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Living in a red state can be hazardous to your health in multiple ways. Gregg Abbott, Brian Kemp, Ron DeSantis: these and other names of governors of red states make a living in their states unhealthy. Do not worry; it is not important to them. Supporting their party’s agenda remains priority number one.
For decades Republicans have ruled over us using fear tactics, blatant lies, and baseless conspiracy theories to control their followers. During the height of the pandemic, citizens in red states were declared five times more likely to die from COVID-19. The reasons were a refusal to receive the vaccine and denial that masks were effective in lessening the spread of the virus.
Governors of red states joined another Donald Trump lie and pretended that the coronavirus was less serious than reported. They just might have been wrong. The total number of deaths in the U.S. is nearing the unforgivable number of one million.
Unrestricted and unenforced gun laws, resistance to eating healthy foods causing obesity and diabetes, the struggle to survive below the poverty line, and other factors result in a growing number of health problems in red states.
But here is the most frightening fact. Although “conservatives” will point to gun deaths in Chicago to protect the truth, facts prove that the largest number of gun-related deaths occur in the South and the Mountain states.
Obesity shortens life expectancy dramatically. Not only diabetes but also heart disease and serious problems with joints and lower back lessen the quality of life. These conditions often result in depression and subsequent drug and alcohol addiction. These same regions are occupied by the most obese people in the world.
Sexually transmitted diseases are a serious problem in red states but go unreported by the media. Untreated or mistreated, these diseases can become lethal. It is also an unreported fact that those who are infected continue to have sexual relations long before they seek assistance for themselves.
Allow me to interject personal experience connected to living in red states.
My lifelong friend lives in Tennessee today. We met in Los Angeles in the late 1960s and became close almost immediately. I was the best man at his wedding and am the godfather for his first son. We exchange emails daily. Sometimes what he sends me confirms that he is not privy to the truth. Local news stations in red states are well-known for reporting only the Republican view of the issues. Half-truths are more dangerous than blatant lies.
I have three brothers-in-law who lived in Georgia but now reside in northern Florida. They watch Fox News constantly and have no idea how deeply brainwashed they have become. Although Ron DeSantis has proven himself to be the worst governor in America, they believe that he is the best and should become our next president if Trump decides not to run in 2024.
Each of my wife’s brothers has several health problems. My bride and I, who are several years their senior, have no problems requiring medical attention other than the normal conditions which afflict septuagenarians. We live in the west: Northern Nevada, to be specific. I am not saying that we live the healthiest of lives, but we cook all of our meals, containing mostly fresh vegetables, potatoes, and rice, and exercise moderately nearly every day. We do not consume large quantities of meat, pork, or poultry. We do not have pre-prepared food delivered, and fast food is a rare “guilty pleasure.”
We do not use drugs, and my wife never consumes an alcoholic beverage. I admit to being a child of the late 1940s, and Scotch whiskey is my single vice. We quit smoking more than 20 years ago. We could do more, but at our age, everyone must consider if the quality of life is more important than the quantity. We make those decisions daily.
I have not traveled a great deal. However, I have lived in Texas and Mississippi. I told my bride multiple times I could never live in states similar to those two. My life, a life built on free thought and independence, only exists out here in the west.
Op-ed by James Turnage
Daily Kos: To lead a long, healthy, wealthy life don’t live in a red state -a statistical survey of GOP failure
Quora: What’s the main difference between living in a red state versus living in a blue state?
Featured and Top Image by rpm Courtesy of OpenClipArt – Public Domain License
Inset Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License