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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Responsible remote work practices can limit feelings of isolation

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Oklahoma City-based One Agents Alliance started this week with an all-employee staff meeting. But this meeting was conducted via videoconferencing.

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, OAA has been preparing for the past two weeks for all 23 of its employees to conduct business 100% from home, CEO Tony Caldwell said Wednesday.

“I knew if only one of us came down with the infection, we’d all be quarantined and have to telecommute,” he said.

Among other actions, the company forwarded office phones to employees’ cellphones, ensured employees had home access to computers with video cameras, and installed software and provided training to employees on how to message each other and clients effectively, and even share computer screens, remotely.

OAA has 181 member property and casualty insurance agencies in five states that produce more than $500 million in premium volume annually. Most employees live in the Oklahoma City metro area, but others are based in Tulsa, Arkansas and Missouri.

Caldwell emailed his team Monday the following reminders: “Work just as you did before, only virtually. Show up at 9 a.m., professionally attired like you’re going to work. ‘We’ll be video chatting a lot. No one wants to see you in your bathrobe;’ No TV, Internet or other distractions in our designated workspaces; and quickly respond to all emails, even if it’s just an ‘OK.’”

“We believe virtual video communications is critical for many reasons, not the least of which is to avoid feelings of isolation,” Caldwell said.

A designated employee, with a trained backup, visits the OAA office at 1220 N Robinson to open, scan and deliver mail electronically, disinfecting her way in and out of the office, he said. If other employees come to the office, they must follow similar precautions and email everyone when they’ll arrive and leave.

Telecommuters need two-way conversations

Employees working from home may feel lonely, frustrated by disruptions by children, partners, pets and neighbors, and a lack of clarity of what’s expected of them, said Kevin Daniels, an organizational behavior professor at the University of East Anglia in England, who publishes and presents extensively on the practices and productivity of remote workers.

“Except for disruptions, most of these issues can be addressed through regular scheduled communication with managers and co-workers, plus the explicit permission to contact others if needed — although some limits may be needed here to prevent email ping pong,” Daniels said.

“The more extensive video communication media will help considerably,” he said. “Communication needs to be empathic, address the concerns of workers and two-way — so that worker concerns are aired and workers' solutions to problems encountered with IT or other issues can be shared.“

Jim Denton, managing partner at Edmond based Arledge and Associates accounting firm in Edmond, agrees. One important best practice in remote-worker policies is to consistently assure the remote worker has a personal connection with the firm. Try to affirm to these workers that they are an essential part of the company.

"Include them in discussions and ask for feedback on their struggles and the remote worker experience," Denton said. "This tumultuous time may be the tailwind needed to drive companies to transform themselves, reduce their costs and improve management capabilities by creating an effective remote workforce."

IT systems also susceptible to virus

Meanwhile, McAfee & Taft attorney Zach Oubre on Wednesday warned clients the coronavirus has spawned an uptick in email spam, ransomware, malicious domains and other attacks using the pandemic in attempts to compromise business IT systems and personal information. These include infected attachments claiming to contain prevention measures, a phone app claiming maps with real-time virus tracking, and communications from hackers posing as employers and asking workers to download new or updated software, which are fake downloads of Microsoft and other products.

“Companies should stress cybersecurity awareness and remind staff to look closely at emails,” Oubre said. “Be wary of clicking links and attachments, use common sense and prudence when something does not look right, and to go to a primary source of information, such as www.cdc.gov rather than relying on unprompted emails.”

Oklahoma internet service providers respond

Remote work requires bandwidth, and Oklahoma’s internet service providers have announced various relief efforts to help telecommuting workers and others impacted by COVID-19.

Cox Communications, for the next 60 days, is increasing internet speeds for customers with lower-tier plans who typically don’t use a lot of internet service, waiving data usage overages and any late fees that residential or small business customers incur because of the pandemic, not terminating service to any residential or small business customer because of an inability to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by the pandemic, and extending low-cost plans and first-month free offers to needy families of kindergarten through 12th-grade students for distance learning, seniors and others on limited income.

“Our network is resilient and redundant and built for this," Cox Vice President of Public Affairs Kristin Peck said. "The last five years, we’ve pumped an additional $10 million into our network, because we knew capacity needs would continue to grow, with not only smartphones, but also iPads, smart TVs and so many connected devices in households.

