Reopening Illinois: Why I won’t be running to the open stores & restaurants right away…

So, Illinois is no longer under a #stayathome order. With our new “open reality,” it is now called “Recovery Executive Order.” Retail stores, salons, barbers and outdoor eating at restaurants are open again. Some people have been going stir crazy and can’t wait to start entering the indoor retail world of shopping. Then , there are others who can’t wait to sit at a table to eat other than their own or in their car. Churches are opening their doors to small groups of 10, while others are having drive in services or other types of outdoor worship.

While I am happy for these businesses and restaurants to open up and to hopefully save them from closing, I still will not be running to join the groups of people who are itching to get out. I do not feel comfortable eating in a restaurant or near a group of people or shopping inside a store. I have done perfectly fine shopping online or doing curbside service.

From what I see, our world is trying to learn to live with this virus. But the virus is still so new, that none of us are immune to it. It hasn’t even been totally tested, that those who have had the virus are completely immune to it.

I am not ready to “live with the virus.” I am not ready to participate in groups. I plan to keep my social circle at about 3 people – maybe 4 tops. Having asthma and diabetes, I need to be careful. We do need to keep in mind, that this virus is not gone. Just because we are opening up and loosening restrictions does not mean the pandemic is over. It is still here, and it will be here until there is a vaccine or treatment.

To some, this may sound too OCD or cautious. But I’d rather be cautious than sick or dead. I have a daughter that I’d like to see get married one day and I’d like to be a grandmother… I still have life to live with my mom and dad. And I still hope to have plenty of years with my boyfriend. Also – I have so much more art to create and many more books to read and write.

I am not ready to run to the mall. I am not ready to shop indoors. And I am not ready to eat at someone else’s table. The most I will do is hike outdoors or visit one of my favorite bookstores out of town that is very very large and has plenty of room to social distance. It also is requiring its customers to wear masks. That will be the only store I may go in for awhile…

…. Please do not judge me if I decide to wear a mask, decide to still stay home more or only visit with you outdoors. You see, not only do I want to protect myself- I want to protect others. I will wear a mask to protect myself and you. I will avoid groups of people to protect you and me. I will still stay home more – to protect you and me….

And if the rest of you want to “go live life” – then that is fine, if that is what makes you feel comfortable…. Because I am doing, what makes me feel comfortable.

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