Doug Ekeren, president of Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton, says that a modified model predicts a peak of about 132,000 to 133,000 South Dakotans outside of Sioux Falls suffering from coronavirus around July 4. Ekeren predicts an early July peak of 13,200 positive infections in his hospital’s seven-county service area. The Avera Yankton chief says the peak will pick up steam in the second week of June and run through the third week of July.
And that’s in East River, six hours away from where maskless contagion meister Donald Trump and his increasingly nervous entourage will make their unnecessary campaign travel to Mount Rushmore on July 3. Keystone, even amidst its economic woes, isn’t looking forward to being at the pointy end of all those Trumpy disease vectors:
President Trump’s plan to attend a fireworks display July 3 at Mount Rushmore National Memorial has some people worried in the small tourist town at the base of the mountain.
Lynette Gohsman is the president of the town board of Keystone, population 337. She said past fireworks shows at Mount Rushmore filled her town with visitors. This time, she worries the visitors might bring COVID-19.
“I think we’re all concerned about that,” Gohsman said [Seth Tupper, “Keystone Braces for COVID Threat from Rushmore Fireworks Crowd,” SDPB, 2020.05.11].
Hmm… maybe a big White House trip, during a coronavirus peak, drawing thousands of visitors to to a town that can only afford to rent 12 porta-potties isn’t the best idea. Besides, the show won’t be that fun anyway if only a lucky few get to attend and they all have to watch from their cars:
In the governor’s office, Senior Adviser and Policy Director Maggie Seidel said options for preventing the spread of COVID-19 are being considered. One option is making a limited number of tickets to the fireworks show available through a lottery.
“What if the restriction is that people can watch exclusively from their cars? What if they have to practice social distancing? What if it’s just TV only?” Seidel said [Tupper, 2020.05.11].
Donald, maybe you should just go to Kristi’s mansion and watch the fireworks on TV like the rest of us. Or maybe you could watch together live on Fox from her private video studio! You could put the fireworks up on the green screen behind you, pretend you’re there, and offer color commentary!