When it comes to wokeness, West Virginia takes a measure of pride in being asleep at the wheel.
Merriam-Webster defines “wokeness” as “being aware of and actively attentive to important societal facts and issues.” The West Virginia Legislature’s supermajority apparently favors the Nikki Haley alternative version, in which wokeness is seen as a virus spawned by the “socialist” Democratic party that has become “more dangerous than any pandemic.”
To keep empathy and other forms of “socialist” ideation in check, the supermajority spent much of the past session enacting legislation designed to, among other things, discourage renewable energy development, make public schools display “In God We Trust” signs, allow concealed weapons on college campuses, and enable the recall of city laws prohibiting LBGTQ discrimination.
Already leading the nation in climate change denial, with 43% of its residents not believing that global warming is occurring (according to a Yale University study), West Virginia, with help from its activist Legislature, is well on its way to becoming one of America’s least woke states — in the Nikki Haley sense of the word.
Meanwhile, a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rates West Virginia as the nation’s most woke state — in the sleep deprivation sense of the word.
Nearly 43% of West Virginia adults reported regularly getting less than the CDC’s recommended minimum of 7 hours of shuteye nightly, according to the study, making the state the most sleep-deprived in the U.S.
Sleep deprivation has been associated with such health factors as heart disease, obesity and depression — maladies in which West Virginia is traditionally ranked at or near the top.
The state’s short sleep duration rate could also have something to do with residents tossing and turning while pondering worries about income (49th in nation), overall health (50th), life expectancy (50th), education (50th), and wondering when the Legislature will get around to seriously addressing them.
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