There’s concern in Macomb that the younger population is not taking the stay-at-home order seriously, but they say otherwise.
“We’re drinking outside, but we’re not all up on each other inside a house party, so I think we’ll be fine,” WIU student Taylor Kennedy said.
It’s a scene Macomb resident Joy McBride said is unacceptable and needs to stop.
“The college kids need to follow the rules and listen because if they don’t, this is not going to be over anytime soon, at all,” McBride said.
She said when looking at the recent spike of COVID-19 cases in McDonough County, it points to the younger population.
“Especially because we’re so young,” WIU student Annah Kauzlarich said. “Obviously it’s affecting people in big ways, but we’re not really the ones that it’s affecting the most. It’s still dangerous, but I don’t feel like it’s dangerous towards us necessarily.”
McBride said that’s the problem.
“My son is an asthmatic,” McBride said. “I don’t take my kids anywhere and they want to go outside and play and see their friends and they can’t do that. I still hear of the college kids going out and drinking.”
College kids at Western Illinois University said that’s not the case. They said when you see them hanging out with one another, they’re doing so responsibly.
“We sit in like big circles and we’re obviously like spaced out from each other,” Kauzlarich said. “I don’t feel like we’re necessarily the big problem here.”
“Basically we’re being safe by being outside,” Kennedy said. “We’re not in a confined space inside and we’re all six feet apart.”
Macomb Mayor Mike Inman addressed the younger population in a COVID-19 briefing on April 30.
“Two thirds of the victims in McDonough County are younger people,” Inman said. “I’m not pointing the finger here, I’m just drawing it to your attention so you can encourage them to be mindful and wash their hands and social distance.
“How would you feel if you went to a party and caught it from somebody and then hung out with your grandmother or mother and they passed away from this,” McBride said. “You have to think about that. That would be on you for the rest of your life because you didn’t follow the rules.”
McDounough County has had 46 positive coronavirus tests as of May 7. Since this pandemic began, it’s the most of any county in the Tri-State viewing area.