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Corona Virus Toll in Chicago and Midwest

Corona Virus Toll in Chicago and Midwest
March 19
14:48 2020

SN Ullal, S Bodiwala and Ramesh Soparawla

CHICAGO: The bustling India Town in Chicagoland’s Devon Avenue presented a deserted look and one would mistake it for a ghost town after the slow but steady impact of spreading Corona virus in Chicagoland and across the country. Shoppers and shopkeepers both are worried and anxious when this unwanted and unexpected calamity will end.
Restaurants, appliance stores, jewelry outlets and all storefronts seem friendless in absence of the usually heavy footfall from Chicagoland and neighboring States. Governor J. B. Pritzker announced Bars and Restaurants Will Close to Public by end of March 16. And State Agencies are to Temporarily Reduce Workforce while Maintaining Core Functions and Essential Operations

“This is another hard step to take. I know how difficult this will be on small businesses around the state. But we must do everything we can to safeguard the health of the citizens of Illinois, and that requires this urgent action,” said Governor Pritzker. “The time for persuasion and public appeals is over — the time for action is here. This is not a joke. No one is immune to this, and you have an obligation to act in the best interests of all the people of this state.”

“This is a make or break moment. Clear and bold actions are needed immediately to stop the spread of COVID-19 and strengthen public health in Chicago and across the state,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “In the days and weeks ahead, we will continue to keep our residents and businesses apprised of developing information, ensuring they understand the measures we are taking and are following the latest guidance by public health officials. The City of Chicago is working to safeguard the health of our communities at every level of our operations. We are resilient, and we are all in this together.”

The state is working closely with restaurant owners and food delivery services to ensure kitchens can safely remain open to continue food delivery and put in place drive-thru and curbside pickup options for restaurants to continue to serve the public.

“Public safety is the No.1 concern of the Illinois Restaurant Association,” said Sam Toia, president of the Illinois Restaurant Association. “First and foremost, we want to protect the health of our customers and team members. We remain vigilant in helping employers to navigate the immediate challenges that come with this rapidly changing situation. I want to thank Governor Pritzker and his team, and Mayor Lightfoot and her team, for leading us.”

Gov. Pritzker also announced for a temporary reduction of government functions and workforce. Select employees will continue to report to work, while the remaining workforce will either work remotely or be asked to remain home on call. All state employees will continue to be paid during this period.

Over the next several days, the Pritzker administration will finalize these plans and update state employees and the public. The Office of the Governor will remain fully operational throughout this period.


Social distancing is the paramount strategy for minimizing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, and the Governor is committed to using every tool at his disposal to protect public health.
Those experiencing symptoms should call a health care provider who will help arrange medical treatment without putting others at risk of exposure.
The Illinois Department of Public Health has a statewide COVID-19 hotline and website to answer any questions from the public or to report a suspected case: call 1-800-889-3931 or visit

Swaminarayan Mandir

As communities grapple to make sense of this viral pandemic and its effects
BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, a global Hindu organization, has recently suspended all gatherings and activities across the world but has quickly adapted to an online forum that fills the void for congregants to find comfort and solace through a sense of spiritual community. This includes many, if not most, of its 3,850 houses of worship. In the US alone, there are 100 mandirs (Hindu temples) affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

This is a novel move by a large religious organization to provide spiritual solace and comfort.


Due to COVID-19 national emergency, many Gurdwaras across the country, including Wheaton and Palatine, are canceling Kirtan and KathaDivaan programs. The Gurdwaras will remain open to visit at different hours, however programs will be limited.

Practice social distancing for own safety and for the safety of others. Listen to kirtan and dopaath at home with your family


The Soorya Performing Arts is cancelling following events in Spring 2020 out of concern for the safety of patrons, dancers, students, and staff, and to reduce the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

1. March 28th 2020 – Kathak Annual show – in YMCA auditorium Chesterfield – Cancelled
2. April 11th 2020 – Bharathanatyam Annual Show – in Ladue High School auditorium – Cancelled
3. April 24, 25, 26th – 12th American Natya Festival – in Wydown Middle School Auditorium – postponed to a future date.
4. May 2nd – Columbia Indian Dance Festival – Battle High School Auditorium – Cancelled

All dance lessons in Just Dancing Studios have been cancelled, since March 11th 2020. The Academy will update its website for any further change in dance and music lessons.

This is a “generational” danger and it is important to hear directives from health officials from CDC, St Louis County. Lets live next couple of months in isolation, so we could dance and sing more in future.

Board of Directors Soorya Performing Arts pray and hope everyone to be safe and healthy in this risky outbreak of Covid-19 outbreak.



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