Some of my most devoted fans have taken the time to write to the Daily News to profess their enjoyment and delight in reading my columns. Thanks to those fans. You are all the best.
Because my fans took the time to write, I feel I owe it to them to respond to a few comments regarding mask mandates and COVID-19 stats between red and blue states. One writer thinks, no doubt because of media bias, that only blue states could top the list of good COVID-19 statistics.
Another author mentions that mask mandates work and save lives.
Yet he missed the data that shows states still enforcing mask mandates are scattered across the 50-state list in terms of COVID-19 transmission, hospitalizations and deaths.
A few of my fans have been curious about comparisons between the red and blue states since the pandemic began nearly two years ago. It’s fun to look at the big picture, but the pandemic has changed significantly since we were locked down and the most recent data is the most relevant.
Numbers alone never tell the whole story, but we live in a world where numbers, without context, tend to matter.
The death rate alone does not take into account locations and distance to hospitals, intensive care, specialists, ventilators, etc. Very rural states will not have the same resources as states with larger population centers. This will make a difference in death statistics between red and blue states.
How does travel affect the numbers? The LA Times published an article indicating that California leads Florida in terms of tourists, 2 to 1. The two states have taken different paths during the pandemic. This has caused Florida to attract a lot of visitors. People went there to California because of the freedoms available. How have travel habits affected COVID-19 numbers?
I don’t care about the past, the pandemic is moving fast. How do states deal with it today? As we have seen, different strains affect people differently and that makes what we do today more important than actions in 2020.
I ventured on the internet to get up-to-date numbers. I got this information from the New York Times website on January 30.
For hospitalizations, the top 10 states are evenly split with five reds and five blues. Additionally, only one of those 10 states has a mask mandate. Washington is not in the top 10 least hospitalized.
For deaths, again, the top 10 states are evenly split between red and blue. Two of the top 10 states have mask mandates. Washington is not in the top 10. In fact, Washington is number 21 and Idaho is right behind us at 24. There are 12 red states above Washington and none have a mask mandate.
Although the number of cases doesn’t really matter, because if people with COVID-19 don’t end up in hospital or die, then it’s just another disease like the common cold or the flu. For those who need to know Washington isn’t that hot.
With our mask tenure and two years under the tyrant in Olympia, Washington, is currently number 49 out of 50 in case count. The state everyone on the left loves to hate, Florida, is number 12.
Again, tell me how masks are the key to ending the pandemic.
Finally, while I was working on this column, a new study from Johns Hopkins University crushed any idea of imposing lockdowns on citizens in the future.
It shows that the strictest containment barely had a 2% positive effect on the pandemic. This positive effect does not justify the economic destruction and the deterioration of the mental health of citizens.
In terms of masks and containments, data and studies show that they are ineffective. But I’ll tell you what; you are more than welcome to continue wearing a mask in your car, by yourself, just stop trying to force everyone to live by your invalidated rules.
Anderson is a computer programmer who enjoys serving the community through various community-oriented service jobs.