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Question of the day

Friday, Mar 5, 2021

* Gov. Pritzker was asked today for his thoughts on the past year of the pandemic…

You know, it’s hard, it’s hard to reflect on all of it, because it’s been quite a year. And for many, many people it’s been a devastating year. People have died, people have been sick, there are people with long-hauler syndrome who’ve been sick. And I, you know, I, I guess the first thing that comes to mind for me when I reflect on this year is that it’s the safety and health of the people of Illinois that has weighed on me every day. And that I think about then the financial health of people who’ve lost their jobs. So many people who lost their jobs, frankly, are the people who can least afford to lose their job. That is to say, they’re living paycheck to paycheck, or they’re getting paid minimum wage. And these are the folks who have suffered the most in this pandemic. And so I think a lot about how do we lift them up, how do we make their lives better? So we’re working, as you know that the health aspects of COVID-19, the metrics and everything are all moving in the right direction. Now we need to take care of people’s financial situations. And fortunately, we have a president who cares deeply about that, and hopefully a congress that will be able to get something passed. And so help is on the way.

* The Question: Your own thoughts on the past year of the pandemic?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 2:46 pm:

    Unfortunately, my biggest take away is pretty dark. My faith in humanity in general has taken a huge hit. People, including many of my family members, that shirked their Christian responsibilities of caring for others in favor of following leaders who favor death and destruction. I will never see those aunts, uncles and cousins in the same light.

  2. - Pundent - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 2:48 pm:

    For all of our hope, promise, and exceptionalism we failed so many of our people on so many levels when they needed us the most. It should be a heavy burden for every leader and something we never forget. Many of us lost loved ones or had our lives shattered in ways that we’ll never be repaired. It didn’t have to be this way.

  3. - Cool Papa Bell - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 2:51 pm:

    What do I think?

    That the devastation and impact of the pandemic has been so varied.

    If you lost a loved one your hurt trumps all.

    If you lost your job, and are still out of work, your scared and still might not know what you are going to do about it.

    If you got to keep your job and work from home, you can’t understand what it was like to go into work everyday and face down hours of unknows when seeing other people.

    If you have anxiety or developed it because of the stay at home orders your pain and suffering is hard to explain to others.

    Some people lost businesses. Some businesses made more money than they ever have.

    Some love working from home and want to keep it that way – others can’t stand it and want their time in the office.

    Home schooling…. Oh man, if you have internet, if the hotspot is charged, if you don’t live in the country, if your parents are home and can maybe help, or your parents went to work every day and aren’t equipped to be teachers. If you had to turn off your Chromebook camera because mom’s boyfriend is day drinking in the background and now your getting bullied for how your home life looks on the screen.

    Kids thrived being away from school – a lack of being bully adjacent works the other way too.

    Did you have to quit a job to stay home with a kid who can’t stay home by themselves?

    Did you lose connection to a family member because they were never maskers or totally hid in their homes?

    I think the great American pandemic was as unevenly distributed as everything seems to be in this country.

    Pandemics stink.

  4. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 2:54 pm:

    I’ve learned a lot about friends, family members, and co-workers that I never would have expected to learn and after a years time I have fewer friends, family members, and co-workers.

    If this pandemic is representative of how we’ll respond to future crisis where the underlying cause requires an acknowledgement of scientific understanding of the world then I am confident that we are living during humanity’s last hurrah.

    We have to do better than this, but there have been amazing accomplishments in the last year that are worth acknowledgement. There are people that have done great things, but some of our heroes a dead while others will just carry the emotional scars for the rest of their lives.

    I hope there comes a point where the blood on the hands of some of our elected officials is the only thing about them we acknowledge.

  5. - Bruce( no not him) - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 2:56 pm:

    Sadly, the last year has been an eye opener in many respects. When a public health emergency becomes a political football, nothing good comes of it. I learned that many folks whom I respected, are in fact, covidiots.

