The following article, Latest Data Shows COVID is Affecting Rural America Worse Than Urban America, was first published on Flag And Cross.
We are now nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, and wondering en masse whether or not the end is still in sight.
For a few months there, it really felt as though we were coming up on the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to coronavirus. Case numbers were heading in the right direction, vaccinations were being administered to those who wanted them, and Joe Biden even went so far as to declare a soft victory over the July 4 weekend.
But now, as more data becomes available, it has been made clear that there is still a great disparity between COVID-19’s havoc in rural America and its havoc in urban America.
Rural Americans are dying of COVID at more than twice the rate of their urban counterparts — a divide that health experts say is likely to widen as access to medical care shrinks for a population that tends to be older, sicker, heavier, poorer and less vaccinated.
While the initial surge of COVID-19 deaths skipped over much of rural America, where roughly 15% of Americans live, nonmetropolitan mortality rates quickly started to outpace those of metropolitan areas as the virus spread nationwide before vaccinations became available, according to data from the Rural Policy Research Institute.
And just how bad are the numbers?
Since the pandemic began, about 1 in 434 rural Americans have died of COVID, compared with roughly 1 in 513 urban Americans, the institute’s data shows. And though vaccines have reduced overall COVID death rates since the winter peak, rural mortality rates are now more than double urban rates — and accelerating quickly.
Despite the troubling nature of this report, COVID cases are trending in the right direction for the United States, with week-over-week numbers dropping just ahead of the cooler seasons.
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