Outside Looking In

Casey's crisis

After talking with Casey McCoy over the last several days, I have come to the conclusion that no one knows seems to be aware of exactly what's going on, including Casey, Togo medical personnel, physicians, guards, Casey's girlfriend and family, the U.S. Embassy personnel, and especially not me.
There can be any number of scenarios playing out in this bizarre situation, both good and bad.
McCoy (see front page story) is a Minneota graduate who now lives in Dell Rapids, SD. I have met him a couple of times and written several stories about him. The one thing I have learned through all my conversations is that he loves life and would help anyone he can.
Sitting alone in a small unsanitary room for several days, Casey expressed a concerned about a bill he owed the Mascot for an ad he had taken out. He kept insisting that he send the money through VENMO to get the bill erased from his debts.
I told him not to worry about that now. The next day we talked, it was the first thing he brought up again. Again, I had to tell him the bill was taken care of and to not worry about it anymore.
I'm not sure too many people would be concerned about a small fee they owed to a newspaper with everything else going on like it is with Casey. That's just the way he is.
When asked what he is most concerned with being that far away from home and unsure what the next day will bring, he said he is most concerned that he can't be home for his daughter's birthday and that is he had one wish, it would be for everyone to wish her a happy birthday.
Once I convinced him to forget about the bill, he then expressed concern for my granddaughter, who had a liver transplant five years ago when she was two. He wanted to know how she was doing.
Even during a crisis situation of being quarantined in a poverty-stricken country where trash is prevalent on the streets, beaches, and eating establishments, to name a few, he is more concerned about others.
Oh sure, he is concerned for his own safety, but just being able to think about others at a time like this says a lot about the man.
When the Minneota City Pool was in need of resurfacing, a silent auction was held to raise money. Casey, who went to culinary school, offered to make a five-course meal for a group of 10 people who bid the highest. He paid for all the food items himself, and cooked and served the meal.
Now the tables are turned and many people are trying to help this young man return to the United States after nearly two weeks unnecessarily being quarantined, even though he showed no symptoms or had any illness. He is overwhelmed by the concern others have shown for him.
Casey initially tested positive after attending a friend's wedding in Togo, West Africa, but is well past the quarantine timetable. Yet, medical personnel, assisted by guards, continue to keep him there, insisting he needs additional testing and negative results.
The guards continue to ask for money for everything and that may well be the reason they are keeping him there longer than necessary. There could be other reasons, too, such as a legitimate concern for the rapidly-spreading Omicron variant and a need to be overly cautious. But that isn't the way this scenario seems to be playing out because when they tell Casey they have his test results, they won't let him see them unless he pays them.
This whole ordeal is like a movie. Let's hope it is over soon and has a happy ending.

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