Surging virus cases get a shrug in many Midwestern towns

By GRANT SCHULTE Associated Press

ELMWOOD, Neb. (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, some look at statistics showing that 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 probably 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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