Column: COVID intolerance is major issue

Logan Raschke

Ignorance is not Illinois’ worst enemy; intolerance is. Illinoisans’ detrimental intolerance of COVID-19 guidelines/safety measures is causing a spike.

When will enough be enough? When will we collectively cease bickering about guidelines and take the necessary steps to curve COVID-19 numbers downward? When will we start caring about each other?

Well, seeing as Illinois is averaging about 12,364 COVID-19 cases and 91 deaths caused by COVID-19 per day in the last week alone, according to The New York Times, there’s no answer.

According to NPR, Illinois’ average COVID-19 cases per day had doubled during the last week of October. The Illinois case average per day was 4,747 at the time.

In just over two weeks, Illinois has managed to jump by 160.5 percent.

A vaccine that is 90 percent effective is on the way, but it likely won’t be widely distributed for at least a few months. Until that vaccine is readily available, it’s time to follow the guidelines and take the numbers 100 percent seriously.

Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker announced new COVID-19 restrictions Tuesday, which include limiting restaurant, retail and gym capacities to 25 percent instead of 50, according to the Associated Press.

Additionally, indoor classes are no longer allowed in Illinois. The academic lives of Eastern students, faculty and staff are once again thrown into disarray a mere few days before Thanksgiving Break, which precedes the university’s shift to online.

A huge body of students and professors have to completely revamp everything in an incredibly short amount of time.

As a college student who had more mental breakdowns in the past nine months because of COVID-19 than she cares to admit, I apologize wholeheartedly to the students, faculty and staff who have to make the shift again — especially under such a ridiculous time constraint. I am so sorry.

If the numbers don’t start going down, Pritzker said Tuesday that Illinois will need another stay-at-home order, according to AP.

A popular criticism of the increased restrictions is that small businesses suffer.

While there are relief programs specifically for small businesses and not-for-profits, this is generally true. It’s also a reason to follow the guidelines the first time so that we don’t see spikes and even more heavy restrictions.

For now, most small-business restaurants are still doing carryout.

I encourage anyone who wants to support small restaurants to do exactly that and order food to-go. That’s the safest way to give money to those small businesses. Don’t go to large food chains that have actually profited off the pandemic.

For the good of literally everyone, we need to do what we can to stop the spread because if we don’t, our hospitals will be overcrowded, leading to more deaths due to lack of care.

At this point, we really can’t use ignorance as an excuse anymore, considering the wealth of available COVID-19 information and preventative resources.

Intolerance and entitlement are horrible plagues, and a lot of Illinoisans are infected.

 

Logan Raschke is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]