Which states are safest to visit?

I found this website, which claims to get its numbers from the federal government. It provides Covid information state by state:

https://usafacts.org/visualizations/coronavirus-covid-19-spr…

If you run the cursor over the graph “New deaths per day” you can see what the 7-day average has been for most of the year. You can compare states this way.

The results I got for the 7-day average deaths in the week leading up to December 30 were:
Florida ----- 13
New York – 89
Oregon ---- 8

Given Florida’s population and high concentration of susceptible elders, it appears to be way safer than NY and my own state of Oregon. Not even close. And with Florida’s lax restrictions and mandates compared to Oregon’s and NY’s draconian measures, what conclusion can be drawn about the effectiveness of those measures?

If there is something wrong with my calculations or with the website, I’d be happy to know about it.

–fleg

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First problem with the Florida death rates is who counts. Unless the deceased is a full year resident they aren’t counted. Second issue is the pressure that is applied to generate acceptable statistics.

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For anyone who is at high risk for complications from COVID, travel in the next few weeks is not a great plan. Omicron is burning itself out in South Africa. The death and complication rate appears to be lower than previous versions.

Colder weather increases indoor time and increases transmission. So many things to consider when comparing statistics.

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Given Florida’s population and high concentration of susceptible elders, it appears to be way safer than NY

I agree that, right now, New York is in pretty bad shape, but in the past 14 days, hospitalizations in Florida are +158% whereas they are +67% in New York. (data from the
NY Times). I use hospitalizations as my main indicator, because there’s so much confusion given the mish-mosh state of testing. Anyway, both states (particularly Southern Florida) have a LOT of Covid cases, and they seem to be rising faster in Florida. I wouldn’t trust any statistics that Governor Ron DeSantis gets his filthy hands on!

And with Florida’s lax restrictions and mandates compared to Oregon’s and NY’s draconian measures, what conclusion can be drawn about the effectiveness of those measures?

I live in NY. Our previous and current Governors have been very proactive in using various measures to try to control the spread of Covid. Remember, though, that NY was one of the epicenters in the first wave of Covid, which btw came from Europe rather than directly from China. I strongly support the control measures, even though personally I HATE wearing a mask. I do so in the appropriate circumstances, because it is the right and smart thing to do. I don’t, for a minute, feel that the government is controlling my life. I don’t know anyone who was fined or arrested by ignoring various “mandates.”

I think it’s very, very difficult to measure the effectiveness of social distancing and mask wearing. Way too many variables to compare one state with another. But common sense tells me that these measures WORK!

If you look for a correlation between rate of vaccination and Covid in the states, I think you’ll be disappointed. That doesn’t mean that vaccination doesn’t work. It simply means that there are too many variables involved.

Back to your original question. I would LOVE to travel right now. I still have a cruise booked from Fort Lauderdale on January 8th. I plan to cancel on Monday, January 3rd. I’m hoping that the cruise company beats me to it. In any event, there is no WAY that I’m going to fly to Florida right now. If I travel over the next few weeks, it will not involve dealing with airports, etc.

Are there safer states? At the moment, yes. But let’s talk again in a few weeks. Omicron is coming to a town near you!

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I haven’t trusted Floridas numbers since DeSantis sent the goon squad to Rebekah Jones house with guns drawn and sledgehammers like she was some dangerous felon.

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For some context:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebekah_Jones#Firing_from_the_…

Yeah, purely political from what we can tell publicly. DeSantis wanted to open the state up, and she said it was inadvisable. Fired for doing her job.

I doubt I will ever go to FL again. Not even to board a cruise ship. If that ever again is a safe activity.

1poorguy (throwing stones in the glass house that is AZ)

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If there is something wrong with my calculations or with the website, I’d be happy to know about it.

I haven’t dug into it to see where this website gets its data. There are numerous sites with such info. My suggestions are:

(1) look at recent infections (and/or hospitalizations) on a “per 100K residents” basis rather than estimating it informally;

(2) the data can and do vary tremendously by locality within many states–e.g., look at Florida. If I were traveling, I’d want to look at the local numbers, not the statewide ones.

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I feel like - (as discussed previously) - travel if you feel comfortable.

Stay home if you do not.
The destination really doesnt matter.

You don’t know who you may be next to on a plane or in an airport.
Or where they have been or how they live, when not in those surroundings.
Just because you are traveling FROM Ohio (or NY or AZ) - doesn’t mean your seatmate is from there.
Just because the local numbers where you live are “better” than elsewhere, those are aggreagte and averages.
Doesn’t mean that every locale is using avoidance techniques & masking- just that as -a-group-overall, it is less hazardous.

The airport/plane/train/boat is probably the riskiest part of travel - not the destination (unless one is attending a concert, going to Disney etc or mega-church service)

Do what works for you. Mitigate your risks as possible.

peace & personal decisions
t

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Limiting the figures to Covid cases to me is too narrow.

There are places where you can get car jacked while filling the gas tank.

The figures should at least factor in the murder rate. And how about violent crimes.

There’s more to safety than Covid. Let’s not forget.

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The destination really doesnt matter. …The airport/plane/train/boat is probably the riskiest part of travel.

