Second wave of COVID storms in with a vengeance

Emily Vayda, staff writer

As many of us hoped that the COVID-19 cases were becoming less and we could finally get our lives back to normal, the second round charges in worse than it did in spring and is more worrisome than the first round.

As of November 19th, 2020, Will County has 31,387 confirmed cases and 487 deaths.  The positivity rate in Will County is 20.7%.  Our region has utilized 86% of it’s ICU beds and currently only has 23 beds available out of 162 total.  Edward Hospital is currently treating 75 patients with a confirmed COVID positive test which is more than their highest number back in spring.  These numbers reflect the surge currently happening in Will and Dupage County.  

Another change during this second wave of COVID is the way patients are being treated.  Registered nurse, Marisa Stellato, stated, “Although the number of COVID positive patients and admissions are greater than they were in March and April, the patients are having shorter stays and are not being put on ventilators as early as they did in spring.” This is because they are being supported with supplemental oxygen by mask or nasal cannula because the overall outcome for the patient is better.  Therefore, the availability of ventilators for those who truly need it is better than it was in spring.   

The restaurant industry is highly impacted by the negative effects of COVID because they are losing business on a daily basis.  The summer months helped restaurants stay afloat since they were able to offer outdoor seating as well as limited seating indoors.  However, the Governor has restricted indoor dining in many areas, including Will County so some restaurants have obtained heated tents so that they can sit customers outside in the tent during this shutdown.  Some of these local businesses are Crispy Waffle, Capri Sogno, and Chop’d.  

Other businesses have made the tough decision of not following the Governor’s recommendation and continuing to allow indoor seating.  In a Facebook post dated November 14th, 2020, the owner of Sovereign in Plainfield advised, “Despite our most desperate attempts at following the Governor’s orders to stop indoor dining, it has become IMPOSSIBLE to maintain our life’s work doing so.”  He went on to advise that it was the most difficult decision they had to make and that they understand that not everyone is going to agree with that decision but if they didn’t stay open, they most likely would not survive through this next round of COVID.  

COVID-19 has affected the school system since it began back in March.  Joliet Township High School, both West and Central campuses, are continuing the full remote learning schedule for the remainder of the first semester.  The Plainfield School District 202 had a gradual plan for returning students to in-person learning, however, they have paused that process and are continuing with remote learning.  Troy School District for K-8 students in our area did have in-person classes on a hybrid shortened schedule model.  Since Covid cases have increased drastically, Troy School District has decided to go back to full remote learning starting on November 30th and continuing at least through January 21st, 2021.  So for most area students, remote learning will continue at least for a couple more months.  

 The second round of Covid is forcing these changes in our lives such as remote learning and business restrictions to stick around longer than anyone had hoped.