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COVID-19 roundup

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2020 - Posted by Rich Miller

* There’s so much we don’t yet know

The novel coronavirus can be a killer — or no big deal. It can put a person in the intensive care unit on a ventilator, isolated from family, facing a lonely death — or it can come and go without leaving a mark, a ghost pathogen, more rumor than reality.

Six months into a pandemic that has killed more than 400,000 people globally, scientists are still trying to understand the wildly variable nature of covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.

Among their lines of inquiry: Are distinct strains of the coronavirus more dangerous? Does a patient’s blood type affect the severity of the illness? Do other genetic factors play a role? Are some people partially protected from covid-19 because they’ve had recent exposure to other coronaviruses?

Much of the research remains provisional or ambiguous, and for now scientists can’t do much better than say that covid-19 is more likely to be worse for older people — often described as over the age of 60 — and for those with chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, lung disease and heart disease.

* Oy

China raised its emergency warning to its second-highest level and canceled more than 60% of the flights to Beijing on Wednesday amid a new coronavirus outbreak in the capital. It was a sharp pullback for the nation that declared victory over COVID-19 in March and a message to the rest of the world about how tenacious the virus really is.

New infections spiked in India, Iran and U.S. states including Florida, Texas and Arizona as authorities struggled to balance restarting economic activity without accelerating the pandemic.

European nations, which embarked on a wide-scale reopening this week, looked on with trepidation as the Americas struggled to contain the first wave of the pandemic and Asian nations like China and South Korea reported new outbreaks.

Chinese officials described the situation in Beijing as “extremely grave.”

Texas still appears to have ample hospital/ICU beds, but this is why testing and contact tracing are so important during reopenings. In order to prevent hospital systems from being overrun (which could happen in Arizona), you’ve gotta quickly identify hotspots and then quarantine the exposed. Florida, by the way, doesn’t publish daily hospitalization totals, which is just bizarre this deep into the pandemic.

* The Midwest and Northeast are the only regions in the country to successfully bend the curve downward. And Illinois is one of the five most successful states in the nation…

* WBBM Radio

Much of Illinois is moving toward entering Phase 4 of the governor’s re-opening plan on June 26.

Gov. JB Pritzker said that’s a week from Friday, as he reminded people to be aware of the lingering coronavirus. He noted Monday other states have been experiencing spikes in COVID-19 cases after reopening, perhaps too soon.

“I think you have seen in the other states, they moved very quickly, and they’ve seen a spike, and now they have to move backward,” he said during an appearance in Belleville. “You can imagine how damaging that is to small businesses. They get ready to open, they put more money into opening, they get open, and then they have to close again.”

Illinois is currently in Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan, which has allowed more business sectors to reopen and eased restrictions on many activities, such as golf and boating. Under Phase 4, restaurants will be able to serve diners inside with reduced seating capacity to preserve social distancing; they have been allowed to serve diners in outdoor settings.

A check of the metrics web page shows all regions still on track for Phase 4.

* Vice President Pence has been encouraging governors to downplay the spikes by claiming they were simply due to increased testing (not actually true)…

* Chicago has lost a ton of conventions, and the city is not alone

The Grand American, the largest trapshooting event in the world, is leaving Illinois and heading to Missouri this year.

The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Department of Natural Resources ruled that the annual event cannot take place near Sparta because of COVID-19 health concerns. Restrictions regarding the size of public gatherings under Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s reopening plan left organizers scrambling.

“The health and safety of participants who would attend, as well as spectators and staff, must remain top-of-mind,” Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Colleen Callahan said.

In anticipation of the decision, the Amateur Trapshooting Association had determined if the event could not be held near Sparta, Illinois, it would be relocated to Linn Creek, Missouri, in Lake of the Ozarks.

* Tribune’s live blog

Inmates waiting for court hearings and a chance at freedom wait as they try to dodge coronavirus.

Will CPS reopen in the fall? Teachers union says the district has been slow to prepare.

Coal union seeks order protecting miners from coronavirus

* Sun-Times live blog

City officials urge protesters to get tested for COVID-19

Lincoln Yards drive-in theater opens next week with ‘Ferris Bueller’

Pritzker, Foxx to get tested for COVID-19 after attending event with newly diagnosed state AG Kwame Raoul

Chicago’s city-run COVID-19 testing sites open to all residents

Riot Fest 2020 canceled due to pandemic

Summer camps scramble to find new sites as CPS schools stay closed due to the coronavirus

Chicago’s Mercury Theater closing permanently, due to fallout from COVID-19 pandemic

‘Inexpensive, on the shelf’ steroid appears to improve survival rates in severely ill COVID-19 patients

Lakefront Trail to reopen June 22

Public League football coaches say CPS lacks a plan for return-to-play

To Chicagoans suffering from social distancing fatigue: Hang in there

‘It’s all just too much,’ I said, my hands covering my face as I sobbed

* And, of course…

* Illinois State Fair nixed over COVID-19 concerns

* ‘Hard to fathom’: Local officials react to cancellation of Du Quoin State Fair

* State Fair cancellations impact 4H

* Planning for the future: Organizers look toward 2021 Illinois State Fair: The [2020] show rings will be quite different without fans in the stands to see the livestock and competitors. Participants will still be able to show their animals in the Junior Livestock Expo, but Gordon says the animals won’t stay on the fairgrounds this year. They are calling it a “show and go” event this fall. “We’re gonna do it over two weekends in September. They’ll pull in and bring the animal off the trailer,” Gordon said. “They’ll bring them into the show ring. He’ll show, and then they’ll go home and be on their way.”


