Homewood Baseball and Softball leaders mark opening day with video. April 18 would have been a traditional opening day for the Homewood youth baseball and softball organization, with a parade, ceremonial first pitches, raffles and games. COVID-19 disrupted the tradition, but the organization's board of directors posted a video greeting for players and parents.
League President Tabitha Stine started things off: "This isn't the way we thought opening day would go this year," and a number of board members took turns completing the statement: "We had hoped to be celebrating with all our players, families and friends on the beautiful Izaak Walton fields as we have done for nearly 50 years. But for now we need to adapt, learn and be resilient in the face of a very unique challenge. We know this has been difficult for all of you and we are doing everything we can to prepare to begin our season as soon as it is safe. We're thinking about your safety first and keeping that as a guiding principal for all that we do. We will begin to roll out our plans once we get into May and have a better understanding of the recommendations from both local and national governments. One thing we know is true. We'll get through this together. We miss baseball and softball just as much as you do and we hope you are keeping your players skills fresh by practicing at home when you are able. Stay safe. Stay home."
Then Stine finished the statement: "We cannot wait to see you down at Izaak Walton when we can finally get together and yell, 'Play ball!"
PopUp Science adapts, becomes PopUp Science @Home. Homewood Science Center's popular PopUp Science series of family education events is adapting to pandemic restrictions by becoming a take-home activity. "PopUp SCIENCE @Home are engaging hands-on STEM activities that work towards the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), designed for your family to do at home," according to the HSC website. The first opportunity to pick up the take-home kits will be from 3 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22. Visit www.homewoodsciencecenter.org for more information.
No peak. The good news is that the doubling rate of new COVID-19 cases is growing. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said during the Tuesday briefing that the number of days it took cases to double was about two days on March 22. By April 12, it was taking 8.2 days. That's an indication the rate of infection is slowing. The bad news, though, is that the number of infections keeps growing. On Saturday, Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health announced that the state tied its record for deaths in a 24-hour period, 125, and had 1,585 new cases, which was not a record. Pritzker pointed to the continuing increase as a barrier to easing pandemic restrictions. "You have to have 14 days of declining case numbers, then you can start to move into the next phase," he said. The number of confirmed cases in Homewood increased from 90 to 100. Flossmoor remains at 45.