This Week in the Mayonnaise Clinic: Why Is the West Coast So Different on COVID?
The problem is "good government," which isn't always good.
Welcome to the fifth edition of the Mayonnaise Clinic!
I am writing to you from sunny New York City, where the state-imposed general indoor mask mandate is set to expire tomorrow. There’s no comparable mandate from the city, so it will soon be masks-off here in offices and retail stores. Restaurants, bars, and gyms, which must check vaccination status, have not been subject to a mask mandate since last spring. New Jersey and Connecticut have announced the end of their statewide school mask mandates, and I think we will be seeing details of an off-ramp for that in New York pretty soon, too.
On the west coast, it’s a different story. California’s statewide mask mandate is lapsing, but its largest county, Los Angeles County, has declared its intention to keep its own in place, at least for a few weeks and possibly though late April. And Nate Silver had a question about that:
I’m glad you asked, Nate. But the difference goes well beyond Los Angeles and New York. It seems to be a whole east-coast, west-coast divide on COVID that doesn’t follow quite the usual red/blue lines. Over the last six months, you’ve been a lot more likely to be required to wear a mask indoors in Las Vegas than New York City.
I see a few reasons why this regional divide has emerged.