I am a renter – I pay for mom’s apartment, and I am doing it for the third year now. However, it was for the first time that in the second week of April, I received an email from mom’s property management company: thank you for paying your rent! Igor told me that his property management sent a similar email, which proves one more time the magnitude of the April rent problem. I know that there were lots of petitions for waving the April rent, and then the property owners were trying to secure delays on their mortgage payments… you know the story. The situation in Illinois is not better than in other states. That being said, I am happy that both my sons have jobs at the moment, although with reduced income.
I hear a lot of conversations on the radio on how the current crisis is going to change the world. But when the commentators say “the world,” they mean the United States. Hopes are that some of the measures which are taken as temporal, like guaranteed sick leave, extended unemployment coverage will stay. And that people will be more inclined to consider some form of Universal Health Care, and that the UBI won’t be dismissed on the spot. I share these hopes.
And now I want to talk a little bit more about the state of affairs in Illinois. I’ve already mentioned multiple times that the current presidency made me extremely appreciative of the principles of federalism. I voted for Pritzker in 2018, and never regretted it. I try to make time to listen in to most of his briefings. He is particular, very open, and he genuinely cares about people.
On Sunday, the reporters were asking him the “when” question, and he was explaining over and over that he understands they want a definite answer, and everybody wants it, and he wants it, but there is no way to tell. The reporters kept asking: now, that it’s getting warmer, will he consider opening some parks and golf courses? One reporter was pleading: can we open the Lakefront? Yes, I know, that weekend, it was horrible, I understand, but can we please try one more time? We will be better! Can you please give us another chance?!
A small group of protesters holding “Don’t tread on me” flags and chanting “Open Illinois!” demonstrated outside the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield on Sunday, the latest in a series of protests across the country against stay-at-home orders designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.About 50 people gathered on the steps of the Capitol, holding signs that read “Open our state,” “Freedom is essential” and “No one is safe when rights are infringed.” Others waved “Trump 2020” and “Recall Pritzker.” One counterprotester stood among them, wearing a face mask and holding a sign that read “These guys are idiots.” “I think I would say to all of those folks who legitimately want to get back to work that I do too,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said at his daily briefing. “I want people to get back to work, I want people to go back to school. And I want us to have a great summer. And so I’m looking for all of the best ways to make that happen. But we’re in the middle of an emergency, a pandemic.”From the Chicago Tribune digital edition
And this article in Sunday’s Tribune brought tears on my eyes. I am saving both the text and the pictures, because I learned the hard way that links to newspaper articles do not last forever! Here it goes:
Chicago Fire Department first responders rolled up in four trucks and stood outside Weiss Memorial Hospital on Saturday morning, saluting nurses and physicians working on the front line.
Dozens of Weiss staff members gathered outside the hospital entrance in the Uptown neighborhood, 4646 N. Marine Drive, almost brought to tears by the gesture. They clapped back in return.
“We should be saluting at them instead of them saluting us,” said Weiss ER Dr. Tam Thai. “But the bottom line here is that we are in this all together to save lives and save our community.”
Last week, the Weiss team sent over pizza to four of their neighboring fire stations to thank them for their work. “And I think that they loved those pizzas,” said hospital Director of Business Development Brenda Routson.
The parade was the first time many hospital staffers were able to go out in daylight, according to Director of Medical Education Teresa Tuohy, as most doctors arrive before sunrise and do not leave until after dark.
“Who knew this (the salute) was going to be so emotional,” said Tuohy, tearing up. “How can you not cry!”
Similar to hospitals across the city, Weiss is working to treat a large number of COVID-19 cases. On Friday, Weiss was one of the first hospitals in Chicago to receive a shipment of new GM-made ventilators to help address the influx of patients.
“It’s just a lot,” Tuohy said. As she spoke, another ambulance began to approach from the distance. “All I do is listen to sirens all day.”
Tuohy was grateful for the fairly calm Saturday morning, so ER workers were able to come outside and spend a little time to enjoy the recognition.
But, immediately after the trucks pulled away, the nurses and doctors went straight back to work.
“Just like always there is no ‘I’ in team,” Thai said. “We are all here together, and that’s why we’re gonna beat this.”