When Covid-19 came for their community, these Choctaw tribal members mobilized to feed and protect families
April 1, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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When news of the Covid-19 pandemic first broke, Brian Mask, a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, immediately saw the danger it posed to his tribe.
(CNN)When news of the Covid-19 pandemic first broke, Brian Mask, a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, immediately saw the danger it posed to his tribe.
Mask's friend and fellow tribal member Marsha Berry also lives on the reservation, where many families live in multi-generational homes.
While the local Choctaw Health Center was the first stop for most tribal members, helicopters flew the sicker Covid-19 patients to a hospital in Jackson, Mississippi -- about 80 miles away.
Mask has lost family members to the pandemic, including a cousin who was just three months younger than him; they shared a crib and grew up together.
Nowadays, donation requests spread mostly through word of mouth or Facebook posts, Mask said.
Mask acknowledges some tribal members are hesitant about getting the Covid-19 vaccine.
Despite all the losses, Mask and Berry say they see a silver lining in this tragedy: their drives unified tribal members to help each other while reacquainting old friends and building relationships.