1. Illinois Department of Public Health – for up to the minute updates on COVID-19, and the actions we’re taking to limit its effects.
2. DPH COVID-19 Home Page for information specific to the virus
3. A link to the Unemployment Benefits portal for people who are forced to stay home during this crisis.
4. Updates will also be posted to the Governor’s website, but the DPH website will be the best. Use this as a backup.
5. Cook County Department of Public Health
6. Lake County Department of Public Health
I have always believed in being open and honest with you. Today will be no different. We are in a crisis and one that we don’t know how it’s going to end. But what we do know is that it is important that we all work together and follow all the suggestions being made around COVID-19 aka the Coronavirus.
Yesterday (Sunday 3/15), I had a very informative conversation around the impacts of this virus with a qualified medical professional. We are not dealing with an inconvenience; we are dealing with a medical crisis. If we take notice of what is happening in Italy, it will become clear that this is not to be taken lightly. We’re not sure where this is going to go, but the experts are telling us that it will get potentially worse if we do not act and act quickly.
In an email I received from a group of doctors, they said…
The recommended measures of personal hand hygiene, avoiding touching your face, and aggressive social distancing are burdensome but are the best measures to reduce the number of people getting sick. Just as important, these measures will reduce the speed with which the virus spreads and every day helps us avoid the extent to which our healthcare system will be overwhelmed by the demand; thus “flattening the curve.”
The timing and scope of these additional measures are difficult considerations. Any measures at this time could be deemed either overly aggressive or too late. With that in mind, we advocate for steps that may be deemed overly aggressive, as this is preferred in matters of community safety. We commend you and city leaders for the aggressive actions you have taken to date, such as closing our public schools and also cancelling the St. Patrick’s Day Parade to lower the likelihood of community spread.
The hours and days ahead will be critical to mitigating community spread. While recommendations for hand hygiene and social distancing are spot on, their voluntary implementation is clearly challenging and not effective given subsequent mass gatherings despite widely-publicized recommendations for social distancing.
We know these are difficult steps, and we are hesitant to have to recommend them. We as a state may face short-term economic set-backs as a result, but the long-term economic consequences of not acting now are greater. The big-picture perspective is necessary.
These are not my words. These are not the words of cable news or the many sites on the internet who promise answers but don’t have any science behind it. This is from a long list of doctors who will be battling this disease. The ones who are on the front line risking their lives to keep us safe and alive. This isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue. This is a worldwide health issue. This isn’t a conspiracy.
Governor Pritzker and his team have been very clear on what’s been happening. They’re telling us to stay inside and not congregate. Unfortunately, there are those who think they’re smarter than the rest of us. However, they fail to realize that even though they may not be at risk, they’re putting everyone in imminent danger.
Let’s say the doctors are wrong and we’re overreacting. So be it. But why take a chance? Let me ask this another way. Several industries like the NCAA, NBA, NHL, MLB, AHL and XFL have either shut down or suspended operations. The NCAA is leaving over a billion dollars on the table. The other professional leagues are also losing major revenue. Why do you think they’re doing this?
If you take nothing else away from this, please at least think about how you’re planning to handle the next few weeks. Think about those whose immune systems are compromised. Think about the elderly. All of these people are at major risk. Please, remember to wash your hands, minimize person-to-person contact, cough/sneeze into your elbow instead of your hand, and if possible, work from home.
We’ve made the decision to close my office for the foreseeable future. We will be reachable, but not in person. If you need anything, please call or email us for help. Mike will be on hand at [email protected] or 847.261.4085.
Be smart, be safe, and may G-d bless you and your family during this difficult time.