ARCADIA, WI—Saying they took comfort in the knowledge that things were unlikely to get any worse, residents of a small town in western Wisconsin expressed relief Friday that all of their beloved local businesses had been forced to close down long before Covid-19 struck.

“I can’t imagine how heartbreaking it would be if all the establishments that formed the bedrock of this community were still open and got driven out of business by the coronavirus,” said Arcadia native Mike McKay, 33, explaining that area boutiques, restaurants, bars, and coffee shops remained completely unscathed by the deadly pandemic because they no longer existed.

“We’re very fortunate that mask mandates and restrictions on large gatherings didn’t change much about life here. We don’t really have any town gathering spots anymore, and with so many people leaving here to look for work in other places, there isn’t anyone left to gather, anyway. I guess we really dodged a bullet.”

McKay added that the small town didn’t have to worry about overflowing emergency rooms either, because its only hospital shut down years ago.

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