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NorthSideSox72

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Everything posted by NorthSideSox72

  1. NorthSideSox72

    COVID-19/Coronavirus thread

    Just to add to what everyone else has pointed out, here's a simple one: Illinois was the first state, and is still one of only a few states, that have met the CDC guidelines for doing any kind of re-opening. That covers all the metrics that matter - infection rates and trends, deaths, hospitalizations, ICU capacity, and ventilator capacity. After a huge early surge that hit the large cities hardest for obvious reasons, Illinois has done arguably a better job than any other state. To say otherwise is just denying reality. You can nitpick specific things JB and the state has done or not done for sure, and nothing is perfect, but Illinois has clearly outperformed just about every other state if not all of them in response to the pandemic. And this is coming from someone who did not want JB as our governor.
  2. NorthSideSox72

    COVID-19/Coronavirus thread

    Yeah I was thinking more small lake, not necessarily on Lake Michigan. I am seeing a number of little places on AirBnB that seem good, on the water, in Wisco and Michigan. Prices are similar to or less than the hotel per-night costs from what would have been our Utah trip, and we get an entire house. Yes that was another possible risk, and sure enough Utah and Nevada are on Chicago's list. That said we don't live in the city. Still though, it tells you something. And I am much less concerned about that if we are in our own car just a few hours away in a nearby state, even if we do need to get back quickly.
  3. NorthSideSox72

    COVID-19/Coronavirus thread

    After some consideration with the wife, we aren't going on that trip to Utah I mentioned earlier. I think we could do a lot to mitigate some of the risks, but the reality is the plane ride is just too much, plus we have no idea how crowded certain places will be and won't have a lot of choices if they are. Probably going to rent a house or cabin on the water for that week instead (probably Wisconsin or Michigan), stay mostly in the house except going out to canoe, fish, swim, hike, bike, etc. Get groceries, pick up food, maybe eat out just a few times when it's outside dining. Way less risk, still a week of fun for the kiddies and some time to relax. Also likely a much cheaper trip, so bonus there. Still really want to do Zion, Bryce, etc., they will just have to wait.
  4. NorthSideSox72

    COVID-19/Coronavirus thread

    OK, I hadn't done my detailed route mapping yet so I didn't realize the road past the lodge was walk/bike/shuttle only. Good to know - another reason to start early! And good call on the hiker's guidebooks - I had done more of the online research but will probably order a book too. I know we plan to do the Narrows, and not do Angel's Landing, and Wall Street in Bryce. Other than that we don't have specific routes picked yet but we WILL have layers of backup plans in case of crowds. I am awaiting word from AA and UAL, who both supposedly will text me if the flights become more than 70% full. As for Zion, I have a feeling they won't be as crowded as normal since I looked the other day and saw there were still lots of rooms available in the park lodge at the time we are visiting. Usually lodges at the heart of popular parks like this, if you don't reserve a year in advance, good luck finding anything. But we shall see. Thanks for the info.
  5. NorthSideSox72

    COVID-19/Coronavirus thread

    No special risks for any of us that are mentioned around COVID, unless you count me being 47 as "old". Yes we have good health insurance. Airlines are American one way, United the other way. None of the park features we care about - the outside ones - are closed. We don't care a whole lot about the Visitors' Center, but that is open at least for Zion anyway if we did want to. 7-day quarantine should be a non-issue, we get back in time to have about that long (actually 8 days) before kids' school starts. Might need to get some groceries delivered. We are actually staying at the Zion Lodge within the park, so we are one of the lucky few that gets to drive on the interior roads (the pass comes with the stay). We can avoid the shuttle which is preferable due to the virus. And we tend to start our hikes early. Also, we are NOT doing Angel's Landing, which is the one that would scare me as far as forcing close contact. I think these places will have some crowds, but nothing like a usual year. That said, we will take all the recommended precautions of course. The flights seem scary to me too, but the more I read, the more I get the impression that maybe I have my priority for scariness wrong. Close quarters, but very little talking or singing or whatever and the air is recycled pretty quickly - more so than on trains or buses for example. It's really about how crowded it is (right now the flights both appear to be less than half full, one of them barely a quarter) and whether or not people are masking up (UAL and AA supposedly are cracking down on this now). More and more I think you might be right about the Vegas hotel. Walking around the MGM Grand seems like it could be the highest risk thing, and we can change that without losing our trip potentially. Starting to lean that way now. I am sure Zion is still awesome. Myself, my wife, and even our girls are already pretty experienced hikers. Definitely plan to do The Narrows. We are considering moving out of Vegas for that last night (easily changed, possibly highest risk thing). I am not sure making a road trip out of it really helps though - that's like 22 hours of driving from Chicago, we would need to stop for sleep at least once and a bunch of times for food, gas, etc., so I am not sure that really reduces the risk meaningfully. But it is something we've considered.
  6. NorthSideSox72

