The Worst Cities To Be Quarantined

Kathy Morris
by Kathy Morris
Rankings - 3 months ago

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No one wants to be quarantined and everyone spent the past couple of months just trying to make the best of it.

However, some cities just aren’t great places to be stuck at home. We often think about what cities have to offer in terms of night life, dining out, and exciting things to do. However, for the millions of Americans who were stuck at home in formerly exciting cities, the nearby theme park or vibrant theatre scene didn’t do much.

What did they want? Spacious apartments, speedy internet, plentiful take-out options, and nearby green space.

We hit the numbers to find the cities that had the least to offer social distancers.

The Worst Cities To Be Quarantined

  1. Newark, New Jersey
  2. Hialeah, Florida
  3. Paterson, New Jersey
  4. Buffalo, New York
  5. Laredo, Texas
  6. Tucson, Arizona
  7. Cleveland, Ohio
  8. Arlington, Texas
  9. McAllen, Texas
  10. Boston, Massachusetts

Newark, New Jersey is the absolute worst place to be stuck at home. Newark and the other cities that make up the top 10 have to put up with mediocre green space per resident, stingy internet service, and tiny apartments.

Keep reading to see why these cities aren’t the place to be and the full list.

How We Determined The Worst Cities To Be Quarantined

We ranked each city 1 to 99 in four areas:

  • Average apartment size
  • Amount of parkland per person
  • Percent of residents with broadband internet
  • Number of takeout options

Average apartment size comes from RENTCafe. The bigger the apartment, the better for stir-crazy quarantiners. Not only can space make working from home, working out from home, and hobbies better, it also helps distance yourself from family and roommates. This doesn’t take into consideration city house size, or home owners, and just looks at apartment rentals.

The amount of parkland came from the Trust For Public Land. The more public green space per 1,000 residents, the higher the city ranked. We looked at the number of restaurants listed for each city on Doordash. The more restaurants available for delivery, the more food options residents can get without leaving their house.

Finally, we used the trusty US Census to see the percentage of residents in each city with broadband internet– including cable, fiber, or DSL. Not only does fast internet help with working from home, it also helps residents engage in video communication with friends, play online games, and stream entertainment.

1. Newark, New Jersey

newark,

Source: |

Parkland Per 1k People: 3.0
Internet(%): 37.7
Apartment Size:707

Newark is the worst city to be quarantined. What makes being stuck at home worse in Newark than other places? First of all, those homes are pretty tiny. The average Scottsdale apartment is 707 square feet. Throw in weak internet access and small amounts of public land and it’s easy to see that things could be a bit better for Newark residents.

2. Hialeah, Florida

hialeah,

Parkland Per 1k People: 0.9
Internet(%): 53
Apartment Size:825

In 2nd place, we have Hialeah, Florida. For every 1,000 Hialeah residents there is only .9 acres of parkland– the smallest amounts in the nation. Less park land means more time inside on shabby internet.

3. Paterson, New Jersey

paterson,

Parkland Per 1k People: 6.3
Internet(%): 49.4
Apartment Size:562

Patterson might have a decent amount of takeout options for a city of its size, but the apartments are pretty small. 562 square feet isn’t a lot of space to call your own– especially not when that space becomes a home office and rec room overnight.

4. Buffalo, New York

buffalo,

Source: |GFDL

Parkland Per 1k People: 7.3
Internet(%): 50
Apartment Size:782

Buffalo residents might have things a bit better than the first three cities, but Buffalo residents are still in a rough spot when it comes to the quarantine.

5. Laredo, Texas

laredo,

Parkland Per 1k People: 5.5
Internet(%): 33
Apartment Size:922

Laredo residents have larger apartments than many other cities. But those apartments don’t compensate for insignificant outdoor space and bad broadband rates.

6. Tucson, Arizona

tucson,

Parkland Per 1k People: 8.7
Internet(%): 66
Apartment Size:762

Tucson is just 2 hours away from Scottsdale, Arizona, the best city to be quarantined. However, that two hours makes a world of difference. Tucson residents can only dream of the roomy apartments and great parks their fellow Arizonians have. One thin silver lining? Their internet isn’t downright horrible.

7. Cleveland, Ohio

cleveland,

Parkland Per 1k People: 7.3
Internet(%): 47
Apartment Size:796

A lot of Cleveland renters have been bunking down in the 796 square feet they call home. Hopefully they are among the 47% with fast internet, otherwise the space may feel even smaller than it is. Upside, Cleveland holds its own for a mid-sized city when it comes to takeout options. Maybe they can order some pierogi and pretend they’re somewhere else.

8. Arlington, Texas

arlington,

Parkland Per 1k People: 12.5
Internet(%): 32
Apartment Size:818

What makes being quarantined in Arlington so rough? The internet! While in normal times, you can entertain yourself in a plethora of other ways (and do your work at, you know, work), in these strange times many Arlington folks have less distractions to cope with their boredom. No doubt many have had to resort to mobile hotspots to do their jobs and for their children to do schoolwork.

9. McAllen, Texas

mcallen,

Source: |PD

Parkland Per 1k People: 3.8
Internet(%): 61.1
Apartment Size:915

McAllen residents might have a bit more room to sprawl, but when it comes to leaving their house they are at disadvantage. The city only has 3.8 acres of parkland for every 1,000 residents. Not a lot of room to socially distance of get a breath of fresh air.

