How has the coronavirus changed our lives? – Pekin Daily Times

Posted: April 11, 2020 at 6:41 pm

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These are strange and unusual times as we wait out a deadly virus and shelter at home. With offices shuttered, we take work video calls from our dining room tables. With schools closed, students do yoga assigned via email by their physical education teacher. With restaurant dining rooms off-limits, we are eating anniversary meals of frozen pizza and cinnamon rolls.

We're also doing at-home projects, making artwork on driveways, watching Netflix and trying new recipes. And we're taking our dogs on walks. Lots and lots of walks.

Here are stories about how we are living through these times.

An unusual field trip

During these unusual times, Jennifer Meyers found an offbeat place to take her kids for fun and learning: A cemetery.

Usually, the Bartonville family is busy with school and sports. But stuck at home lately, mom took the kids Sebastien, 13, plus 10-year-old triplets Autumn, Savannah and Noah on a field trip to St. Marys Cemetery in West Peoria, the resting place of some of their ancestors.

But family heritage wasnt their only lesson of the day. They took in some history and civics while seeking military markers. They got plenty of exercise while hiking through the graveyard. Along the way, they employed their math skills in trying to figure out the oldest tombstone. For three hours, they enjoyed a one-of-a-kind educational experience.

This was a way to learn without sitting behind a computer, Jennifer Meyers says.

Phil Luciano

At-home recruiting trail

Bradley University soccer coach Jim DeRose has always been a bundle of energy. And while spring is the off-season for college soccer, his springs are hectic. He spends them training his players, coaching a short spring exhibition season, hitting the recruiting trail, running a high school boys club soccer program and administering the Peoria city amateur team.

Most of those things arent happening this spring. DeRose still is maintaining relationships with recruits and monitoring his players progress by social messaging and phone. But mainly, the coach is getting routine jobs done around his Peoria home that he usually doesnt have time to tackle.

Im painting my bathroom, getting projects done outside on my lawn and spending some good family time, he said. Im not a sit-around guy although Ive gotten in some reading and podcasts on professional development. But Im mostly an outdoors warrior. Ive got pulled pork on the smoker going right now for dinner tonight.

Dave Reynolds

Studying the good book

The Rev. Marvin Hightower has been taking advantage of the earthly standstill to focus on a more heavenly pursuit. Like many aspects of the Bible, it's one that has current relevance.

Hightower, who is president of the Peoria chapter of the NAACP, is studying Biblical passages regarding eschatology. That part of theology focuses on death, judgment and the final destiny of the soul.

"A study on the end times," as Hightower put it.

The senior pastor of Liberty Church of Peoria also has been reading "Chronicle of the Seventh Son: Black Panther Mark Clark." It's about the Peoria native who with fellow activist Fred Hampton was killed in 1969 during a predawn raid by Chicago police.

Besides the reading and studying, Hightower has been on numerous conference calls and responding to emails. He and his wife also have been extra careful in other pursuits, because their daughter has respiratory issues coronavirus might affect.

"It definitely has slowed me down," Hightower stated.

Nick Vlahos

Teaching the guitar, online

Lucas Myers has been playing the guitar for nearly half his life.

With time on his hands because of the state's stay-at-home order, the Washington Community High School junior wants to teach guitar lessons.

Online, of course.

"I'm bored sometimes, but I know how to play the guitar, so why not teach people how to play it?" Myers said. "It won't be easy teaching guitar online, but I'll figure it out."

Myers, 17, has been playing the guitar as a hobby for 7 years and he's taught three people how to play it. He's in the intermediate guitar class at Washington.

If you're a health care worker or senior citizen, Myers won't charge for his online lessons. He can be reached at 840-5407.

Steve Stein

Life outside a picture window

My picture window approximates the dimensions of a large flat-screen television. For the past three weeks it has offered a view of a constantly interesting parade of pedestrians bipeds and canines that has provided a welcome distraction from the work-at-home social distancing blues.

Strangers and neighbors Who are these people? Where have they come from? stealing moments from their own cabin-fevered days for a government-approved stroll in nice weather. Couples pushing strollers. Elderly folks leaning into canes. Joggers. Little kids on little bikes. Big kids on big bikes. Three at a time. Mostly alone.

And this, no lie:

A young woman with a Great Dane big as a whitetail yearling on a leash and a little dog poking its head out of her backpack, walking down my street like it was as normal as a day without COVID-19.

Scott Hilyard

A social-distancing workout

Marti Teubel teaches group fitness classes an activity that's difficult to carry out amid social-distancing protocols and with area gyms closed.

Fortunately, streaming video isn't just for business meetings.

Like a number of other instructors at Five Points Washington, Teubel has seized the opportunity to stream her classes.

"As an instructor, it's my life but I'm realizing my members needed it as well," she said, both for the workout and for continuing the sense of community and fellowship the workouts offer.

The camaraderie has already encouraged one person who usually does more work on the elliptical machines to reach out and show interest in future group fitness classes, she says.

Chris Kaergard

Pride in service

Ethan Barlow's ceremony for taking the oath to join the Illinois Air National Guard was clearly different. First off, it was on the Peoria riverfront, so the noise from construction crews on the Murray Baker Bridge reverberated through the air.

Then, there was the coronavirus causing his family and friends and even the recruiter to stand at least six feet away.

