Covid: 99 percent isn’t good enough

  Our city is creating weekly podcasts to better inform our residents, and recently I sat down with them for an interview about Plantation and Covid-19.

Here are some excerpts:

What challenges do you see?

 Like a lot of things, communication is always the challenge. We keep pushing out as many updates as we can, as well as whatever restriction changes there are. But to me, your behavior comes down to this: If it feels bad in your gut, then you shouldn’t be doing it.

Is there more?

Yes. It takes everyone to stop the spread and get us back to our everyday lives. But the counter to that is that it takes only one person to mess things up. It’s a case where 99 percent isn’t good enough.

Does the city plan to impose more restrictions?

I’ve been very happy with the way the city has responded in terms of public health. As you know the state sets the rules, followed by the county, then the city. Each level down can be stricter but we can’t be more lenient. When the Covid-19 pandemic started back in March the city of Plantation was 36 hours ahead of everyone else. We shut down our parks quicker than everyone else did.

The mayor has this great approach of team about this. We have the mayor, the fire chief, the police chief our CAO, well, there’s all of us. We know we want to get this thing stopped and squashed so we can resume our activities.

How are small businesses?

I think the Chamber of Commerce has done an excellent job in communicating what to do, not only among chamber members but with everyone in business. What we’ve tried to do, obviously is not only help businesses, but serve the residents. We want our food!
But the greater challenges is retail. I still like to buy clothes in person but those other products, the ones people love to buy online, they’re going to be in for a challenge.

How about enforcement for people not following the rules?

The county said it is done with the warning phase and there will be citation issued for those breaking the rules. I think that’s the right way to go. By now everyone knows the rules. There is no ‘Oh, I didn’t know that.’

What can citizens do?

As I always say, put the Plantation Police number, 954-797-2100, in your phone so when you need it quickly you don’t have to look it up. The police wants the call. You are not being a pest. Now, 98, 99 people out of 100 people are doing well. But what do you do with that one percent? For them, a pat on the back won’t get it done. They need the kick in the rear.

Is there any one takeaway  you have to make things better?

We have to keep each other encouraged. This feels like a bad version of Groundhog Day. So if you have a chance, pick each other up. Encourage each other.

To listen to any of the city’s podcasts, go to

Nick Sortal is president of the Plantation City Council. Contact him at