More than seven months into the coronavirus pandemic, the rules and regulations that govern daily life in the United States continue to vary widely, forcing people to interpret a checkerboard map of mask requirements, restaurant occupancy restrictions and travel guidelines.
What a person can and cannot do — go to a nightclub, throw a Halloween party, get a nose piercing — largely depends on where that person lives.
Throughout the pandemic, discordant protocols across state lines have frustrated governors and public health officials trying to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
In March, Gov. Andy Beshear of Kentucky lamented that residents could hop the border into neighboring Tennessee and eat at indoor restaurants. Those types of variations continue today, and even exist within individual states.
“They’re realizing that, well, if bars across the river are open, you can always go over to the bar over there,” said Robert D. Duval, a professor in West Virginia University’s Department of Health Policy, Management and Leadership. He added that people have to understand that such behavior prolongs the need for the rules in the first place.
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