Well, you can forget about spring sports and concerts, and a whole bunch of other things you enjoy, unless you enjoy wearing masks, in which case YOU’RE IN LUCK!

Illinois’ stay-at-home order has been extended to May 30, keeping a myriad of Quad-Cities businesses and activities closed through at least early June. Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker made the announcement this afternoon in an online press conference. Pritzker is also requiring residents to wear masks in public.

The current stay-at-home order was through April 30th.

“On our current trajectory, the state is projected to see a peak or plateau of deaths per day between late April and early May, but if the stay at home order were lifted this week, the model anticipates a second wave of the outbreak in Illinois starting in May, which would claim tens of thousands of lives and greatly exceed the state’s hospital capacity,” Pritzker said. “Make no mistake, Illinois has saved lives. By staying home and social distancing, we have kept our infection and death rates for the months of March and April thousands below the rates projected had we not implemented these mitigation strategies. I know how badly we all want our normal lives back. But this is the part where we have to dig in and understand that the sacrifices we’ve made as a state to avoid a worst-case scenario are working — and we need to keep going a little while longer to finish the job.

“The most sensible and responsible use of a model in a public health crisis like this one, is to pay attention to worst possible scenario,” Pritzker said.

There are some modifications added to the order. State parks will begin a partial re-opening and fishing and boating in groups of no more than two will be permitted. The same specs will be allowed for golf. Greenhouses, garden centers and nurseries can re-open, perhaps much to the chagrin of conspiracy theorists shouting online about it allegedly being illegal to plant your own food in the age of covid (sorry folks! you’ll always have reptilian shape-shifters to fall back on!).

JB Pritzker at his press conference today. Can’t tell I took this picture on my phone of my computer screen. Expert photographic skill.

In addition, those businesses deemed essential will be required to provide face-coverings to all employees, and follow new requirements that maximize social distancing, such as occupancy limits and shift management for workers. Hospitals will be allowed to perform surgeries that have been delayed as long as the hospitals meet the required protective standards. As if surgeries weren’t already conducted with masks. Okay…

As for entertainment events, given the high number of people involved in their planning and production, not to mention the whole purpose being to gain a big crowd, they’re sunk. Already this week a number of theater groups, including Music Guild, Genesius Guild and more announced they were canceling their summer seasons.

Ditto sports, youth sporting events, graduations, school events and pretty much everything else you might think of enjoying outside of Netflix.

Schools will establish procedures for pick-up of necessary supplies or student belongings, and at colleges, students will be allowed to move their stuff out of their dorms, but have to follow the social distancing, masking, etc. guidelines. So you can kiss that college romance goodbye, but not literally.

For more information on the shutdown and other related matters, please continue to check out QuadCities.com.


Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.