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My Two Cents of Common Sense
"Northwest Kansas holds some truly inspiring scenery, contains a wealth of Old West history, possesses some of the finest educational institutions, promotes an entrepreneurial spirit, and is home to some of the most hard-working, genuine people I've ever met!"    ~ Adam Smith
1970 RD 3 Weskan, KS 67762
785-821-2568 (Cell)
300 SW 10th St, Suite 512N Topeka, KS  66612
785-296-0715 (Office)
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Separating fact from fiction - coronavirus in Kansas

At the very moment I write this, there are 21 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Kansas with one death. Sixteen of those are in Johnson and Wyandotte counties, and two more are out-of-state people who sought medical care in Kansas. There is so much changing by the hour that it feels almost irrelevant to attempt to discuss the current status in a newsletter article that might be not be read immediately. If you ARE reading this at a later date and/or time, you can always find the latest information on Kansas at https://govstatus.egov.com/coronavirus

Two days ago, I was one of the few legislators attending the Governor’s Press Conference where she announced the closing of private and public accredited school buildings across the state of Kansas for the remainder of the school year. Afterward, it was obvious many interpreted the message to mean all K-12 education would end completely for the year. Some confusion still exists, but many understand there is a valiant attempt to complete the educational year. Superintendents, school boards and educators are working hard to develop local solutions that work for their communities, it will just likely be in a non-traditional method.
 
There are many other ways this virus is affecting our lives, too. The governor issued Executive Order 20-04 which prohibits gatherings of 50 or more people and that has many people concerned. However, there are 27 exceptions to the order! These include childcare facilities, hospitals, office workplaces, courts, government buildings, restaurants, retail establishments, and many others. It also does not apply to mass gatherings of over 50 people if the space is not restricted so much to disallow the recommended social distancing of 6ft. You can find all of the Governor's Executive Orders on the website.

There is a lot of news and social media about what I call the "secondary emergency" created by this virus, which is the impact of public reaction and compliance to the health risks and government recommendations and/or mandates due to the declared state of emergency.

Our primary emergency is the virus, but the virus may ultimately affect a very small percent of our population. However, every single household in the state is being impacted by the supply of foods, medicine, essential goods and supplies, and more. Jobs and businesses are going to be significantly impacted from government mandates and drastic changes in consumer behavior.

Now, more than ever, we need to practice compassion and resourcefulness.

I remember the days and weeks following 9/11 and the spirit of American pride that erupted from every community. While that was a much different disaster, I encourage everyone to find that same steadfast determination to love your neighbors and lend a helping hand whenever necessary. Certainly be safe and protect your health, especially if you are considered at a higher level of risk. But please don’t let fear paralyze you from reaching out for the duration of this pandemic to make sure your friends and neighbors are okay, too.

I am proud to be a Kansan and proud to have grown up and live in northwest Kansas where common sense prevails. No one knows for certain what the near future or extended future holds regarding this disease, but I do know that we can all weather this storm and reduce the severity of its impact if we all work together with genuine empathy and understanding.
Proud dad moment! Last week, my son, Austin, had an opportunity to spend the day as a legislative page in the House of Representatives. He worked hard and stayed very busy on the chamber floor during a fairly long session that day. He went to bed tired and happy that night!
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I strive to create and maintain constituent relationships through good communication. Two-way communication is essential to my effectiveness as a legislator in promoting successful solutions for Northwest Kansas! Please consider subscribing to my contact list or send me an email and I will add you.
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