COLUMBIA, Ill. – Another day of the coronavirus pandemic means more impact on people’s lives and families are forced to make adjustments. Folks in southern Illinois are reacting to Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s order to stay at home for the next few weeks.
People are expected to only go out for essential reasons. Illinoisan can still go to grocery stores, fill up their tanks with gasoline, take walks in a park, and go to the drug stores. Local roads and interstate highways will remain open.
People knew the governor’s order was coming. They wondered how it would affect them and in some cases their business.
“I know that it has to be contained and people have to use common sense,” said supermarket shopper Linda Coleman.
At Reifschneider’s Restaurant in Columbia, the owners and workers watched the governor’s news conference closely to see if they’d remain open. They are still open and the owner and his friend put up a sign asking people to order take out.
“Try to make it work, keep as many people employed as I can, and kind of keep chugging along hoping this thing doesn’t last too long,” said Dan Reifschneider, owner of Reifschneider’s. “Little relief, at least I’m able to keep my business open; it would be really sad if I had to lock the door.”
The stay at home order begins Saturday and runs through at least April 7. Kids will be out of school at least a little longer.
Meanwhile, the virus is slowing business at Metro. The transportation agency plans to cut back on service after ridership dropped 40 percent because of the illness. MetroLink will operate the normal weekend schedule seven days a week. Metro Bus will operate on the Saturday schedule.