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Gundersen doctor predicts “dark” winter in fight against COVID

Brad Williams

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Americans are being told by medical experts not to plan for a traditional Thanksgiving, to keep the coronavirus from spreading. 

Gundersen physician Todd Kowalski is one of those experts, and he’s not happy about downplaying the holiday.

“My traditional Thanksgiving is cramming 25 people in a room, as many around the table as we could get, and watching football,” said Kowalski.

But not in 2020: “That is not happening in my family this year…it’s not wise, and it’s not safe.”   

Dr. Kowalski says small group gatherings have helped to feed the large increase in COVID cases in the last month, and Thanksgiving dinners could cause hospital admissions to spike in the next two or three weeks.  

Gundersen had one COVID unit in La Crosse for the first six or seven months of the outbreak, but “we’ve opened a second COVID unit, and now are overflowing into a third,” said Kowalski.

However, he does believe that hospitals are better equipped to treat COVID now than they were six months ago, and he is optimistic that new vaccines will be widely available within a few weeks.         

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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