Every year, April is “Child Abuse Prevention Month,” and it is especially important that – as the month ends – we keep child abuse prevention at top of mind now and throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
One of the greatest sources of strength Cherokee people have right now is our culture and heritage.
As one who has nearly 40-years driving experience under his belt, I’ve been behind the wheel of many a vehicle over the years.
Governor Stitt shared a few updates this past week that should give us all some hope in the midst of this pandemic. New modeling shows the peak demand for COVID-19 hospitalizations will occur around April 30, and these estimations are much lower than the original models. Our hospitals will have more than enough beds to care for all of the COVID-19 patients in the state. This data shows the steps we have taken to mitigate the spread of the virus, like social distancing, are working. Please continue to follow Centers for Disease Control health and safety recommendations—now is not the time to take our foot off the gas. We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it will take all of us to get there together.
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I wish there was more good news to report for what our state is facing, but it is important for you to know what Oklahoma has ahead. The anticipation is that the high point of COVID-19 will hit our state this week, Oklahoma hospitals will need 800 beds for COVID-19 patients, along with 200 ICU beds, and 192 ventilators, according to news reports.
Small businesses are the lifeblood of the local economy in many of our communities in northeast Oklahoma. But right now, many of our Cherokee-owned businesses are struggling to stay afloat amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. From restaurants to small retail venues to service-driven businesses, we know the coronavirus is affecting every aspect of the local economy.
Yogi Berra famously quipped, “When you come to a fork in the road…take it!” It certainly is appropriate to smile and perhaps laugh in most situations. However, when it come to making major decisions in life, simply declaring, “Eeny Meeny Miney Mo!” will lead to significant errors. There has to be a better way. For the follower of Christ, the Bible and the Holy Spirit play significant roles.
The legislature met at the Capitol on Monday while following strict health protocols to approve Governor Stitt’s health emergency, which gives him additional powers to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic using the Catastrophic Emergency Powers Act. He now has the authority to temporarily suspend some rules and regulations to better respond to the virus.
While the pandemic has the entire world adjusting to a “new normal” for the time being, some things continue to function without hesitation. One of those was the filing period for elective offices in Oklahoma which happened last week.
As a man who genuinely likes to be around other people, it didn’t take me long to grow tired of the social distancing, sheltering in place and self-quarantining that has become a regular part of life in America during recent days. As a Pastor, I’m continually reminded of the fact that God created us for fellowship.
This week marks the beginning of a new and unexpected experience for Oklahoma students, teachers and school staff. Although we did not anticipate ending the year this way, I am proud of the distance- learning plan our School District has developed to allow students to learn from home. We know this change is difficult, and there is sadness about missing or delaying special events and activities. During this time, students and their families can count on our administrators, teachers and staff to support them, both academically and emotionally.
The Oklahoma Legislature returned Monday to pass budget updates under which the state will operate for the remainder of the fiscal year. The estimated shortfall will exceed $400 million to finish out the remainder of the current fiscal year and analysis is continuing for what lies ahead.
Recently, Congress passed and President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. We are in the middle of an unprecedented public health crisis and the American people need help.
During times of great uncertainty and hardship, the Cherokee people have never shied away from standing on the front lines. We pool our resources to help in any way possible. We support our neighbors and those who need it the most, especially our children and elders.