To the editor:

Of course, we should take the coronavirus seriously. You should take common sense precautions to protect yourself and your family, like washing your hands and avoiding big crowds. If you are sick, stay home so you don’t make other people sick. And if you are in one of those groups that is at a higher risk of serious health complications or death as a result of the virus, you should probably consider limiting your travel and other measures to avoid coming into contact with people who might be sick.

But I am concerned that the fear and panic that has gripped this nation might do more damage than the virus itself. We cannot let fear destroy Leavenworth.

First, we do not elect the leaders of our state or county health departments. Their only concern is stopping the spread of the virus. We depend on our elected representatives – our governor, our Legislature and our county commissioners – to protect and defend our rights and well-being. It is the responsibility of our elected leaders to weigh the recommendations of health professionals against the violence it will do to our liberty and our economy. We, the people of Kansas, must demand that our elected leaders not just hand over the reins to health departments and let them drive us, without oversight, into tyranny or economic ruin.

Second, it has never been more important than now to shop local. Without your support, many local businesses will not survive these unprecedented times. Some have already failed. Many shops are doing curbside service. Restaurants, including my own, are doing takeout or delivery. Please join me in supporting our local businesses and keeping our economy strong.

But most importantly, we’ve got to take care of each other. If you need help, feel free to contact me. If it is in my power, I will help you. If not, I will get you help. If you don’t feel comfortable contacting me, reach out to your neighbors.

And if you are doing fine, check on your neighbors and make sure they are doing fine, too. If someone needs help, help them. If you have resources that you can share to help your neighbors, contact me and I will spread the word.

You can contact me at 913-250-5553 or at

Neighbors taking care of each neighbors – this is what makes Leavenworth such a special place. If we lose that, it will be a far greater tragedy than anything wrought by the coronavirus.