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March 26, 2020

Rural America watches pandemic erupt in cities as fear grows

  • Residents fear economic collapse in places where jobs were already tough to come by.
  • By GILLIAN FLACCUS
    Associated Press

    DUFUR, Ore. — The social distancing rules repeated like a mantra in America's urban centers, where the coronavirus is spreading exponentially, might seem silly in wide-open places where neighbors live miles apart and “working from home” means another day spent branding calves or driving a tractor alone through a field.

    But as the pandemic spreads through the U.S., those living in rural areas, too, are increasingly threatened. Tiny towns tucked into Oregon's windswept plains and cattle ranches miles from anywhere in South Dakota might not have had a single case of the new coronavirus, but their main streets are also empty and their medical clinics overwhelmed by the worried.


     
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