I agree with the spirit of the post. But I suggest that the destination really does matter.

For one thing, most people travel in their own vehicles rather than by public transportation. In addition, if I were planning to do almost anything indoors at my destination (e.g., eat, visit a museum, shop), I’d want to know the local Covid situation. Many people obviously don’t care about such things, but the public health advice is quite clear, esp. during this Omicron spike.

As for air travel, even Fauci says that if you’re properly masked and boosted, it’s probably safer than eating in a restaurant at/near full capacity. In most airports, it’s fairly easy to avoid jammed areas other than for a few minutes, e.g., at boarding. And most airports have huge air volumes. Flights are also safe if you use common sense–e.g., turn your air vents on full blast and keep your mask on unless it’s absolutely necessary to pull it down momentarily (i.e., not for leisurely snacking). For a flight of a couple of hours or so, if you’re really concerned, just stay masked. You’ll survive without that Diet Coke and pretzels.

A few weeks ago, DW and I were N95-masked virtually the entire time for 16 hours (Michigan to Hawaii), incl. time in the airports and on the planes. Enjoyable? No. Do-able? Yes.

Pro tip: Time your food/fluid breaks for when other passengers don’t also have their masks down to eat/drink. If a full meal is being served (and you really want it), consider ordering a special meal in advance. Those meals tend to get distributed first. DW and I do that (veggie meals). We wolf it down and are typically done before most folks have even begun.

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Other dangers:

My rule of thumb is I don’t stop at gas stations or other businesses that have bars on the windows. 8D

Once we stopped at a remote gas station where there was a cop car in the parking lot. My husband was nervous but I rationalized it wasn’t going to get any safer than that. Not like the robbers wouldn’t wait for the cops to at least leave…

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Texas! Definitely Texas.
It’s particularly nice next month.
Come on down.

:sun_with_face:
ralph

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There are places where you can get car jacked while filling the gas tank. The figures should at least factor in the murder rate. And how about violent crimes.

I’m curious: What places might you be interested in visiting but are genuinely concerned that you may get car-jacked or murdered there?

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There are places where you can get car jacked while filling the gas tank. The figures should at least factor in the murder rate. And how about violent crimes.

I’m curious: What places might you be interested in visiting but are genuinely concerned that you may get car-jacked or murdered there?

LOL. I doubt the poster was looking to visit murder capitals of the world, rather was pointing out there are more statistics to look at than just Covid numbers.

We worked and lived in the USVI for 8 years. You would have to dig deep to see all the actual unrest that was under the beautiful skin of that area. One of the reasons we finally moved was because it was no longer safe to go to any beach other than a hotel beach. There were lots of great beaches that you had to hike to, and were the only ones there, but drug drops would be done at night and the gangs came by during the day to get their drugs. If you were there, good luck. You would never know about the violent crime on the island if you just watched the local news or read the newspaper. That would be bad for tourism.

IP,
noting that there is a price to pay for paradise, and it is not advertised

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I’m not sure how much it really matters. I’ve lived in AZ and MD during the pandemic. One state has a ton of nuts (not just about covid) and its vaccination rate is substantially less than the other. Right now MD is getting walloped with covid cases.

Whether it is weather related, congestion of the state, etc. I don’t know. I think the key thing is your own health status (vaccinated + staying in shape). Now I would feel a lot less comfortable if I’m out somewhere and someone is coughing a lot, whether masked or not.

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Given Florida’s population and high concentration of susceptible elders, it appears to be way safer than NY and my own state of Oregon. Not even close. And with Florida’s lax restrictions and mandates compared to Oregon’s and NY’s draconian measures, what conclusion can be drawn about the effectiveness of those measures?

The only sensible way to look at it is normalize based on population, instead of total deaths.

Florida: 291 deaths per 100,000 population
Oregon: 134 deaths per 100,000 population

Florida’s death rate is more than double. But it is probably worse than that because COVID survivors have a much higher death rate than the general population:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/covid-19-survivors…

In that context, consider the case rate per 100,000:

Florida: 19,600 per 100,000
Oregon: 9,990 per 100,000

So even if you survive COVID, you are still more likely to die of something else in Florida.

To each his own. I only have one life, and I place a high value on my health. I do yoga most days, work out, but probably less than I should, and snow ski. I also have asthma, and I so I understand how unpleasant* it is not to be able to breath properly. I travel, and spent 18 days in Hawaii last year.
Hawaii places a high value on life and health, and so I felt comfortable going there. Not riskless, but a reasonable trade off in my view.

Florida places a low value on life and health, so I’m not going there. You do you. If you feel it is worth risking an agonizing death drowning in your own fluids in order to avoid limited seating in restaurants, knock yourself out.

*by “unpleasant” I mean “horrific.”

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Limiting the figures to Covid cases to me is too narrow.

There are places where you can get car jacked while filling the gas tank.

The figures should at least factor in the murder rate. And how about violent crimes.

There’s more to safety than Covid. Let’s not forget.

Good advice in that it is smart to evaluate risks. Keep in mind that COVID is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Your chance of dying of COVID is orders of magnitude higher than being murdered.

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