I’ve suspected, without much evidence, one reason red states seem relaxed about COVID, even as it kills more people now in red states than blue states, is that, in those red states, it’s the ‘blue people’, which is to say non-White people, who are dying. A recent manuscript lays out who has been dying and where.
Even in rural areas, it’s Black and Hispanic people (Hispanic is the term used in the manuscript) who, in absolute terms, are dying more frequently than White people from COVID:
While much of the media coverage has focused on rural and mid-sized metro Whites dying more often from COVID now than they did in the pre-vaccine era (which is fucking horrible), White people, even in those dysfunctional communities (heh. SWIDT?), die less frequently from COVID than minorities. In other words, COVID is a disease of ‘blue people’, and that is limiting, in part, the urgency of the response.
If I made one mistake in prediction during the pandemic, it was believing the pandemic might change things for the better, instead of amplifying existing problems and attitudes. Silly me.