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My Fellow Kansans Special: People and the Pandemic

Kansas News Service

Early on in 2020, things seemed to be moving along at quite a clip. The Kansas economy was thriving. Candidates were gearing up for competitive U.S. House and Senate races. And a top-ranked Kansas men’s basketball team looked every bit a contender for the national championship.

All the while, something called COVID-19 was lurking. It made its first recorded appearance in Kansas in Johnson County on March 7. Within two weeks, Governor Laura Kelly ordered schools closed until fall.. By the end of the month, the state was pretty much shut down.

At that point, it was clear: This pandemic would affect every Kansan. We just didn’t know how, or how much. So, the Kansas News Service wanted to find out, and brought you stories for Season 3 of My Fellow Kansans.

The people you’ll hear from in this hourlong special, and the Kansas News Service reporters who interviewed them, are:

  • Montella Wimbley of Wichita, interviewed by Brian Grimmett
  • Slai Hung of Garden City, interviewed by Corinne Boyer
  • Anil Gharmalkar, Jalon-Evans Gharmalkar and Tamarah Chancellor of Oswego, interviewed by Celia Llopis-Jepsen
  • Gabrielle Griffie of Wichita, interviewed by Nomin Ujiyediin
  • Michelle Taylor of Silver Lake, interviewed by Stephen Koranda
  • Ehlaina Hartmann of Spearville, interviewed by Stephen Bisaha.

Kansas News Service senior reporter Jim McLean hosted this special, and Kansas News Service news editor Erica Hunzinger wrote and produced the special.

Special thanks to Grace Lotz, Beth Golay and Briana O’Higgins for promotional work; Jordan Kirtley for designing the My Fellow Kansans logo; and Primary Color Music for producing our theme song.

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