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DeSantis On Covid-19 Fears: 'Keep Calm, We're There For You'

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a committee meeting
Andrew Harnik

Governor Ron DeSantis is urging calm as people grow increasingly anxious about their health and economic future amid coronavirus fears. It’s been weeks of upheaval and the governor says he’s worried about the effect the responses to the coronavirus will have on mental health.

“You’re really looking at some major changes and upheavals that have happened in the last few weeks," he explained. 

Two months ago, the stock market was still near a record high and the unemployment rate was near a record low. People could still move about with relative ease and restaurants, bars, and schools were still open. The economy has come to a crawl since then. DeSantis is urging Floridians not to panic.

“I would urge people to take a deep breath. You can protect yourself against this," he said, reiterating U.S. Centers For Disease Control policies of hand washing and social distancing. 

His message of calm comes as grocery store shelves become increasingly bare, gun sales are surging and people are preparing for worst-case scenarios. Several counties have already said they will not enforce foreclosure or eviction notices. There are both federal and state loans available to small businesses that are being hurt by the shutdowns, and schools -- while closed -- are trying to keep kids engaged in learning through digital programs and by sending home paper and pencil work.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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