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We’ve Gotta Get Out of Florida

quiet amelia island beach walk

Peaceful amelia island morning beach walk

I guess we Floridians have to leave the state now that Men’s Health has determined that Florida is one sad state. No matter that we have the most sunshine here in Florida, we are the saddest bunch in the Nation, according to one statistical observation by Men’s Health.
The magazine claims that suicide rates and unemployment rates show a statistical certainty that St.Pete on the Gulfcoast is the saddest place in the nation, but Tampa across the bay, Miami down south and our neighbor Jacksonville to the south on spot 88 and Orlando on spot 82, all contribute much to Florida being the saddest and most depressed state around the country. Yes, Orlando with a score of 82 out of 100 (St. Pete’s spot) being the worst in the nation scores the highest for our state, says Men’s Health, while claiming to have tested the results, with checking households with the most pill popping anti depressants.

And the results are clear: We’ve gotta get out of this state and move to, say Madison Wisconsin(6) or Fargo North Dakota (3) and freeze our booties off 7 months out of the year. Oh wait, there is Jersey City on spot 18, maybe we should give that a shot.
Oh no, I almost forgot; I lived in that hell-hole 25 moon years ago and got sick every day from the gases pouring out of the Lincoln Tunnel onto my condo deck with views of the Manhattan skyline.

Eight out of the ten top scorers as Blues Proof Cities on this list are located inside of the arctic circle, while Honululu, the capitol of Hawaii, proudly takes the number one spot, because of climate I presume? Surely it cannot be because a one million people population of the city have made traffic smooth and Waikiki Beach livable.

That we probably pop some more pills on average here in Florida could be explained by the fact that on that same average, we have more seniors living down here then anywhere else in the nation.
That some of us might be feeling the blues a bit more could also be the hangover from some devastating losses in the construction and real estate markets in recent years. Maybe not entirely our fault, considering that before 2008, it was almost mandatory for people up north to move to Florida, once they turned 55. Retiring in Florida was the goal.
The bitter consequence was, that Florida, being the fastest growing state in the nation for the better part of 8 decades,  was overrun by anyone who knew what a hammer was,to start work in construction. Many of these unemployed construction workers have not been able to scratch enough pennies together since the crash, to move on to the next gold rush, although I hear that some of them have made it to the new oil fields up in the Dakotas.

I wonder what Men’s Health wants to Accomplish?

I would really consider the world screwed up sideways, if vacationers kept preferring the Sunshine State by the millions (55 million in Orlando alone last year), if we were all walking around with frowns on our faces.

As a matter of fact, I walked the beach here on Amelia Island for about an hour this morning, with a huge smile on my face, encountering only smiling, upbeat people. My little dog was racing the dunes and the shoreline, having the time of his life (which he has almost every day here on the beach) and the temperature was in the low sixties with a beautiful clear sunny sky. Hardly circumstances to be depressed.

There are no anti-depressants in my house and the only blues you will hear comes from the stereo speakers. Unusually high unemployment may have some impact, but that is a nationwide phenomenon and suicide rates…oh well, it is a well known fact that the happiest countries in the world also report the highest suicide rates. As a state Hawaii for example reports the fifth highest suicide rate in the nation.
In any case, I can not argue that given the motivation of the report, more people die in Florida, because that’s where a lot of people go if they are looking for golden years in a friendly, peaceful climate, before they pass away.

So here are two possible scenarios for this story:

One: Most of the depressed people in Florida cities are recent transplants from other cities…a lot of which are listed in the top 20. So this is the place where all the saddest people congregate I guess, and sooner rather than later the sunshine will cheer them up,

or

Two: Always keep in mind that “there are two kinds of statistics: the kind you look up and the kind you make up”; the latter is many times just paid advertising to sell products, services and even cities…

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