Stories by Alexandra Silets

Celebrating Easter and Passover During the Pandemic

A Seder dinner service. (mollyjade / Flickr)

Will the holidays be vastly different during the stay-at-home order? A local rabbi and pastor talk about how they are ministering during this strange time.

Illinois Congressmen React to Trump’s Ouster of COVID-19 Stimulus Watchdog

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus pandemic during a press briefing Tuesday, April 7, 2020. (WTTW News via CNN)

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump fired Glenn Fine, chairman of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, whose job was to oversee the administration of trillions of dollars in federal funding. We get reaction from three Illinois congressmen.

The Week in Review: COVID-19 Cases Soar as McCormick Place Facility Opens

Illinois saw its largest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases on Friday, with an additional 1,209 people testing positive for the virus. A growing number of Chicago cases prompts the creation of a field hospital at McCormick Place.

A Look at the Ethical Dilemmas Facing Hospitals as Virus Cases Rise

(WTTW News)

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust a host of ethical dilemmas out of the classroom and into emergency rooms and hospitals. Is it ethical to ask providers to reuse masks? Or to prioritize testing? Or to ration ventilators? We speak with two doctors on the front lines.

How Health Care Providers Are Preparing for COVID-19 Peak in Illinois

(Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash)

The Chicago Medical Society says that intensive care units in Chicago are full as of Monday. But experts say a peak in cases is still two to three weeks away. 

The Week in Review: Pandemic Shutters Chicago Lakefront, Parks

(WTTW News)

The latest coronavirus cases and deaths in the state. Lakefront and park closures — what might be next? And what the $2 trillion economic rescue package means for the state budget — and your wallet.

Will a Government Bailout Resurrect the Airline Industry?

(WTTW News)

The struggling airline industry will get a $32 billion infusion as part of the $2 trillion congressional stimulus bill. But will it be enough to resurrect an industry that is one of the most essential for the economy?

Tips for Dealing with High Anxiety in the Age of COVID-19

 (Photo by @plqml // felipe pelaquim on Unsplash)

The new coronavirus has upended lives across the globe. We take a look at the mental toll of social distancing, isolation and the fear of illness – and ways to cope.

Kim Foxx Talks Primary Win, Moving Beyond Smollett Case

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx appears on “Chicago Tonight” on March 18, 2020. (WTTW News)

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx came away the winner in Tuesday’s primary against three Democratic challengers. She joins us in discussion.

Closures, Quarantines: Officials Aim to Halt Spread of COVID-19

(WTTW News)

Restaurants have closed for dine-in business. Schools are shuttered. Gatherings should be limited. How big a difference will these rules make? We speak with an infectious disease doctor about the new recommendations.

Candidate Forum: Kim Foxx Faces 3 Primary Challengers in State’s Attorney Race

Democratic candidates for Cook County state’s attorney, from left: incumbent Kim Foxx, Bill Conway, Donna More and Bob Fioretti appear on a “Chicago Tonight” candidate forum. (WTTW News)

Political ads have been flooding the airways for months in the race for Cook County state’s attorney. And they have been getting increasingly nasty.

Stocks Slide Over Oil War and Coronavirus Fears

The closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, March 9, 2020. (WTTW News via CNN)

Fears over the coronavirus and an oil price war sank the Dow Jones Industrial on Monday, while the S&P 500 had its worst day since 2008.

How SARS Research is Helping Scientists Explore Treatment for Coronavirus

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

A team of doctors and researchers based in Chicago has discovered that a protein in the coronavirus could be treated with drugs that had been in development for SARS. We get an update on their work.

Coronavirus Rattles Markets: What it Means for the Economy

Global stock markets lost more than $3 trillion in value this week as investors fled amid growing concerns of a coronavirus pandemic. So what’s the outlook for the U.S. economy?

‘Arguing with Zombies’: Paul Krugman on Economic Ideas That Won’t Die

Paul Krugman appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. (WTTW News)

A conversation with with the Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times opinion columnist about his new book, “Arguing With Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future.”

Coalition Works Toward 20% Reduction in Chicago Gun Violence

(WTTW News)

What’s behind the spike in gun violence this year? And what can be done to stanch it? As part of our WTTW Firsthand initiative, we take a closer look at the problem – and possible solutions.

Gloves Come Off in Democratic Debate Over Medicare for All

Democratic presidential candidates, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., right, speaks as former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg looks on during a Democratic presidential primary debate Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in Las Vegas, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC. (AP Photo / John Locher)

One particular issue keeps rising to the top of voters’ concerns this primary season. Medicare for All took center stage at the democratic debate in Las Vegas this week – and the candidates pulled no punches.

What’s Behind Chicago’s Black Exodus

A UIC report cites high unemployment rates and the continuing effects of the housing crisis on an exodus of African Americans from Chicago. (WTTW News)

Hundreds of thousands of black Chicagoans have fled the city since 1980, according to a recent report. What’s driving that exodus, and what can be done to reverse the trend?

Teachers Unions Decry ‘Traumatizing’ Active Shooter Drills

(Don Harder / Flickr)

Active shooter drills are as common as reading, writing and arithmetic in American schools. But a new report says they are traumatizing students.

Report: Pilsen Post Office Clerk Told Customers to ‘Speak English’

The Pilsen post office at 1859 S. Ashland Ave., Chicago. (WTTW News)

Community leaders are pushing the postal service for answers – and changes – after a customer reported a clerk who refused to help Spanish-speaking customers.

Primary Politics: Should Illinois Come First in 2024?

(Kay Schlumpf / Flickr)

On the heels of the Iowa caucuses debacle, Illinois leaders are trying to rally support for the state to hold the first presidential primary in 2024. But is that a good idea?

The Week in Review: Chaotic Week for Chicago Public Schools

Turmoil at Lincoln Park High School. Bribery scandals take down multiple politicians – will they also quash red light cameras? And President Donald Trump takes a victory lap.

The Week in Review: Trump Impeached, Pot Delay Squashed

A push to delay pot sales in Chicago fails. President Trump is impeached by the House, but Senate trial details are uncertain. Former Assessor Joe Berrios is reportedly under federal investigation. And the Bears play on with the playoff out of reach.

Fight Over President Trump’s Finances Lands at Supreme Court

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Sunrise, Fla., Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. (AP Photo / Susan Walsh)

Can President Donald Trump block Congress from seeing his financial records? The Supreme Court has agreed to hear three cases to determine whether he can keep them private.

Lightfoot Clarifies Police Enforcement of Public Pot Smoking

(Jantaaa / Pixabay)

Legal marijuana sales are coming to Illinois in January. But where exactly can you smoke pot in Chicago? City officials are trying to shed light on the issue – are they ready for the rollout?