OK, folks, it’s time for some plain talk.


Usually we try to be all highfalutin’ and serious-sounding on this page, attempting to make clear how carefully we’ve considered the issues upon which we opine. This is all right and necessary.


But sometimes you need a … different approach. So here goes.


There’s still a pandemic going on, people.


Just because you’re sick of it doesn’t mean the coronavirus is sick of you. Just because you want to tear off your mask and go gallivanting around town doesn’t mean you’ll be protected. And even if you’re dedicated to fighting racial injustice, the worthiest of worthy causes, the virus doesn’t distinguish between people and causes.


Right here, right now, in Kansas people are still getting sick. People are still dying. No magic switch has been flipped somewhere to make the coronavirus less virulent. You, the person reading this editorial right now, you can still contract the disease. You can still get sick. Not your friends, not your neighbors, not some random person you don’t know. You.


Now, we’re not arguing with a gradual, commonsense reopening. Other states may have gotten ahead of themselves (we’re looking at you, Florida, Texas and Arizona), but Kansas has handled the threat with calm and caution.


But we see too many people throwing caution to the wind. Those who are older going without masks inside stores. Folks congregating outside stores and on sidewalks. Festive events on lakefronts and in backyards.


Sure, many of these gatherings will go without a hitch. Things will be fine. But in some of them, even if only a few, things won’t be fine. The virus will pass from one person to another.


Is that risk worth it to you? Is whatever you want to do today worth it?


We cannot remain prisoners indoors forever. We agree with that. But the guidelines should be clear and understandable. If you’re inside or around other people, wear a cloth mask. Try to maintain 6 feet or more of distance from others. If you have a choice between staying in and going out, stay in. Wash your hands and don’t touch your face. Be careful.


Research suggests that the summer months may actually restrain the virus somewhat. That’s good news, but it’s not a license to act dumb. The risk is still out there, and it’s worth remembering.


OK, plain talk over. But please, be careful. For us.