I read this, and wondered.
As states and cities across the country reopen, some are seeing a worrying rise in new coronavirus cases. While in most states, new infections remain flat or are decreasing, in 14 states, new cases are growing. ABC News has found that eight states — Arizona, Arkansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah — are seeing increasing hospitalization for COVID-19.
It occurred to me that with the exception of Arizona, the states mentioned are heavily religious. Based on 2017 Pew data, seven out of eight are in the top 12 for religiosity, and four (Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Arkansas) are in the top 5. Arizona ranks in the middle at number 27.
There are obviously a lot of factors at play. One is that religious states are more politically conservative, and it’s from conservatives that we’ve seen the biggest clamor for reopening the economy virtually without restrictions. That would put Arizona back into the fold: its highest-ranking elected officials were almost uniformly Republican from 2011 through 2018, although Arizona Democrats gained ground again in the elections of two years ago.
What we know for certain is that, with Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Arkansas all occupying spots in the top 10 of most prayerful states, the outsized amount of praying from those locales doesn’t seem to do anything to keep COVID at bay.
(Featured image via Shutterstock)