On Monday, Forbes Magazine ranked Kansas as the 10th riskiest state to visit in the country due to coronavirus. How incredibly embarrassing.
States with more than 25 cases per 100,000 residents are considered to be at a "tipping point," Forbes said. The Topeka Capital Journal’s Andrew Bahl reported that Kansas’ mark of 83 cases per 100,000 people is well over that amount.
Over the course of the pandemic, Kansas has reported over 122,000 COVID-19 cases and over 1,200 deaths linked to the virus. Yikes.
On Wednesday, Gov. Laura Kelly issued a statewide mask mandate, The Capital-Journal’s Titus Wu reported that counties still have the option to opt out of the executive order.
It begs the question how many more people have to die before we take this pandemic seriously?
And we have other questions. How many of our friends, neighbors and family members have to get sick? What do we need to say? What’s it going to take for the Sunflower State to take this virus seriously?
This indignance and indifference can’t continue. Lives are at stake. Jobs are at stake. Until we get this thing under control, we’re all just on borrowed time. This editorial advisory board is over it. We think it’s time to move forward. We need to move forward.
The key to doing so isn’t that hard. Just wear a mask.
Please wear a mask and not just around your chin. Cover your mouth and nose. For a state that prides itself on being neighborly, we’re not living up to the standard. Wearing a mask the recommended way is not asking much of anyone.
At worst, it's a minor inconvenience. At best, you’re saving lives.
We recognize not everyone in Kansas is ambivalent to the need for masks. Local leaders in Manhattan, Dodge City and Lyon County all have mask mandates. Thank you to everyone who has stepped up and put people over politics to save lives.
But it's time the rest of the state gets with the program and supports the governor’s mask mandate. Enough complaining.
We’ve been preaching this since March. It’s sad that we still have to.
Kansas, please do better. Mask up for your family. Mask up for your friends. Mask up for your neighbors.