitals across the state are overwhelmed with major staffing shortages and ICUs filled to complete capacity. Now there’s another benchmark for just how bad things have gotten: the quality of the state’s drinking water.

At a press conference late last week, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer urged residents to cut down on their water usage or risk seeing a decline in its quality.

Hospitals are being flooded with unvaccinated, critically ill patients, many of whom need liquid oxygen for their respiratory treatment. Liquid oxygen is also needed for water purification, and if people don’t reduce their water usage, there might not be enough to go around. Since the priority is to treat the critically ill, that means people are likely to see their water quality decline if there’s a shortage.

As Rolling Stone notes, “The oxygen shortage is not limited to Florida. There is a lack of supply nationwide, driven by the pandemic and made worse by a shortage of available tanker trucks and drivers required to transport it.”

However, Florida is leading the way in terms of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Meanwhile, Governor Ron DeSantis continues to fight mask mandates as he focuses on monoclonal antibody treatments for people who have already tested positive for COVID-19.

(via Rolling Stone, image: Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.