CHICAGO (CBS) — It was a quiet Sunday in Chicago a day after Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker’s stay-at-home order went into effect due to the coronavirus pandemic.
CBS 2’s Steven Graves set out to see if people followed the order in its first full days. He found out some people were relieved with what they found at Chicago grocery stores.
During an average year, thousands of people might have been on Michigan Avenue Sunday for the annual Shamrock Shuffle. Instead, Michigan Avenue was nearly deserted.
It was a little evidence of the stay-at-home order over COVID-19 that most say others are obeying.
Patrick Savage is a lead official with the Shamrock Shuffle. He was still running on Sunday, but his normal pack of thousands running by his side were absent.
“Thirty thousand people are supposed to be here running,” Savage said. “I think most people – 95% probably are obeying, doing what they are supposed to be doing.”
The stay-at-home order meant just a sprinkling of runners and dog walkers downtown. The slower place was felt a lot of other places as well, as previous mad dashes and rushes of shoppers at grocery stores finally died down.
South Side store worker Gina Mitchell finally got what she waited for from shoppers.
“They’re saying thank you,” she said. “That’s what I was looking for, because we are really trying our best.”
We even saw people picking up groceries for their elderly neighbors.
“Some of them are kind of home bound – either from a physical disability or their not having their transportation,” one man said.
And where there’s a need, there’s more help.
“It’s really been incredible,” said Ellen Gilcrest.
In Ukrainian Village, Gilcrest was dealing with a good problem – an overwhelming response to a makeshift grocery service.
“You have an army of neighbors who are ready to jump in and help you,” she said.
And that theme of love and compassion was echoed by a Catholic pastor in the eerily quiet streets Sunday. Mass might have been online, but the Rev. Edward Cronin of St. Helen Parish wanted to be out and seen
“To bless this whole community, especially our parishioners here who may be in fear and trepidation over this virus,” he said.
It is a new way of living in the rapidly changing days of dealing with the coronavirus.