URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — It’s the first weekend of Phase 5 in Illinois, and that means business owners are returning to full capacity.
Business owners and customers say they’re excited to get back to normal.
“I’m really hoping we get back to that point really soon,” Crane Alley General Manager, Matthew Barga, said.
Barga is one of the millions of Illinoisans and Americans putting the pandemic behind them.
Memorial Day weekend marked the first official holiday in more than a year that most people didn’t have to wear a mask.
It was also a time where more than half of all Americans were fully vaccinated.
“It’s a good feeling to get back to Friday and Saturday nights to have this place packed,” Barga said.
Up until the end of the bridge phase, business slowed down and even stopped in certain parts of Illinois, but with an end in site, business owners and customers are relieved that’s all about to change.
“But, now we get to go back to living a little,” Crane Alley customer, Dave Fairgo, said.
As Illinois starts reopening, people like Dave Fairgo and Tom Rachfuss are enjoying crowds again, and they’re feeling a bit safer after getting the vaccine.
“I’m relieved that my immediate circle of friends has gotten vaccinated, and if other people don’t want to get vaccinated, that’s their problem,” Rachfuss said.
“You’re not paying anything for them, and it’s going to protect you, it’s going to protect your family, it’s going to protect your friends. It’s going to get us opened up even more, the more we get vaccinated. So, get vaccinated,” Fairgo said.
As more Illinoisans get vaccinated, our neighbors to the south are falling behind.
More people are also changing their working lives, and that includes more job growth in fields like e-commerce, health care, online learning and digital entertainment.
While some people change paths, business owners are also adapting to the change, and they’re feeling more prepared if the Coronavirus adapts or makes a comeback.
“It would be a much easier transition the second time, if it were to happen again. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want it to happen again, but it would be much easier this time,” Barga said.
Barga said Crane Alley had to close during part of the pandemic, but he was able to build their carryout option on their website during that time.
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