Wallethub: Louisiana doesn’t rank well in social distancing

By: Stacey Tinsley | Bossier Press-Tribune

Experts continue to preach that social distancing is the most effective way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Some states, however, can do it easier than others.

The personal finance website WalletHub.com released its list of “States Where Social Distancing is Most Difficult” Monday.

In it, Louisiana came in 43rd on the list primarily due to the average of the amount of people who spend time participating in local groups or organizations, the amount of people that spend time outside recreating, along with the amount of travel and tourism that flows through the state.

Louisiana’s social environment rank was 34, it’s time spent on social activities rank was 41, and its money spent on social activities rank was 44.

Utah, Montana, Alaska, Wyoming, and Colorado were in the top 10. But Utah took the top spot as the most difficult place to be socially distant due to the importance of large gatherings as well as volunteer work among Utah communities which are both very difficult to do while being socially distant.

In order to identify the states where social distancing is most difficult, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three key dimensions, “Social Environment,” “Time Spent on Social Activities,” and “Money Spent on Social Activities.”

Jill Gonzalez, Analyst, WalletHub said, “We look at 13 different metrics so those range from whether residents have supportive relationships, to how non-essential travel has changed due to the pandemic, to how much consumers spent on social activities before COVID-19.”

Utah has a 70% volunteer rate which is more than twice of any other state.

Social distancing is the most effective way to prevent the spread of coronavirus, as the main way the virus spreads is through close contact between people. However, keeping people apart is not so easy in practice. While some people may enjoy the opportunity to stay in more, many are negatively affected by the new constraints on their social life, jobs, exercise regimens, shopping opportunities and more. Over a third of Americans say the COVID-19 crisis has hurt their mental health, according to a recent poll from the American Psychiatric Association.

Here is a full link to the study: https://wallethub.com/edu/states-where-social-distancing-is-most-difficult/73336/