By Christopher Hacker
CHICAGO (CBS) — As the third week of Illinois’ stay at home order comes to a close, many are wondering: is all this worth it?
It’s too early to say just how effective social distancing efforts in Illinois have been. The number of cases continues to grow, although Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said this week that cases are doubling every nine to 10 days — less than a few weeks ago, when that number was between two and three.
Data on COVID-19’s spread has varied widely. Tests are inconsistent, and many people don’t show symptoms. But several studies have suggested each person who gets COVID-19 typically spreads it to about two and a half other people. With an incubation time of around five to seven days, that means an infected person can spread the virus to more than 400 people within 30 days.
But social distancing measures can help slow that growth. If one person spreads the virus to only two people, rather than 2.5, only about 130 people will get it. But if every infected patient only spreads it to one additional person, that first patient will only give the virus to about seven total people within a month.
Meanwhile, Chicago officials have started to crack down on people and businesses not following social distancing guidelines. Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a 9 p.m. curfew on liquor sales, and 11 people have been ticketed for ignoring orders to disperse unauthorized gatherings.