Hello, fellow Floridians! And those kindred spirits outside the Sunshine State looking in...
Today, Governor Ron DeSantis finally issued a long-awaited "safer at home" order, which goes into effect at midnight on April 3rd, 2020. Like most government decrees, the order is sort of confusing and filled with external references and legal jargon. I'm breaking down some of the important parts for you to make it easier to understand. I still recommend you read the full order here. It doesn't say anything about Yaupon tea, but you know where to find that if you need it.
How long does the order last? 30 days - it expires April 30, but could be extended.
What's the key takeaway? You can engage in "essential services" and "essential activities." The list is vague. Basically you need to stay at home as much as possible, only venturing out for essential supplies or services you actually need. Only "essential businesses" will remain open.
What is an "essential business/service?" The list is actually super long. The order passes the buck to the CISA list from the Department of Homeland Security. That list can be found here. Basically anything on the list is an essential business. Essential services listed include attending religious services, exercise and recreational activities (while maintaining social distancing), taking care of pets and loved ones, and any other activity the state approves. Public gatherings of more than ten people are not allowed.
What about restaurants and grocery stores? Restaurants and even bars can remain open but all food and drink has to be take-out or delivery. Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, all remain open.
Can I be arrested for violating the order? Technically yes, but the Governor has stated that is not the goal of the order, and it is not practical to keep everyone home by force. Basically, we all need to just do the right thing.
Background: This order comes one month after Florida reported its first Coronavirus case. Today, there are over 7,700 cases and 101 deaths. Models from the federal government indicate Florida could see up to 7,000 deaths by August. Stay at home!
Can I get free Yaupon tea if I stay at home? YES. Tag us on social media with a photo of your Yaupon at home and tag #saferathome, and we will send you free samples. No strings attached. Seriously, our teabags don't have strings.
BE SAFE. WASH THOSE DAMN HANDS, AND STAY AT HOME!