by Murrel Bland
The threat of coronavirus has changed many things during the past several days.
This time of year, I am usually arranging my personal schedule so I can watch my favorite basketball team, the KU Jayhawks, as they do battle through the NCAA tournament. But the coronavirus scare has caused colleges, including KU, to cancel its sports activities. That includes Kansas City Kansas Community College which has closed its campus and extended its spring break through March 29; From March 30 through April 10, classes will resume through a virtual delivery. All public and community events through May 20 are canceled, including the annual Mid-America Education Hall of Fame celebration.
Nursing homes and hospitals are limiting visitations. Restaurants and bars will be limited to carryout and delivery of food and drink. President Donald Trump, Gov. Laura Kelly and Mayor David Alvey have all declared states of emergency.
All of these restrictions aim at limiting close human interaction which cause the spread of the coronavirus.
I made a short shopping trip to Walmart in The Plaza at the Speedway on Monday, March 16. There was a rather large crowd of shoppers for a Monday afternoon. The experience was the same at the Price Chopper at the Wyandotte Plaza Shopping Center; neither store had any toilet paper.
For the first time ever, the Board of Directors of Business West will be holding its board meeting on Wednesday, March 18, via a teleconference. The usual meeting place, the Board Room at The Dotte Spot Bar and Grill, is open for only carryout.
Jon Males of Recordnews, a printing and mailing company based in Basehor, reminds his customers in an email about the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control:
- Telephone your primary care physician for advice.
- Reschedule any appointments if you have a fever.
- Wash hands frequently, throw away tissues as soon as you use them.
- Stay six feet away from other persons.
- Wipe down surfaces with disinfectants.
History tells us that the worst pandemic in modern history was in 1918-1919. The “Spanish Flu” afflicted an estimated 500 million persons—about one-third of the world’s population. An estimated 675,000 died in the United States.
It is important to understand the seriousness of the coronavirus. People need to use the common sense guidelines that the CDC suggests.
Murrel Bland is the former editor of The Wyandotte West and The Piper Press. He is the executive director of Business West.