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Serving: KS
Boy and girl wearing masks for protection from Corona virus. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
FIGHT FOR OUR LIVES: Kansans have a long history of running drills and planning tactics to look down an animal disease outbreak. Now it’s humans at risk and we’ve already lost the containment battle.

I want to stop the dying, not ‘bend the curve’

Kansas have long prepared for a foreign animal disease outbreak; instead, humans are the target.

Most oft-repeated terms get really tiresome. But I don’t recall one that left me about to scream as quickly as, “bend the curve,” or its alternative, “flatten the curve.”

We all know how important this grim task is, but “bend the curve” has such a trivial ring compared to how deadly this pandemic has become. It sounds like some kind of mathematical exercise, when “stop the dying” is what we really mean.


Most of those in ag have been part of running the scenario of a foreign animal disease outbreak, and we’ve learned about the importance of “containment” to avoid the economic cost of “mitigation.” That’s especially true in Kansas where we’ve all heard Sen. Pat Roberts fight for research dollars to help us prepare for such a disaster.

His persistence led to the creation of the Biosecurity Research Institute at Kansas State University. It also, in large measure, fueled the call for building of the new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility still under construction in Manhattan. Now we are faced with the reality of a pandemic, though it is humans and not livestock that are in the pathogen’s path.

We find ourselves past hope of containment. Now we are in the grip of “mitigation,” and the price tag it carries both in lost livelihood and human life.

Stay vigilant, my friends. Stay safe. You are in my prayers, and I hope you’ll keep me in yours.

TAGS: Coronavirus
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