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“Used to daydream in that small town”

Monday, Mar 30, 2020

* Tribune

In Buckley, a church has volunteered its gymnasium as a makeshift hospital. In Rushville, police officers have stopped accompanying paramedics unless a call is a matter of life or death. And in Watseka, dozens of residents have put hearts in their windows to create a “social distancing scavenger hunt” for local children.

Such are the ways small-town Illinois is facing the threat of COVID-19, even though its impact outside the Chicago area remains limited. More than 90% of the state’s confirmed cases and deaths have come from the city and collar counties, though doctors note that access to testing downstate is still increasing after a slow start. Even as the virus is being detected in an ever-growing list of rural communities, caseloads are relatively small.

* Yeah, well, things are starting to heat up in Taylorville

Officials on Sunday reported an increase of 11 cases of COVID-19 in Christian County, all linked to the Rolling Meadows Senior Apartments in Tayvlorille.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease to 13 in Christian County. Of the two previously reported cases, officials had said Saturday that one was in the apartments and that other residents would be tested.

“The apartment complex has been placed on quarantine as a protective measure,” the Christian-Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency said in a statement Sunday. “No visitors will be allowed until further notice. The residents are being monitored daily by public health.”

Officials had said Thursday that both previously reported cases in Christian County were linked to services held March 15 at Crossroads Apostolic Ministries in Taylorville. The congregation has fewer than 50 members.

* Remember a couple of weeks ago when DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Public Health Director David Remmert advised area residents to “Live your life like you normally would”? Well, things change…

“In the overwhelming majority, people have very little symptoms or none at all. That’s why everybody needs to practice those precautionary measures. People who are asymptomatic can go out and spread it,” [Remmert] said. […]

“We believe it’s here. A lot of people probably have it but won’t be tested because they are asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms.”

* Related…

* ADDED: First Positive COVID-19 Case in Ford County Confirmed

* More seek assistance at Shumway food pantry: “I know we helped 720 people today,” Kight said. “I’m not sure if it’s because more people are out of work or because other food pantries aren’t open. … “We would normally have at least 40 volunteers working in the building,” Kight said. “Due to the coronavirus, we had to cut it down to 10 working inside.”

* First COVID-19 case in Fayette County prompts disaster proclamation

* COVID-19 cases confirmed in Saline, Randolph counties

* Kankakee hospitals prepare for the possibility of COVID-19 influx: In Watseka, Iroquois Memorial Hospital is setting up a tent as part of its emergency preparedness.

* Caterpillar laying off KK workers because of economic and COVID-19 concerns: “While our operations have been classified as essential activity, the COVID-19 pandemic is having an impact on global economic conditions. We are taking a variety of actions at our global facilities to reduce production due to weaker customer demand, potential supply constraints and the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and related government actions. These actions include indefinite layoffs at our East Peoria building KK location.”

* Session is canceled, but lawmakers are still working: Manar estimates the number of calls fielded by him and his staff “is more than tenfold” from its normal volume. “Much of what I’m doing responding to constituent concerns is just getting them accurate and timely information,” Manar said.

[Headline explained here.]

- Posted by Rich Miller   11 Comments      

*** UPDATED x1 *** And the news just repeats itself, like some forgotten dream, that we’ve both seen

Monday, Mar 30, 2020

* Wordslinger last May, not long before he died, about John Prine

I once came across my daughter singing “…and the news just repeats itself, like some forgotten dream, that we’ve both seen.”

She was five.

Great writing leaves a mark, early, it seems.

The dude should have his named carved on the state library, with the other greats.

Same with Ebert, who first told the masses about the “singing mailman” in 1970.

Keep scrolling way down the link to get to the original Sun-Times review.

* Those lyrics were from this song

* You’ve probably already heard about Prine

John Prine, the postman from Maywood and Army mechanic who became one of the most revered American songwriters of the past half century, is in critical condition “after a sudden onset of COVID-19 symptoms,” his official Twitter feed reported Sunday afternoon.

The news was greeted with an outpouring of well wishes from fans and from fellow musicians, including Seth Meyers, Jason Isbell and the band Dawes.

Prine, who rose to prominence through the Chicago folk music scene in the 1960s and ’70s, “was hospitalized on Thursday. He was intubated Saturday evening, and continues to receive care, but his situation is critical,” said the note “From the Prine family” on the @JohnPrineMusic Twitter feed.

Intubation is a stage of treatment that can precede going on a ventilator. The coronavirus sweeping the globe attacks people through their lungs to the point where the most ill need mechanical breathing help, and the virus is most dangerous to those with underlying medical conditions.

I think Wordslinger was right about carving the names of Prine and Ebert on the Illinois State Library. And when this is all over and people get a chance to breathe again, I’m going to urge Secretary of State Jesse White to consider it.

I had hoped to set up a meet and greet this spring for my readers and Wordslinger’s family, but that’s obviously impossible now. I still think about him every day and wish he was here to provide us with his perspectives. It’s like marching into a war without a leg.

…Adding… Text message from House GOP Leader Jim Durkin…

John Prine was a postman in Westchester when I was young. He would fill in for our regular postman on occasion. Johnny was a big hit with us because he let us push the mail cart down the street with him. He had a heavy beard and was always good to us kids.

*** UPDATE *** John Prine’s spouse…

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      

* Everyone has their own priorities
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* Clean, Affordable Energy—Now More Than Ever
* Credit Unions Throughout Illinois Offer Assistance Through New Loan Products
* *** UPDATED x1 - Pritzker admin calls reports "irresponsible" *** 3 Chicago TV stations reporting that Pritzker will extend stay at home order
* The crisis is creating unity for now
* Lotta holes in that backstop, bub
* A few little somethings to lighten your day
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Medical director at hospital near Stateville: "This is a disaster"
* Tribune gonna Tribune
* Open thread
* Yesterday's stories

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