Jenks Mayor delivers message of hope to citizens

Jenks Mayor delivers message of hope to citizens

It’s been a rough few weeks in Jenks. In addition to a few of our fellow citizens falling ill (including some of our first responders and city staff) many of our businesses have closed their doors, leaving many of our financial futures in limbo. Jenks Public Schools have closed their campuses, depriving sports teams of photo finishes and keeping students from completing the school year together. All over town, events and festivals have been postponed or canceled.

At the City of Jenks, we’ve been faced with decisions we never imagined. The Oklahoma Aquarium closed, just as they were preparing to unveil their incredible new octopus exhibit to the throngs of Spring Break visitors. Our parks are our pride and joy, but we’ve had to mostly close them to the public. Local business is our lifeblood, and we’ve been forced to slow it down.

And that’s not all. As of this week, social distancing is required by law. Seriously.

Unless you’re attending to basic needs like outside exercise (with no one other than those living in your household),  grocery shopping, caring for a loved one or working for an essential business (visit us at Jenks.com for more details), you are required by law to stay home.

This is clearly an unusual step, but the reason we did this is simple. Keeping people at home is the best and only way to save many, many lives. Staying at home will give the heroes on the front lines a fighting chance.

Covid-19 spreads around for a simple reason: people spread it around. We pass it to each other by touching each other, by touching things, by coughing, by breathing, by being near each other.

The Covid-19 virus can survive on surfaces for days. It can hang in the air for hours. A person can be infected for weeks before ever showing symptoms, if they ever show symptoms at all. All of this creates the conditions for the virus to be spread far and wide, overwhelming our hospitals and claiming many lives.

Covid-19 is not the common cold. It’s not the flu. It’s much more contagious. Its incubation time is longer. It’s more likely to land you in the hospital, and for longer. It’s more likely to be lethal.

Being positioned in the middle of America, we’ve had the benefit of seeing how the virus spreads as it’s crept in our direction, and what has worked in fighting it. Time after time, the countries with the greatest success take decisive action, and they do it as early as possible. They don’t wait until people are falling ill all around them. They don’t wait until their hospitals are almost full. They don’t take half measures. Those who do wait are too late when they finally act, and they end up with unimaginable and intractable public health crises.

I don’t have to tell you Jenks is a little slice of heaven. We’re accustomed to being immune to so many of the world’s problems. But we are not immune to this virus. I like to be the person who brings good news, but I’m afraid we have some very tough days and weeks ahead of us, even with our aggressive response.

That said, I do have some good news. First, Jenks has a top-notch team. Our Police and Fire Departments have responded with the intelligence and community focus they are known for. Our City Staff, Public Works crew, and Aquarium staff are stepping up to the plate like never before. Our City Council and regional partners couldn’t be more on top of this. You’ve got great people working for you, Jenks.

Here’s the other piece of good news. We will get through this. We’re going to have to be tough to beat this virus, but we’re also going to have to come together as people like never before. When we do get out of the woods, we’re going to be unstoppable. We will come back better and stronger than ever.

I know Jenks will rise to meet this moment in history. Thank you for your sacrifice, and for your support.

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