As of today, there are 44 confirmed cases of coronavisus in Kansas. That number is likely to rise quickly and significantly. We need only look back one month ago today when Italy had 4 confirmed cases. Now they have 47,021 cases, with 4,032 dead. This virus will also spread here, and we don't know yet how bad it could get.
This is no time to panic though. In Kansas we have faced hard times before and overcome. Our early pioneers encountered pestilence, drought, and disease. They survived blizzards and prairie fires, and this challenge will be no different.
In fact, we have always known that even though we seldom choose the hardships that come upon us, we do choose how we respond to them. We have a stubborn drive to persevere. We also look out for our neighbors when times get tough. We help rather than harm.
So, in the face of this adversity, let's rise to meet it. Let's honor the example and sacrifices of our pioneering ancestors and show that we too have the fortitude to overcome.
This will mean staying calm as the days, for a while at least, get darker. This means responsibly isolating from our friends, and especially our elderly to slow the spread. For many who do essential work to maintain our society this means accepting some risk and fulfilling a duty to serve. And for all of us it means being unselfish and not hoarding, so that we all have what we need to survive.
Survival is on the minds of all of us right now. It may get tough, but we will survive! They economy may stumble, and the outlook may seem uncertain, but we will push through. And after this is over, we in Kansas will again prosper.
So, let's do our part. Rise to the occasion. Support neighbors. Resolve to persevere.
Our state motto, Ad Astra Per Aspera, means to the stars through adversity. Forget the stars for now. We will get to those stars later. Now we are in this time of adversity which will test if we are worthy of the stars for which we reach.