We Might Be Headed for Another, Bigger Shutdown. What Does ChiArts Think?


by Jonah Weber

“While a lockdown can be extremely difficult for small business owners and people who rely on being in public to survive, it can be a pretty great situation for people who are working from home and have the money and means to survive that situation,” said Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts) English teacher Dan Duffy.

Although going into another mandatory quarantine could be mentally taxing for us all, the impacts for those without economic means and without government support are particularly detrimental.

Not only can lack of government support in another lockdown impact working families, but also students trying to learn from home. Every student has a different remote learning environment and some don’t have the resources required to truly benefit from online learning.

“So I’m pro lockdown, but only if the people who need support from the government actually get it,” Duffy said.

ChiArts chemistry teacher Jennifer Archis said, “I live in a high-rise and it’s very stressful for me to leave the building and to see most people do wear masks, but the number of people who wear masks has dropped off.” 

You can see this if you leave your home and go to areas in Chicago that have been considered hotspots for the spread of Covid-19. Statistics show that Covid-19 cases are on the rise in Illinois.

When I asked if a lockdown should be enforced as it was six months, with far more curbside pickup, closed businesses or very limited hours, Archis wasn’t completely sure.

“There’s sort of a two-edged sword with that. Because I think for safety reasons, yes, making those moves is a good choice because it will limit that contact with other people. But then I also at the same time think about all those businesses that are going to suffer because of that. Especially as we move into winter months where having outdoor dining and things like that is very difficult if you don’t have the ability or facilities to set up for that,” said Archis.

Just as so many people are not getting any or enough government support when an enforced lockdown happens, businesses are not either. Small business grants and loaned that were offered at the beginning of the pandemic have since run dry, and business — especially in the service sector — continue to flounder.

ChiArts junior dance student Jordan James said that the lockdown was necessary.

“I know a lot of people on social media and stuff who are out all the time in huge groups and I have a lot of family members who are sick from Covid right now,” James said. “I was talking to my mom about how we feel like people aren’t really scared of it anymore and they’re just ready to get used to it and I think that’s kind of scary, that people don’t care or they’re used to Covid now,” she added. 

When I asked a full junior dance class if a lockdown should be as enforced as it was six months ago, there was a large consensus among the class, with many nodding their heads, and others typing “yes” into the Google chat box. 

I asked the class how they thought Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot handled Covid-19, if there was anything she could do better or if she was at her limit.

“I feel like people aren’t taking her as seriously as they should,” said junior Sydney Kemper. “Every time she does alerts on Covid, there are so many memes on Instagram about her, and it’s extremely rude, first of all; and I guess I can see how people could think it’s funny, but this is so serious and so many lives have been affected by Covid.” 

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