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OPINION: JB Pritzker’s “Stay at Home” order isn’t as bad as you think

By Alli Perez

The coronavirus spread rapidly and grew out of control before we knew it. The first COVID-19 case dates back to Nov. 17 in China, eventually spreading to the US where it has now surpassed a million cases. Due to the constant rise in cases,  Illinois Governor, JB. Pritzker issued a stay-at-home order which came into effect on March 21 and has been extended through April 30. The stay-at-home order has few exceptions on outings people are allowed to have such as urgent grocery store visits, trips to the gas stations, essential jobs, and, of course, the hospital. Because of these restrictions, people are having a hard time adjusting to this new change in lifestyle. The good news is that it’s not as bad as you think.

With the stay-at-home order in place, you are saving a good amount of money. Commuting to and from work on a day-to-day basis means that you are going to be needing gas. Leaving your house on an as-needed basis, whether it be for a quick grocery run or other essential trips, implies that you are saving a lot of money in many ways including not using as much gas. Normally, besides going to work, there’s a good chance you go out. Whether it’s to dinner with friends and family or a trip to the nail salon, you would be spending money. However, due to our current state of restrictions,  you are no longer frequenting these types of places. That being said, the amount of money spent on groceries for the average family has increased most likely more than your normal grocery budget. There are also the people who have lost their jobs which also needs to be taken into consideration. Although you won’t have a steady income, the US has sent out a stimulus check to assure citizens enough money to nourish themselves and buy what is necessary to them and their families. Overall, there is still a good chance you are significantly saving money, even with the increase in groceries, due to the limited ways to spend.  

Not only do you save money, but since we are restricted to mainly our homes, nature is improving by the day. Shelters are finding people to foster animals who are in need of a home during this time. There is less littering in the parks we love so much, which creates a safer environment for animals. Factories are closed which is creating safer air for us to breathe and most importantly, less pollution. Although we may not notice this normally, we really are making a big difference in our environment today. Studies show that these positive effects are not going to last forever, but still posing a positive outcome for all of us today and in the future. 

Most importantly, because of our efforts in staying home, lives are being saved which acts as the biggest positive here. Practicing social distancing and staying home has made the biggest difference in preventing the spread of the virus. If people continue to stay home and social distance, it gives hope for fewer cases and a faster stop to the spread of the virus. 

Although the stay-at-home order may seem hard to cope with, there is a big change because of the people following the order. The order has more positive than negative effects and will change the outcome of the virus and the effects it has completely. Not only are you saving nature and even saving money, but you are saving the world without even noticing it.

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