California and Florida took different approaches to COVID. Here's how it turned out.

If California had Florida’s COVID-19 death rate, roughly 6,000 more Californians would be dead. And if Florida had California’s death rate, roughly 3,000 fewer Floridians would be dead from COVID-19…

About 55% of California residents live in counties with a high “social vulnerability” score — a measure of how severely a disease outbreak might affect a region — while only a quarter of Floridians do. California’s rate of overcrowding in homes, a metric linked to coronavirus spread, is also more than double Florida’s.

The dry air in California may also be a challenge, especially compared with humid Florida. Researchers are still learning about how climate affects the coronavirus, but some studies suggest that when the air is humid, virus droplets fall to the ground faster so that people are less likely to become infected.