How Does Coronavirus Differ in Completely Opposite States?

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Elsie Sutherland, Staff Writer

Although Coronavirus has the same effects across the globe, your experience with the virus varies from region to region. In our case, state to state. While Massachusetts does an average job of taking action against Covid-19 since March 15th of 2020, that is not the case in every state in the U.S. Without Coronavirus, Massachusetts, and Florida are already wildly different states. There is completely different weather, living costs, state governments, history, and more. The two states had completely different reactions towards the beginning of the pandemic. It continues to be a dissimilar situation. 

Throughout sixth to eighth grade, I lived in Florida, specifically Gainesville. We all experienced a chaotic first few months regardless of where we lived. For us students, one to three weeks off of school was heaven, no matter what the reason was. Florida public schools closed on March 13, 2020, and continued to be extended until the rest of the school year was closed. Now, I do not know what Coronavirus was like at the beginning of 2020 in Massachusetts, but when you start in Florida and end it in Massachusetts, you get a pretty good idea. Surprisingly, in addition to the number of cases and deaths, another very famous topic was the shortage of toilet paper. And let me tell you, that was very true in Florida. When you passed by the supermarkets you would see shopping carts full of packs of toilet paper. I plead not guilty to that situation, we did not have an obsession with toilet paper.

The famous icon for Florida is the Florida man. That icon consists of generally insane stories, such as an alligator in the drive-thru of a Wendy’s. It’s not wrong either, a lot of weird things happen in Florida. Regarding Covid-19, the Floridian administration was and is also quite odd towards the issue. Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, believed in letting the virus pass. At one point, he signed a law that banned local counties from enforcing mask mandates on November 18, 2021. Also, executive order number 21-175 signed by DeSantis issued “the parents’ right to choose”. In my opinion, while they were at their record-high point in Covid-19 cases, it is probably not the best thing to allow vulnerable children to be exposed based on what their parents believed. Though, you are free to have a different opinion.

When I moved back to Massachusetts on July 1st, 2020, I could already see an improvement. On that exact day, the seven-day average for cases was 219 in MA and 7,140 in FL. If we consider how Florida’s population is 588% larger than Massachusetts’, our seven-day average would be 1288, which is still vastly different. I automatically felt safer in Milford compared to before. I was not scared to go to a restaurant or a grocery store anymore. We all have stories about this horrendous experience, but it gets more interesting when you move 1,194 miles to a completely opposite state.