Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas
The first coronavirus case made its way into Riley County, Kansas on March 20, 2020. According to the Riley County Health Department on August 6, 2020 there are a total of 465 cases, with 5 deaths. Meanwhile, Kansas' total number of coronavirus cases is at 30,047, with 371 deaths.
In a press conference held in Topeka, Kansas on April, 30, 2020 Governor Laura Kelly presented her framework for a safe re-opening of Kansas' economy and getting the people of Kansas back to work. Her framework, “Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas” follows a five week statewide stay-home order that was necessary in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Phase One went into order on Monday, May 4, 2020, because of the statewide stay-home being officially lifted.
From March 20th through the end of August, I worked on the front lines as a photojournalist, documenting the city of Manhattan, equipped with a face mask and gloves everyday. In the wake of a pandemic, some peoples lives came to a halt. For myself and other journalists in my newsroom it has been our job to document Manhattan during these times; showing the hard work of those essential workers who are putting their lives on the line.
“I am incredibly proud of how the people of Kansas met the moment and answered the call to hunker down,” Governor Kelly said. “It has been a difficult time that has taken a painful toll … financially, emotionally, physically, spiritually and professionally on Kansans,” Kelly said. “But because Kansans took this seriously, COVID-19 has inflicted far less devastation on Kansas than it did in other states."
Douglas Haverkamp, Market President for Central National Bank’s Manhattan location, looks out the window in the conference room. Haverkamp has been working as the Market President at Central National Bank in Manhattan since 2012. “We’ve been working eight, nine, ten hour days and constantly the phones been ringing off the wall because the local businesses are naturally concerned for what the future holds,” said Haverkamp.