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The Worst Cities to Be Quarantined In, Ranked

Norfolk, Virginia

Norfolk is a pretty small city geographically, but the city has over 242,000 residents. Sure, they have a lot of parks, but it breaks down to be seven parks per 1,000 residents. Can you say overcrowded? A total of 58% of those who live in Norfolk have internet access, which means many people aren't able to work from home or do schoolwork during quarantine!

The plus side of living here is that apartments are 881 square feet, larger than some on the list. The average rent isn't too bad for a major city. RentCafe lists it to be a little over $1,000 per month. Finally, there are 609 places to grab takeout. At least they can eat good!

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Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Considering coronavirus's spread in Louisiana, you can bet that those places aren't a great place to be right now. Just looking at the stats, it's easy to see why the virus spread even for those who took precautions. Baton Rouge only has five parks per 1,000 people, so overcrowding is impossible to avoid.

There are also only 284 places for takeout. For a city of over 200,000 residents, that's ridiculous. That's like 700 people per restaurant. The only thing Baton Rouge has to offer is a larger-than-average apartment at 944 square feet. RentCafe published the average rent to be around $1,026.

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Durham, North Carolina

Durham has the worst internet access on the whole list at 28% of its population. Not even a third of the people can go online, do their schoolwork, or stream TV shows. Can you imagine? There are also only 10 parks per 1,000 people. We expected it to be higher since online entertainment is pretty much zero.

Durham's apartments are a spacious 935 square feet, and the rent isn't too much — $1,181 per month, according to RentCafe. If these residents get hungry, they have minimal options for food. There are over 274,000 people that live there and only 439 restaurants. That's over 600 people per restaurant.

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Wichita, Kansas

Wichita has some advantages and disadvantages. Residents get to enjoy being online, as 67% of the population has access to the internet. They pretty much have to have Netflix if they want to do anything. There are a mere 12 parks per 1,000 people, which is certainly not great for a place surrounded by land.

Apartments are an average size of 787 square feet. RentCafe found that rent in the city is just $665. Now that's a fantastic price that big metropolises can only dream about. Finally, Wichita has 319 places to grab takeout. Not great, but better than some cities on the list.

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Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore is one of America's biggest cities, but it seems large cities are the worst ones to be quarantined in! Only 57% of Baltimore residents have internet access. If they're bored, they could go to the park, but it'll be crowded. There are only seven parks per 1,000 residents.

The average apartment is rather large at 818 square feet, but they'll pay $1,283 per month, according to RentCafe. It looks like they have a lot of restaurants, 1,295, but the city has over 618,000 residents. That equates to 400 people per restaurant.

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Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis has one thing going for it: parks. There are 12 parks per 1,000 residents, so that's beneficial. However, those who have internet access drops down to 50%. Maybe it's due to the fact that rent is outrageously high.

RentCafe lists the average rent at $1,588, which is awful for an apartment the size of 785. People in the city likely have to have roommates at this price. We're not too sure why Minneapolis is so expensive, especially compared to cities in California! The plus side is that there are 1,141 places to grab takeout, so there is that.

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Fort Wayne, Indiana

Not many people want to be quarantined in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Despite there being 267,000 residents, there are only nine parks per 1,000 people. Unlike some major cities on this list, Fort Wayne has pretty good internet connectivity. Around 68% of the residents have access to the web or streaming capabilities.

The average apartment size is average, if not a little on the larger side at 876 square feet. RentCafe even lists the rent to be $800, so there's a good chance that people live on their own (aka without a roommate). Another big drawback is the available restaurants for takeout. There are 165, which isn't much for such a huge place. By the time you get your food, it'll be cold!

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McAllen, Texas

McAllen is one of the most populated cities in America, but that doesn't mean it's a great place for quarantine. Internet access is a mere 61% of the population, which should be better for a huge state (and city). Those who live there can't really go to the park, either. There are only three parks per 1,000 residents – not good for anyone that wants a little sun.

Thankfully, apartments are huge. They're approximately 915 square feet, and RentCafe found the rent was $1,046. Because there are only 175 places to grab takeout, we're guessing people who live in McAllen cook pretty much every night. 

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Tucson, Arizona

We feel a little bad for the people in Tucson. The average apartment size is just 762, and RentCafe says the rent is around $920 per month. Considering how expensive Tucson is, we can't imagine incomes go very far. The city has eight parks per 1,000 people, and they'll need it to get out of their tiny apartments.

