Wearing masks, socially distancing and simply remaining home are small tasks that have been ignored in Illinois. While the COVID-19 Pandemic rates keep rising, more people insist on doing their own thing, as individuals are now dying by the thousands.
Illinois Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton said that following the state’s health agenda can change some outcomes in the Black community.
“There’s an old saying that goes when America catches a cold, Black America gets the flu. Today, it can be said that when America catches coronavirus, our community is dying,” Stratton said. I am here to say to you—Illinois is dedicated to fighting these two pandemics–COVID and systemic racism.”
The Center for Disease Control estimates that the country could have more than 20 million cases of the coronavirus by Christmas, said Dr. Michael Osterholm, in a statement. Osterholm is serving as a board member of President-elect Joe Biden’s task force and is concerned about hospitals having enough space to treat this deadly virus.
Illinois’ top physician, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, broke down in tears last month while delivering the grim statistics. She has asked families not to hold huge holiday celebrations and to wear masks inside of one’s home. Currently, the numbers of Illinois residents in the most harm reside in Kane, Lake, DuPage and McHenry counties. Illinois has 4,200 people in the hospitals, across the state.
Dr. Ezike’s empathy for residents has saddened her outlook on people who refuse to follow the guidelines. There are several restaurants, who refuse to close and defy the rules by serving food inside their establishments. Many bars and taverns have been limited to serving six people outside if they do not have a food license.
Various taverns say that if they close again, they will lose their business and ruin their lives with bankruptcy. Many business owners do not want their employees on unemployment or simply without any access to assisting their families, as the wintertime temperatures will be low and the gas and electric bills will rise. The price of food has skyrocketed and cleaning supplies in many stores have tripled.
Lt. Gov. Stratton has offered a solution for some business owners. “We (the state) have more than $240 million dollars in funds–from our Business Interruption Grant program. That money is helping small businesses stay open, like restaurants, daycares, barbershops, boutiques and more,” she said.
Dr. Osterholm is on staff at the University of Minnesota. He said, “I’ve been saying for months is get ready, we’re going to be hitting 200,000 or more cases a day. And we have to get prepared in our hospitals for that very issue,” Osterholm emphasized with the surge in national cases. Many doctors and nurses have died, trying to save their patients’ lives. There may not be enough medical staff available to help a large number of patients in America.
According to press releases, Pfizer has devised a vaccine for COVID, but it will not be released until late winter, after January 2021.
The CDC is strongly asking all citizens to wear masks to protect both parties to block the spread of this virus. Stratton asks that Illinois residents think beyond themselves and wear masks for our future generation.
“We have much to do, and being healthy and strong, clear-minded and COVID free aids in putting systemic racism out of commission,” she said. “Elevating our country to be fair, equitable and just for our children and our children’s children.”