“Our values center on putting people first and this is something we wanted to do for the community,” Peck said.

AT&T spokesman Charles Bassett said the company is offering unlimited internet data to its wireline and fixed wireless customers, as well continued access for $10 monthly to qualifying limited income households, among other offerings.

“Our network continues to perform well,” Bassett said. “In cities where the coronavirus has had the biggest impact, we are seeing fewer spikes in wireless usage around particular cell towers or particular times of day because more people are working from home rather than commuting to work and fewer people are gathering in large crowds at specific locations.”

Related Photos
<strong>OAA executive assistant Ashley Andrews (left) of Edmond and CEO Tony Caldwell (lower right) of Oklahoma City hold a conference call Wednesday with Ramae Morgan, who was checking daily mail at the office.  [PHOTO PROVIDED]</strong>

OAA executive assistant Ashley Andrews (left) of Edmond and CEO Tony Caldwell (lower right) of Oklahoma City hold a conference call Wednesday with Ramae Morgan, who was checking daily mail at the office. [PHOTO PROVIDED]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b84959eda5632e39036693870b6ca161.jpg" alt="Photo - OAA executive assistant Ashley Andrews (left) of Edmond and CEO Tony Caldwell (lower right) of Oklahoma City hold a conference call Wednesday with Ramae Morgan, who was checking daily mail at the office. [PHOTO PROVIDED] " title=" OAA executive assistant Ashley Andrews (left) of Edmond and CEO Tony Caldwell (lower right) of Oklahoma City hold a conference call Wednesday with Ramae Morgan, who was checking daily mail at the office. [PHOTO PROVIDED] "><figcaption> OAA executive assistant Ashley Andrews (left) of Edmond and CEO Tony Caldwell (lower right) of Oklahoma City hold a conference call Wednesday with Ramae Morgan, who was checking daily mail at the office. [PHOTO PROVIDED] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e78a760dfd1d82cb7cb0b08f1f6dc189.jpg" alt="Photo - Kristin Peck " title=" Kristin Peck "><figcaption> Kristin Peck </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-76380940218705bdcf460341c22f7091.jpg" alt="Photo - A shopper covers her face as she returns a shopping cart at Costco in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="A shopper covers her face as she returns a shopping cart at Costco in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>A shopper covers her face as she returns a shopping cart at Costco in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8d42332d428256b95d487de2957fbad5.jpg" alt="Photo - The exterior of a Dollar General as customer walks into the store in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title="The exterior of a Dollar General as customer walks into the store in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>The exterior of a Dollar General as customer walks into the store in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-826d355fc7b990fba355e8fcf9370c11.jpg" alt="Photo - Signs are pictured on the doors of the Mitch Park YMCA in Edmond, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] " title="Signs are pictured on the doors of the Mitch Park YMCA in Edmond, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Signs are pictured on the doors of the Mitch Park YMCA in Edmond, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d7b093c7ac4cc7214126d779d55db00f.jpg" alt="Photo - Exterior of a Homeland grocery store as customers make their way to shop in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title="Exterior of a Homeland grocery store as customers make their way to shop in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Exterior of a Homeland grocery store as customers make their way to shop in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-eafc8b2583a8533b774f8b55b4aab16a.jpg" alt="Photo - Empty playground equipment is pictured at Hafer Park is pictured in Edmond, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] " title="Empty playground equipment is pictured at Hafer Park is pictured in Edmond, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Empty playground equipment is pictured at Hafer Park is pictured in Edmond, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-166b547eee7d6e841c0b666a72694264.jpg" alt="Photo - Pizzeria Gusto's 'to go only' sign outside the restaurant in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Many restaurants have gone to pick up or carry out only in effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title="Pizzeria Gusto's 'to go only' sign outside the restaurant in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Many restaurants have gone to pick up or carry out only in effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Pizzeria Gusto's 'to go only' sign outside the restaurant in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Many restaurants have gone to pick up or carry out only in effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e9526911897e680c68cc82bfb34dd609.jpg" alt="Photo - People drink inside O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille on St. Patricks Day in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. O'Connell's was following the restrictions at the time to have no more than 50 people gathered together and limited the number of customers allowed in at once. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]" title="People drink inside O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille on St. Patricks Day in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. O'Connell's was following the restrictions at the time to have no more than 50 people gathered together and limited the number of customers allowed in at once. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>People drink inside O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille on St. Patricks Day in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. O'Connell's was following the restrictions at the time to have no more than 50 people gathered together and limited the number of customers allowed in at once. