SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – October is the deadliest month of the COVID-19 pandemic for South Dakota so far with over 100 deaths reported. Behind each of the 375 total lives lost in the state is a person with a story and a family grieving.
In April, Mari Hofer and Bob Glanzer were among the first lives lost due to COVID-19 in South Dakota. Tom Glanzer is Mari’s cousin and Bob’s son.
“There’s nothing that could’ve prepared the world for what has happened in the last eight to ten months. I think if you blame a politician, I think if you blame a doctor, I think if you blame a country, it’s a massive disservice to what we’ve all gone through. It’s nobody’s fault, it’s a virus. It gets accidentally passed — we don’t blame people for the flu,” Tom Glanzer said.
Adrienne McKeown recently lost her mom, Charlotte Hoverstadt, to COVID-19.
“You never think it’s going to happen to you. You think it’s just someone else on T.V. or just a number that’s reported from the governor’s office and it’s not. It’s real people. It’s a teacher who touched lives for 32 years,” Adrienne McKeown said.
McKeown wants everyone to take the virus seriously.
“This isn’t a political issue. It’s real. It’s a real virus, the science shows it’s a real virus. It’s just very hurtful that people think it’s fake and that it’s not real people that are dying because it is real people. It was my mom,” McKeown said.
Behind the numbers reported each day are families grieving and struggling.
“We’re not the only ones that were hurt during this. And not only people that lost loved ones, but people have lost jobs, people have lost houses, people have lost a lot of life things that they’ve put into,” Tom Glanzer said.
And there will be more pain before the pandemic is done.
In Monday’s Eye on KELOLAND, Lauren Soulek will tell you more about Bob Glanzer and Charlotte Hoverstadt as we take a look behind the numbers of COVID-19. And as we continue to tell the stories, we want to hear from you. If you’re dealing with the virus now, you’ve recovered or you’ve lost a loved one — we invite you to share your story with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.