Opening Up the Heartland in a COVID-19 World

Advertisements

Conversations in the Heartland as Kansas and Missouri weigh how to open up the states’ economies again




Part ONEA recap of the past month, a county official explains PHE, protesters, a survivalist and an economist

With stay-at-home orders in both Kansas and its neighboring state Missouri, the effort to “flatten the curve” for spreading the COVID-19 pandemic followed advice from health experts: close down schools, businesses and events where people gathered in large groups. 

Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Stay six feet apart.

Only businesses deemed essential for keeping the country running are allowed to be open under the current executive orders in Kansas and Missouri. 

Medical care was pared down to essential as well. Wellness screenings, “elective” surgeries and routine dental care was set aside – routine appointments cancelled until further notice. 

Critical medical supplies such as PPE masks and even smaller supplies, seemingly insignificant supplies needed to perform blood tests were in high demand, creating supply shortages. 

Alcohol and aloe vera – the two main ingredients in hand sanitizer – that were available to order on Amazon on March 5, by March 15 were no longer available. 

Lysol products, Clorox wipes, toilet paper, hand sanitizer and disinfectants were missing on empty store shelves. When and if some stocks re-appeared, buying limits were imposed. 

The term “front line workers” – with its war-like implications – not only included first responders and medical personnel but cashiers, delivery drivers, farmers and workers at essential business factories. 

Stories coming out of New York City – the city hardest hit by COVID-19 deaths in the United States – gripped the country amid daily broadcasts of news conferences streaming out of Washington D.C. and local state governors as a state of emergency was declared on both the federal and state levels. The morgues are full, pauper’s graves are being dug, nurses are being imported from other states at 5-figure per week wages.

Social media blew up with messages of “Stay home. Save Lives” while essential workers continued to work through the fray at drug stores, grocery stores, hospitals, hardware stores, plumbing and electrician companies, construction companies, delivery companies, online suppliers and a plethora of food supply workers from farmers to food processing plants.

Social media also blew up with messages of skepticism. “More people die from the flu every year!”

As the weeks passed and the stay-at-home orders extended, the natives in Kansas and Missouri grew restless. 

Despite large numbers of residents obediently staying home, ordering food online for delivery or pickup, and social distancing when out and about, bickering and finger-pointing circulated on social media posts. Questions arose. 

“Why aren’t the cashiers getting sick?” or “Nobody is wearing masks or social distancing where I went.” 

The adjectives “stupid” and “moron” made the rounds from both sides of the arguments.

In one news conference, Governor Kelly answered questions about an outbreak of COVID-19 at Lansing, KS prison. Anxious family members of inmates posted tense messages on social media about their incarcerated loved ones. The ACLU stepped in to take up cases. Governor Kelly assured Kansans that a newly constructed building on the Lansing site was available and being used to isolated stricken prisoners and staff who tested positive were sent home to quarantine. 

Governor Laura Kelly of Kansas



Nursing homes in Wyandotte and Johnson Counties were struggling with outbreaks in staff and residents. Clusters of cases broke out at religious gatherings, triggering Governor Kelly to implement a special executive order for religious gathering – right before the Christian Easter services.

This past week, in Kansas, pastors from two different Kansas Baptist churches sued Governor Laura Kelly to push back against Executive Order 20-18 imposing “mass gatherings” limits at church services – timed just days before large religious holidays. U.S. District Judge John Broomes found in favor of the pastors – but imposed 24 protocols the churches must follow to protect its congregations from the spread of COVID-19. 

