It’s incredibly apparent that COVID-19 has changed life as we know it far beyond just social distancing.


Step in a grocery store at the moment and you’ll see there’s a tremendous increase in demand for food products. Stores can barely keep some items on the shelves.


Panic buying, stocking up, hunkering down — regardless of what label you give it, this isn’t the kind of rush preparedness purchasing we see when a blizzard is impending. Sure, you can’t find eggs, milk or bread, but many other things aren’t staying long on the shelves either.


People are buying out grocery stores in large swaths to stock up on the realization that they’ll be stuck in their homes for the foreseeable future.


We’re not here to judge what consumers purchase. If you need it, by all means, buy it, but please don’t waste it. Additionally, we feel the obligation to remind our readers that hoarding food and resources is unconscionable.


Instead, we’re choosing to highlight what might be one of seldom silver linings brought on by COVID-19. Demand for Kansas dairy and meat products has never been higher. Thank you to our Kansas producers for stepping up in these uncertain times to meet the demand.


The Hutchinson News reported last week that many Kansas ag companies are seeing spikes in demand, especially dairies and meat processors.


“It’s been insane,” Cassey Shupe, one of the owners of Holton Meat Processing in Holton, told Alice Mannette. “We’re working around the clock.”


The biggest issue Shupe’s plant is facing is the labor needed to keep up. They have animals. Similar situations are echoed at Hildebrand Farms Dairy in Junction City and Cargill in Dodge City. There are many other producers across the state who are likely experiencing high demand for their products.


We hope you keep your spirits high. Right now you’re certainly living up to that reputation of a Kansas work ethic.


We fully understand that there’s pressure to keep shelves stocked and that social distancing may complicate that process, but we certainly applaud the efforts of our Kansas producers to put food on the table.


What you’re doing is critical for the rest of us to get through the coming weeks and months.


These are the kinds of stories people will tell decades from now. This is the kind of history we want to remember for Kansas when COVID-19 gets brought up.