Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures.
What first began halfway around the world now threatens the rural areas of Kansas. Kansas electric cooperatives and their leadership have responded with one main concern in mind: the health and well-being of co-op members.
COVID-19, or better known as the novel coronavirus, is changing the way we live in the short term. God-willing, this too shall pass and Americans will return to normal activities.
With the 24-hour news cycle and media wars we witness everyday, it’s easy to brush off this virus narrative as the media overreacting again. Yes, the vast majority of cases (80%) experience only mild cold or flu-like symptoms according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In fact, symptoms can be so mild, the CDC says people have the virus but don’t know it.
And that is where the real concern lies. We could unknowingly be passing it on.
COVID-19 can be deadly to those with underlying health conditions, especially the elderly. With an estimated 10-15% of those infected requiring hospital care, our country will be short the required number of hospital beds if the virus gets a foothold in the U.S. as it has in Italy and China. Rural communities already face hurdles in accessing health care; a surge in COVID-19 cases could be life-threatening.
Infectious disease experts say now is the time for social distancing measures, putting distance between you and other people as much as possible. This can help stem the rapid transmission of the virus and stagger the rate of coronavirus cases so hospitals can treat everyone who requires care. In response, large gatherings across Kansas have been canceled or postponed, including several electric cooperative annual meetings. Please look for your co-op’s specific information beginning on Page 16A, or visit the co-op’s website and social media channels for more information. You can also find updates at www.kec.coop and Facebook/KansasElectricCooperatives, Inc.
Whether you call them nanna, grammy, papa or popo, let’s work together to protect our most vulnerable. Caring for our communities — our friends, neighbors and our fellow co-op members — is, after all, the cooperative way.