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BESHEAR: Kentuckians proving we are a great people

It is hard to believe Kentucky saw its first confirmed case of COVID-19 just over two and a half months ago.

The virus began spreading quickly, escalating like past pandemics such as the Spanish flu.

Areas like New York and Louisiana saw spikes that exceeded their health care capacity, and the losses mounted.

Here in Kentucky, we took quick and decisive action, declaring a state of emergency after the first known case.

We closed schools to in-person classes, had to temporarily close many forward-facing businesses and we asked people to be Healthy at Home.

It worked. Kentucky “flattened the curve,” stopped the rising rate of infection and ensured there were enough hospital beds for everyone who needed them.

History will show this is one of the most effective responses to a pandemic, and all the credit goes to you.

Kentuckians came together to do the right thing and put the health of their neighbors first.

Each Kentuckian who made good decisions and sacrificed is a hero.

Everyone from the senior citizens who could not celebrate a birthday with family to the high-school graduate whose graduation was virtual should be celebrated in that their actions and sacrifices have saved lives.

Yes, we still have many challenges ahead. Opening the economy and restarting our businesses during this pandemic is challenging, but I know we can do it because the people of Kentucky have shown who they are: strong, resilient, kind and compassionate people who do the right thing and look out for one another.

Soon, this pandemic will be behind us. But if we keep showing this unity and togetherness, our best days are in front of us.

Andy Beshear is governor of Kentucky.