‘People Dropping Like Flies’: Chicago’s South, West and North Siders on COVID-19

Chicagoans across the city are preparing themselves for another month of staying indoors amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced his plan Thursday to modify and extend the state’s stay-at-home order through May 30.

As of Monday, there have been more than 45,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state and nearly 2,000 deaths, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. But those figures would have been far higher had such restrictive actions not been taken, according to data models from the governor’s office.

Willie Horton lives in the South Side neighborhood of Kenwood and lost his job during Chicago’s COVID-19 shutdown.

“People are dropping like flies and the young folks really don’t realize it,” Horton said. “They’re the ones giving the older folks the virus. So I can understand, it’s best to be safe.”

Like many Chicago residents during the pandemic, Horton said money is an issue. He has enough to make it through the end of May but will need to seek public assistance beyond that.

In Humboldt Park on the West Side, Peter Andresen is dealing with another common issue: social distancing. He was running past someone when he was yelled at for getting too close.

“So, trying to be mindful that some people are handling it different than others,” Andresen said.

The extended stay-at-home order taking effect May 1 will allow greenhouses and garden centers to open with social distancing protocols as well as nonessential retail stores to organize order pickups and delivery.

Follow Evan Garcia on Twitter: @EvanRGarcia


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