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Coronavirus pandemic will continue to kill people across rural America and Missouri

In a normal year, hospitals in rural southern Missouri see a lot of snakebites and rolled ankles.

These are ailments you experience canoeing in the early fall sun or ‘holding my beer and watching this’ at night, as an emergency doctor in the area who requested anonymity because he had not been authorized to speak on behalf of his hospital, told The Daily Beast.

“Obviously, this year is really different,” said the doctor, who noted that he outsources to several hospitals in the area, sometimes driving three hours from his home to serve rural communities. deal with COVID-19 epidemics. Although New York and Washington faced overwhelming hospitals and piles of body bags in March, the Missouri doctor told the Daily Beast he only treated a coronavirus-positive patient in May.

Things slowly picked up at first, but the past six weeks have been a test of courage for the doctor, his nurses, respiratory therapists and the staff at their facility. And no matter who wins in a presidential election that has seen few campaigns in this former swing state, the scale of the suffering and loss of life here – coupled with lingering skepticism about the pandemic – demonstrates the sheer size of the hole in which the country still has to dig itself.

“I look dirty when I walk into the gas station with a mask,” the doctor said. “It’s just unfathomable the mismatch between being one of the worst areas for COVID, when people who aren’t necessarily healthy to start with always act like there’s absolutely nothing going on.

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