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COVID-19 Is Not a Hoax, and It’s Not Just in the Cities

Yes, there are some who still believe that this virus is a hoax. Really?

I suppose that if there are people who can be convinced to believe in the QAnon conspiracy theories, then believing that the coronavirus is a hoax is also not too far-fetched, just as much as some think and say that COVID-19 is the same as the flu. I don't think I've ever heard of the flu attacking the brain, which is one of the possible complications from COVID-19.

People measure risk by their own personal experiences, so in the early spring when New York City was getting hammered, there were other parts of the nation, including governors who said, "We're not New York City!" A true statement, but being in a metropolitan area or out on a farm does not protect you as an individual any more than any other disease that latches onto your body. 

So today, this is what the "fake news" New York Times is sharing below about the latest region of the nation to get their turn in the COVID-19 barrel. 


Cases are surging in America’s breadbasket

After savaging the Northeast in the spring and the South and the West this summer, the virus is now devastating another region in the United States — the Midwest and Great Plains.


From Wisconsin to Montana, states in the nation’s breadbasket had mostly avoided large outbreaks during the initial months of the pandemic. Now, many hospitals in the region are filling to capacity and cases and deaths are on the rise.

In the past week, North Dakota has reported more new cases per capita than any other state. Hospitalizations have risen so sharply that medical officials have had to send patients miles away for care, even across state lines to Montana and South Dakota. On Monday, across the entire state, just 39 staffed I.C.U. beds were available.


In Wisconsin, the virus is raging out of control. Three of the four metropolitan areas in the U.S. with the most cases per capita last week were in northeastern Wisconsin, and hospital systems in the state are becoming overwhelmed. Officials opened a field hospital today in Milwaukee.

Health experts say the recent spike in cases was driven by young adults and the reopening of colleges and K-12 schools. Thousands of cases have been linked to Midwestern universities, and the scale of the outbreaks, given the relatively small populations of states like South and North Dakota, has had outsize effects.


The virus took its time to reach frightening levels in the region, which is why public health officials say they’re having trouble convincing people that the situation is urgent. There’s a general fatigue over wearing masks and social distancing, and regulations aimed at slowing the spread of the virus in the region have been met with resistance. But as cases and deaths continue to climb, health officials like Vern Dosch, who leads contact tracing efforts for North Dakota, hope that the public will start to take the virus more seriously.

“If there’s anything that should get our population’s attention, it’s this: how perilously close we are to the edge,” Mr. Dosch said.


Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.
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