LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas State Senator Joyce Elliott released a statement after announcing she has tested negative for the Coronavirus.
Here is her full statement:
“I have been tested for the Coronavirus. I have labored over whether I have something to say about it. I’ve decided I do.
I took the test because I had a direct exposure to a fellow legislator who later tested positive for the virus. Fortunately, my result was negative.
It was important for me to know for me, but it was equally important for me to know for others, for I could have contracted the virus and unknowingly transferred it to others. I could have been a carrier.
This virus is extremely dangerous—dangerous to the point of serious illness and, oftentimes, death. I am compelled to share my experience because my heart aches as it’s obvious so many people do not take seriously the devastating power of this virus to destroy individuals, upend families, and ravage whole communities.
This virus is teaching us one very clear lesson: Not one of us is exceptional enough, shielded enough or special enough for the Coronavirus to give us a pass. It simply does not matter who you are. It doesn’t care if you think it’s harmless for groups to gather sympathetically or recklessly. It does not care what the occasion is. Whether it’s a religious service, a wedding, a funeral, a family dinner, a basketball game, a party, or whatever.
The virus just doesn’t care. So each of us must care. We must care for ourselves and for those around us, even if it’s temporarily inconvenient. Why? Because no amount of shame or stigma is worthy of putting people’s lives in danger.
I was tested at UAMS. Folks, that test is not at all the huge deal it’s made out to be. Shout to UAMS. The medical personnel were gentle experts at caring. The whole process was efficient but not rushed. Once again, UAMS demonstrated how incredibly fortunate we are to have such an institution in our state. Unending props to all the folks who make that place run every single day!
We can and will get through whatever the Coronavirus puts us through by doing what we know to do: Act as if we have a “stay-home” order even if we don’t; properly and often wash our hands; observe six feet of physical distance; wear gloves if you can get them; and wear a cloth mask or a similar type of cover over your mouth. These things I ask you to do for yourself and for others.
I am in this with you. I will do all I can to work through this slow-moving viral storm with you. Then we will stand in the sun together, holding hands and hugging just for the loving sake of hugging one another. This we will do.”