    COVID-19/Coronavirus thread

    So, we (myself, wife, 11 year old, 8 year old) still have all our flight, hotel and car reservations for our summer vacation. 6 days or so seeing the parks and monuments in Southern Utah (Zion, Bryce, Grand Staircase, etc.). Flying in and out of Vegas. Early August. Having a hard time deciding whether to go or not. I'm not overly concerned about our time in the parks, which is most of the trip (as long as we avoid Angel's Landing). And we can manage the hotel rooms and rental car with a major wipe-down upon arrival, then they should be fine after that. Can eat at places outside where possible, keep social distance, etc. I am keeping an eye on the stats for Southern Utah for infections - they have been staying pretty low, almost as low as Illinois in rate, though a slight uptick lately. My big scaries are the plane ride (4 hours each way), and on our last night we are supposed to stay at the MGM Grand in Vegas which also scares me. We could always cancel the Vegas hotel and get a place outside of town somewhere for that night I suppose, in some smaller town or whatever, since our return flight isn't early. But the flight is what it is and I can't control how full it is, or whether or not people will mask up (airlines are starting to get stricter on that which is good). We will probably make our decision in mid-late July. Good news is we can get full credit for the flights still, and should still be able to get most if not all our hotel deposits back. What would y'all do?
  7. NorthSideSox72

    COVID-19/Coronavirus thread

    Dr. Pepper sucks. 😁
  8. NorthSideSox72

    COVID-19/Coronavirus thread

    Yeah, this is what worries me as an Illinois Resident. A lot of people travel in and out of Chicago, even when air traffic is severely depressed. And some nearby states with shared Metro areas (Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana) have shown a poor record of handling things. Some bleed-in is inevitable - I just hope it isn't terribly bad. Again, while not perfect, if most of the country literally just wore masks, avoided indoor congregations with close quarters, and kept some social distance, we could be in a MUCH better place. A combination of ignorance and selfishness is what is killing people at this point more than anything else.
  9. NorthSideSox72

    COVID-19/Coronavirus thread

    I probably shouldn't belabor this point, but I want to make clear (again) I was responding to the "crush" the virus statement, which I took to mean nearly or fully get rid of it within the population. That is not attainable short of an actual, real, full-on lock down IN THE UNITED STATES WHERE THE VIRUS HAS ALREADY TAKEN COMMUNITY HOLD. We can't go back and make TrumpCo take it more seriously to start with - that is long gone. We are where we are. At this point the best thing we can do to have the least overall negative effects on the population is to deploy and enforce (latter being key here) common sense measures like masks, distancing, avoiding super-big crowd scenarios, and protecting the especially vulnerable.
  10. NorthSideSox72

    COVID-19/Coronavirus thread

    What do the three of you think I was saying? I never said other countries didn't do better - that would be absurd. In fact MOST countries with modern health care have done better than the US. Go look at what I was responding to - the statement about "Crush the virus", which I take to mean make it nearly non-existent. That is not a reasonable or attainable goal in the US short of locking literally everyone in their homes 24/7 no matter what for a few weeks.
  11. NorthSideSox72

