Start to Reopen Illinois

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryAs more people are filing lawsuits against Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker to reopen their businesses, it is becoming apparent that more people (especially in the counties least affected by the corona virus epidemic) are calling for the State of Illinois to be reopened. The most affected part of the state is the Chicago area; most of the rest of the state has barely been touched. The hysteria that the rest of the state could be affected by the corona virus goes on the premise that opening up the state immediately will mean the virus can travel everywhere and cause a huge spike in numbers. Those states that have opened up are not seeing a significant spike in corona virus cases. Is there a guarantee that this will not happen? No, there are no guarantees.

However, there are several things that must be taken into account. First, business owners by and large ARE taking Illinois health guidelines into consideration when preparing to reopen their businesses. They care about their employees and their customers. Second, those counties least affected should be given the chances and option to reopen ahead of those counties most affected by the epidemic. There should not be a one size fits all arrangement to keep the whole state on complete lock down. Finally, private businesses need to make money to be able to put food on their tables, to pay their utilities, to pay their employees, and most important put money into the state coffers. Without money, people will be unable to pay their bills, be unable to feed their families, and eventually the whole economy will start to collapse. This will not help anyone, including those people suffering from the corona virus. The governor seems to think that think that the epidemic will spread out of control if the state is opened up right now. Would the alternative of a collapsing state economy, people dying of starvation, people losing their homes, and riots in the streets be a better option?

The State of Illinois has achieved its goal of flattening the epidemic even if there is a rise in new cases. All people I have seen in every essential establishment are wearing masks and practicing a social distancing of at least six feet. What more can be asked? The governor seems far too worried about at-risk groups of people contracting the virus compared to everyone else. Fair enough, that is a concern. I should explain that I am in an at-risk group of people. I have a heart condition, high blood pressure, diabetes type two, thyroid gland problem, and I have trouble walking. Yet despite these conditions, I am still working as a newspaper correspondent, and yes I am taking a risk going out there to talk to people and doing what I must do within responsible health guidelines. Like everyone else, I have to make money to put food on my table and pay the bills. I am willing to take the risk to help this state keep going in my own way. The only good news in my regards is that I am able to work as newspapers are still considered an essential business. Millions of other Illinois residents want to do the same. This is why I am adding my voice calling for the State of Illinois to be reopened as soon as possible!

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