Looking ahead: Plans beyond quarantine

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gathered by Carrie Steinweg, Ernst Lamothe, Katie Arvia, and Josh Bootsma

LANSING, Ill. (April 30, 2020) – With Governor Pritzker’s stay-at-home order extended through May, people’s hopes have been stretched and their plans have been extended. We asked residents of Lansing and surrounding communities to look ahead and share their thoughts.

What’s something you’ve learned while in quarantine?

“While in quarantine, I have learned to slow down. I feel like the world is always moving so fast. Being forced to ‘shut down’ the world has given a lot of people time to take a deep breath and prioritize what is important in life, as well as reflect and to take a moment to appreciate things.”
–Amanda Hallberg, Lansing

“I did learn I have to pay more attention to others and myself and not just react on impulse. Also, sheltering yourself, you have to make time to think about the good, or there’s too much time to think about the bad.”
–Joyce Washington, Thornton Township Trustee

Thornton Township Trustee Joyce Washington is choosing to focus on the good during quarantine. (Photo provided)

“I am a Kindergarten teacher, and there are days that I come home very tired. However, I have learned that I would rather be tired from teaching all day than be emotionally exhausted because I am worried about how my students are when I’m not with them.”
–Jenny Polley, Lansing

“I’ve learned how interconnected all the people in this world are. We can all love and support each other as well as hurt each other and must always keep that in the forefront of our actions.”
–Dan Schreiber

Dan Schreiber is a CTA supervisor, providing an essential service during the pandemic. (Photo provided)

“Something I learned from being in quarantine is it stinks being inside and not having the freedom to go wherever. But it makes me more careful about washing my hands.”
–Amanda Spottiswood, Lansing

Amanda Spottiswood has found creative ways to spend her time stuck at home. For example, she decorated the house for Easter. (Photo provided)

“That my faith is strong, and that you can do all things through Christ that strengthens us.”
–Jackie Rivera, Thornton Township Clerk

What is a positive you have found from being in quarantine?

“I’ve enjoyed cooking with my wife and making some great comfort foods! Our health depends on the type of food we eat.”
–Dan Schreiber

“The thing I’ve enjoyed most about quarantine is spending time with my parents. I feel like we have somehow gotten closer since this all happened.”
–Amanda Spottiswood, Lansing

Amanda Spottiswood has also done a lot of cooking and baking during the stay-at-home order. (Photo provided)
And she decorated her car to send a positive message. (Photo provided)

“I have found very little positive about sheltering in place with another and even older person. The only new topic in your lives is COVID-19, and I refuse to only talk about that! The thing I have missed the most is interacting with my LACE friends and LCC friends who have boundless energy and keep me feeling younger. So, what I am looking forward to the most (other than appointments like nails and hair that I no longer take for granted) are social interactions with my LACE and LCC families. I need to feel revitalized.

“If there is a plus, I have read almost a book a day. We take time almost every evening to watch a Netflix movie we have not seen yet, but my days are for reading and reading some more.

“Our stimulus check is being spent in advance and will continue being spent in Lansing restaurants. Starting week 1, we have patronized four friends who own restaurants at least once a week and have added extra big tips for the staff tip jar most are employing. If there is money left when this finally ends, it will be spent at Lansing businesses. Period.”
–Jean McCall, Lansing

“I have enjoyed being able to take advantage of the nice weather and going outside. I have also enjoyed developing my cooking and baking skills.”
–Amanda Hallberg, Lansing

“I really enjoyed getting caught up on little household projects. I am always so busy and rarely have time to get a closet or drawer cleaned out, but I’ve gotten more little things done around the house in the last few weeks than I typically get done in a year! My favorite project was painting and re-organizing my pantry.”
–Vivian Payne, Lansing

Vivian Payne took advantage of the quarantine and organized her pantry, documenting the project with before and after photos. (Photos provided)

“Well I am not 100% quarantined; I am a Pharmacy Technician, so I am still going to work every day. But what time I am home, I have enjoyed being with my children! I have two children, 11 and 8, and I feel our schedules are so crazy between school, work, basketball, and girl scouts! It is actually nice to be home and not rush all over. My husband is also an essential worker, so I work short shifts during the week, he leaves when I get home, and he is off the weekend, and I work 10 hours each day! But it is great being home and enjoying the family! We play games—Crazy 8’s, War, Spot it, and Uno! Our family is making many positive memories during very uncertain times!”
–Jen Arnold, Lansing

