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KATIE ZERR: Fulkerson’s words hit the nail on the headFree Access

There are people who just know what to say when it comes to these kinds of situations we are now facing in our nation, state and community.
Other people go about it in the wrong manner.
It is easy to condemn actions by others when you will take none. It is easy to complain and do nothing to make life better. It is easy to want others to sacrifice when you will not do it.
It would be easy for me in this space to find the words that hit hard on some, yet let the words and actions of others slide. I will not do that during this time, in this space.
This week, it was pointed out to me that Mobridge resident Bob Fulkerson hit the nail on the head with his words on Facebook.
After I read what Bob had posted, I knew what I would say could not hit home as well as what Bob had written.
After a great conversation with him, he gave me permission to share it with those who are not Facebook people.

“Dear people of Mobridge, you know how when there is a hurricane coming to Florida, the people don’t leave or prepare, and we sit back from the northern plains and judge them. Well, now is our hurricane moment, like it or not this thing is real, that number on CDC site is giving you a false sense of confidence. Right now, I feel like we are staring at the hurricane and saying, but it is sunny and 75. We are good! The storm is coming, but just like a hurricane, what we have to do is simple. Stock up on supplies and get out of its way. For us getting out of its way means staying home. Let’s do it before we are ordered to. When that happens, we are too late, it is all over the news every time it is being done too late.
Our churches are closed, our schools are closed, the city hall closed, courthouse closed. Bars, restaurants, or other noncritical businesses still open? To these business owners, I beg you don’t wait for someone from the city, state, or fed to tell you what to do. You are the leaders in our community. You know what is the right thing to do. I have seen you do it time and time again. I have seen you step up and care for our community members, fundraisers, volunteering, whatever it is. You are givers every one of you. Our community needs you to give again, but that giving right now looks like closing down, or move to take out only with pick-up done at the curb. I know you don’t want to lose your business. I know you want to stay open as long as possible to serve the community. However, look at what is happening in the larger cities if you think we are immune. The sooner we do it, the better off we will all be.
I would like to point out that there are only 15 beds available in MRH and 30 percent of our population is over the age of 60. We have roughly 3,500 people in town so that is 1,050 people. Now let’s just imagine that a meager percentage of them get this around the same time and just need hospitalization. How about 3 percent? That is 31.5 people. I will even round it down to 31 people. This is six more people than beds in MRH. These numbers only come from 3 percent of the highest risk group. We are the largest hospital for 100 miles in any direction. The other hospitals that we usually go to when we are seriously ill are highly likely to be full. Now please, I beg you to think about someone you know in this town that is over the age of 60 that you care for and ask yourself what their life is worth to you?”
– Bob Fulkerson, Mobridge

Thank you Bob for being a voice of reason and for being straight forward and logical.
As our community leaders have said recently, we will get through this. We will because we are South Dakotans and we take care of one another.
Remember to check on your neighbors, family and friends, and lend a hand up when it is needed.

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