Mar 10, 2022 - News

Reflecting on Chicago's 2-year COVID lockdown anniversary

Empty downtown

The usually bustling intersection at Michigan Avenue and Randolph Street is nearly empty on March 21, 2020. Photo: Max Herman/NurPhoto via Getty Images

It's been two years since COVID-19 arrived and changed our lives forever.

Flashback: Chicago magazine has put together an oral history with local officials framed around key dates in the pandemic. March 2020 included:

  • 3/9: Illinois declares disaster.
  • 3/13: Last day of CPS classes.
  • 3/14: St. Patrick's Day Parade and parties became our last big public events.
  • 3/15: Announcement of indoor dining shutdown.
  • 3/17: Election Day.
  • 3/20: Statewide lockdown.
  • 3/26: City shuts down lakefront trail.

Just reading these moments sent chills down our spines as we recalled the uncertainty of the times while our world was being transformed.

Monica's thought bubble: I haven't worked in an office since March 10, 2020, except to clean out my WBEZ desk.

  • I've developed an aversion to crowded rooms.
  • But I've also gotten fitter on a regimen of homemade food, including weekly whole grain sourdough, and regular exercise.

Justin's thought bubble: I was live on-air at WGN Radio when most of these moments happened in real-time. What's missing from our list are the massive layoffs as corporations cut back. In a matter of weeks, I was no longer at that radio station.

  • While I regularly performed on stage in 2019, nowadays most of my creative pursuits are livestreamed.
  • I've yet to step back into a movie theater and have cut my dining budget in half.
  • The bright side: Doubling my lounge pants wardrobe.

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