At the end of the first week of March, we learned of Oklahoma’s first case of COVID-19. Just this past week, we moved past the 6,000 mark.

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Dear Doctor: I’m 102 years old and a World War II veteran. My problem is that I pass a lot of gas. Several days ago, I had an apple and a small piece of sweet potato, and I stunk up the whole house. I had to open all of the windows and doors. Do you have any suggestions?

The Oklahoma legislature adjourned on Friday, passing about half the number of bills they usually do in a session due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As Oklahoma government officials move our state into “Phase 2” of reopening after COVID-19, it is important for us to maintain safe practices. 

In the midst of so much turmoil and uncertainty, we’re more grateful than ever for this chance to communicate with you. 

My son is scheduled to start college this fall at a local university, but we aren’t sure what is going to happen next.

My mom lives in a retirement community, and she has been quarantined for more than two months now. She can’t come out of her tiny apartment for any reason. 

While the coronavirus crisis has caused unthinkable disruptions and challenges nationwide, this is not the first time in history that Congress has navigated extraordinary circumstances and still preserved the longstanding traditions imagined by our Founding Fathers.

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Maybe you are interested in becoming a vegan, and just haven’t had the push to get yourself started. It’s easier than you might think, and you’ll never regret it.

Dear Doctor: I take a short nap at my desk a couple of times a week (I use earplugs and a mask), which my podmates love to tease me about. I just read that napping is good for your heart, but they say if you take a nap during the day, you won’t sleep as well at night. Who’s right?

Dear Doctor: I heard on the news about a coronavirus medicine made with blood from people who were sick and got better. But my husband says it’s actually a blood test to see if someone ever had the virus. Who’s right?

DEAR HARRIETTE: My company has videoconference calls every day, often several times during the day. I have noticed that the women hardly ever show their faces. We just see their names across a blank screen, even when they are talking. The men typically show their faces. I imagine this is bec…

Unlike the federal government, Oklahoma has a balanced budget mandate in its constitution.

April honestly flew by. It is May now and I am supposed to graduate in two weeks, but it won’t happen.

Our mom is 66 years old and has always been healthy. She was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation during her last physical. She says she feels fine, so she hasn’t followed up with her doctor. What can happen if she doesn’t get treatment?

Our city has asked us to wear a face mask when we leave the house. Needless to say, my wife and I have never done this before. Does our 5-year-old son need a mask, too? Any guidance or how-tos would be greatly appreciated.

As the school year comes to a close and graduation season begins, I am thinking of the many high school and college seniors who will be celebrating their achievements differently than they expected. 

The way we all conduct business has changed due to COVID-19, with millions finding themselves without a stable income. Just last week, Oklahomans filed more than 68,000 jobless claims with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) during the week ending May 2.

Hello again, dear readers, and thank you for joining us for this month’s letters column. It’s a difficult and challenging time, and we’re more grateful than ever for the community that has sprung up in response to Ask the Doctors. 

Oklahomans are no strangers to severe weather and the terrible destruction that can result from it. Our past experiences serve as a sobering reminder that we must be ready at a moment’s notice to face tornadoes and other unpredictable weather patterns. In Oklahoma, it’s not a matter of “if” but “when” that time will come.

The Legislature returned to the Capitol this week to pass the Fiscal Year 2021 budget, which will begin on July 1, 2020 and run through June 30, 2021.

I’m a mom of two beautiful little girls who are my whole world. With everything going on in the world today, I’m sure many of you, like me, may be stressed, worried and feeling some anxiety.

Our 8-year-old grandson is coming from Atlanta to spend the summer with us in Idaho. He has asthma, and our daughter has mentioned that my husband and I have to become familiar with his "asthma action plan." What is that? How should we prepare?

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a friend who posts on social media regularly. Over the past few months, he has lost about 40 pounds. He works out every day and looks amazing. I am inspired by him — but not enough to actually get up and do anything for myself. 

Now that we are not going out at all, I am realizing that I have way too many clothes. 

Dear Doctor: My 7-year-old niece has been diagnosed with a heart murmur, and my brother says she won’t be receiving any kind of treatment. What is a heart murmur? Will it interfere with the activities she loves, like soccer and softball?

Now that it’s harder see a doctor or go to the emergency room, I want to beef up our first-aid kit. What should we have on hand?

The Oklahoma legislature faces an estimated $1.3 billion dollar revenue shortfall due to falling oil prices, reduced sales tax and fuel tax collections, and COVID-19.

Over the last several weeks, the spread of COVID-19 has caused unthinkable disruptions to life as usual, and it will continue to do so for some time, even as we “flatten the curve.” Following the unprecedented strain on our health care systems and the devastating economic hits to hardworking…

As state and community leaders continue to cautiously move forward with efforts to get businesses open again and help Oklahomans get back to work, we know we must continue to carefully monitor the data about new COVID-19 cases, those resulting in hospitalizations, and those resulting in deat…

Dear Doctor: I wonder if you could help me with a problem that robs me of sleep, and which lately even persists during the day. I’m referring to restless leg syndrome. What causes it? Are there any new findings about getting relief?

Our son will be 3 years old when his baby sister arrives this fall. What can my husband and I do to help him understand the changes that are on the way?

DEAR HARRIETTE: I go outside once a week to buy food and go to the pharmacy (when necessary). I don’t spend much time outside, and I’m happy to report that there aren’t a lot of people outside. What I am noticing, though, is an increase in the number of people who are begging. Many of the pe…

Helaine: We don’t know what to do. I lost my job last week (COVID-19 layoff). At the same time, my husband’s salary has been reduced by 10% through next year, for the same reason. I’m applying for unemployment, but when the $600 federal boost to it goes away this summer, I’ll receive only a …

Working from home for all these weeks makes me realize how reliant I had become on service providers like hairdressers and nail technicians.

Dear Doctor: I just read that a coronavirus vaccine won’t be ready until at least next year. How do vaccines work? And why do they take so long to make?

This Week's Circulars


ADA [ndash] Memorial services for Brenda Joyce Johnson, 78, of Ada are at 10 a.m. Monday at Central Church of Christ. Bud Ross will officiate. The family will receive friends from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Criswell Funeral Home. Mrs. Johnson passed away Thursday, May 28, 2020, at her home. She w…

ADA [ndash] Billy Jack finally made it to heaven on May 23, 2020. He was surrounded by his entire family. Billy was born in 1942 in Sulphur. After graduating from Sulphur High School, he joined the Navy and served his country. He served on the Bonhomme Richard aircraft carrier. After he got …