Oklahoma State Senate: A time to rise
It is now April, the month we celebrate a very special season of the year. We are approaching Easter Sunday. It’s a good time to say hello to my friends and neighbors and send you a message that will hopefully encourage your heart and give you hope at this time. 1 Peter 1:3 reminds us, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
The world has been struck with a tragic health pandemic that has brought our country to its knees. It has forced businesses to close and citizens to drastically change their daily routines. The virus has stolen people’s health, their livelihoods and their personal freedom.
However, it is my prayer that you will let this season be a reminder that we will make it, and this too shall pass. It is also the season of Lent, recognized all over the world as a time of sacrifice as an act of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Many might suggest that we are in a time of personal sacrifice due to the loss of jobs and the inability to fellowship with our own friends and family as we normally would on a daily basis. It is a difficult time for sure and many constituents have called my office in the last few days with questions and concerns as a result of losing their job or having to close their own busi ness. Others have expressed concern for their school age children and their educational futures.
There is good news even in these areas, we have funds coming from the federal level to assist our unemployed population, business owners and infrastructure system statewide. We have medical supplies (PPE) being delivered to hospitals and clinics in many areas of the state (thanks to donations in our own district and the federal aid we have coming our way). Our schools will begin distance learning on April 6 which will continue to ensure our students receive the education they need and deserve.
The Employment Security Commission (OESC) has made improvements to its computer system this past week to better handle the volume of unemployment claims that have been filed to date. Please use their website www.ok.gov/oesc/Claimants to file a claim and address questions. Their phone lines have been clogged and they stated that an agent will call the claimant if there is a question or need for additional information. Business owners can file for unemployment as well.
I know the news can be overwhelming. We hear of the increased numbers of positive cases daily. We know lives have unfortunately been lost due to the virus. Our prayers go out to the families who have suffered such loss. Hopefully it encourages you to know that there are more recovery cases being reported daily as well. One of our own doctors in Stephens County has fully recovered from COVID-19. You can see his recent interview with Duncan Regional Hospital online.
We know the rules – stay home except for food and other necessities, don’t touch your face, wash your hands often and practice social distancing. Although, do focus on enjoying your family in your own household, or if you’re alone, focus on blessing a friend or neighbor with a bag of groceries left on their porch. You might know of a Senior Adult who cannot go to the store on their own and your outpouring of kindness would greatly brighten their day.
Continued prayers for all of our healthcare workers, law enforcement officers, first responders, government employees, grocery store and other essential business employees. A big shout out to churches, nonprofits, organizations and the thousands of private citizens who are doing all you can to help your communities in various ways. The kindness and outpouring of support and encouragement in SD43 has been outstanding. So be encouraged by this Bible passage, John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
If I can be of any assistance, you can reach me at Paul.Scott@ oksenate.gov or (405) 521-5522.