Stories of Hope During COVID-19

April 17, 2020
Weekly Columns

These days, reading the news is sobering at best. News of COVID-19 spreading across the world, infecting friends and loved ones, and causing economic instability is all over the headlines. However, even in these uncertain times, I’ve also heard so many stories about Arkansan communities coming together to support and care for each other.

Take David Mangan, a Hot Springs resident, for example. He and his wife recovered from COVID-19, and David became the first Arkansan to donate his plasma to help critically ill COVID-19 patients. The Mangans also visited the White House to talk with President Trump, Vice President Pence and other COVID-19 survivors and share their experience.

Businesses across the state are shifting their normal operations to fill nationwide shortages. Crystal Ridge Distillery transitioned from making drinkable alcohol to producing bottled hand sanitizer. Alliance Rubber Company expanded their production to manufacture rubber strips for face masks. The Pine Bluff Arsenal shifted their operations within 48 hours to begin producing face masks for Department of Defense personnel.

Across the state, people are coming together to install Wi-Fi hotspots for students completing remote assignments, companies are donating funds and supplies to food banks, schools are creatively using resources to make distance learning more accessible, and much more. When faced with a challenge, Arkansans will always rise to the occasion. Thank you to everyone doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our communities safe and secure.