Many online Facebook reactions lashed out at the ruling, with fearful statement that the churches would become clusters of outbreaks. The judge, however, did impose a long list of safety protocols, which are as follows:

THE PROTOCOLS

Broomes’ order specified 24 protocols the churches will have to follow to have in-person services: 

  1. Prior to and following the in-person service, the facility will be deep-cleaned
  2. Invitations will be directed to regular church attendees for this in-person service
  3. Individuals will be advised to continue to engage in “stay at home” protocols as directed by executive order 20-16 in order to attend the service
  4. No church members are known to have had any contact with known COVID-19 confirmed cases
  5. Attendees will be advised to perform temperature checks at home on all attendees prior to attending the service. Individuals that are ill or have fevers will not attend
  6. High-risk individuals will be advised not to attend the in-person service 
  7. Attendees will be advised to bring their own personal protective equipment, including masks and gloves
  8. Attendees will be advised not to engage in handshaking or other physical contact
  9. Hand sanitizer will be available for use throughout the facility
  10. The in-person service will be limited to 50 individuals in a space that has a capacity for 300 individuals (a cross-shaped auditorium 50 feet by 74 feet at the center; 2,950 square feet total, allowing almost 57 square feet available to each attendee at maximum social distancing)
  11. Co-habitating family units may sit closer together but otherwise the maximum social distancing possible will be used, however, at a minimum, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommended protocol will be observed with a minimum distance of at least six feet
  12. A single point of entry and single point of exit on opposite sides of the building will be used, establishing a one-way traffic pattern to ensure social distancing
  13. Ventilation will be increased as much as possible, opening windows and doors, as weather permits
  14. These procedures will be communicated to church members in advance of the service
  15. Church bulletin and offering plates will not be used during the service
  16. Attendees will be advised to wash their clothes following the service
  17. If Church leadership becomes aware of a clear, immediate, and imminent threat to the safety of the attendees or cannot follow the protocols listed above, the gathering will be immediately disbanded. 
  18. Splitting out pews and marking designated sitting areas to keep non-cohabitating congregants at least six feet apart before, during, and after the worship service
  19. Marking multiple entrances to encourage socially distanced foot traffic
  20. Propping doors open to prevent the need for congregants to touch doors while entering and exiting the church or sanctuary
  21. Suspending passing offering plates and bulletins
  22. Actively discouraging handshaking or other social touching
  23. Offering hand sanitizer throughout the building
  24. Providing face masks to offer to any interested persons

As of April 20, 2020, there have been 100 statewide deaths from SARS-COV-2 in the state of Kansas.

https://public.tableau.com/profile/kdhe.epidemiology#!/vizhome/COVID-19Data_15851817634470/KSCOVID-19CaseData

Kansas Stay Home order

On March 28, 2020, Kansas issued a Stay Home order statewide with Executive Order 20-16. The order temporarily restricted non-essential businesses. The order can be read here: https://governor.kansas.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/EO20-16.pdf

Executive order 20-24 extended the Stay Home order through May 3.

On April 18, 2020, Gov. Kelly issued Executive Order 20-25 which temporarily prohibits mass gatherings of more than 10 people to limit the spread of COVID-19 and recinding Executive Order 20-18.

To recapture the history of what happened with E.O.s surrounding Executive Order 20-18, this had been a contentious order that, on April 7, 2020, rescinded Executive Order 20-14.

Executive Order 20-18 “primarily brings our religious institutions and religious and non-religious funerals in line with the previous order that limited public gatherings to 10 or fewer people. Although religious institutions and funerals previously were exempt from they 10-person limit, they now will need to comply with this rule, effective at 12:01 p.m. Wednesday.”

Further noted on Executive Order 20-18 was the following:

“E.O. #20-18 does not ban religious gatherings or funerals. Instead, both conducting and attending religious services and funerals remain designated “essential functions” and cannot be prohibited by local orders. However, gatherings must be limited to 10 individuals at a time and clergy, staff and attendees must adhere to appropriate safety protocols as outlined in the statewide stay-home order – including social distancing, hygiene and other efforts.

“‘I encourage all faith leaders to embrace alternative forms of worship that do not involve in-person congregation,’ the Governor said. ‘Churches are livestreaming services and bringing their parishioners together over Facebook Live for Bible Study. They also are looking for alternative ways to observe their rituals.'”

On April 3, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment issued new guidance to support churches in their transition to this method of worship, which can be viewed at http://www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus/toolkit/Church_Sevices_Guidance.pdf.

As previously noted above, lawsuits were filed and protocols for church gatherings were issued by U.S. District Judge John Broomes.

