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Poor People's Caravan Rolls Through Frankfort to Mourn COVID-19 Deaths

A caravan of cars with passengers mourning the more than 250,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19 rolled through Kentucky’s capital city on Monday.

Joyce Adkins, who worked as a public health educator for 30 years until she retired in 2017, is one of the Bowling Green residents who participated in the caravan in Frankfort.

The event, held in states across the nation, was organized by The Poor People's Campaign, an organization calling for a fair stimulus package and care for the poor and sick.

Adkins said the pandemic and its impact made it important for her to join the Poor People’s Campaign event, part of the organization's Moral Monday program.

“There were 140 million poor people in this country before COVID and that has gone up by millions," said Adkins. "And there are many, many people still out of work, or some people that are just now being laid off and getting out of work.”

Adkins said she doesn’t understand the controversy that’s arisen during the pandemic.

“In my 30 years that I was in public health, obviously we had nothing like this happen, but it never would have occurred to me that people would refuse to wear a mask with something like this," said Adkins. "You know, I just would have assumed that people would want to take care of themselves, and that is not what’s happening. It's not political."

Adkins said she volunteers in community programs and sees increasing hunger and financial distress because so many people have lost jobs due to the pandemic.

There were strict rules for taking part in the caravan, to prevent the spread of the virus. Messages were expressed through signs on vehicles and participants avoided gathering outside their cars.

Several people impacted by the cornoavirus, including Bowling Green resident Darlene Branham, told their stories over a live stream during the event. 

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