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Weekly Address — March 19, 2020

From the quiet hallways of the most beautiful state Capitol in our nation, this is Senator Keith Ingram.

Americans are blessed with common sense and a can-do attitude. In times of hardship, we look out for each other.

That’s why I’m confident we’ll control the coronavirus outbreak until it is down to a manageable level, just as we have done with malaria, the flu and polio.

However, research teams need time to develop a vaccine. Doctors, nurses, and hospital staff need our cooperation so they don’t get overwhelmed.

How we respond in the next few weeks will be critical if we’re serious about getting

the coronavirus under control.

Prepare but don’t panic. Supply chains are not broken down. The shelves at the supermarket will be restocked.

The virus cannot move about on its own. It needs us, so be careful not to touch your face and wash your hands regularly.

Always keep in mind that senior citizens and young babies are the most vulnerable.

Every day we hear about someone who has not shown any symptoms, but they test positive and that means they can infect others.

Unless you are absolutely positive that you do not have the coronavirus, keep your distance from people.

I know that many families have travel plans for spring break, but public health officials are strongly advising people to reconsider those plans. The first cases of coronavirus in Arkansas were linked to people who had traveled out of state.

Make sure you get reliable information. The Arkansas Health Department has a comprehensive web site on the virus. So do other public health agencies, such as the CDC.

As a matter of thumb, if you see something on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, take it with a grain of salt. It may or may not be true. With the coronavirus, you need to be able to trust your sources of information.

That’s why I recommend getting your information from the Health Department and the CDC.

We all have to make serious changes in our lifestyles over the next few weeks, but we can do it. We have the tools for the job, and we have the willingness to take care of each other.

From the Capitol, it is always my great honor and sincere privilege to serve you as your state Senator. This is Keith Ingram.


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