State of Missouri Differs from Kansas Guidelines

As of April 20, 2020, there have been 177 statewide deaths in Missouri with 5,807 cases out of 56,986 tested.

https://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/novel-coronavirus/results.php

In the state of Missouri, the Stay Home orders came later than Kansas but the order “does not require all businesses statewide to close or cease operation.”

Frequently asked questions are posted on: https://governor.mo.gov/stay-home-missouri-order-guidance-and-frequently-asked-questions

The Stay Home Missouri order originally was through April 24, 2020 but was extended to go through May 3, 2020.

Protective in the Missouri Stay Home order are especially nursing home residents, long term care facilities and assisted living homes “unless you are providing critical assistance.”

One question about the Missouri Stay Home order involves businesses that do not quality as “essential” businesses. On the FAQ page, here is the answer to the question do these businesses have to close? The answer is:

No. Businesses that are not covered by the guidance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) discussed in the Order may remain open but must comply with the social gathering and social distance requirements of the Order.  This means that no more than 10 individuals can occupy a single space, this includes both employees and customers.  Individuals must also maintain at least 6 feet of distance between themselves and others. Employees must also practice good hygiene and sanitation to limit the spread of COVID-19. Businesses are also encouraged to allow individuals, where feasible, to work from home to achieve optimum isolation.

Businesses can seek a waiver of the social gathering requirements from the Director of the Department of Economic Development.

Another question on the Missouri governor FAQ page is: Do restaurants have to close? The answer is:

No. Restaurants can be open for delivery, drive-thru, or carryout services as long as the other requirements of the Order are being followed and individuals are encouraged to use those options. Restaurants may provide dine-in services, but can only have 10 people or less within the restaurant for dining service and shall maintain at least 6 feet of distance between all individuals that are not family members. The 10 person limitation includes both employees and customers together. 

Can childcare places continue operations?

Yes. Daycares, child care providers, or schools providing child care for working families can continue operations but should follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance targeted for those operations.

How and When to ReOpen?

Caught between the grip of Constitutional rights and an invisible enemy with no brain or heart, governors, mayors, commissioners, senators and representatives now face a new tug-of-war: 

Open up non-essential businesses again or face protests in the streets.

Rumors of protests that would be taking place began circulating (even by media) in Kansas City, MO. And in Topeka, KS. Three people showed up at a protest in downtown Kansas City today. A Jefferson City protest is planned for Tuesday, April 21.

The Facebook group “Reopen Missouri” has 12,000 members. One of the ReOpen Kansas Facebook groups has 179 members and growing.

The people on these social media pages are posting a wide-range of questions and stories that challenge the effectiveness or accuracy of what is seen as an over-reaction to the pandemic.

This weekend, there were news stories and online videos of people “swarming” beaches in Florida. The “facts” were hotly debated on social media as some on-site news reports stated that people were not social distancing or following the rules of no sunbathing or group beach sport activities – but the Florida governor opining that opening the beaches were good for people to exercise and their general well-being – as long as they followed the guidelines.

Some social media posters are asking questions: “Why aren’t people working at Walmart getting sick?”  and some posts are declarative – “Give me Liberty or Give me Death.” 

There are those who post f-bombs as they struggle with long waits to file unemployment claims on (admittedly) antiquated, grossly overloaded government computer systems. Gov. Kelly apologized for the system several times in her news conferences and pleaded for patience but also finally came up with systems to have filers file on different days to stop the flood of everyone getting on the unemployment site all at once. Several system maintenances take place weekly.

A Leavenworth County Kansas Official Looks to the Positive

Leavenworth Co. KS Commissioner Vicky Kaaz

A Leavenworth County commissioner who has long been involved in several public health waves over the years, including SARS and H1N1, among others, and a member of the Mid-America Regional Council – http://www.marc.org – talked with Heart KC on Sunday night about how officials walk the fragile line between protecting public health and preserving the economy upon which citizens all depend for survival. 

Both are equally important.