The Dunlap High School senior said he wanted to join the Guard because it's in his family's tradition and because his father, Chance Barlow, was retiring after some 30 years in the 182nd Airlift Wing. Barlow will head to basic training later this year and, at some point in the future, join the Peoria-based unit as a loadmaster on a C-130.

As his father beamed with pride, Ethan Barlow raised his right hand and took the oath. When it was over, there wasn't a handshake, or a high five. The two just nodded. Chance Barlow gave his son a hug.

Chance Barlow, a longtime member of the Peoria Fire Department as well as of the Guard, said he was proud of his son's choice, noting that choosing the Guard over active duty showed his son wanted to not only serve in time of war but also in times of peace. His son agreed.

Andy Kravetz

'Life has slowed down a bit'

Shari Mahnesmith, manager at Arby's in Galesburgfor the past 11 years, has seen some positives from dealing with the COVID-19pandemic.

"The part of it that's kind of good is life has slowed down a little bit, " she said. "We're not running somewhere every night. It's kind of a bad way it happened."

Business-wise, things could be worse.

"Our drive-thru business has picked up even though we've closed the dining room," she said. "We're not hit as bad as some restaurants."

With about 30 employees, adjustments have been made to Arby's work schedule.

"Everybody has lost hours," Mahnesmith said. "If you were working four days, it's gone to three. We're keeping everybody working anyways."

And despite stay-at-home guidelines, Mahnesmith tries to help other local businesses.

"I used to eat out all the time. I don't like to cook," she said. "We just order it to go. We try to go where we usually go just to help those people."

Mike Trueblood

Real estate work continues

Tom Knapp, designated managing broker for RE/MAX Preferred Properties in Galesburg,says the real estate business continues despite restrictions caused by stay-at-home orders.

"Real estate is considered an essential business," said the real estate agentof 30 years. "We're still working, but we try to limit some of our work to home."

Office work is still required, Knapp says, but special precautions are taken.

"Every day we disinfect the office with Lysol," he said. "We spray down the door handles and hard surfaces and things like computer keypads."

House showings are also continuing, but with new procedures in place.

"We ask the buyer and seller to tell us if they've been abroad, or have a fever or cold or flu-like symptoms," Knapp said. "We limit showings to four people maximum."

After a promising start to the year which included good weather, a strong inventory of houses and low interest rates, Knapp hopes for better days ahead. "Everybody is trying to cope and do the best they can."

Mike Trueblood

Missing baseball, restaurants

Dick Lindstrom, owner of Lindstrom's TV and Appliance in Galesburg, notices the absence of the little things that make life more enjoyable.

"You don't know how much you appreciate things until you don't have them," Lindstrom said. "Like a haircut or going to Landmark and getting a sandwich. Hopefully, it will return.

"I miss baseball," said the lifelong Cubs fan. "It's just a strange time. If sports would return, that would go a long way to bring normalcy back."

To help fill the void, Lindstrom has relied on watching Cubs highlights from years past.

"I got to watch Ryne Sandburg's two-homer game against the Cardinals (1984) and their run up to the World Series, which is something I've never been able to do," he said.

Lindstrom's business of sales and service remains open under the state's stay-at-home guidelines, but with changes.

"Obviously we don't have the business we did in a typical month," he said. "Our front door (on Main Street) is locked, but a sign directs you to the Seminary Street door. We control what's happening.

"If your refrigerator or washer is not working right, that's pretty important."

Mike Trueblood

Can't get granite for grave stones

Sharon Ponder, co-owner of Lacky & Sons Monuments in Galesburgwith her husband Harv, says the pandemic has affected her business at a crucial time of year.

"This is our prime time our Christmas just before Memorial Day," she said.

"We have a lot of granite in warehouses in Georgia that we really need before Memorial Day, and we can't get it."

According to Ponder, Lacky normally receives shipments every week, but hasn't received one in three weeksduetowarehouses closed to the pandemic.

"We've got a lot of work to do to keep our employees working this month," she added.

Lacky's office is closed, but customers can call for appointments. "We do prefer them to wear a mask," she said.

Ponder is sensitive to other businesses in similar situations.

"We live in Knoxville and used to eat out, and we've been to Big Katz and Alfano's for carryout, we've been to 156 East (in Galesburg) three times in the last week," she said. "We try to help keep small businesses going.

"I'm getting very tired of my cooking."

Mike Trueblood

Walmart anniversary dinner

Steve Brubaker, a lobbyist for the Illinois Harness Horsemens Association and the Illinois Small Loan Association, is still working albeit by phone even though the General Assembly hasnt been in town for weeks.

"Its a lot harder now," Brubaker said. "Legislators are very busy in their districts dealing with COVID-19 and not as accessible as they might be in Springfield."

Negotiations on policies and potential bills are still going on even if no one knows when the General Assembly will reconvene.

The coronavirus outbreak did force a change in plans for the 38th wedding anniversary he and his wife observed.

"We usually go out to dinner," Brubaker said. "This time we had a frozen pizza from Walmart. We had a muffin from Sams Club as our celebratory cake. That was perfectly fine."

Doug Finke

'Everything is so upside down'

Daksh Desai sits alone in his two-bedroom apartment on the University of Illinois Springfield campus, over 8,000 miles away from his home in India. His roommate bagged his belongings and left weeks ago.

Desai wishes he could be doing what he normally does in April capturing moments of UIS baseball with his camera. Instead, he is playing a baseball video game.

Continued here:
How has the coronavirus changed our lives? - Pekin Daily Times

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April 11th, 2020 at 6:41 pm

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