10. Boston, Massachusetts

boston,

Source: |CC BY-SA 3.0

Parkland Per 1k People: 7.9
Internet(%): 40.9
Apartment Size:817

In 10th place we have Boston. Boston is an exciting city known for a fun, young population and lots to do pre-quarantine. However during quarantine, many found out the hard way that doesn’t help too much when you’re stuck at home.

Closing Thoughts On The Worst Cities To Be Quarantined

Overall, while everyone is struggling with quarantine– residents in these cities have to put up with more disadvantages than most.

Sure, fast internet, spacious apartments, take-out, and beautiful parks don’t make up for the lack of human contact and everyday normality– but they definitely help. So everyone spare some sympathy for the people in tiny apartments waiting for Tiger King to stop buffering or trying to socially distance in crowded parks.

The Worst Cities To Be Quarantined

City Parkland_Per_1K_People Internet(%) Apartment_Size Take_Out_Options
Newark, NJ 3 37 707 658
Hialeah, Fl 90.0% 52 825 243
Paterson, NJ 6 49 562 664
Buffalo, NY 7 49 782 701
Laredo, TX 5 33 922 76
Tuscon, AZ 8 65 762 375
Cleveland, OH 7 47 796 997
Arlington, TX 12 32 818 582
McAllen, TX 3 61 915 175
Boston, MA 7 40 817 1,219
Wichita, KS 12 67 787 319
Detroit, MI 8 45 791 1,431
Toledo, OH 11 69 811 161
Philadelphia, PA 6 38 801 1,856
Mesa, Arizona 5 69 818 600
Milwaukee, WI 10 58 852 415
Fresno, CA 5 63 892 404
Minneapolis, MN 12 50 785 1,141
Baton Rogue, Louisiana 5 62 944 284
Riverside, CA 11 54 846 591
Washington DC 12 38 736 1,660
Durham, NC 10 28 935 439
Baltimore, MD 7 57 818 1,295
Norfolk, VA 7 58 881 609
Fort Wayne, IN 9 68 876 165
Chicago, IL 4 64 733 4,778
Lubbock, TX 9 65 902 188
Irving, TX 8 68 848 531
St. Louis, MO 11 59 833 739
Kansas City, KS 36 58 792 581
Corpus Christi, TX 26 62 843 203
El Paso, TX 43 59 812 438
Lincoln, NE 13 56 942 200
Winston-Salem, NC 15 63 920 10
Long Beach, CA 6 71 801 1,218
New York City, NY 4 70 733 3,669
Tulsa, OK 22 63 820 598
Hayward, CA 11 70 819 597
Chula Vista, CA 8 76 874 199
Reno, NV 13 70 838 341
Greensboro, NC 26 40 937 193
Miami, FL 3 54 879 3,178
Memphis, TN 13 57 917 474
Alburquerque, NM 48 65 810 456
Sacramento, CA 10 71 820 777
Portland, OR 23 42 802 1,717
Anchorage, AK 2,992 76 697 155
Pittsburgh, PA 11 70 811 861
Santa Ana, CA 2 66 863 1,916
Fort Worth, TX 14 65 859 591
Cincinnati, Ohio 22 39 869 1,030
Richmond, VA 9 69 868 767
St. Paul, MN 16 64 825 910
Bakersfield, CA 14 70 870 345
San Francisco, CA 6 78 737 2,344
Boise, ID 19 69 881 198
Oakland, CA 9 71 792 1,440
Los Angeles, CA 9 69 771 3,885
St. Petersburg, FL 24 72 862 129
Seattle, WA 9 81 711 1,336
Honolulu, HI 34 71 544 803
Indianapolis, IN 13 62 878 1,054
Anaheim, CA 7 71 842 1,281
Aurora, CO 29 72 821 408
Colorado Springs, CO 24 77 822 387
Charlotte, NC 13 50 948 959
Glendale, CA 8 64 865 3,045
Denver, CO 9 74 832 1,193
Madison, WI 26 80 842 254
Phoenix, AZ 31 66 783 1,541
Lexington-Fayette, KY 14 74 903 325
Oklahoma, OK 40 65 848 705
New Orleans, LA 71 56 871 861
Columbus, OH 18 63 887 1,032
Dallas, TX 21 63 837 2,645
Henderson, NV 32 54 970 624
Louisville, KY 23 66 929 621
Chandler, AZ 6 82 922 910
Fremont, CA 106 87 684 782
Gilbert, AZ 5 88 969 778
Omaha, NE 24 71 928 462
Chesapeake, VA 233 71 980 144
Nashville-Davidson, TN 52 69 889 996
Atlanta, GA 11 67 987 2,697
San Antonio, TX 20 82 847 1,298
Plano, TX 15 69 940 1,357
Tampa, FL 14 71 920 1,238
Las Vegas, NV 26 68 884 1,755
Jacksonville, Fl 74 67 959 770
Orlando, Fl 10 73 949 1,596
Austin, TX 22 80 859 1,564
Raleigh, NC 29 79 962 550
San Jose, CA 15 81 879 1,458
Chandler, AZ 23 82 922 910
Virginia Beach, VA 54 81 973 540
San Diego, CA 34 80 848 2,463
Las Vegas, NV 70 71 884 1,755
Irvine, CA 39 86 912 1,695
Scottsdale, AZ 124 81 946 1,060
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