“This is not political,” said Leavenworth County Commissioner Vicky Kaaz, referring to the state of emergency declarations and stay-at-home orders.

 “Once we have declared there is an emergency, you let the health professionals take over,” she said.  “They [the health professionals] don’t want to see our economy go to hell in a handbasket – they will lose their jobs!”

The reason for declaring the emergency, she said, is that the state and local governments then qualify for the needed funds that keep the municipalities operating. Many of these things aren’t usually visible to its citizens. 

For instance, how it worked on a local level: Leavenworth County on March 10 had a declaration of a public health emergency, which means for 60 days public health agencies take over and make decisions. “This opens up up federal funds. Everything happening falls under public health emergency. So the County gets reimbursed for things such as FEMA supplies. “If the governor hadn’t declared a PHE, then we couldn’t have gotten funds and supplies.”

It wasn’t just a little bit of money, either. The state of Kansas is getting close to $100 million in federal money – Money that goes towards PPE, ambulance runs – to make up for tax revenues that go down. “There’s a whole lot more that goes into the funding needed than people realize,” Kaaz said.

But Kaaz also cautioned against a fast return to business as usual.

“Everything can’t just go back. That’s not going to happen,” said Kaaz. 

Her reasoning is this:

“If a sickness gets associated with a business, it will devastate that business.”

If people get sick at a certain business, then word will spread and other people will avoid that business.

Yet, if businesses don’t open back up…if people don’t return to work, there are also problems. And those problems are already creating another type of chaos – loss of jobs, loss of businesses, loss of income. 

The mental toll the shutdown is taking is also beginning to boil over. Americans value their freedom and a shut down order – being told not to stand too close together, not go out except for essentials, close your business – is a perfect storm for the American protester. 

It took a mere 4-6 weeks before the pain of a stay-at-home order became a reality in a society where most Americans have – at most – a couple of weeks of reserve money and supplies. Some business owners were innovative and found ways to stay active with customers even in light of, for instance, restaurant closings – by offering online ordering and drive-up or delivery.

But with little to do for most stay-at-home workers who are watching the bills pile up and the bank account dwindle, it may have become easier to get caught up in the brewing storms of discontent on the internet.

Sources of Thinking Among Protesters

On a ReOpen Kansas Facebook page, there are mixed discussions between posters who appear who warn against a spike in infection rates a week after protesters took to the streets in Kentucky versus challenges to the current stay-at-home orders with questions such as:

“If Walmart, Target, Lowes and Home Depot can be open without killing people, then why can’t small businesses?” was a posting. (2)

The discussion on both the ReOpen Missouri Facebook page and the ReOpen Kansas Facebook page asks why essential workers are operating and not appearing to be getting sick? 

“Why does Wichita City Council say it is OK to golf, but not walk your Dog at the Dog Park?” was another posting.

Some of the ReOpen Missouri and ReOpen Kansas Facebook posts center around concerns about U.S. citizen constitutional and civil rights. Other posts contain memes of discontent aimed at the media, China, Mexico, Dr. Fauci, doctors and other health officials. Other posts contain links to videos where theories about the source of the COVID-19 virus’s origins are dissected and discussed.

One link to a youtube video begins with an ad for The Epoch Times – an ad that repeats many times that it – The Epoch Times – is unlike the “mainstream media” stating in its FAQ answer to the question “Why do I need to subscribe to The Epoch Times: 

“One of the biggest threats we face is the struggle between freedom and communism. Many Americans haven’t realized or paid much attention to this struggle, but it’s a battle The Epoch Times has been covering from the front lines for the past 19 years. We are happy that more and more people have begun to pay close attention to this threat. The biggest socialist/communist regime on this planet is the Chinese Communist regime, which is one of the biggest threats to the free world. We at The Epoch Times know well its true nature.” 

The Epoch Times sprang out of the following of the Falun Gong, a movement in China that began around 1992 but that, ultimately, the Chinese government shut down in 2000 due to the movement’s perceived entry into political activities, which is not allowed under the policies of the Chinese government. Protests by the Falun Gong lead to the clash at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 2000. It’s leader left the country and most followers now of Falun Gong are outside of China – thus the connection of The Epoch Times to its expressions towards China and communism.

