If you thought mask mandates (expectations) were over, then check out what’s still happening across the country. Schools in blue states are once again ramping up the “expectation” (not mandate) that students will wear masks. In The American Conservative, Jeffrey H. Anderson explains how mask mandates may have affected where people have moved in the United States. He writes:
Meanwhile, among the ten states that had the longest-lasting (in terms of total days) mask mandates—Hawaii, Connecticut, New York, New Mexico, Washington, California, Nevada, Illinois, Oregon, and Rhode Island—seven decreased in population from mid-2021 to mid-2022. Of these ten, only Nevada, Washington, and Connecticut increased in population (the latter by just 2,850 people, or 0.08 percent), and they may have benefitted from people fleeing California, in the cases of Nevada and Washington, or New York City, in the case of Connecticut.
In other words, 90 percent of the mask-free states gained population, while 70 percent of the ten states with the longest-lasting mask mandates lost population.
Looking at matters from another angle, there were 12 states that gained more than 1 percent in population from mid-2021 to mid-2022. Of this dozen, six never had a mask mandate at all, three were among the ten states with the shortest mask mandates, and one (South Carolina) had a limited mask mandate that didn’t apply in most indoor public places. Among the 18 states that lost population, meanwhile, 15 imposed longer mask mandates than most states did.
So, of the 12 states that gained the most in population, 83 percent (10 of 12) either imposed no mask mandate or imposed a shorter mask mandate than most states. Of the 18 states that lost population, 83 percent (15 of 18) imposed a longer mask mandate than most states.
Here are the five states with the largest percentage increases in population, along with what sort of mask mandate they had (or didn’t have):
- Florida (up about 417,000 people, or 1.91 percent): no mask mandate;
- Idaho (up 1.82 percent): no mask mandate;
- South Carolina (up 1.72 percent): limited (and comparatively short) mask mandate that applied in restaurants (for 213 days), schools, and large venues, but not in most indoor public places;
- Texas (up 1.59 percent): 10th-shortest mask mandate among states that imposed a mandate (250 days);
- South Dakota (up 1.52 percent): no mask mandate.
Meanwhile, here are the five states with the largest percentage decreases in population, along with the sort of mask mandate they had:
- New York (down 0.91 percent): 3rd-longest mask mandate (666 days), spanning almost 22 months (from April 15, 2020 to February 10, 2022, with a roughly 7-month hiatus for the vaccinated);
- Illinois (down 0.82 percent): 8th-longest mask mandate (590 days, over two stints), with the second stint extending all the way until February 28, 2022;
- Louisiana (down 0.8 percent): 18th-longest mask mandate (376 days, over two stints);
- West Virginia (down 0.58 percent): 20th-longest mask mandate (349 days);
- Hawaii (down 0.48 percent): longest mask mandate (704 days), lasting just 25 days shy of two years (from April 20, 2020, to March 26, 2022).
Action Line: If your politicians seem bent on finding ways to restrict your life and drive up your costs than on providing you with the maximum freedom at minimal cost, it might be time to look for a better America. Start your search with my Super States. In the meantime, get to know me better by clicking here to subscribe to my free Survive & Thrive letter.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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