Kansas gets a ‘C’ for social distancing

Is this part of the state adhering to the stay-at-home order?


Preston Burrows

It’s been a month since “social distancing” became the norm. Some areas of the country have really taken it to heart, while others haven’t paid much attention.

By Preston Burrows, Seward County Community College

Going to the store or to a favorite restaurant everyday seems to be in the past with stay-at-home restrictions from the federal and state government. Also, when absolutely necessary, citizens are to keep conversations to a minimum with at least six feet between the two people or a group less than 10 people.

These restrictions are serious enough now that the pandemic has spread to multiple parts of Kansas. Social and physical distancing defines the precautionary distance members of society need to take to lower the times of close contact, so a contagious disease does not spread.

Social distancing grades show how well the people of each state are social distancing themselves, which is not showing outstanding results. The grade is raised if there is a reduction in movement between people. For example, ‘A’ would be good and ‘D’ would be bad for a rating.

Since COVID-19 has brought immediate changes to everyday life,  social distancing is meant to be an order instead of a suggestion. Kansas received a ‘C-’ rating from unacast., which was a ‘D’ rating before.

However, Kansas does not have it the worst, as there are more states who have received a ‘D’ rank. That grade is given more frequently than a ‘B’ rating which adheres to a total of six states.

Southwest Kansas Social Distancing Grades:

Click/touch on the grades to see how Southwest Kansas statistics stack up in the unacast grades for social distancing activity.

Cristina Cantu, sophomore general education major, finds it hard to practice appropriate social distancing since her job at McDonald’s continues. For breaks, Cantu and her coworkers are not allowed to sit in the break room, but instead sit in the lobby spread six-feet apart.

This is practicing social distancing guidelines, however when the workers are not on break, they tend to run into each other.

“We are all together. There are usually four people up front, one in the back and three others at the same prep table,” Cantu said. She emphasized how at work there is only so much the establishment can do.

Many customers will eat at McDonald’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, not following the stay-at-home guidelines to the full intended extent for only essential trips.

“They could just go to the store, get food and stay home to cook,” Cantu said.

Cantu was not surprised about Kansas’s social distancing grade since people do not seem to care as much as they should be.

As workers are mainly working through the drive-through, the front counter is open but protected with plastic to prevent the spread of the disease. However, the workers are not wearing any personal protective equipment such as gloves and a face mask, which are now recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While some people are still working to serve others, most jobs have been closed for further notice.

Social distancing can be easier when people do not have to clock in, like for Cacee Milburn, freshman science major, who agrees with organizations that social distancing is important to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Helping her dad at work and around the house keeps Milburn following the right guidelines since her father works mostly with animals while following company policy.

“I don’t leave the house unless it’s to move cows… and when I do leave I take precautions around other people, especially the elderly. I don’t hangout with people because I don’t want to risk spreading sickness,” Milburn said, showing her eagerness to stop the spread.

Milburn is aware that the distancing grade of C is not superb and that it is not only Kansas that needs to realize they are not invincible but the whole United States is not either. This statement is supported by unacast., showing that 17 states are in the low D ranking, hovering right above the failing mark for social distancing.

Most people are shut in with family members or friends, while there are still students at Seward County Community College stuck in the dorms from their home-countries.

For Monalisa Chakraborty, freshman business major, the dorms follow the same rules as the outside world.

“We are allowed to hangout but we are advised to practice social distancing and some of us do this strictly in our own dorms (without leaving),” Charkraborty said.

Not being from the United States, the business major is still well aware of the poor distancing scores in Kansas and the country. This shows her concern for others to take this disease seriously and to realize how dangerous it is if rules are not followed.

India is nowhere as in bad-of-shape as the USA, having only 9.352 confirmed cases with a minor amount of deaths.

Elvis Polvon
Many people who need groceries have no one else to get it for them. These markers help protect everyone in the store by following CDC recommendations.

India is in total lockdown where nobody can leave their homes, suggesting that social distancing is working for other places that practice it properly.

“I think being here among ourselves or being with family is the same thing. We would still have to follow social distancing,” Chakraborty said. She urged others with different circumstances to follow recommendations.

The CDC has given many ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus and other websites are helping track the progress of the United States and the world as they battle this disease. They are listed below.

Ways to prevent:


Social distancing score:


Worldwide COVID-19 tracker:


This story was originally published on The Crusader on April 15, 2020.