The Epoch Times is rated “mixed” by the site Media Bias/Fact Check due to “a failure to pass several fact checks including claims that alien abductions are real and that the drug epidemic was engineered by a ‘deep state’ and that pushing the QAnon conspiracy thory, which falsely posits that the same “spygate” cabal is a front for a global pedophile ring being taken down by Trump.” (3)

The Epoch Times ad precedes a 12:28 minute youtube video by Gary Franchi, its founder, described as a Zionist with a strong pro-Israel and right wing bias in American politics. His website The Next Network appeared to be offline in July of 2017 and is now a youtube-only channel featuring Gary and Angie Franchi. 

One of Franchi’s particular youtube video centers around accusations that Dr. Fauci illegally routed money to a lab in China to fund research on a coronavirus back in 2014. This story has been claimed by The Epoch Times, who created a video and posted it on Facebook via WTO TV on April 10, 2020, according to Lead Stories, which is “working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic.” (3)

Survivalist viewpoint

Robert Richardson of Offgrid Survival


Stories are shared from a wide variety of internet sites with headlines like: “Patriots Fight Back Against Daraconian Lockdown Orders & Unconstitutional Attacks on Civil Liberties” – an article appearing on a site called “Offgrid Survival” which sells survival, preparedness, outdoor and tactical products. Because of its impact on local residents, its conversations are included here. (1)

Offgrid Survival references a March 20 article its author wrote on its site with a statement: “Since the very beginning, we have been warning that panic and hysteria were going to do more damage to the country than the actual COVID-19 virus itself!” (1) – (link reference credit given below for all quotes from the OffGrid Survival articles. The author was contacted by Heart KC via email and a response has not yet been received as of this publication date.)

This article discusses an opinion about the role of the media, to wit: “It’s beyond disgusting and ghoulish and in my opinion, designed to do only one thing, scare the shit out of anyone who is watching.” (1)

“They [the media] want you to believe millions of people are going to die from this: could that happen [sic], sure but right now the numbers are not lining up with their doomsday predictions.” The article then provides statistics updated April 7, 2020 with the number of people in the world, the number of confirmed cases and how many people got infected in China. (1)

Missing from that data, however, was mention of the lockdown implemented by China and the possible impact that resulted from the lockdown. (I’ve contacted the author for clarification on this.) The question that may need answering, then, is: Did the lockdown stay-at-home orders make a difference? If so, how much?  

The advice from the author on this particular site (on March 20) is: “If you can, I would avoid stores for a while. [sic] Hysteria and panic can make people unpredictable! If you need supplies, try to order them online – if you can find them. I would see what you can find online and use services like Amazon Fresh, Bulk Emergency Foods, or Amazon Grocery.”(1)

Missouri Protest Organizer Josh Schisler Offers Suggested Solutions

ReOpen Missouri protest organizer Josh Schisler, who presently resides in Kansas but has recently purchased a house in Missouri, talked with Heart KC on Sunday night (April 19, 2020) about his ideas for reopening the economy in Missouri where protests are planned for this week.

He outlined his rough draft ideas – three points of consideration in his thinking:

“One, we need to ask the people who are most vulnerable to hunker down more than they currently are,” said Schisler.

“We can only actually fascilitate that if we, two, have the people who are at virtually no risk to provide services for those people.”

Then, three: “ Take people who have recovered from this disease to cater to those who are at greatest need. Put these people back to work.”

Schisler said that the planned protests do not include a lack of concern for the risks involved with the spread of the virus. 

“Everyone should do what they can to minimize the risk – the people we need to be most concerned with are people at highest risk.”

He stressed that we need people back to work but to protect those who are most vulnerable – who should not be going out – but that people going back to work needed protocols where possible.

“We don’t want the workforce to be sick, though,” he said. 

At the same time, there are considerations where getting back to work will mean weighing the challenges between the disease and the needed services. 

