To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Thursday, April 9, 2020

New Observercast

Dear Governor

on

In a Channel 5 interview, you said that you weren’t going to shut down Oklahoma early and hurt business. Do you know what hurts business? A lot of sick and dying people!

The New York Times last weekend reported 793 deaths in Italy, the most in one day. “The country’s missteps,” they wrote, “have underscored the importance of early, strict isolation measures.”

And from Columbia University researchers came this: “The number of undetected cases is 11 times what has been officially reported.”

Did any of this give you pause as you told Oklahomans they have to keep living their lives? Were you planning to wait until more of us had spread the illness to tell us to stay home?

You advised Oklahomans who get sick to call their primary care providers. Do you know how many Oklahomans don’t have a primary care provider?

As the number of COVID-19 cases ramped up nationwide, the country wasn’t ready. It still isn’t ready. Now we are in full pandemic mode.

Not a moment too soon, you have done the right thing. Thank you. Too many Oklahomans don’t have access to healthcare for us to take this anything less than full on seriously.

I understand your worry about the economy. Many Oklahomans have already lost their jobs.

I understand your worry about students’ school year. Just know that if you go to a virtual model, a lot of students will be left out of that, too.

What can we do to make sure everyone has access to care and education, including the poor and the rural?

That is the eternal question in this state.

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Sharon Martin
Sharon Martin
Educator, reading specialist and writer Sharon Martin's latest book, I've Got the Blues: Looking for Justice in a Red State, is available by sending $20 to PO Box 458, Oilton, OK 74052.

She also is the author of Not A Prodigal, a poetry collection and 2019 Oklahoma Book Award finalist available through Barnes and Noble, and Froggy Bottom Blues, a children's picture book available through Doodle And Peck or Amazon.
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