Mississippi is slated to become the worst state in the country for new cases of COVID — morgues are overflowing, ICU beds are full, and people with other health emergencies are having to travel out of state because the healthcare system is overwhelmed. The poorest state in the union, Mississippi already struggles with a population in poor health, exacerbating the effects of the current pandemic and reflecting a situation being experienced across rural America. Experts and residents are terrified that the right precautions aren’t being taken to curb the spread — from the opening of schools to a lack of a state-wide mask mandate. How did Mississippi get to this place — where it’s eclipsing hotspots like New York, Florida and California despite months to have learned from their examples — and can the tide be turned?
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