“There’s a limit, right?” Schisler said. “There are jobs where you can’t work six feet apart. Where you have to use your hands and work as a team,” he said.

Some examples are: Dentists. Surgeons. Nurses. Child care workers. Some manufacturing jobs, loading packages.

Insofar as planned protests, Schisler said that there still were parameters in place in these organized protests.

‘We’re encouraging people to practice social distancing. It’s going to be in open air – which is a lot safer than breathing the same air like inside in a grocery store. We are discouraging people who are at high risk from attending the rally.”

One of the most important points Schisler said that concerned him and others involved in the protests was making a decision between health safety and economic safety.

“The whole purpose of shutting things down was to flatten the curve – and the curve has been flattened. Mission accomplished,” Schisler said.

“And I worry about what we are doing now,” he added, “is moving the goal posts and changing the goals. And we can’t allow that to go unquestioned.” He expressed concern for Governor Parson extending the date of the stay-at-home order after initially promising to open the state back up.

Rally guidelines from the ReOpen Missouri Facebook page: 

ONLY ATTEND IF YOU ARE HEALTHY, UNDER THE AGE OF 70, AND ARE ASYMPTOMATIC.

ALL SENIORS SHOULD SEEK GUIDANCE FROM THEIR PHYSICIAN.

DO NOT ATTEND IF:

YOU ARE IN REGULAR CONTACT WITH PEOPLE OVER 70 OR ANYONE WITH SERIOUS UNDERLYING HEALTH CONDITIONS.

OR

YOU ARE EXPERIENCING ANY SYMPTOMS OF ANY DISEASE.

World Economy Expert Chris Kuehl Weighs in

Chris Kuehl, economist, with Armada Corporate Intelligence


While medical experts provide guidelines and officials at every level of government address the state of the health pandemic, the looming concern is also the flow of goods and services – and how to pay for these things going forward. They don’t flow freely or through ethereal channels. They involve people and businesses and machines and infrastructures that have to be tended and maintained.

“The economic price is high in more ways that just economics,” Kuehl began in an exclusive interview with Heart KC. (see Kuehl’s credentials at the bottom of this story but he is a long time resident of Wyandotte County who grew up in the Northland Kansas City, MO.)

Kuehl’s consulting firm averages about 100 talks outside the Kansas City area in a year. As news of the pandemic became more and more critical,  “These started to cancel in March of this year and have continued to cancel or get postponed. Now I am doing webinars and video conferences – averaging about 12 a week,” he said.

Kuehl (pronounced “keel”) said that while the focus is on the virus right now, dealing with it has taken a tremendous toll on the economy. The question now is when the emphasis shifts. Surviving a couple of months of lockdown is certainly doable – but an extended period of this lockdown will make recovery harder,” said Kuehl. “Everybody wants to know how long this lasts. The real issue is uncertainty. “

Right now, Kuehl said, “the vast majority of those who have lost their jobs are experiencing a furlough rather than having been outright fired. This means they get their jobs back as soon as their old employers are back.”

“It is estimated that around 85% fall in this category. The longer the lockdown the less likely the rehiring will be as the businesses will either fail completely or be forced to scale back.”

In explaining the need to restart carefully, Kuehl put up the Germans as examples for the U.S. to watch. The Germans, Kuehl said have two very divided factions of extremes that are even greater than the present political divisions in the United States.

“They hate each other with a passion,” Kuehl said. But Germans, he pointed out, are “Well. They’re GERMAN.” Which means when they decide to do something, the people unite and follow directions to get something done. “These two factions that are normally at vicious odds with each other are standing together right now shoulder to shoulder saying ‘Let’s do this’ And so they are succeeding in a way that Americans are not.”

Kuehl: comparison with 2008

Some businesses will not survive, Kuehl said. Like with any recession “it tends to take weak businesses and push them over the edge.” 

He compares this with the situation for some companies in 2007 that looked good on the outside but when the recession hit “Oh, no, they weren’t in very good shape at all. They didn’t survive.”

