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Photo essay: COVID-19, quarantine, and glimpses of community

by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (April 6, 2020) – The following photos were gathered between March 17 and April 4, 2020, and show glimpses of Lansing’s response to COVID-19.

The Harris family took advantage of a late March snowfall to make an appropriately protected snowman. “Maybe it will bring smiles to readers’ faces during this COVID-19 shutdown,” wrote Renuka Harris. (Photo provided)
Banks like First National Bank (3256 Ridge Road) are still serving clients, but with no direct contact. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
87-year-old Rosalie Putignano and her 90-year-old neighbor Viola are using “old-fashioned texting” to keep in contact with each other. (Photo: Retta Putignano, Rosalie’s daughter)
The two have been neighbors for a long time and understand the importance of community. (Photo: Retta Putignano)
Following Governor Pritzker’s directive, the Illinois Gaming Board suspended all video gaming operations until at least April 30, due to COVID-19. On March 17 officials arrived at Lynnie Ques Airport Bar & Grill (3249 Glenwood-Lansing Road) to shut down and sanitize the machines. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
The words of Jesus in Matthew 18:20 have taken on new relevance as Lansing churches are prevented from assembling. “For where two or three gather in my name,” reads the First Church PCA sign, “there am I with them.” First Church PCA is located at 3134 Ridge Road. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Living Word Church (2248 186th Street) tries an online Spirit Week to keep members engaged and connected.
A worker at the Lansing Walmart (17625 Torrence Avenue) carefully sanitizes each grocery cart as it is returned. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
“Every day for the past few weeks, this sweet but shy orange and white cat has been showing up on our front porch to wait patiently for both breakfast and dinner,” wrote Pat Kremer. “And, now that I’m at home sheltering in place, I’m happy to oblige.” (Photo: Becky Hluska)
Avery Hall, owner of Ooowee Chicken & Ribs (18155 Roy Street, 708-418-6671), says his faith and hard work have kept him in business. He appreciates the support he’s received from the community. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
COVID-19 forced the Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce to close its office (18155 Roy Street, #3), but work continues remotely. Director Amy Todd sends regular emails to members, encouraging them through the crisis and offering links to resources. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
In addition, Chamber Director Amy Todd and Chamber Board member Karen Kleine (of Minuteman Press, 17930 Torrence Avenue) are working on fun ways to remind the community to “Support Local.” (Photo: Karen Kleine)
Large signs in the windows of the Lansing Municipal Center (3141 Ridge Road) encourage passersby to “Stay Healthy, Safe, and Strong, Lansing.” (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Lansing’s Three Roosters grocery store (3224 171st Street) has plenty of fresh produce, meat, and canned goods for shoppers who prefer not to face crowds at the larger chain stores. (Photo: Daisy Herrera)
On an otherwise dreary March morning, raindrops form miniature ornaments on a tree along a municipal parking lot. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Lansing residents Christina Buiter and her daughter Tessa put three sticks together with a cup holder to send smoothies and homemade goodies up to their parents, Carl and Annette Boender, who live on the second floor of Hartsfield Village in Munster, Indiana. As a senior living community, Hartsfield began observing visitor restrictions in mid-March, so some families found creative ways to stay in touch. (Photo provided)
A house along Burnham Avenue makes sure the postman receives a cheery Easter greeting each day. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
A discarded mask awaits the arrival of someone willing to properly dispose of it. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
“Welcome to St. Quarantine Lutheran Church,” joked Rev. John Holyer to viewers of his Wednesday night video of Trinity Lutheran Church’s midweek service. Trinity’s online services are at
A faded chalk message along the Pennsy Greenway bike trail encourages people to “Have a good day!!” (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.


  1. Loved this photo essay, Melanie! It’s hard to explain but it made me feel less alone. It definitely lifted my spirits.

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