Our Non-United State by State Approach to Tackling COVID-19

COVID-19 has changed each of our lives. However, in the United States each state has tackled the virus differently. Lauren Turner reports on varying situations for individuals in California, Texas, Ohio, South Dakota and Nevada.

COVID Throughout Our (United) States Of America

COVID has taken over the world. Everyone has had to change their lives and take precautions to ensure their health and the health of others around them. While one country may adapt to the virus a certain way, another country may take an entirely different approach. In the United States of America, these precautions and lifestyles have varied state by state.

Restaurants may be closed in one state and partially open in another. Some Americans may be still working remotely while other Americans are back at their normal desk routines. Our country is so big and has such variety that you will see different approaches to the virus in different states.

The State of California

So, what is the most populous state in the country doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19? It seems they are taking a slower time of opening back up and heading towards a normal life again. California handles the virus county by county.

For example, schools are not allowed to open back to full in-person instruction, unless they follow under a certain tier, “until the county has been in the Substantial (Red) Tier for two weeks.”

My cousin, 20-year-old Breanne Turner, is a full-time student with an internship and job in Los Angeles. She faces the struggles of COVID-19 in a variety of different ways.

“I still get nervous going to the grocery store and I only hang out with a small group of people that don’t hang out with anyone else,” she said. “I don’t feel completely safe, but I still have to go to work and live a somewhat normal life.”

The State of Texas

What about in our second most populated state Texas?

The Dallas County website has a COVID risk level monitor that residents can follow. Recently, Dallas has experienced a spike of COVID cases and has hit the red, “stay home, stay safe,” level.

KERA News recently reported, “Returning to the “red” risk level, the highest level, means residents are advised against indoor dining and grooming services, among other things.”

“COVID is taken seriously enough to get by,” my close friend Marian McCown said when talking about the situation in Dallas. “Personally, I don’t think the precautions are taken as life or death, rather than I have to wear a mask to buy a meal or get my nails done or whatever.”

The State of Ohio

Our next stop is Ohio and specifically Cincinnati, once a boomtown in the 19th century and home to several major sports teams.

“Ohio has mandated that everyone must wear a mask at all times in public,” my close friend Brooke Balash, a resident of Cincinnati said. “There aren’t allowed to be gatherings of more than 10 people. They have specific guidelines that restaurants and stores have to follow.”

However, Cincinnati seems to be finding creative ways to get life back to normal. “One thing I love that the city of Cincinnati did was close certain streets downtown in order for restaurants to move seating outdoors. They have been doing their best to make a tough situation better for small businesses,” Balash said.

Although Cincinnati, like every city, is trying to get back to their normal daily routines, Cincinnati falls under Hamilton county. According to the Ohio Department of Health, Hamilton county is the third highest county of reported COVID cases in Ohio.

“I was pretty surprised when I learned that. I think because I live in an area heavily populated with younger people, it doesn’t seem like there are many people drastically affected by the Corona sickness itself,” Balash said.

The State of South Dakota

While those states are figuring out how to keep their residents safe, Mitchell, South Dakota has a completely different lifestyle.

“COVID is not taken seriously in South Dakota. After an individual has been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID, they resume their daily lives instead of getting tested and going into quarantine,” my cousin, 23-year-old Karlie Turner said.

Google News reports that Davison County (where Mitchell, South Dakota is located) has had a total of 265 cases from September 30th to October 13th. However, since the beginning of COVID, Mitchell has had a total of 615 cases. Meaning, almost half of the cases have been from the past couple of weeks.

“Wearing a mask is optional in most stores, restaurants, and gyms. Sporting events have resumed, and spectators are allowed,” Turner said, adding she does not feel safe in the city of Mitchell.

The State of Nevada

I, on the other hand, have been staying in Reno, Nevada. I have been following the University of Nevada Reno’s guidelines where I’m a student.

Living in student housing and staying close to the campus has spiked my nerves about COVID quite a bit. However, with the university’s guidelines, I have felt safer. I think it’s going to take a lot longer than I would like to admit for me to feel safe again.

Overall, COVID is different in every state. Our country is enormous, and everyone is handling the situation in their own ways. We all just have to take the right precautions and try our best to stay healthy and safe. We must follow the guidelines that every state needs to follow, which is, face masks, proper hygiene and quarantining if coming in contact with a COVID positive person or becoming COVID positive ourselves.

Explainer Journalism by Lauren Turner for the Reynolds Sandbox



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