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How The Governor Has Handled COVID, Finding Joy In The Kitchen This Season

Tourists and shoppers walk down Lincoln Road in Miami Beach on Sunday, July 12, 2020.
Miami Herald
Tourists and shoppers walk down Lincoln Road in Miami Beach on Sunday, July 12, 2020.

Holding Gov. Ron DeSantis accountable for his response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, we hear from a baker about how to find joy in the kitchen this season.

On this Monday, Dec. 7, episode of Sundial:

How The Governor Has Handled COVID

From refusing to reveal details about the spread of COVID-19 to attempting to stop public statements about the pandemic until after the November election — a new investigation from the Sun Sentinel found a pattern of secrecy and spin from Gov. Ron DeSantis and his administration.

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“There has not been messaging put out about wearing masks or social distancing from the department of health since the end of September,” said Sun Sentinel reporter Cindy Goodman, who worked on the investigation. “The department of health is putting out messaging such as be careful with lead poisoning, or get you flu shot or watch out for diabetes awareness month —anything but coronavirus.”

Their actions may have misguided the public at a costly price, dis-incentivizing people to take the proper precautions and furthering the spread of the virus.

The findings are based on thousands of pages of documents and interviews with scientists, politicians, employees from the state’s health department and doctors.

Sundial spoke with Goodman and Sun Sentinel reporter Mario Ariza, who also worked on the investigation.

How The Governor Has Handled COVID

Finding Joy In The Kitchen This Season

With each holiday season, you may have a coveted family recipe — whether it’s brownies, cookies, or something less sweet. Festivities will look different this year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gram's Wurst Cakes
Courtesy of Diana Abu-Jaber
Gram's Wurst Cakes

“I grew up with this idea that cooking was kind of this wonderful, almost guilty secret and sort of like a superpower too, that if you knew how to cook, you could bring people closer, invite people over and just kind of create a community around your life,” said Diana Abu-Jaber, author of the memoir "Life Without A Recipe."

She describes herself as “technophobic,” but said she found connection through a series of Zoom cooking classes she participated in with her daughter. It proved to her that there can still be moments of joy even during a pandemic.

“We had a socially distanced s'mores party. We decided we were going to all sit outside and we spread our chairs out across the yard. So there was a solid six feet between all of us and it was, let's say, three couples," said Abu-Jaber on Sundial. "And we sat outside and around a big fire pit and they put out a s'mores kit. So these long skewers and marshmallows, graham crackers, big chunks of chocolate bars. We were all grownups. We all got together and made our s'mores at a distance from each other. And we were cracking up."

Got any family recipes you want to share with us? We're putting together a community cookbook and would love to add your contributions. Head here to learn more and share your recipe — and the story behind it.

Finding Joy In The Kitchen This Season
The Snow Angels, Ice Skating, Cookie Dough & Snuggles cocktail is served in a Santa Claus mug at Miracle on Seventh Street, a pop-up holiday cocktail bar in Washington, D.C. The cocktail contains butter-washed vodka, coffee liqueur, creme de cacao, hazelnut liqueur, half-and-half and salt. It's served with a little ball of egg-free cookie dough as garnish.

Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the former lead producer behind Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also worked on visual and digital storytelling.
Suria is Sundial's fall 2020 high school intern and a production assistant.