Surging Virus Cases Get A Shrug In Many Midwestern Towns

Danny Rice, 67, discusses the coronavirus in his auto repair shop in downtown Elmwood, Nebraska, on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. Rice has continued his life as normal during the pandemic, even though he recognizes that the virus is potentially dangerous for high-risk people, including him. (AP Photo/Grant Schulte)

(AP) — The biggest reason coronavirus infections are soaring in the Midwest isn’t because residents don’t understand the dangers of the virus or how to protect themselves. It’s because many of them aren’t that concerned. In much of the region, as in other pockets of the country, people look at statistics showing most people quickly recover from the virus and ask, why should I stop living my life the way I want to avoid catching an illness that won’t hurt me much anyway? The perception, coupled with a lack of government mandates requiring masks and other safety precautions, is a huge concern for local public health officials. They worry that soaring caseloads will soon overwhelm their hospitals.


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