As you are no doubt aware, the Governor issued an executive order requiring people to stay in their homes until April 7th except for the purpose of obtaining essential needs. A fuller explanation of what constitutes “essential need” and those businesses deemed “essential” can be found by clicking here. Further information about COVID-19 and what’s being done to address the crisis can be found by clicking here.
As we get deeper into this crisis, we’re going to depend more and more upon local services and agencies. It’s these resources that I’d like to focus upon.
- The McHenry County Health Department has set up a website (click here) which contains information on all local resources. This should be your go-to source for up-to-date information of what’s available in the County.
- I volunteered at the Woodstock Food Pantry on Monday and learned that while the shelves are very well stocked, there’s a shortage of vegetable cooking oil, cereal (especially Honey Nut Cheerios) and bread. Much of the pantry’s bread supply comes from local grocery stores, but the recent run on staples has cleaned the stores out. If you are sitting on more bread than you need for the week, think about dropping some off at your local pantry. They need it.
- Speaking of food pantries, here’s a list of the pantries in McHenry County, along with hours of operation and contact info. Give them a call and ask how you can help.
- The Family Health Partnership Clinic in Crystal Lake (779-220-9300) is treating people on an emergency basis only. Please call before you come in, and learn more by clicking here to go to the Clinic’s website.
- If you’re at home with the kids and looking for ways to help them with school work or just to keep them occupied in a positive way, Khan Academy offers free, online lesson plans and schoolwork assistance for kids from 2-18. Click here for more information. This is a great resource.
- As of now, Illinois has not extended the date for filing and paying state income taxes, even though the due date for filing your Federal return has been extended to July 15th. The best advice I can give you if you won’t have your Federal return done by April 15th (which you need to do in order to prepare your Illinois return) is to file an extension on April 15th and include a payment sufficient to cover the tax liability you had in 2018.
- My office will remain closed to walk-in traffic for the foreseeable future, but we’re available during normal office hours by phone at (815) 880-5340 and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
You’re probably wondering when all of this will end and we can get back to normal. I wish I knew. We’re all dealing with something we’ve never seen before, and all I ask is that we sit back, take a deep breath and use this as an opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with people and things we may have lost touch with. Call a friend you haven’t talked to for a while. Check on an elderly or disabled neighbor and see if you can run an errand for them. Play a board game, take a nap or read a book. Soon we’ll be back living at the breakneck pace we’ve become used to and may look back upon this as a time in which we reconnected ourselves to our communities, our friends and our families. Stay safe out there.