Stay at Home Extended until April 30
Stay Home - That Means Everybody
SBA Forms Available Now
LSC Elections Postponed
Dear Neighbors,

The fight against the coronavirus is entering a new and deadly phase. Illinois has another 1200 cases and 53 more deaths - since yesterday. Do you know anyone who has died, or gotten very ill? I do.

Our office has received many questions about what we are "allowed" to do. Our Mayor and our Governor have made it pretty clear, and now I will add my view.

Stay Home.

According to the Executive Order, all residents are required to stay at home, unless they work for an essential business or are doing an essential activity, such as obtaining food, medicine, or other necessary supplies, but they should not engage in group activities or take any unnecessary trips.  Yes, we have been given "permission" to go outside sometimes. But this permission does not extend to long runs in the park, or playdates with friends, or even excursions with our immediate family. It means stay home - and only go out when you have to.

We know now that the virus spreads when we are asymptomatic and that the virus is so contagious, breathing near someone can spread the disease. In some cases, the disease appears to be no more than a cold. In fact, one of our neighbors told us that she had what she thought was a pretty mild cold - until her doctor doggedly made her get a test. She has COVID-19. She graciously told all her friends and co-workers to warn them. But that mild cold, could result in a massive reaction in another person. That is why we have the Stay at Home order - to protect others from us.

What can we do in the face of asymptomatic spread? Stay Home - and Don't go out at all unless you are wearing a mask.

This has not yet been ordered. But the evidence is piling up that masks protect others from us. Governor Pritzker recommended wearing face masks or scarves at his press conference today.

A mask may not be enough to protect you from getting infected by others. But wearing a mask can greatly reduce the chance of you infecting others. By wearing a mask, I help you and you help me.

In some countries, wearing masks in public is a routine occurrence. However, we do not know the effectiveness in a culture that values individual over group rights. In fact, requiring mask wearing might promote even more disobedience to social distancing requirements and encourage folks to visit the lakefront, mingle with friends and otherwise feel immune. 

But this is incorrect thinking. When cases are rising, deaths are more common, and our health care system is becoming overloaded, wearing a mask is an additional layer of defense to existing social distancing requirements. Wearing a proper mask properly can help at those times when we have to go out - to get groceries. But it is not cover for going out more or congregating in the parks.

Other countries have much more strict social distancing rules and require masks. In the Czech Republic, according to the US Embassy in the Czech Republic , " As of March 26, people may be outside of their residences only by themselves or in groups of two. Exemptions are families and individuals performing work.

All individuals in the Czech Republic outside of their home MUST cover mouth and nose with either a protective medical mask, self-made mask, or a scarf. The Czech government has banned going anywhere in public without such cover and has imposed several fines for violating the ban in several cases."

The Czech Republic has good outcomes compared to the rest of Europe. I believe we should follow that example, and wear face masks.

Our individual desire to enjoy a nice spring day is not enough to overcome our societal obligation to protect our fellow citizens from even "accidental" exposure. Therefore, we should restrict our activities even more. And when we must go out, we should wear a mask. 

If you are a runner - please try some cross training you can do inside or on your block.

If you are a parent - please give your kids some outside time as close to home as possible.

If you love the outdoors - step out, feel the sunshine and go back in.

STAY HOME. Don't go out unless you have to, and then, only with a mask on.

Thank God we are not sheltering in place because we are under fire, as millions have been in civil wars. Most of us are comfortable, many still employed, and we have more time with our families than we have had in years. This will be over. But now it is our duty to stay home.

Check out this DIY article from the NYTimes on how to make your own mask at home. There are many others patterns on the internet, including no-sew masks. We will have more on this in another newsletter. But for now - Stay Home, Save Lives. Don't go out without a mask.
DePaul Quad Closed to the Public

In keeping with the governor's stay at home order, DePaul University has closed off the quad. DePaul let us know that, "while we welcome their use of campus, this poses a threat to public health. Starting tomorrow, we are going to restrict access to the quad, before the weather gets warmer." Thank you, DePaul.
SBA Forms and Rules are Published
Apply Now!

