Stay-at-home order extended into May

Barbara Lunsford, Copy Editor

With April wrapping up, more than a month of quarantine due to Covid-19 will have taken place. Unfortunately, the stay-at-home drill will not be ending with May’s arrival. Normal life is still looking to be far away from the point the world is at right now.

In a Chicago Tribune article by Gregory Pratt, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was far from optimistic about April 30 marking the end of social isolation for Illinois. She said, “I think that’s going to be difficult for us to say, April 30, everything comes up, I don’t expect that to happen. I think it will extend beyond that.” Any extension would be determined by Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker.

Lightfoot’s predictions were proven correct as the extension of the stay-at-home order was officially announced by Pritzker on April 23. For NBC Chicago, Pritzker said, “I know how badly we all want our normal lives back. But this is the part where we have to dig in and understand that the sacrifices we’ve made as a state to avoid a worst-case scenario are working.” 

Pritzker’s decision to add to the original order comes with new modifications. Beginning on May 1, there will be a requirement to cover faces in public areas that make social distancing a challenge. Any person able to tolerate a face mask over the age of 2 will be expected to follow this. On the other hand, some previous restrictions are slowly going to be lifted. This includes the opening of state parks, more businesses, and new rules for non-essential retail. The state park side of this has yet to include popular places in Illinois like Starved Rock.

As far as larger gatherings go, some Chicago suburbs have already canceled their special celebrations for the Fourth of July and Memorial Day holidays. Pritzker, according to NBC Chicago, believes the state may soon look into restriction changes based on region. He also sees the early reopening of businesses in other states as a decision that would have too many consequences at this time for Illinois. Going right back to old ways could lead to a big spread of Covid-19 all over again.

For now, isolation is still what seems to be the best option, especially for Illinois. Staying safe now to decrease the virus spreading could lead to a quicker recovery. Normal life would be easier to achieve.