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'Protect Each Other': A Doctor's Message From The Coronavirus Surge

Frontline healthcare workers work at a drive-in COVID-19 testing site amid a surge of COVID-19 cases in El Paso on November 13, 2020. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Frontline healthcare workers work at a drive-in COVID-19 testing site amid a surge of COVID-19 cases in El Paso on November 13, 2020. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

South Dakota family doctor Tom Dean knows his community well — he’s been in practice there for 42 years. And he’s seen a lot in that time. But nothing like COVID. We get a South Dakota family physician’s message for his patients, his community and his state.  


Dr. Tom Dean, family physician in Wessington Springs, South Dakota.

Jackie Hendry, health care reporter at South Dakota Public Broadcasting. (@JackieHendrySD)

Nick Wendell, Brookings City Council member. Executive director of the South Dakota Board of Technical Education.

From The Reading List

Associated Press: “Surging virus cases get a shrug in many Midwestern towns” — “Danny Rice has a good sense of how dangerous the coronavirus can be.”

True Dakotan: “Do the basics. Protect each other. Avoid unnecessary risk.” — “So, where do we stand with regard to this evil virus? The answer is – not good. For the last two weeks North and South Dakota have led the nation in the number of new cases per capita. To make matters even worse, the number of deaths has steadily gone up.”

Washington Post: “‘Election Day is over, and guess what?’” — “Election Day is over, and guess what? The virus is still here. It didn’t just go away like the president said. We’re not rounding any corners. Nobody I know in South Dakota stopped talking about it because the voting is done. How could we? It’s right in our faces. It’s spreading. It keeps getting worse.”

SDPB: “Sioux Falls Leaders Consider Role of Businesses in COVID-19 Prevention” — “Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken is calling on businesses to set the tone for stronger COVID-19 mitigation efforts. He recently expressed frustration with the local Chamber of Commerce.”

Associated Press: “Doctors fear more death as Dakotas experience virus ‘sorrow’” — “With coronavirus cases running rampant in the Dakotas and elected leaders refusing to forcefully intervene, the burden of pushing people to take the virus seriously has increasingly been put on the families of those who have died.”

NPR: “COVID-19 Hospitalizations Surge In Dakotas: ‘It’s Like We Opened Up A Spigot’” — “Hospitals are nearing capacity in North and South Dakota, two states where coronavirus has hit disproportionately hard for their small population size and where cases continue to rise daily.”

The Atlantic: “‘No One Is Listening to Us’” — “On Saturday morning, Megan Ranney was about to put on her scrubs when she heard that Joe Biden had won the presidential election.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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