Cases of leprosy — an infectious disease that’s been around since ancient times — have increased dramatically in Florida, and health experts fear the infectious disease is now endemic to the Sunshine State.
Central Florida accounts for nearly one-fifth of all cases in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and for 81% of the cases reported in Florida.
Also known as Hansen’s disease, leprosy is usually spread during lengthy person-to-person contact through airborne droplets from the nose and mouth of an infected person.
Historically, leprosy has been uncommon in the US, and most cases have come from people who immigrated from countries where the disease is more common.
But since 2000, cases of leprosy have gradually increased, and have more than doubled over the past decade.
Before we begin, the thumbnail isnt someone with leprosy. It's just someone with mud on their face to give the imagery of being dirty and gross.
Is Florida the Leprosy-Loving Sunshine State? That's what some people are saying. Not me. I find that kinda talk disgusting considering I'm from Jacksonville. We are not all lepers!
Now, we've all heard the rumors that living in Florida increases the chances of catching leprosy. But is there any truth to it? Florida's tropical climate and abundance of sunshine indeed create an environment where certain diseases, including leprosy, can theoretically thrive. Also snakes! Big ass snakes! However, fear not. Leprosy is an extremely rare disease, and it's not like the Sunshine State is swarming with lepers (that's just an urban legend) and typically confused with meth. Both are dangerous but only one blows up your trailer FYI. I hope you are getting back on your feet Cousin Doug. Get well soon, big guy.
The prevalence of leprosy is relatively low worldwide (whew), and cases in the United States are even rarer. Even though grammatically incorrect, I think saying more rare is better than even rarer. Sometimes grammar rules can be so restrictive much like those dastardly pythons in Florida. Excellent tie-in by me.
Fortunately, it is easily treatable- so I cant be canceled- nowadays with antibiotics, and there is no reason to panic or stigmatize those who are affected. That being said, it's understandable when people describe lepers as being fucking gross. It's kinda like lice havers. You know there isn't really anything they did wrong but they have lice so you shun them from classrooms and social gatherings. People with lice experienced social distancing before the rest of us in 2021. In the prior paragraph, I said that pythons can be restrictive when I actually meant constrictive. Think boa. For that, I apologize.
Now that we've clarified the facts, let's address the elephant in the room - the unfortunate stereotype attached to Florida residents. Just because someone lives in a certain state doesn't mean they are more prone to a specific disease. Every place has its unique charm, and Florida is no exception.
Florida is a beautiful state that's home to pristine beaches, theme parks, and vibrant culture. It attracts millions of visitors and residents every year, not because they want to catch leprosy, but because they want to experience its thematic wonders like Medieval times in Orlando.
I fuckin love Medieval Times. If you've never been to Medieval Times in Orlando, you are missing the fuck out.
As soon as you step inside, you'll be transported to a world of knights, kings, and queens. The castle's architecture, decor, and staff in medieval costumes create an immersive atmosphere that makes you feel like you've traveled back in time. Spectacular knights engage in jousting tournaments, sword fights, and other daring feats of skill and bravery. You'll be cheering for your chosen knight as they compete for honor and victory. During the show, you'll be treated to a delectable medieval-style feast fit for royalty. Enjoy hearty fare like roasted chicken, spare ribs, and seasoned potatoes, served in true medieval fashion—without utensils LMAO.
There's so much more to Medieval Times but don't take my word for it, I've only been 14 times.
In the end, let's remember that living in Florida is not synonymous with catching leprosy. It's a fabulous place filled with sunshine, palm trees, and amazing people. So, next time you're in Florida or meet someone from the Sunshine State, appreciate the sunshine and warmth they bring, WITHOUT worrying about the fast-spreading leprosy.
PS: this blog is not intended to make leprosy seem like a joke or to make fun of the gross people with it. We all need to rally around them (at a distance) and hope that they get better. Personally, I find it disgusting when people make jokes about the health needs of others. Show a little compassion for Christ's sake.
Another PS: I hope this blog doesn't get tweeted by Old Takes Exposed when I eventually succumb to my Floridian nature and contract a devasting variant of Leprosy. Fuck