My fellow Alabamians,
As events are unfolding at a rapid pace and decisions affecting our daily lives are being made — and sometimes revised several times during a day — it is easy to let all of this strike a note of fear and create a sense of panic.
After all, Alabama is not on an island by itself. While the spread of the coronavirus seemed a world away when it was first discovered in China, the number of cases that have now tested positive in Alabama — just during the past few days — is a good reminder that this disease is having a profound effect on the entire world.
No one is immune from its impact. And it underscores the point Walt Disney made, years ago, when he said, “It is a small world after all.”
I say all of this as a reminder that Alabama is a family and there is no better time, than now, for our family to come together, be strong and stand united.
As governor, I want to take a moment and plead with all of you to please respect all health recommendations and orders and work them in to your daily lives. The temporary adjustments can be truly lifesaving as we work to flatten the curve of this virus. We have all learned the new phrase “social distancing” because of this virus, and I urge you to take this necessary precaution. We will resume our daily lives in the near future once we defeat this illness.
When your leaders are called on to make important decisions dealing with a virus that we didn’t even know existed three months ago, we’re going to make some mistakes along the way. My hope — and prayer — is that we will get it right more than we will get it wrong.
And speaking of prayer, as a person of faith, I certainly believe in the power of prayer. I urge the good people of this great state to join me in praying for one another. Instead of getting caught up in what can be at times negative news, I ask that you practice sending encouraging texts or calling to express your concern for one another. As you connect to one another on social media, use good judgment and promote positive messaging rather than the alternative.
Send one another a sermon or devotional you read or heard that urges calm, patience and faith.
Share a positive story about one of our neighbors who did something thoughtful, even when no one was looking.
We can all find some way to share a good deed that can bring a little comfort to others.
Together, we need to remember the lasting words of President Kennedy: “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”
Likewise, we shouldn’t forget President Reagan’s reminder that “There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.”
Alabamians — and Americans — have faced many challenges before and the “American Spirit” and the “Alabama Resolve” has helped us get through those times.
Together, I am confident, we will get through this as well.
My administration — and all the services of state government — are going to be as flexible as humanly possible to help make your government work for you during the coming days and weeks. Don’t hesitate to let us know how we can be of help.
We may not have the answer when you ask the question. I ask you extend a little bit of patience to one another, the leadership of our state and the health care professionals who are working around the clock… But we will get you the answer!
May God continue to bless you and the Great State of Alabama.
Kay Ivey is the governor of Alabama.
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