Like many other Illinoisans and Chicagoans, we fled north from the corona-torn state to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin for the weekend. It’s already been great so far after one night when we ran into friends at the Oakfire restaurant (shoutout Marisa and Sean) and continued to have a great time dining out and having a few drinks.
Coming from Chicago, which is still under the rule of JB and Lightfoot, no businesses are allowed to have sit-down customers and the state is still mostly shutdown until June. I don’t agree with the politics of JB or Lightfoot, but I particularly don’t like the draconian shutdown they’ve been unconstitutionally enforcing (like having parishioners vehicles towed when they went to church) and the general misinformation behind it all.
As most states are ready to open up their public areas and especially their economies again, Illinois lags behind as it seemed like “public representatives” in Springfield wanted to crash their economy to get a federal bailout to make up for the nearly twenty years of fiscal mismanagement. Illinois is ready to open up after being on lockdown and most people are ready to go back to work.
Yes, the virus is terrible but so are unemployment, homelessness, and families going hungry because of the virus. These are preventable side effects.
Back to Lake Geneva. It was wild to see people packed into bars and restaurants, enjoying drinks and food as if the virus wasn’t a thing anymore. It was crazy to see because after living for nearly two months unable to go to a bar or sit down at a restaurant, we got to return to ordinary life.
We took walks down by the water and along the shoreline. We sat down at a sports bar for the first time in months and actually ate there. We ran into friends and continued to go to various locations and businesses to enjoy public social life again. I imagine the local economies of Lake Geneva and Wisconsin have benefited from Illinoisans flock from lockdown. We ran into many people from Chicago and it seemed like most people in Lake Geneva last night had an Illinois driver’s license.
We will never return to the time before Covid-19, but we can return to ordinary life, not only to earn paychecks and live life but also to care for our mental health. The news is a one-stop-shop for fear-mongering and apocalyptic headlines and with everyone cooped up in their houses, mental health can deteriorate quickly, hence the name “cabin-fever.” Other illnesses and diseases haven’t stopped but care for many has essentially been put on hold or on the backburner.
I enjoyed the return to ordinary life but three good things came out of the lockdown: we flattened the curve, I saved a lot of money, and I was reminded of how much fun it is to hang out with friends around a bonfire in the backyard.