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-57152cb9751222d409edd57dd2974e3b.jpg" alt="Photo - The exterior of O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille on St. Patricks Day in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]" title="The exterior of O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille on St. Patricks Day in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>The exterior of O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille on St. Patricks Day in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-bb2042dfc164d737c8f827c9a77947c5.jpg" alt="Photo - A cyclist wears a mask and googles while riding north on a sidewalk along Jenkins Ave. on the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]" title="A cyclist wears a mask and googles while riding north on a sidewalk along Jenkins Ave. on the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>A cyclist wears a mask and googles while riding north on a sidewalk along Jenkins Ave. on the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-fa7e3800f2ca6c2f59449510a1ddcff0.jpg" alt="Photo - People drink inside O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille on St. Patricks Day in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. O'Connell's was following the restrictions at the time to have no more than 50 people gathered together and limited the number of customers allowed in at once. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]" title="People drink inside O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille on St. Patricks Day in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. O'Connell's was following the restrictions at the time to have no more than 50 people gathered together and limited the number of customers allowed in at once. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>People drink inside O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille on St. Patricks Day in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. O'Connell's was following the restrictions at the time to have no more than 50 people gathered together and limited the number of customers allowed in at once. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-2f7d5b1e3aab578ee35040cf7ab46b80.jpg" alt="Photo - Marles Bradley wears a mask as she waits for a takeout order of green eggs and ham outside of O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille on St. Patricks Day in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Bradley said she put on the mask thinking she would have to go inside the restaurant but would not have worn it if she had known the order would be brought outside to her. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]" title="Marles Bradley wears a mask as she waits for a takeout order of green eggs and ham outside of O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille on St. Patricks Day in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Bradley said she put on the mask thinking she would have to go inside the restaurant but would not have worn it if she had known the order would be brought outside to her. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Marles Bradley wears a mask as she waits for a takeout order of green eggs and ham outside of O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille on St. Patricks Day in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Bradley said she put on the mask thinking she would have to go inside the restaurant but would not have worn it if she had known the order would be brought outside to her. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-356bfc7181a17ece706e8d2a9bd9aca3.jpg" alt="Photo - People drink inside O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille on St. Patricks Day in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. O'Connell's was following the restrictions at the time to have no more than 50 people gathered together and limited the number of customers allowed in at once. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]" title="People drink inside O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille on St. Patricks Day in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. O'Connell's was following the restrictions at the time to have no more than 50 people gathered together and limited the number of customers allowed in at once. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>People drink inside O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille on St. Patricks Day in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. O'Connell's was following the restrictions at the time to have no more than 50 people gathered together and limited the number of customers allowed in at once. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d9319ec9fc5a5524a5ebe1450846c53e.jpg" alt="Photo - Michelle Ridgway sanitizes a booth after customers left O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille on St. Patricks Day in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. O'Connell's was following the restrictions at the time to have no more than 50 people gathered together and limited the number of customers allowed in at once. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]" title="Michelle Ridgway sanitizes a booth after customers left O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille on St. Patricks Day in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. O'Connell's was following the restrictions at the time to have no more than 50 people gathered together and limited the number of customers allowed in at once. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Michelle Ridgway sanitizes a booth after customers left O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille on St. Patricks Day in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. O'Connell's was following the restrictions at the time to have no more than 50 people gathered together and limited the number of customers allowed in at once. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-77d77c9da910a4b7bc09d7f0b79c34c2.jpg" alt="Photo - The sign letting customers know that Packard's New American Kitchen restaurant in Oklahoma City, Okla. made the decision to close in effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. The restaurant [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title="The sign letting customers know that Packard's New American Kitchen restaurant in Oklahoma City, Okla. made the decision to close in effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. The restaurant [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>The sign letting customers know that Packard's New American Kitchen restaurant in Oklahoma City, Okla. made the decision to close in effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. The restaurant [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e2b665e7f387e9b2ebcde966110a9fe4.jpg" alt="Photo - Exterior of a Homeland grocery store as customers make their way to shop in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title="Exterior of a Homeland grocery store as customers make their way to shop in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Exterior of a Homeland grocery store as customers make their way to shop in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-3c28d948193b2157362fe8027de511e8.jpg" alt="Photo - Sauced on Paseo's to go only sign outside the restaurant in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title="Sauced on Paseo's to go only sign outside the restaurant in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Sauced on Paseo's to go only sign outside the restaurant in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-3c95ff4118bc10f24901dd5e57c739a0.jpg" alt="Photo - Stores at Bryant Square Shopping Center are pictured Edmond, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] " title="Stores at Bryant Square Shopping Center are pictured Edmond, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Stores at Bryant Square Shopping Center are pictured Edmond, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-2d6d7feeca82183b0d0f2d51814a3738.jpg" alt="Photo - Debi Norris sits at the bar at O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille on St. Patricks Day in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. O'Connell's was following the restrictions at the time to have no more than 50 people gathered together and limited the number of customers allowed in at once. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]" title="Debi Norris sits at the bar at O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille on St. Patricks Day in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. O'Connell's was following the restrictions at the time to have no more than 50 people gathered together and limited the number of customers allowed in at once. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Debi Norris sits at the bar at O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille on St. Patricks Day in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. O'Connell's was following the restrictions at the time to have no more than 50 people gathered together and limited the number of customers allowed in at once. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a65679d7885bae81ec4b8dcde9dd7bbf.jpg" alt="Photo - A green beer sits on the bar next to a customer at O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille on St. Patricks Day in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. O'Connell's was following the restrictions at the time to have no more than 50 people gathered together and limited the number of customers allowed in at once. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]" title="A green beer sits on the bar next to a customer at O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille on St. Patricks Day in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. O'Connell's was following the restrictions at the time to have no more than 50 people gathered together and limited the number of customers allowed in at once. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>A green beer sits on the bar next to a customer at O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille on St. Patricks Day in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. O'Connell's was following the restrictions at the time to have no more than 50 people gathered together and limited the number of customers allowed in at once. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b1184d793478fc39f1e93e793f468153.jpg" alt="Photo - Jeremy Witzke and Kristy Witzke pose for a photograph in the empty Tapwerks Ale House &amp; Cafe in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] " title="Jeremy Witzke and Kristy Witzke pose for a photograph in the empty Tapwerks Ale House &amp; Cafe in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Jeremy Witzke and Kristy Witzke pose for a photograph in the empty Tapwerks Ale House &amp; Cafe in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1fcb7b0394d1612949045a90a41e4691.jpg" alt="Photo - Jeremy Witzke and Kristy Witzke pose for a photograph in the empty Tapwerks Ale House &amp; Cafe in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] " title="Jeremy Witzke and Kristy Witzke pose for a photograph in the empty Tapwerks Ale House &amp; Cafe in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Jeremy Witzke and Kristy Witzke pose for a photograph in the empty Tapwerks Ale House &amp; Cafe in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-44f84286f1d0bfd4d8989537098f6904.jpg" alt="Photo - H&amp;H Shooting Sports employee Charles Duvall helps customers as they shop for a gun at H&amp;H Shooting Sports in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title="H&amp;H Shooting Sports employee Charles Duvall helps customers as they shop for a gun at H&amp;H Shooting Sports in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>H&amp;H Shooting Sports employee Charles Duvall helps customers as they shop for a gun at H&amp;H Shooting Sports in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c8e1474373526a9517288365345438e1.jpg" alt="Photo - Colton Vetter looks at the selection of guns at H&amp;H Shooting Sports in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title="Colton Vetter looks at the selection of guns at H&amp;H Shooting Sports in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Colton Vetter looks at the selection of guns at H&amp;H Shooting Sports in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-049f444900fa2f13df1858da2d0683e4.jpg" alt="Photo - A customers takes a closer look at a handgun at H&amp;H Shooting Sports in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title="A customers takes a closer look at a handgun at H&amp;H Shooting Sports in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>A customers takes a closer look at a handgun at H&amp;H Shooting Sports in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-04cbb4026353633b0f97506b2b84ef99.jpg" alt="Photo - A handgun for sale at H&amp;H Shooting Sports in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title="A handgun for sale at H&amp;H Shooting Sports in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>A handgun for sale at H&amp;H Shooting Sports in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-08165b29840a9171a296b7a70e5209b2.jpg" alt="Photo - Ammo for sale on the shelves at H&amp;H