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At Tiny Rural Hospitals, Weary Doctors Treat Friends, Family

MEMPHIS, Mo. (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic is devastating rural hospitals, including the tiny 25-bed facility in Memphis, Missouri. People come from six surrounding counties for basic care at Scotland County Hospital. No beds are available and nurses are often working 24 extra hours a week. Larger hospitals nearby are full, too, so it’s difficult to transfer patients needing more critical care. Doctors and nurses say the struggle is made worse when people in the community continue to downplay the virus, with some calling it a hoax. Yet the situation is so dire that doctors sometimes have to send infected people home, telling them to come back if their condition worsens.