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'Mystified' NYT columnist asks the internet why southern states have such low rates of COVID-19. Twitter users happily enlighten him.

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Since mid-September, COVID-19 cases have been plummeting in southern states. As of Nov. 2, the South had 13 coronavirus cases per 150,000 — the fewest by region in the nation — compared to 21 cases in the Northeast, 27 in the West, and 31 in the Midwest, according to the New York Times.

Hospitalizations in the South have also dropped significantly in recent weeks. The top 10 states that have experienced decreases in COVID-19 hospitalizations are all in the South. There are 12 hospitalizations per 100,000 people in South Carolina — a 38% decrease in the past 14 days, according to Becker's Hospital Review. Hospitalizations in North Carolina are down 36%, Louisiana fell 36%, Tennessee has seen a 34% drop, Kentucky has plunged 32%, Florida also witnessed a 32% decrease, hospitalization in the past two weeks is 30% less in Texas, Mississippi declined 30%, as did Alabama, and hospitalizations tailed off by 28% in Georgia.

Meanwhile, hospitalizations per 100,000 people in the last 14 days are up in New Mexico (19%), Vermont (15%), Colorado (14%), Nebraska (11%), Arizona (9%), New Hampshire (9%), Utah (8%), Maine (7%), California (6%), and Michigan (4%).

The southern states have seen COVID-19 cases fall despite easing COVID-19 restrictions.

The shift in COVID-19 cases out of the South baffled New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow — who couldn't fathom why cases were plummeting despite the southern states not stringently adhering to guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"I am mystified by how these southern states have such low rates of Covid when many of their governors haven't followed cdc guidance," Blow wrote on Twitter and included a COVID-19 "hot spot" map from the New York Times. "Someone please explain this to me."

The internet was happy to oblige and explain the shift to Blow. A wave of respondents gave their explanations for the decreasing COVID-19 cases in the South — which included seasonality.

Inez Stepman — senior policy analyst at the Independent Women's Forum — responded, "Hint: in southern states they go inside with AC in the summer (high rates), in northern states, they go inside when it gets cold (high rates). Haven't we seen this play out enough times in the last nearly two years not to be surprised by it?"

Human Events journalist Will Chamberlain made a similar point, "Hint: it's pleasant outside in the South right now, so people aren't spending as much time indoors running the AC Meanwhile, it's getting colder everywhere else, so people are spending more time indoors there."

Investigative reporter Jordan Schachtel wrote, "NYT columnist on the brink of discovering seasonal respiratory illness. Prediction: He won't accept the obvious. Too big a red pill for him. Best to embrace the COVID Mania stuff. Better to keep the readers hoaxed and compliant."

New York Times best-selling author Tom Woods asked, "So you won't admit that the mitigation measures don't do a damn thing, which should be excruciatingly obvious by now? You can't ever give up on that religion?"

Senior fellow at the Atlantic Council Damir Marusic explained, "Once you accept that policy only has marginal effect on outcomes, everything becomes much easier to digest. The COVID surge just does its thing, burning through vulnerable populations until the kindling is gone. It then moves on."

Radio host Jesse Kelly reacted by tweeting, "Because everything you 'know' about coronavirus is a lie. The 'experts' had no idea what to do when it got here so they just made a bunch of stuff up and pretended it was 'science.' Your entire world is make believe. How does that make you feel?"

Outkick founder and radio host Clay Travis commented, "The number of blue checks who still think lockdowns & masks stop covid is absolutely staggering. This is a @nytimes columnist. These blue checks have never bothered to look at the actual data. They are covid sheep."

Podcast host Benny Johnson said, "The defiant smoothbrain bubble people will never fully understand the extent to which they have been manipulated for power and control of an establishment ruling class."

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