  1. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Jun 17, 20 @ 12:15 pm:

    It’s not been easy and he hasn’t been perfect, but Gov. Pritzker has demonstrated incredible leadership during this time. Obviously, he’s not alone as there is Dr. Ezike, all the staff at IDPH, the agencies, his office, etc. And of course, all the people across the state who have followed guidelines and protocols.

  2. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jun 17, 20 @ 12:25 pm:

    Just horrible but completely expected from Pence, protecting Trump over people’s lives and health. It’s Trump over everything with basically the entire GOP. Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis is mortally bad.

  3. - Dotnonymous - Wednesday, Jun 17, 20 @ 12:25 pm:

    Any long term effects from infection with COVID19 remain unknown…it’s possible COVID19 may be a chronic disease…?

  4. - Dotnonymous - Wednesday, Jun 17, 20 @ 12:43 pm:

    I’m encouraged to hear President Trump possesses magical powers over viruses…No worries,America…it’s just about over.

    Thank you,Mr. President…for your service to your Country.

  5. - Not a Billionaire - Wednesday, Jun 17, 20 @ 12:43 pm:

    I am thinking so too Dotnomymous . There is a lot of hope for vaccine but we probably will need boosters. Looking over all the other states and countries the Governor and state look good.

  6. - efudd - Wednesday, Jun 17, 20 @ 12:49 pm:

    The declining rates in Missouri cannot be taken seriously. They still haven’t tested 5% of their population.

  7. - Not a Billionaire - Wednesday, Jun 17, 20 @ 12:54 pm:

    Missouri is scary. I think they include antibody in their testing. Re did a recon to Hannibal over Memorial Day. Saw only 5 masks . Ironically Missouri proved masks work . If we all wear masks phase 4 might work. Might.

  8. - illinifan - Wednesday, Jun 17, 20 @ 1:11 pm:

    Dotnonymous, correct to be concerned about long term impacts of COVID. My daughter in law works at a local rehab center and at the height of the virus 2/3 of the patients were post COVID recovery. Many had cognitive impairments, some had to relearn to swallow and speak. Often this is common after a long period of intubation. If you take a look at ICU issues there is a syndrome called Post ICU syndrome. This can have a long term impact on memory and processing of information. I would anticipate that COVID patients will experience what has already been documented.

  9. - Huh? - Wednesday, Jun 17, 20 @ 1:35 pm:

    Now if we just stopped testing this covid thing would be gone tomorrow. /s

    About the livestock shows, my daughter used to have an Arabian show horse. Going to a show wasn’t a “show up, unload the animal, show, and go” operation. Unless there is some type of schedule, the parking lots will be overrun with trailers, as exhibitors are washing and grooming the animal for the ring. Most people will be trying to get into the barns to use the water faucet and electrical outlet.

    If the farm animal shows are similar to a horse show, the shows don’t have specific times for different events. The show starts at 8am and runs until the last event is judged.

  10. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Jun 17, 20 @ 1:59 pm:

    Gov. Pritzker has performed well under enormous political pressure. We are in a pretty good place with respect to the virus because of his careful, conservative approach. Slow-rolling the opening is necessary because it takes weeks for negative impacts to show up.

    When I see anti-Pritzker signs or read about the GOP lawsuit, I wonder…do you want your customers and party activists to be COVID clusters? How will that look for your brand?

  11. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Jun 17, 20 @ 1:59 pm:

    = If we all wear masks phase 4 might work. Might.=

    Probably. It will probably work. If people were able to make one small sacrifice (an exception for those medically unable) and wear a small cloth mask when in public, we would likely see a major decline nationwide and be able to resume life and our economy. Alas, my faith in the ability of my countryman to make this minor adjustment is waning rapidly. Too many people are selfish and not all to bright these days.

  12. - Steve Rogers - Wednesday, Jun 17, 20 @ 2:15 pm:

    “And Illinois is one of the five most successful states in the nation…”

    Because Illinois took it seriously.

  13. - Joe Bidenopolous - Wednesday, Jun 17, 20 @ 2:25 pm:

    =Now if we just stopped testing this covid thing would be gone tomorrow. /s=

    I know that’s snark, but that’s basically 45’s position, right? Here’s the direct quote - ““If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any.”

  14. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, Jun 17, 20 @ 2:27 pm:

    A corn dog, deep fried snickers, and a funnel cake should be health risks unto themselves. The public health risk is a good reason to cancel the fair.

    Most reasonable and responsible organizations that plan large conventions or conferences are postponing their events rather than venue shopping for something that puts their attendees at risk.

    Some folks are letting their partisanship blind them to the realities of our situation.

  15. - illdoc - Wednesday, Jun 17, 20 @ 2:53 pm:

    The American Dental Association just decided to cancel the Oct Annual Meeting in Orlando. While Florida would have let us have it, it was decided that the health of the attendees was more important

  16. - Elmer Keith - Wednesday, Jun 17, 20 @ 4:05 pm:

    “The Grand American, the largest trapshooting event in the world, is leaving Illinois and heading to Missouri this year.” Well hidden factoid: after the concealed carry bill in 2013, Brandon Phelps, NRA lobbyist Todd Vandermyde, and Richard Pearson from ISRA cut a deal with the IL State Police so guns and ammo could be sold at the Grand. This was contained in Phelps’ “clean-up” bill in 2015.

    Buried in the bill as payoff was language that expanded the criminal Duty to Inform to everyone in a vehicle stopped by police, who don’t have to be in uniform. Thanks again to the gun losers for selling out, so we can all be blasted like Philando Castile. I hope it was worth it to keep the Grand American in Illinois…

  17. - Not a Billionaire - Wednesday, Jun 17, 20 @ 4:32 pm:

    I was wondering with the cognitive issues if it was burrowing into the nervous system to avoid the immune system like chicken pox shows up as shingles….

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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