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Tanner Andrews

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The ostrich famously buries its head in the sand. The reputation is not, however, entirely reliable. When its head is down, the ostrich is not hiding from enemies, but rather seeking appropriately sized stones for its gizzard.

This is not, however, to denigrate the strategy of burying one’s head in order to avoid problems. That may be an appropriate method in some cases.

For instance, Florida has recently had rather a lot of new COVID cases. This was discovered by testing. Until people are tested, they cannot be counted as having the disease.

The next step in logic is obvious: Testing causes COVID.

That theory works at least as well as blaming the X-rays for broken bones. And, it enjoys more official acceptance.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has therefore gotten busy shutting down the state’s COVID-testing facilities. Health experts are generally condemning this head-in-sand policy, but Surgeon General Joe Ladapo is going along.

Yes, that is the same surgeon general who insisted on going around the Capitol without a mask, spreading germs to the immunocompromised. You might hope that a surgeon general would know better, if only from watching hospital shows on TV where everyone wears masks.

At any rate, the surgeon general and governor are going whole hog on test prevention. Over a third of the tests are coming back positive. Cutting back on testing should reduce the numbers, showing that the governor’s anti-COVID policies are effective.

Some skeptics may still have doubts. People with mild cases can still spread the disease, whether to cancer patients or simply to older folks. I will probably be an old guy fairly soon, and I would prefer not to catch the disease.

People who get tested to contain the disease are less likely to give it to me. I like to think I have also improved chances through the vaccination process, though personally, I do not like needles. However, it is all a matter of odds: A few people will win the lottery; a few more will get struck by lightning; and not all cautious people will avoid disease.

As I explained, the ostrich is not avoiding problems by sticking his head in the sand. I cannot say the same for Gov. DeSantis. However, watch him, and I can guess what you will be thinking — his head may be in the sand, but his butt is still showing.

— Andrews is a DeLand-area attorney and a longtime government critic. For purposes of the column, he finds it convenient that there is so much government to criticize.


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