There are some benefits to living in the city, however. Zippia states that 65% of Tucson's residents have internet access. They can chill in their rooms, which may be preferable considering how hot Arizona is. They also have 375 places to grab food. That's shockingly low for a city that has a population of nearly 546,000.

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Detroit, Michigan

Detroit probably should have ranked higher on "worst places to be quarantined," but the study didn't take crime rate into account. That being said, the city still didn't rank too well. Internet access is as low as 45%, so it's difficult for kids to go to school through distance learning.

The average apartment size is 791 square feet for over $1,000 per month. There's nowhere to get away since there are just eight parks per 1,000 people. The only benefit is that this city has a massive 1,431 takeout options.

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin

There are better places to be than Milwaukee during quarantine. The city has 10 parks per 1,000 residents, but it's Wisconsin. Why isn't that number higher? The state certainly has the space. The percentage of those who have access to the internet is surprisingly high at 58%, much higher than major metropolises. Still, it could be a little higher.

Rent in Milwaukee is a lot more than we'd expect, as well. RentCafe lists the average rent for an apartment to be $1,193! The apartments are at least pretty big at 852 square feet, but at that price, people may need roommates. There are also only 415 places for takeout, so the wait times would be substantial.

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Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. is one of the most surprising on this list for one reason: the percentage of people with internet access is 38%. The very place where our government sits can't even manage a 50% internet access percentage. There are many parks, about 12 per 1,000 residents, and 1,660 takeout options. If anything, they can eat good food.

Rent in Washington, D.C. is absurdly high. The average apartment size is 736, but the rent is $2,234 per month. That means people likely have one or two roommates. This city would be absolutely dreadful to be quarantined in.

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Mesa, Arizona

Arizona is big, so why on earth does Mesa only have five parks per 1,000 people? The city needs to invest some money in its parks and recreation. There are over 500,000 people there! At least most of the residents have internet. Zippia found that up to 69% of people have access to the web and streaming services.

Apartments there are sizable at 818 square feet, but renters are going to pay for that. RentCafe lists the average rent for a Mesa apartment to be over $1,000 per month. As far as takeout options are concerned, Mesa seems like it has quite a few at 600, but we want to reiterate that the city has over 500,000 people.

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

We get that Philadelphia is small, but six parks per 1,000 people seem like a bit too little. Couple that with the fact that the city has approximately 1.5 million people (via the U.S. Census), and you have an overcrowding issue. Even worse, only 38% of Philly's residents have internet!

The rent there is also extremely expensive. The average apartment is just 818 square feet, and RentCafe lists the price tag as over $1,600. Overall, Philly sounds like a pretty bad place to quarantine. The only plus side is that the city has over 1,800 places for takeout.

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Toledo, Ohio

Toledo could be worse, but there are some places where the city definitely has drawbacks. The most obvious is that it only has 11 parks per 1,000 people, meaning outdoor activities will almost always be crowded. Next up is that there are only 161 places to grab takeout. That doesn't really leave a ton of options, and all of them will be crowded.

Internet access throughout the city is up to 69%. That could certainly be higher since there isn't much to do in Toledo, but at least it isn't like some of the other cities on this list. The biggest benefit is that the apartment size is 811 square feet on average, and RentCafe found that rent is just $730 per month. At least residents of Toledo have plenty of space to sit at home!

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Riverside, California

Riverside sounds like a really nice place to live until you see the stats. Sure, there's sun all the time, but there are only 11 parks per 1,000 people. The city has a population of over 330,000, equating to tons of overcrowding. There are also only 591 takeout options (or over 500 people per restaurant).

The percentage of residents that have access to the internet is a mere 54%. Even though California is so expansive, the average apartment is 846 square feet. While that seems pretty big, the rent (according to RentCafe) is $1,613 per month, and it's increasing faster than other cities on this list. That means roommates!

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Boston, Massachusetts

Boston has a lot of stuff going for it, like takeout options. The city has over 1,219 places to eat. Whatever you want, you can have it. It also has fairly large apartments at 817 square feet on average. Sadly, that's where all the advantages of Boston end.

Rent in the city is $3,432, so we're guessing everyone has a roommate, if not two or three. To get away from roommates, people can go to the park but expect it to be crowded. Boston has seven parks per 1,000 people. Residents can't distract themselves with streaming, either, because only 40% have access.

