April, most experts say, is when we will see the coronavirus peak. Does that mean things will gradually return to normal afterwards? That is everyone’s hope. But recovering from the costs — both social and economic — of this pandemic will likely vary a good deal across the country.
On the positive side, Kansas may be weathering the storm somewhat better than some other states. Comparative data provided by Wichita State University shows that, as Kansas’s economy is less dependent upon service, entertainment, and tourist sectors than is the case elsewhere, we haven’t seen quite the same level of job losses and business closures statewide. The mainstays of Kansas’s economy — food production, manufacturing, education, and health care — are generally considered essential, and thus have mostly been able to continue to operate.
That’s no comfort, of course, to the many Kansans who are facing unemployment and economic distress. Still, our state’s overall economy may not initially suffer as much as some others’ will.