CHOCTAW, Miss. — For Jason Grisham, it began with a fever. Then came the chills, lingering headaches and a terrifying realization about what the symptoms might mean.
At the time, in early April, only a handful of residents in his Native American tribe in central Mississippi had tested positive for the coronavirus. But within days, Mr. Grisham, 40, would join a list that has only grown staggeringly longer.
Soon, his wife and oldest daughter would also be sick. All three would survive, but the cases would continue to tear through the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians unabated, eventually sickening more than 10 percent of the tribe’s 10,000 residents and killing at least 81 people.
“We were prepared, we always wore our masks out and we always used hand sanitizer because the last thing we wanted was for the virus to be in our home,” said Mr. Grisham’s wife, Kendall Grisham,