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Chicagoans share uplifting messages in windows, on sidewalks during pandemic

All over the city, Chicagoans are spreading words of hope while staying home to save lives.

“Blow kisses from a distance” written in sidewalk chalk outside a home on South Loomis Street near West Harrison Street in the Little Italy neighborhood during the coronavirus pandemic, Monday afternoon, April 6, 2020.
“Blow kisses from a distance” written in sidewalk chalk outside a home on South Loomis Street near West Harrison Street in the Little Italy neighborhood during the coronavirus pandemic, Monday afternoon, April 6, 2020.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

On Saturday, Illinois will enter its fourth week of sheltering in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic. For many, those first weeks have felt like months as we’ve watched spring arrive outside our windows.

Across the city, Chicagoans have been decorating the glass that separates us from the sunny outside with hopeful messages like “hang in there,” and “we’re all in this together.”

“We are in this together” written in the windows of Aloft Chicago Mag Mile, 243 E. Ontario St.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Similar affirmations, like “have hope,” have spilled out onto neighborhood sidewalks in chalk to greet passerby on their socially-distanced strolls. One spotted outside a home in Little Village reminds neighbors that they “can still smile from 6 ft away.”

“You can still smile from 6 feet away” written in sidewalk chalk outside a home on South Loomis Street near West Harrison Street in the Little Italy.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Out in front of hospitals, “thank you” signs and others with messages like “heroes work here” adorn lawns, fences and entryways. Similar signs have been placed in the driveways of medical staff by neighbors or friends of those on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19.

Signs saying “Heroes Work Here” are displayed around AMITA Health Resurrection Medical Center Chicago in Norwood Park, during the coronavirus pandemic, Tuesday, April 7, 2020.
Brian Rich/Sun-Times

Outside of schools, “we miss you” has replaced announcements about prom or graduation.

The sign outside of Haines Elementary School in Chinatown says “we miss you” during the coronavirus pandemic, Tuesday, April 7, 2020.
Brian Rich/Sun-Times

At Wrigley Field, the iconic marquee parodies the song “Go Cubs Go,” instead encouraging fans to stay home: “Hey Chicago, what do you say?/Let’s stay safe at home today.”

The marquee at Wrigley Field encourages Chicagoans to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic, Monday afternoon, April 6, 2020.
The marquee at Wrigley Field encourages Chicagoans to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic, Monday afternoon, April 6, 2020.
Brian Rich/Sun-Times

Another marquee, the Pickwick Theatre’s, displayed a simple, but encouraging message: “We got this.”

The Pickwick Theatre marquee has some inspirational messages displayed during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Pickwick Theatre marquee has some inspirational messages displayed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Brian Rich/Sun-Times

The uplifting words can be seen all over the city. Here are some of the others our photographers captured: