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Want a Shorter Life? Live in a Pro-Trump State.

              The Federal Government, or the Deep State, whichever you want to call it, has just published the data on life expectancy and to nobody’s great surprise, because of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the average number of years that an American will live who was born in 2020 has gone down by nearly one year.

              The drop in life expectancy has basically erased two decades of increasing longevity, and it’s not clear how, long it will take us to bring our lifetime numbers back up to where they used to be.

              On the other hand, and this is a very important other hand, the data may reflect the overall situation, but everything changes when you filter the numbers through specific states.

              The map above, based on numbers which you can download here, show some very clear disparities from state to state and counties within specific states. But the bottom line is that if you live in one of the thirteen states which comprise the Old Confederacy, with the exception of Virginia, there’s a good chance that you might have a life expectancy which is as much as twenty years shorter than the lifetime you might have in one of the other, non-Confederate states.

              So, for example, I live in Massachusetts, where the life expectancy is 79.0 years. If I were a resident of Mississippi, my life expectancy on average would be 70 years, and in some of the Ole Miss counties, I might even be living four less years than that.

              Right now, the life expectancy in certain Mississippi counties as well as counties in Alabama, Georgia and a few other of those shitass, Southern states, is down to where it was in – ready? – 1950!

              In other words, the things which help us live longer – diet, healthcare, decent housing, non-manual jobs – continue to be absent for many residents of those states who are living, from a public health perspective, the way that residents in other states lived some seventy fucking years ago.

              That’s not possible, but it’s not only possible, it’s actually happening in these Southern states.

              These are the same states, of course, which are more or less controlled by the Republic(an) Party which claims to be on the verge of pulling a second secession in order to reverse the outcome of the last Civil War.

              Meanwhile, if states like Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, and West Virginia became some kind of independent country, they would have to find some way to make up for the monies they currently receive from Washington, which happens to be more than twice as much as the residents of those states send to the United States Treasury for taxes and fees.

              Not only do the reddest states spend next to nothing on the kinds of social and medical services which might actually provide state residents with a modicum of healthful living outcomes, but they Confederate states should really be referred to as the Freeloading states, because that’s exactly what they are.

              Meanwhile, they also happen to be the states which represent the worst health outcomes in the country, not just for Covid-19, but for every other cause of unnatural deaths.

              Let’s take Alabama: Life expectancy – 73.2, infant mortality rate – 7.56, drug overdose – 30.1, homicide rate – 15.9, Covid death rate – 17.3, gun death rate – 26.4.

              Here’s Mississippi: Life expectancy – 71.9, infant mortality rate – 9.39, drug overdose – 28.4, homicide rate – 23.7, Covid death rate – 20.1, gun death rate – 33.9.

              I could go on and list the other Southern states, but with a few exceptions, they all look the same.

              Here are the numbers for my state – Massachusetts: Life expectancy – 79.0, infant mortality rate – 3.23, drug overdose – 36.8, homicide rate – 2.3, Covid death rate – 24.0, gun death rate – 3.4.

              Now let’s look at Connecticut: Life expectancy – 78.4, infant mortality rate – 4.65, drug overdose – 42.3, homicide rate – 4.8, Covid death rate – 27.6, gun death rate – 6.7.

              Even with drug overdose deaths which appear to be a more serious problem in Massachusetts and Connecticut than in the Southern states, the gap in life expectancy is not just significant but extreme.

              And if there is one health category which is a fundamental measure for medical care and public health, it’s the infant mortality rate which is twice as high in the South as in the North.

              If someone can explain this remarkable case of cognitive dissonance between health strategies and health outcomes in the Southern states, I’m all ears. But what these numbers really tell me is that how and why people vote for Donald Trump and his (dwindling) GOP support base may have little to do with what he says.

              On the other hand, these health outcomes probably explain why some people, particularly in red states, believe the country is going to Hell in a handbasket and something really different needs to be done.

              Put Donald Trump back in the Oval Office in 2025 and if nothing else, you’ll have someone really different from the guy who’s sitting behind the real Resolute desk right now.




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