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Arlington, Texas

What's going on in Texas? Hardly anyone has internet! As few as 32% of Arlington's residents have access to the world wide web. They're likely spending all their extra time outside in crowded parks. Arlington has 12 parks per 1,000 people.

Apartments are also pretty big at around 818. Rent for this space is a little over $1,000 (via RentCafe), which is a lot better than some of the other major cities where people are quarantined. Arlington falls a behind for places to eat at 582, which means overcrowding for someone wanting takeout.

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Cleveland, Ohio

Considering Cleveland being such a major city in Ohio, we honestly expected that more than 47% of its residents would have internet. We also expected more parks, but there are only seven per 1,000 residents.

Things aren't getting better when you see the size of the average apartment. They're approximately 796 square feet, and it isn't uncommon for someone to pay upwards of $1,100 for the tiny place (according to RentCafe). Another thing that was a little shocking was that Cleveland has nearly 1,000 places to eat – more than other major cities!

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Laredo, Texas

Everything is bigger in Texas....kind of. The average apartment size is pretty impressive. Most people live in an apartment that's over 900 square feet. Even better, the rent is pretty cheap at only $837 per month (via Rent Jungle). That likely means most people don't need a roommate to make ends meet.

Now for the downside: only around 33% of people have internet access in Laredo. Let that sink in. A third of the people can't watch Netflix or browse the internet. They can go to the park, but there are only about five parks per 1,000 people in the city. Another drawback is that there are only 76 places to order takeout.

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Buffalo, New York

Buffalo is notoriously expensive. RentCafe found that the average rent for an apartment in this city is $1,070 per month for a place that's a little over 780 square feet. That's not too great for someone that needs a roommate. We'd say they could entertain themselves with streaming platforms or online games, but only around 49% of Buffalo residents have internet.

Well, they can go to the park, we guess? There are seven parks per 1,000 residents. That could be how the pandemic spread so quickly throughout the state—too few parks for those who live there. Guess the only thing to do is eat, which is good because there are over 700 places to grab a bite. 

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Paterson, New Jersey

New Jersey seems to be an overall bad place to be during the pandemic. There are six parks per 1,000 people, which is pretty disappointing for such a populated state. Only 49% of the people in the city have internet, and they're stuck in apartments that are 562 square feet on average.

The average rent there is pretty expensive, being around $1,062 (according to Rent Jungle). That means roommates in a 500 square foot area. Like other eastern cities, there are plenty of takeout options, thankfully. Paterson has over 660 takeout options, so at least they can get some good food while stuck at home.

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Hialeah, Florida

You'd think that Florida would have tons of open area and parks for its residents, but nope. Hialeah actually ranked as one of the worst places in the nation because it lacks parks. There are only 0.9 parks per 1,000 residents – the smallest amount in the whole United States. So much for being outside and enjoying the sun.

About 52% of Hialeah's residents have internet, which has to be tough for those that can't go to a park and have no internet for entertainment. Those who live there apparently have to be cooks as there are only 243 takeout options. The only plus is that the average apartment size is 825 square feet, a little larger than others on the list. Still, RentCafe lists rent being above $1,300 on average, making it more expensive than New Jersey cities.

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Newark, New Jersey

Newark was overwhelmingly the worst place to live during the pandemic. The percentage of people with internet was a mere 37%. We're not sure how people live without internet! Worse yet, the average apartment size is just 707 square feet. That's painfully tiny.

RentCafe listed the average rent as $1,218, so we're guessing roommates are common. If Newark residents wanted to go outside, there are only about three parks per 1,000 people – meaning every park will be overcrowded. The only benefit of living there are around 650 places to get takeout.

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Fresno, California

Ah, California. Most people picture perfect weather and sun, right? Well, residents of Fresno just see overcrowded parks. There are only five parks per 1,000 people. Fresno should be ashamed. A total of 63% of the residents have internet access, which is better than some.

Apartments in Fresno are really sizable, so that's a plus. The square footage sits at 892, and the rent is much cheaper than some would imagine. RentCafe lists it to be approximately $1,131 – not cheap, but certainly not New York. California is usually considered the haven of food, but Fresno didn't get the memo. There are only 404 places to eat. That's fewer than some Midwestern towns!

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