Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is assuring people that the reopening of Disney World will be a safe and sanitary event. As DeSantis publicly stated in a press conference today: "the theme parks have been going great. Disney… I have no doubt it's going to be a safe environment… I've looked at Disney's plan and it's very, very thorough." Disney has been teetering between decisions on when and how to re-open its theme parks, which were all shut down back in March, due to the coronavirus pandemic. With COVID-19 outbreaks once again on the rise in the US, Disney World's reopening has quickly come into question.
Here's what Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had to save about Disney Parks reopening in the state, during a massive spike in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations:
"You look at what they're doing," DeSantis said about both Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort, "and that's what I think the lesson is… We have to have society function. You can have society function in a way that keeps people safe. When you have all of the different procedures that they have in place, people are going to be in a safe environment... I think the folks that put a premium on safety, that's showing you that we are able to handle this, have society function - we still want people going to work, but do it in a way that you take some basic precautions. I'm really impressed with what Universal's done, and I've looked at Disney's plan and it's very, very thorough."
Florida is just one region of the US now going through a frightening resurgence in coronavirus infections. A combination of increased leisurely outings/vacations; an unprecedented wave of protests (and counter-protests) that gathered thousands of people together en mass; and disregard for preventative procedures established by medical science professionals have all been cited as contributing factors for why America has catapulted to the top of this list for nations with the highest number of infections, and deaths per capita.
The entertainment industry looks like it could be next on the chopping block, as everything from movie theaters, to theme parks, to productions on films and TV shows were all looking to get back into operation around the mid-July mark. The swell in COVID-19 numbers is now smashing through that mid-summer line with no intention of slowing down, putting even more strain on an entire industry that has already seen a wave of layoffs, as even major powers like Disney try to weather the storm while losing massive profits every day.
The question now is - even with all the thorough new safety procedures Disney has established for its themes parks - will the public at large feel "safe" enough to risk venturing back into the parks in large crowds. Restaurants around the country have reported that crowds still aren't pouring in, even when lockdown restrictions are relaxed. Disney could soon face a similar problem - even if they get the doors open.