Anyone who thinks that COVID-19 is overhyped in Kansas, or that somehow the pandemic has passed us by, needs to look at four numbers.


The first is 42,612, which is the total number of total coronavirus cases confirmed in Kansas through Monday of this week. The second is 43,940, which is the total number of coronavirus cases confirmed in Kansas through Wednesday of this week. That’s 1,328 new cases diagnosed across the state in the space of two days.


The third number is 446, or the total number of deaths from COVID-19 reported through Monday. The fourth number is 458, which is the total number from COVID-19 reported through Wednesday. That’s a dozen souls over two days.


And if you can believe it, these numbers are actually down a bit from the last week or two. Regardless, Kansas has seen an uptick in coronavirus cases, and we all should be on alert.


Gov. Laura Kelly certainly is. "We can all begin to accept this rise in infections and deaths, but they’re not acceptable," she told reporters at a news conference this week.


Many of these cases might be the results of college students heading back to campus. A few might come from sports practices or school districts that have gone ahead and resumed in-person instruction. As a respiratory virus, COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate — it’s happy to infect anyone who’s around and unprotected.


Honestly, the toll grows wearying.


We have spent editorial after editorial on these pages and on this website urging caution and commonsense when confronting COVID-19. We have praised Kelly and KDHE Secretary Lee Norman for clear-eyed leadership and dinged those legislators who effectively shut down the state’s ability to effectively respond earlier in the summer.


What did our leaders think would happen? What do those who spend time on Facebook claiming this pandemic think is going on? Do those who claim this is all a hoax want to spend time in a COVID-19 ward at their local hospital? Would they go in there without a mask?


We saw cases escalate exponentially from June into July, then tip down a bit. But last month, they began to rise again, and there’s no end in sight.


Until the people of Kansas get their act together — wearing masks, practicing social distancing, avoiding unnecessary gatherings, staying at home — the cases will rise. We will still see more deaths. And the greatest shame of it all, the most mortifying fact, is that all of this could have been prevented with basic common sense.