Chicago's New Normal

How COVID-19 will reshape our region, its economy and everyday life.

“We are going to go with the city guidelines because we’ve trusted the experts, and if they say it is OK, we just have to trust that,” said a restaurant owner who’s planning to drop all restrictions this week.
Ald. Chris Taliaferro said he has no doubt Lightfoot will want to retain power to set the CPD budget and hire and fire the police superintendent, COPA chief and Police Board president. And she should, he added.
Calls from March through July to the U.S. government-funded Disaster Distress Helpline, which offers counseling and emotional support, surged 335% from the same period last year.
Doctor visits rapidly switched to video calls over the past several months, a practice that will live on beyond the pandemic.
It won’t be ‘business as usual,’ state officials say, ‘but rather the convergence of a new reality.’ Like one-way hallways and quarantine rooms and daily temperature checks.
With McCormick Place and other halls idle, the industry tries to imagine a post-pandemic future.
Opening this summer, the building incorporates changes for the coronavirus.
A similar switch happened after a 2016 cash crunch in India. This time, it could take hold permanently in the United States.
Heightened sanitation, more online ordering, plenty of meal kits and the end of the salad bar. The coronavirus will leave us with many changes, experts predict.
Will it be safe? Transit agencies seek to allay fears as much as possible as the city and state look toward loosening restrictions in the coming days and weeks.
Whether employers and customers will adapt to reopening guidelines and whether businesses can be profitable under the rules will be key to the revival of the Illinois economy.
Unlike some places that have hurtled toward a rapid reopening, Chicago wants to be viewed as an intelligent destination that visitors can trust.
Working from home will remain a factor, but those venturing back to the office in the coming months should expect see a host of new workplace protocols.
Maybe one day I’ll be telling stories about living through this COVID-19 disaster. I’ll be like my mother recalling how she grew up during the Great Depression.