“We had all the classic conditions back in 2008.” He gave the example of home builders. Before the recession, there were 495 home builders in the Kansas City area. “After the recession, we had 50.”

The difference between right now and 2008, though, Kuehl said, is that we didn’t have the boom before this latest collapse. “We didn’t have as many weak companies.”

On a personal level, people who were late to getting assistance and waiting for weeks before they get assistance if they get it at all. How do you handle the people who fell through the cracks. People who were living on the edge anyway can survive week to week, month to month but when this happened, they are suddenly in trouble.

“Back in the 2008 recession, the average American had about a week of float,” Kuehl said, “so that if they didn’t get a new job or didn’t get new income, they were in trouble. Two or three years after people were freaked out, people had about a month (worth of money saved up) because people started saving. Well, we stopped saving. ‘We’re fine now.’

2020 Recession

Kuehl continued: “So, we’re back to having a week…most people just don’t have the resources. They’ll end up being in distress. That becomes the focus at least for the government…and since the government is overwhelmed right now, you’ll see the private sector having to step up now.”

“You’ll see people grabbing up the warehouse jobs, the medical jobs but there’s only a limited number of people who will be able to avail themselves of that.”

The majority of economists are looking at probably a May reboot – not a complete one – but enough of one that the economy starts to work again, Kuehl said.

“If we get that, that will have stretched people to the max but probably not put them into critical. If we don’t get a reboot until June, July or August, then you have trouble,” he said. “Because people can maybe handle two months of this. They certainly can’t handle three or four.

The other thing, which is hard to talk about,” he said, “because it sounds highly elitist is the 2008 recession hit high income people. This one hasn’t. It has effected low income people. The 2008 recession didn’t hit the low income as much as it hit the high income.

Kuehl pointed out that there are two levels of expertise clashing right now. “In a very professional way – but we’re clashing. The medical people are saying ‘Look, this is what we do: we’re predicting what’s going to happen medically and it doesn’t look good.’ Then the economists are saying ‘Well, we’re doing the same thing.'”

“So,” Kuehl said, “there’s going to be a trade-off at some point. And that is going to be the most difficult conversation to have because it’s going to be looking at: ‘How many fatalities can we stand?'”

End Part ONE

** Economist Chris Kuehl has lived in the Dot (Wyandotte County, KS)  for most of his life, but was a graduate of North Kansas City High School in Missouri and the University of Kansas in Lawrence. He traveled the world as an economist expert for decades. He has a Masters in Soviet and East European Studies and a Masters in East Asian Studies with a Ph.D. in Political Economics all from KU. He has taught economics and finance at Avila and Baker Universities and in the countries of Russia, Hungary, Estonia, Singapore and Taiwan. 

He started Armada Corporate Intelligence in 1999 with a former student, Keith Prather, who continues to be his business partner. Khuel has served as chief economist for: Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, American Supply Association, Industrial Heating Equipment Association, Chemical Coaters Association International, National Association for Credit Management and several state accounting associations (Missouri, Kansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Minnesota, North Dakota etc.) Private clients include YRC Freight, Kansas City Southern, Echo Logistics, MarksNelson.

(1).

(2)

https://www.newsweek.com/kentucky-reports-highest-coronavirus-infection-increase-after-week-protests-reopen-state-1498835?fbclid=IwAR3L9uVFk5WLwbbSXqMdkoFZmqJjrbfXrHJbG-VAsVF0WIvZtt_ia5SwXzY

(3) https://leadstories.com/hoax-alert/2020/04/Fact-Check-There-Is-NO-Evidence-China-Created-Then-Unleashed-Coronavira us-As-Bioweapon.html

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: THIS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ARTICLE IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT LAWS. NO PART OF THIS ARTICLE CAN BE COPIED OR REPRODUCED AND DISTRIBUTED WITHOUT EXPRESSED WRITTEN PERMISSION/RENUMERATION OF THE AUTHOR. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ©2020. REFERENCES, CREDITS AND ATTRIBUTIONS AS NOTED ABOVE. ©2020 Peggy Stevinson Bair