During a Thursday press briefing pertaining to COVID-19, Illinois’ Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker delivered a stinging rebuke to those in the state who are flouting the social distancing guidelines set out by lawmakers and health services workers.
Pritzker began by imploring citizens to “stay inside” if they can.
Folks, we live in a free country, and we all want to maintain our freedoms even in the context of our stay-at-home order, but I am begging you, please, if you don’t have to be out, stay inside. If you go outside, please find a place to go that is not crowded. For the sake of everyone’s health, follow the social distancing guidelines that we talk about here every single day. Stay six feet apart and don’t gather in groups of ten or more.
Following that general plea, the governor tore into those who are ignoring the guidelines, telling them that they are “spitting in the face” of doctors, nurses, and first responders who are risking their own health and safety to mitigate this crisis.
Right now, hosting a party, crowding down by the lake, playing a pickup basketball game in a public park – if you’re doing these things, you are spitting in the face of the doctors and nurses and first responders who are risking everything so that you can survive. We are quite literally in the middle of a battle to save your life. Every day.
The governor also spoke about analyzing the data related to COVID-19, and how the administration is trying to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers on the front lines.
Pritzker then offered yet another rebuke, stating that those who contract COVID-19 as a result of interaction with individuals who are disregarding protocols will have to suffer alone with the virus, as hospitals cannot “accommodate visitors.”
To be very clear, this virus does not care that you’re bored and that you want to hang out with your friends. It doesn’t care that you don’t believe that it’s dangerous. The virus [couldn’t] care less if you think that I’m overreacting. It has infected infants; it has killed people in their 20s and 30s and 40s; it has forced doctors around the world to make terrible decisions about who will live and who will die.
If you get a loved one sick because you didn’t stay inside, they will have to travel alone to the hospital without you by their side to comfort them and look after them because hospitals and health care centers can’t afford to accommodate visitors right now.
“I don’t tell you all this just to scare you, I tell you this to save your life,” Pritzker said. “We all have to own our actions right now. All of us. Ultimately, you’ll be judged by what you do in this moment.”
COVID-19, which originated in China’s Hubei province, has infected nearly 662,000 people worldwide, and led to more than 30,700 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) Global Cases map. 139,426 people have recovered.
In the state of Illinois, there have been 3,491 confirmed cases in COVID-19, and 47 deaths, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. In the United States, over 122,600 people have been struck with the virus, and 2,147 have died.