A Time for Sensitivity and Thoughtfulness


Written by: Riley Wilson, Reporter

On March 12 Kansas declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak. It is important to acknowledge Governor Laura Kelly’s wisdom and quick action in crisis was necessary and continuing to trust such wisdom going forward is as well. For example, her decision to close schools allowed for a turnaround period in which teachers and administrators were able to implement continuous learning in a short amount of time. While this situation is not ideal in comparison to the prior learning experience, it is likely the best case scenario considering the circumstances.

Many people have doubted the COVID-19’s seriousness even after the death toll continues to rise. As of May 1, there have been 4,238 confirmed cases and 129 deaths due to COVID-19. A political attack, led by Kansas’ Attorney General Derek Schmidt, stated that it was against the law to keep worship gatherings from meeting together. A small number of churches then held services on Easter Sunday. Kansas’ Legislative Coordinating Council voted to overturn an executive order limiting attendance at religious gatherings and funerals to 10 people or fewer, but the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the executive order still stands. 

Political interests, like this attack from Schmidt, should not determine when Kansas reopens businesses and loosens social distancing policies. These decisions should be based on science, the facts, and what the experts decide. It can be hard to discern what is truth and what is not. For the most part, with situations like these, scam-artists and populists will give false information, which is an easy thing to do nowadays on social media. This media coverage has helped many realize that prioritizing expert knowledge is crucial. Fact-checking sources is difficult, but very important during this coronavirus era. Especially with the stress all the drama brings.

The tension to business owners and those without jobs runs high as they experience the economic impact in their lives. It is difficult to consider the fear of the vulnerable population and the threat of overwhelmed hospitals when someone is healthy, strong and detached from that perspective. As the effects are becoming more strongly felt and bank accounts are running low, the patience of many is dwindling. Trusting the decisions of Kelly is a good idea considering that these decisions take in account the well-being of the whole population and the advice of experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci. These decisions, however, seem lofty and idealistic to those removed from their perspective. They can see things people can’t see from their homes. This is a time to look to the experts, but it is also a time for sensitivity and thoughtfulness as we go through this pandemic together.