  6. - SouthSide Markie - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 2:56 pm:

    It has shaken my faith in humanity by showing how shallow, callous and self-interested people can be. I always knew those people were there, just like I always knew that there are bigots in the world. This past year has torn me apart by showing me that there are a lot more of both than I had previously believed. Apparently, I was naïve.

  7. - Old Timer Dem - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 2:58 pm:

    It’s been a nightmare. Life is short enough without quarantining and seemingly losing a year of our lives.

  8. - clec dcn - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 2:59 pm:

    It is going to change the way business is done and work in the future. Some things don’t need buildings and office space and can and will be done remote. I think it could go even farther with other things we just have not got that far yet. COVID made some things much harder but some things easier. No commutes right?

  9. - Papa2008 - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 3:02 pm:

    Pretty clear we were completely unprepared to defend ourselves from this sort of attack. Hope we’ve learned and will do better next time.

  10. - JS Mill - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 3:02 pm:

    I think Ducky said it very well. This has only further eroded my faith in humanity. Especially the very pious.

    I like what the governor said and shows that he can understand the plight of the everyday joe. I also think about those same things and know how lucky I am.

  11. - Blue Dog - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 3:11 pm:

    Clec@2:59. Yo are so correct. And that will be a decades long drag on commercial real estate and property tax collections.

    I also learned it’s pretty easy for someone whose paychecks were not interrupted to critique others not so fortunate.

  12. - Merica - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 3:14 pm:

    I’m glad JB was governor for this. He seems to be a good leader, respectful of his position and duties, and genuinely caring. Honestly, if i were him i’d probably be excited for my term to end and go back to private life. it will be interesting to see what he does on a State and national level, if anything. I’m hopeful that Trump was an aberration. Even my friends who love his personality and trolling style of politics think he was a terrible leader and person, with bad judgment.

  13. - AlfondoGonz - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 3:22 pm:

    It’s been a year where I’ve learned a lot about myself, my loved ones, and my countrymen.

    It breaks my heart to say that 2 of the 3 have disappointed me.

    Thank god for my loved ones.

  14. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 3:23 pm:

    As others have stated, the adversity has brought out the worst in many. I’ve seen the true colors of many friends, family, and acquaintances which has caused great disappointment. For me, life will never be the same as pre-pandemic. I’ve had to reset my priorities and cut ties with some people and things I thought were very important to me. Change isn’t inherently good or bad. It’s how we choose handle it. I’ve lost a great deal of respect for folks who chose to politicize a healthcare crisis. It’s a scar on humanity that may never completely heal.

  15. - Earnest - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 3:41 pm:

    On a personal level, I found that I’m much less mentally and emotionally strong than I thought I was. The stress broke me badly once and had me really down several other times.

    On a societal level, we’re much less mentally and emotionally strong than I thought. The Republican party demonized responsible action in the public interest, even on something as easy and practical as wearing masks.

    This pandemic has been a perfect storm for a faction that thrives on lack of empathy, physically affecting people in ways mild to deadly, short-term to chronic, economically affecting people and businesses in ways bust to boom.

    I am truly grateful we had a leader like Governor Pritzker. I’m in awe of so many of our frontline workers in all fields. And I’m glad I live in a time where there are some really effective psychotropic medications.

  16. - 47th Ward - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 3:43 pm:

    ===I think the great American pandemic was as unevenly distributed as everything seems to be in this country.===

    This. Well said.

  17. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 3:46 pm:

    An incredibly tough year.

    Lost a bunch of “friends” with politics, people showing who they are during a pandemic and election took its toll

    I’m sad for every single time I tell somebody “can’t wait till we can be in person”, I miss my family.

    People I know are far worse off than I, I’ve tried to be there for them, I’ve been far luckier than some, about where others sit as well.

    Lost 30+ pounds, at least now, how much of that is worry and angst, you pick, I can’t.

    Tired of alternative facts, phony patriotism, but glad for the people I’ve gained along the way and the odd connections to people I have now have that i may not have ever had because of zoom or other means that usually would be in person.

