The first coronavirus case in the United States was recorded on January 19th, 2020. Since that time, we have seen it spread and affect people in different states in different ways. Some states have faired better than others thanks to their leadership and other social-economic factors.
When pitted against New York, you’d be tempted to say that California has had better luck in dealing with the virus despite the Bay area having more infections than the Big Apple.
In the beginning, California acted faster than New York in implementing lockdown measures and movement restrictions. New York was more relaxed and there was even a tweet by the mayor of the city encouraging people to go about their business. This aided in the spike in the number of reported infections in the state.
Although California now has more reported cases of Covid-19 infections, New York still leads in the number of deaths from the virus. This is even though California has almost double the population New York has. So why has New York been the most affected state by the virus? To effectively answer this, here are a few points to consider:
- Population make-up
The most striking difference between New York and California is the size of the black population. New York has a higher percentage of Black people than in California. Black people tend to be more at risk than others because they are poorer, tend to live in densely populated parts of the cities, and are most prone to conditions such as asthma, hypertension, and diabetes. This is because most of them do not have medical insurance which translates to fewer checkups. With people having underlying medical conditions being more likely to succumb to the Coronavirus, this would be part of why New York’s mortality rates are higher.
- Population density
New York City is the most densely populated city in the United States. This makes it easier for the virus to spread. The city also has a higher rate of public transportation than any other city in the US.
- Mass testing
New York is testing more people than California is. This might explain, in part, why there are more reported cases of infections and deaths.
California has a higher population of wealthier people than New York, this means that the population in California is better educated, and also, less likely to use public transportation.
Other factors such as government policy also play a key role in managing the pandemic. California acted more swiftly than New York and that helped slow down infection rates.
Although the above information doesn’t give a definite picture of which state is safer, it helps put to perspective what things one should look out for before moving to a different state.
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