While statistics show that Illinois is beginning to move in the right direction in its fight against the coronavirus, Gov. J.B. Pritzker says that residents should prepare for the continued cancellation of major events and conventions.
Pritzker unveiled a five-phase plan to reopen the state on Tuesday, with phase five marking the time when large events, festivals, conventions and carnivals can be held. The time when that final phase can be reached is still far away, according to the governor.
“It brings me no joy to say this, but based on what the experts tell us and everything we know about this virus and how easily it spreads in a crowd: large conventions, festivals and other major events will be on hold until we reach phase five,” Pritzker said.
According to the phased reopening plan, phase five can only be implemented when scientists develop a widely-available vaccine for coronavirus, or if an “extremely effective” treatment is developed that can help shorten the duration of the virus and can effectively treat the symptoms of COVID-19.
Pritzker says that he understands the desire of Illinois residents to get back to normal as quickly as possible, but that the state’s residents have to be patient in the face of the crisis.
“I spent decades in business, so I understand the urge to try and flip the switch and reopen our entire economy. Here’s the problem: that switch simply does not exist with a virus that can’t currently be eliminated by medical science,” he said. “I know we all have a passionate desire to return to the sense of normalcy we felt before the world knew of COVID-19. Until we have a vaccine, or an effective treatment, or enough widespread immunity that new cases fail to materialize, the option of returning to normalcy does not exist.”