In a story for The Atlantic, reporter Olga Khazan touches on rural America’s reluctance to continue taking precautions in the current COVID-19 pandemic. As infections and vaccinations wax and wane, most rural areas have done away with mask mandates or social distancing measures, as most think the pandemic is “over”.
From the story: “According to a recent Atlantic/Leger poll, compared with people in urban or suburban areas, people in rural areas are most likely to feel like things are “back to normal” where they live—45 percent thought so, compared with 30 percent of urbanites and 36 percent of suburbanites. Rural Americans were also the least likely group to say they wished their neighbors would be more cautious about COVID-19.
People in rural areas are also significantly less likely than the other two groups to wear a mask indoors at restaurants and bars, or at work. They were the least likely group to say that their kids are required to wear masks to school or day care. They are also more likely to socialize with friends indoors without masks on: 68 percent said they now do this, compared with 54 percent of urbanites. A typical worker in D.C. might send his kid to preschool in a mask, ride to work on the Metro in a mask, and meet friends for drinks at an outdoor café, just in case. An hour and a half away, a typical worker in Culpeper, Virginia, might spend her day exactly as she would have in 2019.”
With the relaxed attitudes however, come some of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, and the most deaths.
To read the rest of the story on The Atlantic, click here.