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Some residents will not be visiting businesses right away when they reopen

'It’s just being cautious'

Despite businesses being allowed to open over the weekend, not everyone plans to be out and about as Illinois enters Phase 3 of Gov. JB Pritzker’s reopening plan.

Jamie Kotovsky, of Ottawa, for example, said her family is still in their own phase where they’re only comfortable visiting a select group of family and friends, since she has a young child.

“For us, it’s just being cautious,” Kotovsky said. “It’s easier for us to pick something up at B.A.S.H. and eat it at home. It’s more sensible. There’s less to worry about.”

Kotovsky said this doesn’t extend to haircuts for her, however, it’s important to her that hairdressers be up front with what they’re doing to keep themselves and customers safe. 

Jim Speakman is in a similar boat with staying home but his reasons aren’t the same; every restaurant he’s seen since the pandemic has been running a skeleton crew, he said, and seating will be limited.

Speakman said he’d rather cook at home than have to wait in line just to eat outside.

“I’d love to support these restaurants but the food isn’t as good by the time I get home.,” Speakman said. "I’m not sitting in a parking lot and dining somewhere. Most of these places only have six or eight to a table. What am I going to do, stand around and wait? Can I reserve a dumpster view?”

His hesitation towards dining out has nothing to do with fear of COVID-19 and more to do with the inconvenience. 

“I did go to Wisconsin last weekend and had a great time,” Speakman said. “This doesn’t scare me at all. It’s just been inconvenient.”

Speakman said at this point, people who feel they are vulnerable need to be taking care of themselves.

Lauren Rosales is one such person who is taking care of herself and avoiding public places.

“COVID-19 is very much still a thing; we’re in the middle of a pandemic,” Rosales said. “People are still getting sick and I think it’s a bad idea to be out and about. I’m not even sure businesses should still be open. I have a strong disagreement with everyone.”

Rosales said she wants to see things slow down before she makes the decision to be out and about.

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