Oklahomans respond with care and courage
With hope and a conviction for helping those in need, we highlight those who have stepped up—yet again.
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Oklahomans, by their very nature, are a resilient lot. From natural disasters like droughts, floods, tornadoes, wildfires, ice storms, and yes, even earthquakes in more recent years, our history is composed of trying times. Those times are magnified even more now, as the state’s population deals with yet another calamity: coronavirus, or COVID-19.
I’ve been blessed to live in this state for 64 years now, having been born and raised at Gage, in the hinterlands of northwest Oklahoma. My family lineage traces to Beaver County, in the panhandle, an area at one time referred to as “No Man’s Land” during the Great Depression and drought of the 1930s. But even in the worst of times, the people there—and across the rest of the state—shared one thing in common: they had caring hearts, and courage to carry on.This latest global pandemic called COVID-19 is impacting my fellow Oklahomans, too. Scores have died, and hundreds if not thousands have been infected with this viral scourge. While we collectively mourn for those who have painfully passed from the effects of this latest deadly disease, we also rise again to help each other, just as we have in years past. It’s a compassion that’s deep within our genes.
This time is somewhat different. New terms like “social distancing” seem to define our response. Yet even when keeping our distance, Oklahomans respond with caring hearts. Those who are able step up, rising to meet the latest challenge that besets them: Meals are made and delivered to doorsteps; face masks are sewn by the thousands and given to healthcare workers; distilleries converted to making hand sanitizers that help ward off this deadly beast of a virus.
In short, Oklahomans by their very nature care for one another. We courageously rise together to help neighbors, friends, and family members. Why? Because that’s who we are.
This issue of Oklahoma Living focuses on the caring and courageous response to COVID-19 by our fellow Oklahomans. With hope and a conviction for helping those in need, we highlight those who have stepped up—yet again. Thank you for doing your part.