What to know about the stay-at-home order

Stay Home Order

Illustration by Jack Raybuck

As of Midnight, March 24th, Kansas City and surrounding counties have been put on stay-at-home order for the next thirty days. It’s not everyday that we’re asked to stay in our homes to prevent the spread of a virus, but here we are in the midst of a pandemic with a lot of questions on our mind. 

The goal of the stay-at-home order is as simple as reducing the number of social gatherings as much as possible, in an attempt to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. The less people out and about contracting and spreading the virus, the quicker there will be a handle on this unprecedented situation. It physically pains me that I have to wait over a month to watch a movie in theaters again, but I don’t want to potentially get my grandma deathly ill, so it’s a pretty fair compromise.

There now might be new restrictions in place, but don’t let any uncertainty lead you into thinking that the outside world is a science-fiction dystopia. There are not armed guards patrolling the city, looking to punish anyone who dares leave their home. Mad Max esq. Characters roaming the streets, crashing cars, and chugging spray paint. Instead, the order calls upon collective action to maintain personal responsibility to keep at-risk individuals as safe as can be. 

The Kansas City Police Department recently provided answers to frequently questions about the stay-at-home order. Here are takeaways that we think you should know for your daily life.

The Police Department is not enforcing the stay-at-home order. City entities like the Fire Marshall and other departments like Regulated Industries, are the ones in charge of maintaining the order. Police officers will not be stopping people and checking to see if they have papers that declare their business essential or not. There will also not be any police set-up checkpoints.

Traffic enforcement is still in effect. Just because less people out driving, it doesn’t give you the right to do your best Vin Diesel impression and drive like a madman everywhere you go. Pandemics don’t prevent speeding tickets.

If you see a violation of the stay-at-home order and want to report it do not call 911. Direct your concern to 311, so that 911 can stay open for emergency services. 

You can also call 311 to inquire whether your business or activity is considered essential or not.

Missouri is not under martial law. The Missouri National Guard has publicly stated that they are not going to be deployed to institute martial law. The decision to deploy the National Guard is strictly up to the Governor. If people take the stay-at-home order seriously, then it is unlikely that there will be any additional enforcement.

Be on the lookout for scams! During times of crisis, there is a rise of scams and this one is no different. There are many already being reported in the area and it is important to be aware of what attempts there might be to take advantage of you. For instance, there are coronavirus emails that are going around that are made to look like important information. Do not open any links from said emails. You should also research any charity or non-profit you’re considering donating to. During times like this it is incredibly important to donate if you have the ability to do so, but be aware of who you are in fact donating to.

Local utilities have voted to not do any shut-offs right now. If anyone tells you that they will shut off your power or water without paying them, do not listen to them.

If you do not feel safe at home don’t hesitate to reach out to the domestic violence hotline. Even if it doesn’t seem like there is any safety outside of the home, there are safe and sanitary places available for those that feel at danger in their current living conditions. The number to call is 816-HOTLINE.

For more information check out the Kansas City Police Department’s official statements.

And if you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to start binging that show you’ve always wanted to. Maybe start with Everything’s Gonna Be Okay. You could start up a new podcast, like one from our recommendations. You could also cozy up on your couch and listen to Couch By Couch West, the streaming music fest SXSW-style. Or break out a bottle of bourbon and watch these Westport Saloon livestream highlights.

Categories: News