The coronavirus pandemic has affected us all.

Restaurants are either closing their doors or switching to strictly drive-thru orders. Small businesses are being forced to close up due to the lack of foot traffic.

Bustling streets are now nearly emptied as most families try to tackle their newfound substitute teacher roles after schools across the state closed to prevent further spreading COVID-19.

This virus is moving quickly, and it doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon. We must do our due diligence and listen to health officials. It’s simple: keep a safe distance and wash your hands often. But it’s also not so simple because this virus spreads so easily and so quickly.

It’s extremely important to be mindful of others and also our own needs during this chaotic mess. While the majority of the community appears to be working together to fight this, there are others preying on the innocent, scared and quarantined.

The Arkansas Division of Emergency Management announced Wednesday that a scam focusing on the COVID-19 scare has surfaced.

It’s a disgrace knowing there are individuals impersonating U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) employees and pretending in-home coronavirus testing capabilities. These scammers are posing as representatives with the CDC and going out door to door seeking money and residents’ personal information in exchange for COVID-19 testing. After hearing about this, the ADEM was quick to verify the CDC was not doing this.

Officials are warning residents to be mindful of this tactic and to immediately file a complaint with the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office if someone comes knocking on their door claiming they’re conducting coronavirus testing for the CDC.

Do not fall for this! Call in at 501-682-2007 or 1-800-482-8982 and file a complaint.

Also, spread the word. Let your neighbors and family members know what is going on.

Apart from those taking advantage of others during this difficult time, it is incredibly heart-warming to see Faulkner County communities rising together in support of their neighbors.

Jump onto any online/social media thread and you will see many offering to go to the store and collect necessary items for those more susceptible to being infected. Knowing there are people close by that will go shopping for the elderly and others who do not have the means to get out is encouraging.

Seeing each school district take a stand and working to ensure area children do not go hungry speaks volumes about our priorities in Faulkner County. It’s clear Faulkner County residents want what’s best for our youngest and to ensure their neighbors are taken care of. Hopefully, we will continue to stand strong together (from a distance) until this pandemic passes.

Don’t forget about your local restaurants and other businesses. Order online or pick up a meal through the drive thru because many of your neighbors depend on you to do so so that they can put food on their own tables.

Staff writer Marisa Hicks can be reached at mhicks@thecabin.net.

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