    COVID-19/Coronavirus thread

    Not any that are good analogs for the United States. New Zealand did a great job, but I don't think I need to list the reasons why they were in a much different position than the US.
  12. NorthSideSox72

    COVID-19/Coronavirus thread

    Oh I agree, they need an e-learning substitute available for kids in families with someone vulnerable, if they choose to stay home. I mean at some point, the plateau is a statistical inevitability. The virus is actively spreading in Illinois, and even more so in some neighboring states, so at some point the positivity rate can't go down any further.
  13. NorthSideSox72

    COVID-19/Coronavirus thread

    35 kids per classroom? I mean I know the numbers go up in Jr High (my sampling was most recently in 5th and 2nd grades), but that seems insanely high to me. Anyway, back on the central topic - the schools are going to have a very hard time with all of this, but I just do not think e-schooling is a real solution unless we see some enormous explosion in COVID deaths and have no choice but to shut it all down again. Barring that, get the kids into school, even if their days will be pretty weird for a while.
  14. NorthSideSox72

    COVID-19/Coronavirus thread

    All the elementary schools in our district (three of them, District 28) have no cafeterias. They eat their lunches in their classrooms generally, but sometimes in the gym by grade level. I don't think that change is going to be the biggest issue. It's going to be more purely classroom size, I believe. We are lucky in that our district has pretty small class sizes. Elementary classrooms are ranging 14 to 18 typically in our district, and if you add in that some parents will be keeping kids home for health or other reasons until Phase 5, we are very lucky that our schools can probably do the 15 or fewer thing without a ton of problems. I recognize that in some other districts it will be a very different story.
  15. NorthSideSox72

    COVID-19/Coronavirus thread

    I see that the state literally, in the last hour or two, just released a high level guidance description (press release) and a detailed plan for opening school in the fall (the real meat of it).
  16. NorthSideSox72

    Metra Trains/First Time Home Buyer

    Does it need to be N or NW suburbs? I ask because those are what you listed. MP and AH are good, and for your price range I'd also look at Morton Grove. Skokie and Evanston are kinda unusual but could also meet your needs - just keep in mind both towns have a WIDE variety of crime levels and school quality depending on where you are. Much less homogeneous than others on your list. Glenview and Northbrook are also very good choices but might be stretching your price range a bit - still worth a look. Elmhurst and Downers Grove similarly could be very good fits for you, and where both were pretty affordable not long ago, they have become pricier and I don't know if they'd fit in your range. Park Ridge and Des Plaines also some good choices, but like Evanston and Skokie you need to be careful where exactly your house is. Buffalo Grove also worth considering but their Metra line runs far less often.
  17. NorthSideSox72

    COVID-19/Coronavirus thread

    Oh there absolutely need to be safety measures. When I said open up 100%, that was not supposed to mean "go back to 100% exactly the way things were". I just meant, all kids going to school. Clearly there will need to be mask rules, lots of disinfecting of surfaces more often, spacing, avoiding the all-school gatherings and the like, a temporary reduction or removal of certain extra-curriculars that have higher risk, etc. To wit... Yes, in fact the state's school board has already made some recommendations to IDPH, along with saying they think schools should open barring a new and significant outbreak. IDPH will supposedly issue their detailed guidance in the next couple weeks.
  18. NorthSideSox72

    COVID-19/Coronavirus thread

    We aren't going to eliminate the virus in the US (at least not for years anyway). The goal was, is and still should be, to keep the country safe enough that the medical systems are not overwhelmed. And by keeping it tamped down to that level you also save a bunch of lives and buy time for better treatments and eventually a vaccine. Illinois has done this, and done it really well. In fact I actually feel some pride when I see how well our state has done compared to others. And what that means is, we are safe enough for this Phase 4 of reopening - and the schools 100% need to open with it. You can't do one without the other for a whole host of reasons. I want to see the schools opened up fully in the fall. Now, obviously if some massive spike occurs, and ICU beds and ventilators go near maxed out and infection rates are out of control, then you go back a step. Hopefully that doesn't happen but it could. And in that case, you go back a step on ALL of it - if you close the schools, you close down all non-essential services too.
  19. NorthSideSox72

