COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents are surging and hospitals are overwhelmed with new coronavirus cases which is causing staff shortages, particularly in rural hospitals. Believe it or not, Monterey County is considered rural, with much of the South County spread out and this is where the majority of COVID-19 cases are occurring. We have had nursing home outbreaks in Carmel, Monterey, Salinas and Watsonville. “Nursing homes are not isolated from what happens in the community,” Carrie Henning-Smith, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, told The Wall Street Journal. Facilities in rural counties reported 18% of nursing home COVID-19 deaths in the week ended November 1, although they housed only 10% of the overall population. Please, please, take this season off and call off Thanksgiving with friends and family. Many health officials are extremely concerned that this holiday season is going to cause a new surge in cases.