Minnehaha County has caught up with Beadle County in the number of confirmed covid-19 cases in South Dakota. Throw in Lincoln County’s first case, and the Sioux Falls metro now has 14 cases, one more than the Huron metro’s 13 cases.
An acquaintance who hadn’t read that news today noted with interest that Beadle County was leading the state in cases of the coronavirus and noted with even more apparent interest that the population there includes a number of immigrants who work at the turkey plant.
Huron is made up of a diverse community, with over twenty-five percent of our population being from a different ethnicity. As the City of Huron has always welcomed our diverse community, we as community leaders continue to work with our different ethnic associations to manage the COVID-19 pandemic we all are facing. We as a community are in this battle together and are working with our neighbors who are battling the pandemic. This pandemic does not discriminate against anyone.
The South Dakota Department of Health verified to city officials all the positive Covid-19 cases in Beadle County are Caucasian.
We as a community are in this battle together. We need to work together as a community, neighbor helping neighbor.
We want to remind our citizens of social distancing and follow the guidance from your elected officials and Center for Disease Control, as we all deal with this pandemic [Mayor Paul Aylward, public statement, posted by Performance Radio, 2020.03.24].
Since early this month, Dakota Provisions has been ordering its turkey cutters, two-thirds of whom came to this country much more recently than the rest of us, to stay home for two weeks if they travel overseas.
One of those sick white folks from Huron may be helping quash other unhelpful rumors among his Trumpistani neighbors:
When the family of state legislator Bob Glanzer, a Republican from Huron, announced he had been airlifted to a hospital in Sioux Falls to be treated for COVID-19, many took heed.
Michelle Gascoigne, 61, said some of her Facebook friends had been spreading rumors that it was all an overblown hoax pushed by Democrats. She said she hasn’t seen posts like that since Glanzer was hospitalized [Stephen Groves, “State’s COVID-19 Hotbed, Huron Reveals Anxiety and Resolve,” AP via U.S. News and World Report, 2020.03.25].
If anyone is still harboring fantasies that this very real and universally threatening pandemic is being overblown, Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender would like to straighten you out:
Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender did not mince words at a Wednesday news conference on how important it is for residents to practice personal responsibility in a time of a public health crisis.
“The overall assessment, and this is an opinion on my part, is that the public is just not taking this issue seriously enough,” Allender said. “We are standing around, sitting around waiting for this to be over sometime in the next few days, perhaps. We are irritated that businesses are closed. Some are outwardly defying the social distance recommendations and are offering to have parties where they defy all of these things.
“One common comment from citizens is that government shouldn’t run our lives and I’m going to take my chances. This is a lot of narrow-mindedness on this particular disease. You’re welcome to take your chances, but you’re not welcome to infect the rest of us who are trying to be safe” [Nathan Thompson, “Mayor Allender Urges Residents to Take Coronavirus More Seriously,” Rapid City Journal, 2020.03.25].
Listen to Mayors Aylward and Allender. Read real news, not rumors, and covid-19 and the measures to stop it seriously.