Shooting Sports in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title="Ammo for sale on the shelves at H&amp;H Shooting Sports in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Ammo for sale on the shelves at H&amp;H Shooting Sports in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-16c487d4bebd950631da4a223ded968a.jpg" alt="Photo - Cal Heinrich, right, and Chastin Phillips eat their lunch outside of Fuzzy's Taco Shop in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] " title="Cal Heinrich, right, and Chastin Phillips eat their lunch outside of Fuzzy's Taco Shop in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Cal Heinrich, right, and Chastin Phillips eat their lunch outside of Fuzzy's Taco Shop in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-aabc115f10b5dd922fd1380c45696738.jpg" alt="Photo - A sign on the door of the the sushi bar is pictured in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] " title="A sign on the door of the the sushi bar is pictured in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>A sign on the door of the the sushi bar is pictured in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-ec7f4f129ea65683b58f50f3ff423e43.jpg" alt="Photo - The reflection of Mike Younger and Debby Warren as they eat outside at Earl's Rib Palace can be seen in the doors in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] " title="The reflection of Mike Younger and Debby Warren as they eat outside at Earl's Rib Palace can be seen in the doors in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>The reflection of Mike Younger and Debby Warren as they eat outside at Earl's Rib Palace can be seen in the doors in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-14f9d177dda6bb7bffdb135e739d3409.jpg" alt="Photo - A woman reads a notice on a window of Cities Ice Cream about takeout orders only at the Edmond Railyard location in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="A woman reads a notice on a window of Cities Ice Cream about takeout orders only at the Edmond Railyard location in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>A woman reads a notice on a window of Cities Ice Cream about takeout orders only at the Edmond Railyard location in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5cb4dee49fec9effc49869918d32227f.jpg" alt="Photo - Car line up at the pharmacy window at Neighborhood Walmart on Second St in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Car line up at the pharmacy window at Neighborhood Walmart on Second St in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Car line up at the pharmacy window at Neighborhood Walmart on Second St in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-59310b1479c09f8165853ab1b1416f33.jpg" alt="Photo - Take out only notice on the window of Cities Ice Cream at the Edmond Railyard location in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Take out only notice on the window of Cities Ice Cream at the Edmond Railyard location in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Take out only notice on the window of Cities Ice Cream at the Edmond Railyard location in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-91d7b1df53fc5b909d5ec2e9adf9700d.jpg" alt="Photo - A note on the door of Fuzzy's Taco Shop is pictured in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] " title="A note on the door of Fuzzy's Taco Shop is pictured in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>A note on the door of Fuzzy's Taco Shop is pictured in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c15d09ae5665f4bc757a544bc4d27d31.jpg" alt="Photo - A sign on the door of Starbucks is pictured in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] " title="A sign on the door of Starbucks is pictured in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>A sign on the door of Starbucks is pictured in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-9451b4c96ac132ec42d2f5a150b1d835.jpg" alt="Photo - Sheridan Ave is pictured in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] " title="Sheridan Ave is pictured in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Sheridan Ave is pictured in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5617133cf60923319f8eed64bf490bf8.jpg" alt="Photo - Bricktown is pictured in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] " title="Bricktown is pictured in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Bricktown is pictured in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-9798cfc3eecd6a22bcd4bdd63f2f1c3e.jpg" alt="Photo - Bricktown is pictured in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] " title="Bricktown is pictured in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Bricktown is pictured in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8b0bbf331294ac8186bf6ee7fece3701.jpg" alt="Photo - Chastin Phillips gets a to-go order from Fuzzy's Taco Shop in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] " title="Chastin Phillips gets a to-go order from Fuzzy's Taco Shop in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Chastin Phillips gets a to-go order from Fuzzy's Taco Shop in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c7224df0290babe93eb5614ae9bbbc11.jpg" alt="Photo - Cal Heinrich, right, and Chastin Phillips eat their lunch outside of Fuzzy's Taco Shop in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] " title="Cal Heinrich, right, and Chastin Phillips eat their lunch outside of Fuzzy's Taco Shop in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Cal Heinrich, right, and Chastin Phillips eat their lunch outside of Fuzzy's Taco Shop in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-220d19ec95894fc5a4a0232712910a65.jpg" alt="Photo - A sign on the door of Marble Slab Creamery in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] " title="A sign on the door of Marble Slab Creamery in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>A sign on the door of Marble Slab Creamery in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-86f03b87239fbcaed824da0dfa125b32.jpg" alt="Photo - The reflection of Mike Younger and Debby Warren as they eat outside at Earl's Rib Palace can be seen in the doors in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] " title="The reflection of Mike Younger and Debby Warren as they eat outside at Earl's Rib Palace can be seen in the doors in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>The reflection of Mike Younger and Debby Warren as they eat outside at Earl's Rib Palace