Illinois Licensed Beverage Association Members,
We are a few days into the stay-at-home Executive Order announced at the close of last week, and yet each passing day brings more unwelcome news: the number of Coronavirus cases in the state and country continues to rise. Our society’s main weapon against the virus at this time–social distancing–is a crude double-edged sword, and already its isolating effects are taking their toll on us: economic costs mount, families struggle to keep children educated and entertained, our elders live in fear, inseparable friends are kept apart, and those places where we Americans most commonly gather and celebrate–where we toast one another for promotions, cheer on our sports champions, and enjoy simply being together–are empty.
The current reality would seem to prophesy an even bleaker forecast for the many days and weeks to come. Bereft of each other’s company, it is easy to feel alone, adrift, and downtrodden as COVID-19 rages in our communities and around the world.
Even still, as darkness and misery abound, it helps to remember the words of Sir Winston Churchill as he sought to cheer a British public facing Nazi bombings, wartime deprivation, and possible invasion: “Do not let us speak of darker days; let us speak rather of sterner days. These are not dark days: these are great days– the greatest days our country has ever lived; and we must all thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable in the history of our race.”
And when we are sick of being indoors, self-sequestered, we should think of and be heartened by Anne Frank’s words, written from the 450 square foot attic where she spent 25 months of her short life: “I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.”
Our forebears have faced, and triumphed over, more cunning enemies than a microscopic parasite–let their words and experiences aid us now, and give us the strength to fight on against this virus, to do our parts where we can, according to our stations. And fight we will: our commitment to employees, including bartenders, waitstaff, managers, and owners will be unwavering. We will get through this. We all will not surrender to calamity and despair but will assuage one another and soldier on as best as we can till the virus is eradicated.
Although I represent the ILBA as a lobbyist in the political arena, COVID-19 is not a political issue–it is a human issue and will test us all in complex ways. Yet we will overcome. As humans, we have been imbibing and enjoying adult beverages for thousands of years, and a virus that has existed for 4 months won’t fundamentally change that. So, take heart, and I look forward to seeing every one of you on the other side of this disruption, when we’ll raise a toast to the resiliency of mankind!
Daniel D. Clausner
Illinois Licensed Beverage Association
1127 S. 2nd St.
Springfield, IL 62704
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / www.ilba.net