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In the Shadow of America's Smokestacks, Virus Is One More Deadly Risk [nytimes.com]

 

By Hiroko Tabuchi, The New York Times, May 17, 2020

This isn’t the first time Vicki Dobbins’s town has been forced to shelter in place.

Last year, the Marathon Petroleum refinery that looms over her neighborhood near Detroit emitted a pungent gas, causing nausea and dizziness among neighbors and prompting health officials to warn people to stay inside. When a stay-at-home advisory returned in March, this time for the coronavirus, “it was just devastating,” Ms. Dobbins said.

Ms. Dobbins, who is 76, later contracted Covid-19, and spent two weeks on oxygen in intensive care. Now she has a question. “Do the polluters in our area make us more susceptible to asthma, bronchitis, heart failure, cancers?” she asked. “Is the virus just going to be one of the ones added to that list?”

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