What’s been hardest about social distancing during the pandemic? We asked, you answered.

Missing prom. No haircuts. No Starbucks. No hugs from Mom. Gearing up to go grocery-shopping — and seeing others who’ve taken no safeguards.

SHARE What’s been hardest about social distancing during the pandemic? We asked, you answered.
Three women keep their social distance as they wait for a CTA bus on South Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive on the South Side.

Three women keep their social distance as they wait for a CTA bus on South Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive on the South Side.


This weekend marks six weeks since Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued his stay-at-home order to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus. For many, social distancing has meant six weeks without seeing loved ones, of missing school or being at the office, of not going out to eat or to the gym or coffee shop.

As we brace for more weeks of the same, with Pritzker extending the stay-at-home order Thursday through the end of May, we asked Chicagoans what’s been the hardest thing about social distancing. Some answers have been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

“Knowing we are likely not even halfway through is getting me down. Hearing about school closing for the rest of the year really upset our household. Trying to homeschool my second-grade daughter while I’m working from home on my full-time job (that is now busier than it ever was before) is proving nearly impossible.” — Kristine Hulce Romano

“Not being able to get a haircut, go to the library or see friends. It’s tough enough when you don’t have anyone.” — Jackie Waldhier

“I live alone. Other than strangers during a couple trips to the grocery store, I haven’t seen anyone in real life for almost a month.” — Laurel Purves

“Gearing up in gloves and a homemade mask, only to get to the store to see people using no safeguards. I am anxious and feel a sense of urgency to get in and out quickly. Then trying to take off the gloves and mask and using hand sanitizer and wipes in the car as to not bring anything in the house, where my parents could get infected. Grocery shopping has turned into a stressful situation for me.” — Laura Teubert

“I have four grandchildren, and I really miss hugging them. I miss going to mass at Saint Andrew Parish, and I miss teaching religious ed. to my 12 little second-graders.” — Karen Klein Siciliano

“Having high school seniors who are having to spend the remainder of their school year away from all of their friends. Next year, they will likely be dispersed and won’t have any memories of all the activities that being a senior brings with it. No prom, senior night, senior trip, yearbook signing.” — Monica Faber

“Not being able to see my parents, my family. Especially my father, who’s on a ventilator.” — Sil Sosa

“Not being able to go to the dentist for my root-canal procedure. I have been in pain, and I can only take pain medicine.” — Melissa Dominguez

“Not hugging my granddaughter, who lived with me for her first four years and who I have been caring for during daycare and after school until this hit. I miss her so much.” — Gene Brooks

“Not being able to take my granddaughter to the playground.” — Joan Fregapane

“I have not seen my son in a month.” — Diane Foley

“I have not been able to hug my kids or grandchildren. I honestly think that’s the hardest part.” — Louise Cerpa

“Not being able to go to concerts that I had been looking forward to.” — Laurie Alfaro

“Not being able to share our therapy animals to bring joy to those in need.” — Jodie Elmore Diegel

“No haircut. No Starbucks. No health club workouts. It took me a year of daily workouts to lose 10 pounds — and now have gained eight back in about one month.” — Scott Barliant

“People not adhering to it. I shouldn’t have to ask you to get away from me.” — Sharee Jackson

“Not being able to visit my parents, I really miss my mom’s hugs.” — Mari Macias

“Being unable to attend worship services.” — Patricia McIntyre

“I miss my weekly chiropractic adjustment and massage.” — Warren Laschober

“Missing my family. I saw my newborn nephew through the window.” — Joyce Norm-Cox

“Not being able to visit my dad in the nursing home.” — Jon Thomas

“Not being able to work out at the gym.” — Ruth Diaz

“Having drinks and wings after work.” — Leticia G. Ledezma

“Not being able to see my students.” — Mike Feinberg

“No wake or funeral for my son, who passed away on March 21.” — Sharon McGovern Placek

“Not being able to take my kids with me to run errands. Waiting until after work or before work to shop, standing in lines when the grocery store is nearly empty.” — Briana

“Not being able to visit my mom on her birthday.” — Jordan

We’re making our vital coronavirus coverage free for all readers. See the latest news here.

The Latest
Bailey — who is actually a millionaire from his family business — routinely portrays himself as the everyman on the campaign trail. “I may be a little bit rough around the edges,” he told the crowd Thursday. “But I will work for you, because I’m just like you.”
Andrus expected to join team in Cleveland Friday.
The three-day sporting competition, organized locally by the Chicago Park District, is for disabled veterans and wounded, ill or injured service members. It wrapped up Thursday.
The Cubs played a makeup game in Baltimore on Thursday to wrap up a seven-game road trip.