Women wearing face masks in downtown San Diego. Courtesy San Diego County

With no national policy for confronting the coronavrius pandemic, every state is taking a unique approach to protecting its citizens.

To find out how different these approaches are, the consumer finance firm WalletHub ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia across 16 metrics ranging from whether face masks are required to when restaurants reopened and how large gatherings are being handled.

New Mexico had the most restrictions, followed by Vermont, California, Hawaii and New York.

At the bottom of the list was South Dakota, with the least restrictions, followed by Wisconsin, Utah, South Carolina and North Dakota.

The ranking comes as Johns Hopkins University reports that cases in the United States have reached 2,341,632 with 121,157 deaths from the disease.

“We see that many states are either playing it safe or opening the doors wide,” Andrew Spieldenner, an assistant professor of health communication at Cal State San Marcos, told WalletHub. “Even social distancing is too much for some people to adhere to.”

Teresa M. Waters, associate dean for research at the University of Kentucky, warned of the lessons from past pandemics.

“The Pandemic Flu of 1918 provides a cautionary tale of opening too early,” she said. “Without appropriate measures in place, we may see a second wave of COVID19 that eclipses this first wave.”

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.