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“Red COVID” Trends On Social Media As NYT Updates Statistics On Partisan Gap In Deaths

“Red COVID” Trends On Social Media As NYT Updates Statistics On Partisan Gap In Deaths

COVID vaccine distirbution

Why is “red COVID” suddenly trending on Twitter? Don’t panic, it’s not a new variant, or a description of a new long-term symptom or side effect of the virus. Instead, it’s a descriptor used by one major newspaper to track how politics affect the trajectory of the virus.

COVID vaccine distirbution
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]

Of course, no virus cares what your political beliefs are, but it might be said to ‘care’ about your activity, if not in the literal sentient sense. That is, for example, a community with a high vaccination rate that also uses other precautions, like masking, social distancing, and working from home where available, might have a lower infection rate than a community that has been holding large events and has low rates of vaccination.

These, of course, are not the only factors. Age groups, poverty levels, and travel (for instance, working in a tourism-dependent area) are just a few others. Still, the New Yotk Times reports that there’s a clear gap in the effects of COVID-19, in particular, between ‘red’ and ‘blue’ counties.

According to their analysis, in early months, COVID-19 hit predominantly Democratic areas hardest, likely because they’re more densely-populated cities, often with travel hubs. But once vaccines were available, the gap reversed.

“…the toll has been even worse in counties where Trump won by a landslide than in counties that he won narrowly.”

However, the Omicron wave hit, and that gap is “no longer growing as rapidly.”

Still, people on all points of the political spectrum have opinions about it to offer, ranging from fatalistic resignation, to more vengeful thinking, to anger at a narrative they believe to be made up.

Unfortunately, at the beginning of the pandemic, it was quickly politicized, including a reported decision to ignore it because it was hitting Democratic-heavy areas worst, and admitted downplaying by the Trump Administration because of how it would affect the then-president’s support.

Even now, in Florida, for example, a state that is both heavily red and heavily reliant on tourism, Governor Ron DeSantis has continued to fight against regulations that could increase vaccination rates and potentially save lives. Just last week FirstCoastNews reported on concerns rising from the state’s refusal to make public the number of infections and deaths among nonresident, causing experts to worry that the risk in the state is being, ironically, masked.

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