Governor Kelly’s Stay at Home order calls for social distancing to “flatten the curve”


Graphic Courtesty of NY Times and CDC

Government officials look for ways to “flatten the curve” to keep hospitals from being overloaded.

Blake Beashore, Editor-in-Chief

With the outbreak of COVID-19 growing in severity, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly issued a Stay at Home order that started March 30 and will last until at least April 19.

Kelly was prompted by the increasing severity of the virus and its continued spread. As of April 5, there were 747 confirmed cases in the state of Kansas and 304,826 in the U.S.

Kelly’s Stay at Home order is an attempt to “flatten the curve”.

“Flattening the curve graph that relates the number of cases of COVID-19 to the amount of time it takes for people to become infected. This involves a bell curve. If everyone gets the disease at the same time the curve will spike up quickly,” said science teacher Shawna John. “We don’t want this to occur because we would most likely exceed our hospital capacity. The hospital may not have enough beds, respirators and other important supplies to help every sick person.”

According to John social distancing and self-quarantining can help accomplish this.

“Since we know that COVID-19 can be passed by asymptomatic people or people that do not show symptoms, social distancing could significantly flatten the curve,” John said. “If people stay home and away from large gatherings they are less likely to spread the disease to others if they have it. This could reduce the number of cases occurring at one time and hopefully our hospitals could cope with the reduced number of cases.”

Although the Stay at Home order has been issued, some people continue to go out to do nonessential things. John presses that this can have negative impacts.

“A person that is not social distancing could contract COVID-19 but may be asymptomatic. They could spread the disease to others that are immune-compromised, or elderly. This could have dire consequences for those more vulnerable people,” John said.

School Nurse Meghan Leduc agrees that quarantining is necessary.

“When people are not isolating, they run the risk of spreading the virus to others if they are a carrier, and they risk catching it and bringing it home to their families,” Leduc said.

Leduc says the best way to protect yourself, other than staying home, is hygiene.

“The best way to remain uncontaminated is to practice good hygiene before, during, and after you go out throughout the day. Think of all the times you touch your phone, then scratch your face, then touch the remote, pet the dog, eat lunch, etc,” Leduc said. “ The best way to keep from getting sick is to wash your hands frequently, keep from touching your face, and to wipe frequently touched things in your house and your car.”

One student who has been following the Stay at Home order is senior Emma Martin.
“It is so boring and I am going crazy in this house,” Martin said. “To pass the time I play games or go on walks with my family because we have nothing else to do.”

Martin is worried about the severity of the virus.

“At first I honestly thought that it was nothing and it was being blown out of proportion but as time went on and I started reading more into it I realized how severe it is,” Martin said. “I think people are not taking the proper precautions because they don’t think it’s going to kill them but they don’t understand that this is never going to end if people don’t stay home.”