Jen Arnold is one of Lansing’s essential workers. (Photo provided)
Jen Arnold’s kids made positive signs to display in their windows: “Stay Strong,” “Stay Healthy,” “We are in this together.” (Photo provided)

“I was able to witness, firsthand, how absolutely supportive and generous the people of Lansing truly are. In reference to my restaurant, Mancino’s Pizza & Grinders, we are able to sustain ourselves because of the support from this town. Not only are people patronizing our establishment, but the generosity that they have shown my staff is absolutely amazing. Everyone has also been completely patient with us, after having to change the ways we serve our customers: curbside pickup, smaller staff, change in hours, and payment for orders. I will never forget how Lansing stepped up—it makes me so proud to be a resident and business owner in this town.”
–Amy Todd, Lansing

Amy Todd is owner of the Lansing Mancino’s (3300 Ridge Road; 708-474-6337). She’s also Director of the Lansing Area Chamber and has been working to support local businesses throughout the quarantine. (Photo provided)

What have you missed most during the quarantine?

“The one thing we miss the most is the physical contact with others. Jim and I are both very active in the village and church, and we love interacting with others in person. Chatting on the phone or Facebook is just not the same as being close to someone and giving them a hug or handshake. We especially miss the physical contact with our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.”
–Joann Kijewski, Lansing

“I miss being able to give someone a hug or even a hand on the shoulder. My own parents won’t hug me now, but I do understand why, so I will cut them some slack. :)”
–Ernst Lamothe, Lansing

What’s something you’re looking forward to when the stay-at-home order is lifted?

“Going to Orland Mall and having a burger with my friends.”
–Joyce Washington, Thornton Township Trustee

“The first thing when this is over is to go out to dinner, have a family reunion with lots of hugging!”
–Dan Schreiber, Lansing

“I would like to see my daughters, their husbands, and our grandchildren in person. We have been having Zoom dinner parties, and those have been fun, but it is certainly not the same as seeing everyone in person.”
–Rich Dust, Lansing

The Richard Dust family, pre-pandemic. (Photo provided)

“Go to some of the senior homes to visit, pray, and serve as I’ve done in the past.”
–Jackie Rivera, Thornton Township Clerk

As Thornton Township Clerk, Jackie Rivera is used to finding ways to serve people. (Photo provided)

“I am looking forward to spending time with family and friends that I was not able to see during this time. Also, I am looking forward to go back to a ‘normal’ lifestyle and enjoying a nice Chicago summer that comes and goes way too quick! Definitely not take life for granted and enjoy all obstacles life throws out.”
–Tariq Abu-Romman, South Holland

“I am looking forward to an attempt at a long bike ride near water. Let’s see how far I get.”
–India Blakely, Thornton Township Youth and Family Services Coordinator

India Blakely is planning to go biking after quarantine. (Photo provided)

“I have found that I am much better at staying alone than I would have ever imagined. What is most difficult for me is not seeing my family. My oldest daughter had COVID, and the hardest thing was not being able to be with her and help her. My older parents are quarantined together at home. My youngest daughter is pregnant with my first grandchild in Warsaw, Poland. When it is safe, not necessarily when the ban is lifted, I will go see my parents and oldest daughter immediately. I will then book my trip to Warsaw to meet my grandson. I can’t wait to hug again!!! After all of those immediate needs are met, I will go out to see live music with friends and share a celebratory glass of wine.
–Debbie McKinley, Lansing

“I most look forward to looking out from my pulpit on Sundays and seeing my church family, not just a camera.”
–Richard Zekveld, South Holland (Pastor of Covenant Fellowship Church)

“The first thing I will do after quarantine ends is go to the movies and go to restaurants with my friends. I miss experiencing things with company.”
–Amanda Hallberg, Lansing

“My plans after the lockdown is over is to gather all my family together to have a big dinner. Then I will go to visit my aunt in Bradley for a good few weeks.”
–Michelle Quinn, Lansing

Michelle Quinn is looking forward to family time. (Photo provided)

“If possible, the first thing I’ll do is go to a Chicago White Sox game.”
–Ernst Lamothe, Lansing

“The first thing I will do when quarantine ends is go to Target or Walmart with my mom…or even possibly both. We would love to just be able to go to the stores and not have to worry.”
–Amanda Spottiswood, Lansing

“I’m most looking forward to seeing family and friends on a regular basis again. It’s taken losing the regular rhythms of life for me to appreciate them. I know things won’t be the same, but I’m excited to get back to the activities and people that I love.”
–Josh Bootsma, South Holland