can be seen in the doors in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a0b99f25ebe75837918de90b953f64b1.jpg" alt="Photo - Exterior of Pelican Bay Aquatic Center in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Exterior of Pelican Bay Aquatic Center in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Exterior of Pelican Bay Aquatic Center in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7293bc91c6391f5d6972dfa8df3ddc8d.jpg" alt="Photo - Exterior of Fire Station No. 1 in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Exterior of Fire Station No. 1 in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Exterior of Fire Station No. 1 in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8176a6b21972206f92b88c958a10a8fe.jpg" alt="Photo - Broadway and 1st Street, downtown in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Broadway and 1st Street, downtown in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Broadway and 1st Street, downtown in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7b0b339d45d850d99e505138b158396b.jpg" alt="Photo - Edmond Railyard location in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Edmond Railyard location in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Edmond Railyard location in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-eb61fdb1098bf60ca0e5258501e04fb9.jpg" alt="Photo - Edmond Railyard location in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Edmond Railyard location in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Edmond Railyard location in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-42d14a63b570c1285c9cdba130ce983a.jpg" alt="Photo - Farmers Market in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Farmers Market in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Farmers Market in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-6d34d3f9e4b4b7e65689dce8614738d4.jpg" alt="Photo - Hobby Lobby retail store in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Hobby Lobby retail store in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Hobby Lobby retail store in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-36daa255629f71357c6603c0a8244ea5.jpg" alt="Photo - Exterior of food and drink businesses in the Plaza District in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title="Exterior of food and drink businesses in the Plaza District in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Exterior of food and drink businesses in the Plaza District in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8ade583341ac51e57b04fb0b8d5229c0.jpg" alt="Photo - Edmond Railyard location in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Edmond Railyard location in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Edmond Railyard location in Edmond, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a50b55a5c6ed3595ada8247250d46057.jpg" alt="Photo - infectious disease physician David Chansolme with Integris speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in front of Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="infectious disease physician David Chansolme with Integris speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in front of Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>infectious disease physician David Chansolme with Integris speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in front of Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7c324064e757138dc00d1671ff4f99e2.jpg" alt="Photo - A person wears a mask as they drive away from Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="A person wears a mask as they drive away from Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>A person wears a mask as they drive away from Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-3d637e98c8c7feeb04f3d848b1b43deb.jpg" alt="Photo - Integris Executive Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive Kerri Bayer speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in front of Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="Integris Executive Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive Kerri Bayer speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in front of Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Integris Executive Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive Kerri Bayer speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in front of Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-6847f8f405ec8bb9cf64f1c84208a024.jpg" alt="Photo - Integris Executive Vice President and Chief Physician Executive Tommy Ibrahim speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in front of Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="Integris Executive Vice President and Chief Physician Executive Tommy Ibrahim speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in front of Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Integris Executive Vice President and Chief Physician Executive Tommy Ibrahim speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in front of Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b9f21179d200da44d46585cc8fb09157.jpg" alt="Photo - Infectious disease physician David Chansolme with Integris speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in front of Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="Infectious disease physician David Chansolme with Integris speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in front of Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Infectious disease physician David Chansolme with Integris speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in front of Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-6ee0281391d6661803227f26fd20e31d.jpg" alt="Photo - Integris President and CEO Tim Pehrson speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in front of Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="Integris President and CEO Tim Pehrson speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in front of Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Integris President and CEO Tim Pehrson speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in front of Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Paula Burkes

Paula Burkes has nearly 40 years' experience writing and editing award-winning material, including since early 2001 with the business desk of The Oklahoman. After earning a journalism degree from Oklahoma State University in 1981, Paula wrote for... Read more ›

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