    I’m more grateful, more thoughtful to emotion, and less present in other things I was in “before times”

    I’m grateful to lots of people. I’ll leave it there.

  18. - Give Me A Break - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 3:51 pm:

    My biggest take away continues to be the stunning way parents and coaches of HS kids, especially, football, took and continue to take an absolute tone deaf attitude about COVID.

    Now hearing parents and coaches complaining about limits on fans and not having playoffs.

    You had coaches who I respected in the past like Ken Leonard make absolute fools out of themselves comparing restrictions to Nazi Germany.

    Along with his son Derek, Ken pumped misinformation and at times complete falsehoods about what was happening.

    They showed who they are, jocks, nothing more. Not leaders, not teachers, not developers of young men, nothing more than selfish men who never grew up.

  19. - Responsa - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 3:52 pm:

    ==Lost 30+ pounds,==

    I can tell you where they are if you are looking for them.

  20. - Ferris Wheeler - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 3:52 pm:

    A healthy 29 year-old marketing department employee for Crate and Barrel who has been working remotely the past year can get vaccinated in Chicago, but a 56 year-old person with leukemia cannot.

    It perfectly summarizes that all of the key decisions that were made during the pandemic — when to close, the metrics, when to re-open, who gets vaccinated —were still largely shaped by political clout.

    Not as blatant as Bruce Rauner writing a $250,000 check. But certainly not subtle either.

    My other takeaway is that this was a big PR win for big corporations. Abbott, Abbvie, Amazon, cVS, FedEx, Pfizer, UPS, Walgreens. While politicians were busy pointing fingers or shooting themselves in the face, the big companies in the private sector overall did a pretty good job. The restaurant industry was the only real black eye.

  21. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 3:56 pm:

    Talk about grasping this pandemic in the social, that’s a heck of a statement by the governor.

    Wanted to say that. Wow.

  22. - thoughts matter - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 4:00 pm:

    Like everyone else, I learned some of my friends are conspiracy driven, who believe the strangest things and seem to think doomsday is here if they have to wear a mask. So I’ve lost connections to friends and family.
    I’ve also lost some friends and family to the virus.
    I’ve learned that I enjoyed the slower pace of being at home and that it was time to stop working.
    I’ve learned that work life for those who continue working will never be the same. Some of the changes will be beneficial to all, others not.
    I’ve learned ( from afar thank goodness ) that teachers deserve a lot more respect than I thought they did…. which was already more respect than they are given,

  23. - thisjustinagain - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 4:03 pm:

    I am frightened for the future of my country; when so many, knowing so little, about so much, did so much harm to so many, by spreading lies and ignorance. Whether Covid or Texas, the Presidential election or Illinois, there were and are so many examples of fear, ignorance, and outright lies that caused so much harm to life, jobs, businesses and property, that I shudder think about the inevitable “next one”. And it is not all one party, nor one person, nor one race, nor one creed that did all this harm. But to those who stepped up, in whatever way, at whatever time, in whatever place, I thank you for doing so; your acts have kept our country alive.

  24. - SAP - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 4:05 pm:

    As much as this year has sucked, it has made me appreciate my blessings. Family and friends have generally been healthy. Have stayed employed (in fact busier than ever). Many, many people have not been so fortunate. I cannot wait for enough vaccine to get distributed so that those who are unvaccinated are because they are anti-vaxxer idiots and not because they are unfairly denied access.

  25. - Wensicia - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 4:09 pm:

    Disappointment that in the face of great harm and the need to work together to overcome this pandemic, so many failed to to join with our fellow human beings to help and support each other. I don’t know, as a country, if we’ve learned anything from this ongoing test.

  26. - Swampy Corn - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 4:23 pm:

    I think why did you pick a downer of a question to end the week.

  27. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 4:25 pm:

    === I can tell you where they are if you are looking for them.===

    As long as I don’t have to claim them back for myself. :)

    Hope you’re well.

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