Top Three Takeaways – November 29th, 2021


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Top Three Takeaways – November 29th, 2021

  1. Omicron. Ahh yes, just in time for the peak months of flu season a new “variant of concern” is here. One that again threatens to be the most contagious andtoprovide the most variance of them all. The new COVID-19 variant is alleged to have 32 variants to its spike protein response, compared to delta’s two, and potentially as many as 100 different variations all told. While President Biden has already announced travel restrictions, which kick in today, already the strain has made it far beyond the eight countries on that restricted list. As the Fauch pointed out over the weekend, it’s likely going to be everywhere if it isn’t already. So, about this strain that sounds like something straight out of Transformers...while there’s a lot we don’t yet know – here's what we do. It might bereally contagious but perhaps the symptoms won’t be so bad. The South African doctor who first identified what’s now been named omicron has this to say about the new variant... The symptoms are “unusual but mild”. Quoting the doctor: It presents mild disease with symptoms being sore muscles and tiredness for a day or two not feeling well. So far, we have detected that those infected do not suffer the loss of taste or smell. They might have a slight cough. There are no prominent symptoms. Of those infected some are currently being treated at home. A little pragmatism, which has been in short supply during the pandemic, cango a long way. As of now there’s no indication that omicron’s symptoms are more severe than its predecessors, in fact, the early reports suggest they might be the most benign yet. While we wait and hope for that to be the case here’s what we do know...
  2. Florida’s the best positioned in the country heading into it. For the fifth consecutive week Florida had the fewest population adjusted COVID-19 cases in the country. With an average of only 1,388 daily cases reported statewide most recently, we’ve been pacing the fewest cases since June of 2020 heading into all of this. A winter surge in cases was already predicted, prior to the advent of omicron, and we’ll likely get an early test of how impactful the holidays will be as we’re coming out of Thanksgiving get togethers, but for whatever will be with omicron, you have much less of a chance getting it here compared with being anywhere else in the country. How much less? Only 6.7 people per 100,000 are contracting the ‘vid in our state. The next closest state is experiencing 21% more cases and the worst state for new cases currently, Michigan, is experiencing 89.4 cases per 100,000 people. In other words, you’re greater than 13 times more likely to contract COVID-19 in Michigan than Florida and more than five times as likely on average anywhere else in the USA. Florida continues to illustrate that pragmatism in public policy works. Speaking of uncertainty...
  3. Where does sports betting in Florida go from here? After last week’s federal smackdown to the newly agreed Seminole Compact, which didn’t just invalidate the Seminole’s hosting sports betting services in Florida, but the newly enacted compact in total - a lot’s up in the air about what happens from here. So much so that the Seminole’s continued to operate the sports betting app as theyappealed the ruling in federal court. But as I’d covered from the earliest days of the compact being ratified, 2018’s Amendment 3 was always a likely impediment to sports betting remaining legal under the new compact. That’s why, long before the recent court decision, DraftKings and FanDuel came together to create “Florida Education Champions”. The PAC they funded with $60 million designed to get sports betting on our ballots next year. On the same day the current compact was struck down in court, the “Education Champions” produced an economic impact study to support their initiative for next year’s ballot. According to the study, legalized sports betting would add over 30,000 jobs to Florida with an economic impact of greater than $3 billion annually. For those who want sports betting to be legal in Florida, the most likely path forward still appears to be with “Florida’s Education Champions” with an eye on January of 2023, as opposed to where we are today. 

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