“The following individuals shall not enter the Peoria County courthouse, until further Order:
● Persons who have been in any of the following countries within the last 21 days: CHINA, SOUTH KOREA, JAPAN, ITALY, IRAN (this list subject to update);
● Persons who reside or have had close contact with someone who has been in one of the countries listed above within the last 21 days;
● Persons who have been asked to self-quarantine by any medical provider;
● Persons who have been diagnosed with, or have had contact with, anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19; or
● Persons with a fever, cough, or shortness of breath.”
The chief judge also issued a press release that put residents of Central Illinois on notice that they should do their best to avoid the courthouse, and that “all core staff” of the courthouse should practice personal health habits that include cleaning hands, avoiding close contact, and covering coughs and sneezes.
By the end of the week, it seemed as though everyone was racing to jump on the wash-your-hands-and-stay-away-from-everyone-else bandwagon. On Friday, I received more than 15 emails from various organizations about the precautions they were taking. The organizations that emailed me included the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, Busey Bank, AAA Auto Club Group, Commerce Bank, American Red Cross, Saint Louis University, Google, Southwest Airlines, and Mayo Clinic.
The Illinois State Bar Association sent an email that said that Governor J.B. Pritzker was being encouraged by “criminal justice advocates” to release up to 7,800 state prisoners who are age 50 or older, to protect them from the coronavirus and to relieve “the strain on resources within the prisons.” Those 7,800 prisoners make up approximately 20% of the Illinois prison population.
Pritzker should offer to make a deal with those so-called criminal justice advocates that he’ll release the prisoners if each of the advocates agrees to allow up to three prisoners to live in the advocates’ homes until the prisoners find their own housing and employment. Since the advocates are more than willing to allow the release of prisoners within our communities, let’s see if they’ll put their money where their mouths are and allow the prisoners to move into their houses to disrupt their lives rather than the lives of others. If Pritzker were to make that offer, the advocates would immediately disappear, never to be heard from again on the prisoner issue.
There is one major thing that Pritzker did. He ordered the closing of all the schools in Illinois until March 30.
We are being relentlessly hammered with “breaking news” about the deadly nature of the coronavirus and the apparent catastrophic consequences of what’s going to happen to all of us if we don’t do what we’re told. It’s enough to make you want to lock yourself in your home and unplug completely from all media for the remainder of the Lenten season.
While we have politicians, industry leaders, business executives, judges, educators, celebrities, and other various do-gooders telling us what we “must do” to protect ourselves and the people around us, I haven’t heard any of those individuals offer the one recommendation that should be at the top of their lists.
Can you guess what their top recommendation should be?
They should recommend the formation of a committee whose job would be to get commitments from the religious leaders of the top 10 religions in the United States. The religious leaders would be asked to go to the members of their congregations and get them to commit to at least 15 minutes of prayer every day. The prayers would be for the purpose of asking for God’s assistance in stopping the spread of the virus, the successful treatment of those individuals who have been infected, and the creation of an effective vaccine for the virus.
When I was a teenager, my grandmother, Cecilia LaHood, told me that during World War II, she participated in daily “Block Rosaries.” As you may know, various sections of a city are broken down into “blocks.” A “city block” is ordinarily made up of a rectangular area that is enclosed by streets that are lined with residential or commercial buildings.
During World War II, my grandmother lived in an area of the City where most of the families were Catholic. Some of those families had a son, husband, or brother who had been drafted to fight in the war. Most of the women in her block and other blocks around the city got together every evening during the war to pray a rosary together. In effect, they formed their own army of prayer warriors who prayed for the safe return of their men and for an end to the war.
What was it that brought the woman together to pray every night? It was primarily the fear that one of their men would not make it home from the war. There was also a fear that additional men would be drafted.
Unfortunately, the only thing that convinces most people that they need to spend more time in prayer is a catastrophic event, such as, a natural disaster, a severe financial crisis, a catastrophic injury or diagnosis of a serious medical condition, or a war that involves the drafting of men who are required to go into battle.
My grandmother believed that the army of prayer warriors who prayed the rosary together every day were heard by God and that their prayers were answered.
Where are the leaders who are willing to organize an army of prayer warriors who will agree to turn to God every day in prayer and ask for His assistance with this crisis? Why hasn’t anyone who has influence proposed this? Why do none of the solutions that are being bandied about include turning to our Creator for His help?
Our leaders are completely blind to the true solution to the problems we are facing.
Wake up, America! If we can get a minimum of a million people who will commit to praying for 15 minutes every day for the same intention, we will be able to quickly come up with the right solutions to the coronavirus crisis.