The Mississippi Delta and other rural areas in the state are being hardest hit by the pandemic. Already isolated from decent health care, many who live in Mississippi suffer from a litany of health problems that make them prey to COVID-19 if they become infected. Many deaths in Mississippi from COVID-19 have been in rural Mississippi counties—where hospitals have disappeared and where high-risk illnesses make the coronavirus even deadlier.
Marcy Mills' 81-year-old father, Albert Bender Jr., a crash firefighter in the Navy, was one of 13 residents at the Mississippi State Veterans home in Kosciusko, Mississippi, to die after testing positive for COVID-19.
After the pandemic forced Magee General Hospital to cut elective care, which six months ago accounted for two-thirds of its revenue, the hospital must confront a pandemic that has been the latest battle for survival for rural hospitals around the country.