It wasn’t just Illinois Republicans who became hot under the collar last week, when Governor J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order was extended until the end of this month.
A lot of us here in southern Illinois are wondering if a regional approach to reopening businesses isn’t the more logical way to go as we bounce back from this coronavirus pandemic. The argument is that those of us less affected should be allowed to get back to business sooner than those in Chicago and other metropolitan areas.
A group of GOP lawmakers were at the forefront. They were incensed enough that late last week they sent the governor a letter, urging him to use some common sense, and to take another look at things.
U.S. Reps. Mike Bost, Murphysboro, Rodney Davis, Taylorville and John Shimkus, Collinsville, all Republicans, were among those who said such an approach would be “critical to the state’s economy.”
“The health system has been tempered by an increase in capacity, improved testing and increased personal protective equipment, which has mitigated the risk of its collapse. And now, the greater threat looming over Illinois is the collapse of our economy if your stay-at-home order continues in its current form,” the lawmakers wrote.
Pritzker said he’d received the letter, and had held “productive conversations” with some involved. He did not, however, specify any plans to modify the stay-at-home order on a geographic basis.
“I don’t disagree with them that different areas of the state require different rules at this time,” Pritzker said. “We’ll be talking about that more.”
The governor should do more than just talk about it. Action is necessary, and now. Our businesses are dying on the vine, in a county that has three reported cases of the virus.
In the meantime, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb added insult to injury on Friday, when he announced a plan to bring his state back to life.
Things will happen in phases, he said. Restaurants, barber shops and hair salons will be open soon, although perhaps on a limited basis. Starting this weekend, religious services can take place, with no restrictions. It’s all leading up to the Fourth of July weekend, when Holcomb says stands at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be filled with race fans.
Lawrence Countians, and others from southern Illinois, should take note. If we can’t live our lives as normal here, the Indiana border isn’t far away.
• Reliable sources say Bob Gher is so desperate to watch a baseball game that he’d even tune in to the Chicago Cubs.
• If you have a chance, take a look at the video the Daily Record has produced in support of Lawrence County businesses. You’ll recognize a lot of the faces. It can be found on our web site, www.lawdailyrecord.com.
• Lawrence County continues to do well on the social distancing scoreboard at Unacast.com. As a county, we’re getting a B-, the same as last week. The state of Illinois still isn’t doing well, as it’s getting a D+, the same as last week. America as a whole is getting a D, down from last week’s D+.
• Did you know it’s World Password Day, National Tourism Day and the National Day of Prayer.