    COVID-19/Coronavirus thread

    Detailed Phase 4 guidance released, along with Pritzker (and Lightfoot) announcing we are going to Phase 4 Friday. Two things missing are two of the three that families are most focused on: schools and overnight camps (they DID release Day Camp guidance already, so that is good). Schools guidance coming soon apparently, but there is still some question around overnight camps. I will say again, you cannot expect to do all this Phase 4 opening if you do not also fully open schools in the fall. To do one and not the other is a disaster for a LOT of families who will be left with an impossible choice.
  20. NorthSideSox72

    Automobile Thread

    Ah, so you got a bonus deal, nice. Lucky glitch for you. When it does come time to start charging it at home or other non-free place, do you plan to use a monitor for the amount of electricity used? Or does Tesla have that built into the charging station in some way? I had to add a little smart plug for mine (cost like $15) to see exactly how much electricity was going to the car charging.
  21. NorthSideSox72

    Automobile Thread

    Even then it isn't the same though. Insurance is a funny animal - how much more or less does this car cost to insure versus previous? License costs different too. But really I was sort of taken aback that he completely left out electricity, which is essentially the fuel for the car. For the record I already own a PHEV and love it, and it is indeed much cheaper to own than our previous vehicle all-in.
  22. NorthSideSox72

    Automobile Thread

    Plus electricity, plus license plate and registration fees, plus insurance, plus tolls (maybe), plus any loan interest (if not bought with cash), plus potentially any village/city sticker fees, etc. I like Tesla and my next vehicle is likely to be a PHEV or possibly an EV, but let's be real here if you are going to talk "cost of ownership".
  23. NorthSideSox72

    COVID-19/Coronavirus thread

    I actually agree with the idea that going after businesses is much better than going after individuals, when it comes to the mask and distancing rules. Many fewer targets to monitor for authorities, and the rules can then filter down. I think it is the better way to go (can't believe I am agreeing with Abbott on something but here we are). I have no plans on being violent with anyone. Do you? If not, then just stop, "greg". Masks are not political. They are common sense. They are simply made to seem political by a portion of the conservative wing, who are so desperate to turn ANYTHING governmental into an attack of some kind that they will twist themselves into unfounded and cartoonish logic pretzels trying to make face masks into some kind of evil hoax. And by the way, I do thank you for following the rules despite not liking them. That is appreciated. Really.
  24. NorthSideSox72

    COVID-19/Coronavirus thread

    I have concerns too among some of those things, but they can be addressed with capacity limits. I'd rather go that route than keep those things closed until the fall. I realize of course some places won't comply, but I am also OK with some enforcement around that against businesses that don't follow the rules. Take away a few liquor or food licenses, publicize the hell out of the enforcement, and you will get a lot of places staying in line (though not all I am sure). Churches get a little more dicey that way but I think most, other than the megachurches run by money grubbers, will stick with it.
  25. NorthSideSox72

    COVID-19/Coronavirus thread

    More and more, it seems a consensus is building around the idea that for any given region once it has bent the curve down and gotten well below health care capacity limits, we would really just need: Masks in public spaces - indoors always, outdoors if unable to maintain distance Special treatment of and precautions in crammed in facilities, long-term care, and for specifically vulnerable populations Avoiding super-large crowd events especially if they involve a lot of vocalization or heavy breathing (concerts, pro sports, etc.) Washing your hands We could literally open up nearly everything else, if only we had a population that was willing to do the masking thing reliably (like 90% or better I guess). But no... there's that quarter or so of the population that have been conned into thinking wearing masks is some kind of conspiracy or made up thing. Other countries don't have that garbage (or at least have a lot less of it). So we in the US are stuck with these uneven and inconsistent lockdowns instead, damaging the economy even further and killing more people. Again... if you are in that quarter, GFY.
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