Over the past year, we’ve had an intriguing COVID experiment taking place in two of America’s biggest states: what would happen if one state essentially locked down because of COVID and another state essentially kept things open? All the mainstream media experts have told us that if that happened, the state that didn’t lock down would experience a massive death rate from COVID compared to the state that did lock down.
Only that hasn’t happened at all, and we have the data to prove it.
For the past year, California has effectively been shut down because of COVID. Most students haven’t attended school in a year. No kids sports have been played. Restaurants and bars, gyms, amusement parks, most public facing businesses, all of them have shut down in California to protect people from COVID.
Disneyland has been shut down for over a year in the state.
As a result, the California unemployment rate is 9.3%, and the COVID death rate per a million residents is 1,413.
Meanwhile, Florida hasn’t shut down at all, at least not since around May of last year when the COVID restrictions were lifted in the state. All kids have attended schools in person since last summer. All schools and youth sports leagues have played full sports schedules. Businesses have all remained open. Even amusement parks in the state, like Disney World, have remained open. (Full disclosure, I took my family to Florida for the month of May last year and also took my family to a fully open Universal Studios in Orlando for a week around Christmas of last year.)
Florida has an unemployment rate of 5.1%, and a COVID death rate per a million residents of 1,503.
So Florida’s COVID death rate is a bit higher than California’s, yes, but when you adjust for the average age of the population, Florida, which has a much larger elderly population than California, has actually outperformed California when it comes to dealing with COVID deaths in the state. The more elderly residents a state has, in general, the higher the danger of COVID deaths. The median age of a person in Florida is 42.4, the fifth highest in the United States, while the median age in California is 37, the eighth youngest in the country. California, therefore, with a much younger population, should have an advantage when it comes to dealing with COVID in the state. It’s also worth noting that California’s death rate has surged throughout the winter, while Florida’s has not. In other words, California may end up passing Florida in COVID deaths before the final tally is complete.