This is the best of times, this is the worst of times. (With apologies to Charles Dickens.)
I am a pessimist. I admit that. But even jaded me is impressed by how people are helping each other during these difficult times. Look around and you can see the efforts of so many people working to keep us safe. It’s heartwarming. It’s hard to comprehend the economic depth of this pandemic.
For instance, I read the Chicago Tribune. Lately the paper has been under 40 pages. Why? Theaters, restaurants, bars and concerts are not being advertised. The sports scene is dismal, and advertising revenues there are shrinking. The same is true for TV stations, radio stations and magazines.
Yes, this will end, but life as we once knew it will be changed.
Companies issue flood insurance. Will they start issuing pandemic insurance? Will we finally realize that when it comes to health insurance, we as a country are woefully unprepared for the costs of hospitalization for serious illnesses?
Our state budget will take a hit…I imagine road projects planned for the next few years will be delayed until the revenues come back. Gov. Pritzker already said there will be significant across the board cuts in state spending.
Our city and county budgets will be affected too, as sales tax revenues drop because more people are shopping on line to avoid person to person contamination. Or not shopping at all. Motor Fuel Tax funds will undoubtedly be lower because a lot of us are staying home and not driving.
Our leaders, both in Springfield and in Washington, need to recognize life has changed.
New ways of providing health care and wage security need to be explored. Ways to fund small businesses, the backbone of the country, need to be explored.
Some people will yell the dreaded word, “Socialism.” But we need to explore every avenue to get people working, consumers, buying, manufacturers churning out consumer goods.
We are a smart country…we can figure it out.
My heart goes out to Rochelle Township High School seniors. This was supposed to be their best spring ever as they enjoyed their last sports season, prom, awards night, graduation while preparing to go off to college, the military or the work force.
I don’t know what the future holds, but it would be great if we could give the class of 2020 their propers…after four years of hard work and developing friendships with fellow students and staff members, they need a time to say goodbye.
Stay home. Stay healthy. If you do go out, wear a mask. This is not over.
Terry Dickow is a retired elementary school teacher with lots of opinions, some you will like, some you won’t. He can be contacted at email@example.com.