COVID Decreases Opens Illinois Doors By Cassiette West-Williams

President Joseph Biden has planned for 70% of Americans to be fully vaccinated by July 4th, and Illinois is pressing forward to the goal. Our state, Illinois, will fully reopen on June 10th.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said that the state was ready for a grand re-opening, although many businesses and public places are requiring that masks be worn.

Health officials are targeting inner-city communities, where African Americans and Latinos have the lowest rate of people vaccinated. Even though the free programs have lasted more than a year, some people of color have not taken the shot. 

Leading the nation, Chicago will be the first major city to reopen on June 11th. Los Angeles, CA is scheduled to re-open on July 15th, whereas July 1st is the date for New York to reopen.

In cities like Chicago, health officials focused on offering free haircuts and food if clients received a vaccination. The program is called “Vax and Relax” and attracts people 18 years old and older for the free, government-sponsored program. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has seen an increase of children with underlying conditions hospitalized after they were vaccinated. If the teen is under 18 years old, a parent must be present to receive the vaccine.

Incentives for young people have included college scholarships and technology. The pressure to vaccinate is strong, as airports offer incentives for air flights and other items.

Staff is working double hours. Business owners can not find people to return to work, some say due to unemployment benefits. Unemployment pays more than the minimum wage for restaurant workers, and some business owners are claiming that they are overworking the current staff that they do have.

More than two million women are re-entering the workforce, and the pandemic has caused child care centers to be in demand. With women doing double duty at home and in the workplace, options for mothers have become complicated. Women who depended on grandparents to be child caregivers are finding that their family members are not available due to their own health care issues.

Some families can not pay for good daycare centers, where workers are earning more than $18 an hour. These workers are required to have a college-level education and meet state guidelines. While the state offers assistance to some mothers, some child care facilities have closed and will not reopen in inner cities.

Internationally, ABC News has reported that many Japanese residents do not want the Olympics to take place, as they are afraid of COVID spreading. However, Japanese officials said that the event will go on as scheduled in Tokyo. The games take place between July 23rd to August 8th, and officials will have temperature checks, extra cleaning stations, and hand sanitizer available for all athletes.

President Biden has also promised to send more items and supplies to COVID -19 in India.