Much has changed since March when we launched a new podcast. In “Hunkering Down,” Florida Politics brought some of the smartest people on the air to talk about keeping up with a pandemic that was just beginning to make itself felt.
COVID-19 cases in Florida that month jumped from 2 to 5,704, with 71 deaths. On July 11, new cases in Florida topped 15,300, more than most countries, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Gov. Ron DeSantis faced criticism for reluctance to impose lockdowns, then praise for his measured approach.
Caseloads dropped and briefly in September dipped below 1,000 a day, then climbed back up. By early December, the state was logging 10,000 new cases daily and more than 1 million overall, with 19,000 deaths, Some of DeSantis’ policies, such as his refusal to close down in-person schools, look far-sighted in retrospect while the success of his across-the-board assurances against lockdowns or mask mandates remains to be seen.
In the meantime, the country has weathered a polarizing election cycle as advocates for candidates had to adjust fundraising methods and candidate appearances on the fly. The people shepherding those campaigns and advocating for issues tend to be quick studies, however, and found safer ways to get the job done.
To sort out what lies ahead, we are bringing Hunkering Down back. Avid podcaster Peter Schorsch, Florida Politics’ editor and publisher, will again bring in political players with expertise across the spectrum, from the next budget to national politics, the economy and how that might change with the advent of vaccines. Check it out on Fireside, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and join the conversation.