Conservative Americans and those in rural areas tend to take the coronavirus pandemic less seriously. "Government responses have followed these same tracks," Ron Brownstein writes for The Atlantic. "With a few prominent exceptions, especially Ohio, states with Republican governors have been slower, or less likely, than those run by Democrats to impose restrictions on their residents."

In West Virginia, (and Kentucky too) the general lack of concern has alarmed health officials who wanted the pandemic taken more seriously. "Many residents accused the state’s Republican governor, Jim Justice, of overreacting when he closed the schools," Todd Frankel reports for The Washington Post.

Grant County (Wikipedia)
That perception was supported by West Virginia's lack of confirmed cases: it was the last state to have a confirmed case of covid-19, but that may have partly been because the state had little ability to test for it, Mallory Simon reports for CNN.

In Grant County, an Eastern Panhandle county that voted overwhelmingly for President Trump, local health officials were appalled that locals weren't taking warnings seriously. "The price of politicizing the pandemic was coming due," Frankel reports.

But the refusal to take covid-19 seriously is also the price of calling the news media "the enemy of the people," said Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, which publishes The Rural Blog.