The Small Business Administration has just released the official loan form and guidance for Paycheck Protection Program ("PPP") loans. These loans are available to help small businesses and non-profits.

The loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.

Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease. This loan has a maturity of 2 years and an interest rate of 1%. Here is the loan application. This loan is available only through banks.

The Lenders below are taking applications online (some banks require a pre-existing banking relationship):


Otherwise,  Find a lender here

To learn more details, here are the  interim rules, for which lenders have been waiting to begin to process applications. And  here  is the Lender's application form, so you can see what is needed to qualify.

For more information about SBA programs, click  hereHere is an interesting side-by-side comparison of the PPP and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)

And  here are the slides from this week's SBA webinar with Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer.
Nursing and Medical Volunteers Needed

The Chicago Medical Corps needs nursing and medical providers and other non-medical volunteers to volunteer to help protect Chicago during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The City and State are looking for any and all health care workers, including nursing and medical students and retirees. Find more information and sign up at
Help Hospitals Get Face Shields

43rd Ward resident Shalini Sharma and her friends Rajeev Bahri and Radha Parekh have organized a wonderful project to provide face shields for area hospitals. They have designed and retooled a local plastics manufacturing facility to create kits of face shields that are being delivered to hospitals. Their mission, called "10,000 in 10 Days" have successfully donated several thousand shields to Swedish, Norwegian, and Mt. Sinai Hospital.

To learn more and to donate, click the  GoFundMe page . The organizers want to share their design so that others can help too. Look at their  Vimeo page   for more.
COVID19 Chicago Frontline Angels - Help Buy Face Masks

Support this team of skilled professionals, including doctors, public health specialists, attorneys, and biomedical engineers from The University of Chicago, Harvard and Y ale in raising enough money to secure at least 10,000 N95 masks as quickly as possible. 

Visit their Gofundme page and donate to this mission today.
LSC Elections Postponed

The Governor has extended the state-wide mandated school closures through April 30. This impacts the Local School Council (LSC) elections which were scheduled for April 22 and 23, and will unfortunately have to postpone the election until further notice.

If you have any questions regarding the elections please contact Willy Montes de Oca, Director, Office of Local School Council Relations at
Take the 2020 U.S Census

While we are home practicing social distancing, take some time to fill out the  U.S. Census. The census is very important for future representation in Congress and for receiving federal aid. In fact, it is said that every reply to the census is worth $1400 in aid to Chicago! For the first time, you can choose to respond online, by phone, or by mail.

Participation in the census is both a right and responsibility. Do your part and make yourself count. Please note: Your information will not be shared with anyone.
Gold Coast Neighbors Association:
Live Legal Update
Monday, April 6
2:00 p.m.
You Tube

The Gold Coast Neighbors Association is hosting a live chat regarding COVID19 related questions for Illinois Community Associations. This L ive Legal Update is intended to help board members, owners, residents, managers, and businesses understand the issues surrounding COVID-19 mitigation and relief efforts as they impact condominium, townhome, and homeowner's associations in Illinois.

Click here to view the event on YouTube.
A Little Fun For Kids During this Historic Pandemic

During this historic pandemic, here is an activity for children to fill out and reflect on years down the road - a 2020 COVID19 Time Capsule. Remember, you are not stuck inside, you are safe inside.
Sometimes it's good not to be in Oz. Stay home, Save lives,

Coronavirus Resources :

If you have any additional questions, please email:  or call 312-746-4835

The Doctor Is In: Ask Dr. Arwady. Live-stream by Chicago Health Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D., daily at 11:00 am on  Twitter and  Facebook Live.

Sign up to receive the latest updates on Coronavirus:
State of Illinois
Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
43rd Ward Office Hours: M - F 9 AM - 5 PM 
  2523 N Halsted  |  773-348-9500