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what does "scattered nation"mean?

The confirmation was the second great blow of that hour. The first, the report of the shooting, had reached a scattered nation preoccupied with business lunches and weekday tasks. In less than sixty minutes the United States had been transformed; a majority of the huge audience was now within earshot of newscasters.

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language

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    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    I think "scattered" here means that initially people weren't paying full attention because they were busy with their everyday tasks.

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