CHICAGO (CBS) — Nearly 400,000 Chicago Public Schools students and their parents were getting ready Monday night for the schools to shut down – along with other students around Illinois.
The shutdown is officially in effect Tuesday due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Chicago Public Schools and other jurisdictions are reminded that staff will not be available at any school.
Parents are just going to have to deal with their kids for the time being. CBS 2 on Monday night introduced us to two families dealing with two issues – all just trying to stay healthy.
As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported, the Meineke family enjoys spending time with one another. And it’s a good thing, because they are being forced to now.
“I don’t know what else to say – probably we’re just in denial,” said Greg Meineke. “We’re trying to get through it.”
The Meinekes are under a 14-day quarantine. They are confined to their house in Berwyn after dad, Greg, learned he likely was exposed to someone with coronavirus while at work.
“The homeowners I had been working for were likely exposed and I the entire week with them in their house,” Greg Meineke said.
While he is showing no symptoms of the virus now, he still has 10 more days.
“I’m definitely aware of what my lymph nodes are doing. I’m definitely aware every little cough and every itchy eye,” Greg Meineke said.
But more worrisome is that his wife, Amanda, or his two girls could also be exposed.
“We’re probably just as nervous as anyone else and be pre-occupied and be the most supportive parents we can be,” Greg Meineke said.
“We’ve already talked about setting up an isolation bedroom in the basement, trying to do whatever we can to separate from one another, and make sure that we’ve got the house as sterile as can be if someone does start showing symptoms,” Greg Meineke said.
The Meinekes are in an odd place. They want to get tested, but because they have no symptoms, they can’t. But there is still more than a week left in the house simply to wonder.
And with schools out for two weeks, parents are getting overwhelmed.
“I’m feel like the walls are closing in,” said Marisa Munoz.
Munoz can’t work, and must now watch her two children – Nathan, who has autism, and Gio, who is fighting cancer.
“I am scared,” Munoz said. “Not only do I have a child that’s ill, but I have a father that’s ill at the same time.”
They are staying indoors because they want to keep COVID-19 away – because they are already prone to medical conditions.
“Could it get worse? Could it get out of hand?” Munoz said. “That’s what I’m scared for.”
And that is a question that many parents – not to mention just everyday people are asking. People are advised not to be scared, but just to stay alert in this process.