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At the epicenter of the pandemic / Louisiana
We are in the eye of a perfect storm. The new hotspot of the pandemic is down here in Louisiana, and for weeks the spotlight of America has been focused on us. We are the testing grounds of the disaster that threatens to overtake the entire South. New Orleans is the epicenter. Here the mortality rate comes close to that of New York City and hospitals are overwhelmed. The contagion started at the Mardi Gras parades that attracted 1.5 million visitors in February. From there, it made its way northbound all the way to Shreveport, the city where I live. Few people had heard of Shreveport, until it jumped to national headlines as the test case the US was waiting for. Shreveport is neither a touristic destination nor a hidden gem. It had its moment of glory at the end of the 19th century as a port on the Red River and now is the capital of a small rural region. Its main attractions are the big casinos along the river. People come here for shopping, college classes, and medical appointments. Other than that, it is an anywhere spot in the myriad of small towns and villages that compose the heartland of America. The failure of the richest country in the...