Together Oklahomans Will Get Through Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic


Monday, April 27th 2020, 9:59 am
By: Ashley Izbicki


TULSA -

The sun rises on a different scene downtown, as eerily hollow streets echo against the skyscrapers.

"This is not a decision that I thought I would ever have to make as a mayor," said Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum.

The morning rush hour; much different after Mayor Bynum's emergency declaration on April 17th.

"Anywhere that does not have a drive-thru or take-out or delivery element, is to be closed by midnight, tonight," Bynum said.

Now, curbside only pick-up at Blue Dome hot spots. Locked gates at OneOK Field during baseball season. Yellow caution tape, roping off playgrounds is a stark reminder of the times.

"I'm starting to hate this virus and I hope you do too," said Dr. Bruce Dart, Tulsa Health Department Executive Director.

No gathering at Gathering Place, no browsing at busy boutiques and no bustling bars in Brookside.

"I want to be clear that this is not a recommendation. This is an order to protect lives of Tulsans," Bynum said.

But there are giant reminders that restaurants are still open and need our help.

"We recognize that small business owners across the city have sacrificed tremendously to save lives in our community," said Bynum.

Signs of appreciation for our front line heroes. 

"It's the most extraordinary humanitarian response to something that I can think of, in the history of human kind," Bynum said.   

2020 is the year physical distancing became a worldwide effort, a global necessity.

"It knows no boundaries, not geographic locations, not race, not gender," Dart said.

A new normal to save the lives of our neighbors.

"We believe that Oklahomans are ready and passionate about helping their communities and when it comes to do that, they'll jump right in," said Oklahoma DHS Director Justin Brown.

Because eventually restaurants and stores will reopen. Concerts will once again fill the BOK Center. Downtown will reenergize to the city we love, when the time is right.

"We've been in tough times before and together we are going to come out stronger," Governor Kevin Stitt said.

For now, flowers still bloom. Birds still chirp and the sun still colors our sky like no other. There's beauty in the stillness. Music in the silence. This is our city. This is our state.

"We are going to get through this, Oklahoma," said Stitt.

Bynum announced the city will start reopening non-essential businesses this Friday, following Governor Stitt’s plan to reopen the state.

We're all in this together!