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Letter: Concerns watching GF from Hawaii

Hawaii mandates wearing masks and social distancing. People here honor that mandate. It has become second nature to mask. Even the children do it automatically.

Letter to the editor FSA

I grew up in Grand Forks and graduated from North Dakota State University. As the North Dakota Covid infection cases became explosive and a daily feature of the Washington Post I started following the Grand Forks Herald news.

Following college graduation, I left North Dakota, completed medical school and graduated with a Master’s in Public Health from Harvard. With my background I’ve watched in horror as national graphs indicate that the daily North Dakota Covid cases per 100,000 people have become one of the highest in the nation.

National data allows me to compare Covid statistics where I currently live and where I grew up.

I live on the island of Kauai, a county of 72,000 people. We have had a total of 108 Covid cases and one death.

Grand Forks county also has 72,000 people. The number of Covid cases in your county is approaching 8,000 with 41 deaths.

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Hawaii mandates wearing masks and social distancing. People here honor that mandate. It has become second nature to mask. Even the children do it automatically.

I no longer live in North Dakota, but I have real concerns for friends and relatives who do live there. The initial infection may cause mild or severe symptoms but current health data shows that regardless of disease severity, a significant number of people will face long lasting disability. The high infection rate is occurring because of a refusal by some members of the community to wear a mask and practice other public health safety measures. My memory of North Dakota people is one of caring, kindness and a concern for others. There is no better time than today to show these characteristics. Please protect yourself and others by following recommended public health measures.

Mahalo.

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