To the Editor:

Among the saddest things when it comes to the coronavirus is the way we have disregarded the health of our elderly population. They are the most vulnerable and most likely to die once infected with COVID.

Eight out of 10 COVID-19 deaths reported in the U.S. have been in adults 65 years and older, according to the CDC. These are our parents, grandparents, war veterans.

The father of a family friend died on Oct. 8, at a nursing home in southeast South Dakota that is overwhelmed with COVID patients. A Korean War veteran, a Purple Heart recipient in his early 90's. All it can do is make you feel sad and hopeless, like there's nothing you can do to stop it.

He lives nearly 100 years and his life is taken early because we've decided we're too selfish to wear a mask in public or take the necessary precautions. Shameful.

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Seven months into this pandemic and the numbers are as high as ever. After several weeks of leading the nation in new COVID cases per capita, North Dakota has now been passed by South Dakota, as of Oct. 8. We're number 1.

It's very irritating to be continually told by those in leadership positions in South Dakota and the rest of the country that they are following the science and data when it comes to COVID, when they are clearly not.

It is also maddening to be told by those same failed leaders to "stay safe and take extra precautions. Together, we'll get through this," as the dead bodies continue to pile up.

On Thursday, Oct. 8, South Dakota reported 536 new cases. That put active cases at an all-time record 4,673. Fourteen more dead as the death toll increased to 272.

When will it end? Not any time soon, as long as we continue our current path.

When will people start to care? When did we become so numb to death?

Travis Kriens

Mitchell