Doors locking, Lights going out, cash registers stop ringing, employee time clocks not sounding and families left to wonder how they will pay their rent, put food on the table, get the baby formula or medicine needed to take on each day.
The order is a surprise reversal on the part of Mayor Jim Langfelder, as well as Sangamon County leaders, who many say caved to political pressure. During the shutdown announcement, the Mayor even said that there is no DATA that can be traced back to Bars/Restaurants, but because of how the legal description is worded, "PLACES OF GATHERING" Bars and Restaurants fall victim to the order. That's a good reason to destroy lives and communities. Over wording. However, other businesses are allowed to operate. It is very clear that the retail drink and food industry has been targeted with no evidence just faulty wording. Why not change the wording and do what is right?
During the meeting, and lots of Birthday Wishes and laughing between some Council Members, as citizens were devastated by the news, it was announced that as of Thursday when the clock strikes Twelve midnight that all Bars in Sangamon County and the City of Springfield will be closed.
All Dine-In service will come to a stop, but carry-out, curbside and delivery will be allowed. However, not clear are some important issues. Will utilities be cut off? Will they continued to be billed at the highest rate? Will there be any relief? Some talked of a license proration that will take place after the first of the year, but by then many small businesses will be lost for good. Perhaps increasing the number in tent city the city seems so proud of is the cities solution?
While we all strive to defeat COVID we all expect to be treated fairly. If there is DATA showing Bars/Restaurants are to blame for outbreaks then release it before making decisions that hurt so many people. That is a failure on the part of our elected officials. Basic questions could not be answered but yet with such determination to shut peoples lives down made, again between laughs and birthday wishes.
But, as we have found out the DATA shows otherwise. That DATA was tossed out with no consideration and a lot of denial. Politics of win and lose was on full display during this meeting. In an earlier post there was concern that Ward 6 Alderwoman DiCenso was going to bring up the issue of shutdown. She adamantly denied that. She didn't, but as if on cue, Ward 8 Alderwoman Conley did. The political game of win and lose certainly was on display tonight. What was also on display, between the laughing and birthday wishes, on such a somber night is the complete failure of those who are there to represent all the people fairly without the influence of politics. So you might think that the failure was actually on the part of we the people, who put these officials in office. As many have said time and time again. Elections have consequences. The consequences here is the people lose, while our elected officials go back to their politically appointed high paying jobs or taxpayer retirement funds.
Do I sound bitter? You bet. Bars/Restaurants have been vilified because as the head of the health department stated to a large group when asked why? Because we can was her response. So the the General public. Please hear us. We have fought for our community, for our businesses and for the many families who depend on us keeping the lights on only to fall victim, not to COVID, but to flawed and hidden DATA. That is wrong! But, as we have heard. Fear sells and it's fear that will doom us all if we are not careful.
Springfield, Illinois. Sangamon County mark this date down. 11/10/2020. This is the day you destroyed your communities. You didn't need the VIRUS which has a 97% survival rate. You are doing it with an executive order.
Sleep well tonight Mayor and Alderman and Women and Elected County Officials. Sleep well.