Northern Illinois is sitting in the midst of a very serious situation. Winnebago County is now listed at a 'critical warning level' for COVID-19 exposure, and if we don't shape up in a hurry, a whole slew of restrictions will be put back in place.

I DON'T want that to happen, I'm sure you don't want that to happen, and if it does happen, local bars and restaurants will be the ones suffering the hardest.

Before I list the restrictions that could be put in effect later this week, please let me be frank for a moment. If these restrictions are put in place, many locally owned businesses WILL NOT MAKE IT. I'm not trying to be dramatic, just stating facts that many local business owners are voicing in their pleas to the public to wear face masks and follow social distancing guidelines.

Now let's get down to business. Here's a look at some of the restrictions that could be put in place by the State of Illinois later this week according to wrex.com;

  • Meetings, social events, and other gatherings would be limited to 25 ipeople or 25 percent of overall room capacity
  • Earlier closing times for all bars, restaurants, gaming facilities, and casinos
  • All reception halls closed
  • No party buses
  • Reservations would be required at restaurants and bars, and groups would not be allowed to congregate inside or outside
  • Indoor seating would be reduced to six people or less at each table
  • No indoor dancing
  • Bars would be required to remove all bar stools to prevent congregating

You guys, out favorite locally-owned bars and restaurants barely made it through the first shutdown, and I'm pretty sure many wouldn't make it through a second.

Maybe you don't buy into the whole COVID-19 thing. Maybe you believe it's all politics, but sadly, our beliefs won't stop the shutdowns and closures. We need to do our part to help our neighbors survive. It's as simple as that.

Catch Lil Zim on ‘Q98.5 Mornings with Lil Zim & JB’ on Q98.5 from 6:00 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow her on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook