Wear masks in public, but not N95 masks! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending that people wearing face masks when in public. Masks are not reliable protection against contracting COVID-19 but can help reduce the spread of the disease, because people can be contagious without exhibiting symptoms. The CDC suggests using DIY cloth masks, which are easy to make with material and tools many people have on hand. N95 masks and other professional-grade items of personal protective equipment should be reserved for first responders and healthcare workers.
New community calendar. The Chronicle has launched a new community calendar at hfchronicle.com. When the governor's stay-at-home order was issued on March 20, most of the events listed in the calendar were canceled or postponed, making the calendar obsolete. In the intervening weeks, people and organizations have adapted, moving much social interaction and business online. The new community calendar is available for anyone to list events that are open to the community. One caution: Rather than listing addresses or passwords to video meetings, list contact information for someone who can provide that information to anyone who wishes to participate. Public access information can open a meeting up to intruders and trolls who wish to disrupt the gathering.
Check on your neighbors. In his weekly video update, Homewood Mayor Richard Hofeld shared a story about the importance of neighbors looking out for each other. He said a resident called him to report that he was unable to reach an elderly neighbor. Hofeld notified the police, who discovered the woman was unable to get out of her basement and did not have access to a phone to call for help. He urged residents to call 911 if they suspect a neighbor might need help.
Flossmoor update. On Wednesday, April 1, Flossmoor Mayor Paul Braun released a video statement thanking residents for their compliance with efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. "I want to commend all of you for your active cooperation and for your positive support for our community," he said. "We will get through this challenge in time, together. It's imperative that all of us continue to stay indoors, not go out unless for essential travel or for recreation, because that's the only way we're going to be able to protect ourselves, protect our families and protect our employees, who have to go out and protect us every day."
H-F poses in place. Thomas Photographic Studio held a pandemic-safe, pose-where-you-shelter photo shoot last week, and on Sunday the couple posted some of the photos on their website, giving everyone a chance to get to know their neighbors.
IPO's Roaring '20s Gala goes virtual. For the safety of all of patrons, the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra has canceled the in-person portion of the 42nd Anniversary Roaring '20’s Gala on April 25 and moved to a virtual format open online from Friday, April 17, to Saturday, April 25. IPO supporters purchasing a gala ticket will be invited to a cocktail party featuring an IPO string trio at Olympia Fields Country Club at a later date, when it is safe to gather in person again.