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Mo Anderson is co-owner of Keller Williams, which has about 700 offices in 38 countries with roughly 180,000 people in the organization. She previously served as the organization’s president and CEO. During that time Williams built the company from an entity with 1,800 people to 50,000. Today, she serves as vice-chair of the company’s board of directors. In 2018 she was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

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Government officials act as though we have only two, mutually exclusive choices to address COVID-19. We can either close businesses and throw millions out of work, or we can let people die.

That’s a false choice premised on the faulty assumption Americans can’t adapt. Businesses and workers can do both. People can go to work, earn income, and provide for their families, while at the same time taking the sensible steps required to prevent the spread of a serious disease.

“Too many business owners are currently paralyzed by the fear of the unknown, and that uncertainty is caused by the government and the media, not the virus.”

I know some in the government may not want to admit this, but the American people are smart. In my field, real-estate agents are smart enough to wear booties, gloves, and masks when in public. We’re smart enough to travel in separate cars when showing a property. Heck, we’re even smart enough to provide virtual tours that avoid any group interactions at all. People in other fields are just as smart and capable.

There’s no reason to outlaw work to “protect” people from themselves. Even in a pandemic, people can take steps to protect health and do their jobs, pay their bills, and preserve their families’ stability.

The path we are on today does almost the opposite. Government-ordered closure of businesses has not eliminated COVID-19, but it has eliminated the financial security of people across the nation. And when people are finally allowed to return to work, no matter when that day occurs, they will still have to incorporate the same safety standards that would be required if they returned to work today. (The virus isn’t going away.)

Also, Oklahoma is not New York. We don’t have the same challenges with COVID-19 as New York and other “hot spots,” particularly when you compare population density. So why are we acting as though the lockdowns required to control a pandemic in New York City apply to every corner of Oklahoma?

If we do not reopen the economy soon, it will be too late for many, and the damage will be devastating. Just in Edmond, I know of 10 businesses that will be gone forever if they don’t get to reopen in the next two weeks.

Too many business owners are currently paralyzed by the fear of the unknown, and that uncertainty is caused by the government and the media, not the virus. People know how to respond to the virus—masks, distancing, sanitation, etc. What they don’t know is how various government officials will interpret guidelines regarding “essential” and “nonessential” businesses, which have been vague, inconsistently enforced, and often nonsensical.

We are teetering on the edge of an economic cliff, and our leaders need to move fast to prevent widespread destruction.

There is a balance between reducing the spread of COVID-19 and destroying people’s ability to feed their families. Oklahomans are ready and able to achieve that balance if only our government will let us.

If our leaders truly care about Oklahoma citizens, they will again open Oklahoma up for business.


Sign our petition today to tell your elected officials to begin reopening Oklahoma by May 1.

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