Emma Lane and Brenden Hill
Over the last few weeks, both states and cities have taken difficult measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Reactions to these measures have varied.
The stay at home order was first issued on March 21 for Kansas City and was set to expire on April 24. On April 16, Mayor Quinton Lucas extended the stay at home order for the city to May 15.
Governor Mike Parson announced that Missouri businesses could begin to reopen May 4, the day after the statewide stay at home order is set to expire.
“I definitely support extending the stay at home order,” said UMKC student Emily Moreland. “As someone who is considered an essential employee and doesn’t have the luxury of staying home all the time, I’m scared of people breaking the order and putting me and other employees at risk.”
Moreland is not alone in her concerns. The order is aimed to flatten the impact of coronavirus cases on the healthcare system, but will not be effective if Kansas Citians ignore it.
“I know it’s not reasonable to ask police to check on what every person out driving around is doing, but I still see a crazy amount of people running around, and especially with protests beginning around here to ‘reopen’ business and whatnot,” said student Libby Dewitt. “I hope someone decides to act more strictly, whether it’s Mayor Lucas or a group of people.”
The protests Dewitt spoke of started within the last two weeks, with groups protesting stay-at-home orders around the country, including at the Plaza in Kansas City.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the timetable and effects of the coronavirus, students overall seem to approve of how it has been handled on the local level.
UMKC student Jennifer Nguyen said she appreciated the swift actions of local leaders in response to the pandemic. She added that, overall, it seems to have helped ensure better health and safety for the public.
“More than ever, I think this is an opportunity to be civil servants and to do our part to protect the safety of our neighbors,” Nguyen said. “As we move forward, I can only hope that the same mission is at the forefront of our leaders’ minds when they’re called to make these pressing decisions.”
Dewitt summed up what she felt were the feelings of most students, saying, “I just want decisions made so we can get back to campus in the fall.”