Pandemic keeps plumbers busy; housebound clients mean ‘a lot more toilets being flushed’ (LIVE UPDATES)

Pandemic keeps plumbers busy; housebound clients mean ‘a lot more toilets being flushed’ (LIVE UPDATES)

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Pandemic keeps plumbers busy; housebound clients mean ‘a lot more toilets being flushed’

Steve Anhalt (left) and Aureliano Tochimani of Mendel Plumbing & Heating digging in for a plumbing call, face masks on.

Steve Anhalt (left) and Aureliano Tochimani of Mendel Plumbing & Heating digging in for a plumbing call, face masks on.

Plumbers say they’re busier than ever thanks to the coronavirus pandemic keeping most of us at home most of the time the past few months.

“It’s more use of the toilets,” says Tom Mascari, president of Mendel Plumbing & Heating in St. Charles. “Handles are breaking, valves inside need to be replaced.”

“We’ve been working seven days a week, 10-, 12-, 14-hour shifts,” says Jose Rivera, owner of A Solution Sewer & Plumbing in Bridgeview. “By the time I get home, it’s a shower, and off to bed I go.”

“We’ve been incredibly busy — beyond belief,” says William Taylor, owner of Four Seasons Sewer & Plumbing, 6807 W. Irving Park Rd. “There’s a lot more toilets being flushed.”

Pre-pandemic, “You’re using the bathroom facilities in the morning before you go to work or school and then in the evening,” says Brian Wilk, owner of Bishop Heating, Plumbing and Cooling in Des Plaines. But with people stuck at home, “You’re getting more clogged drain lines.”

Some clogs have been caused by people, perhaps worried about toilet paper shortages, who instead did what plumbers will tell you is a big no-no: They used paper towels or wipes that are advertised as flushable but don’t dissolve like T.P.

And sometimes kids, bored with being home so long, toss things in to the toilet that aren’t meant to be tossed into the toilet.

Read the full story from Maureen O’Donnell here.


10:53 a.m. Pandemic becomes a patchwork of small successes and setbacks

BEIJING — Authorities in China appeared to be winning their battle against an outbreak of coronavirus in Beijing on Saturday, but in parts of the Americas the pandemic raged unabated. Brazil surpassed 1 million confirmed infections, second only to the United States.

Europe, in contrast, continued to emerge warily from lockdown, with hard-hit Britain considering easing social distancing rules to make it easier for restaurants, pubs and schools to reopen. In Italy, once the pandemic’s European epicenter, Pope Francis told medics that their heroic efforts during the outbreak would help the country forge a future of hope and solidarity.

The head of the World Health Organization warned Friday that the pandemic is “accelerating” and that more than 150,000 cases were reported the day before — the highest single-day number so far.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva that nearly half of the newly reported cases were from the Americas, with significant numbers from South Asia and the Middle East.

The new coronavirus has infected more than 8.5 million people worldwide and killed more than 454,000, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The actual number is thought to be much higher because many cases are asymptomatic or go untested.

The global battle against COVID-19 is a patchwork of successes and setbacks at this point in the pandemic, quantified by the trajectory of the coronavirus in different countries.

Read the full report here.

7:15 a.m. AMC Theaters now will require masks, reversing policy after strong backlash

LOS ANGELES — The nation’s largest movie theater chain changed its position on mask-wearing less than a day after the company became a target on social media for saying it would defer to local governments on the issue.

AMC Theaters CEO Adam Aron said Friday that its theaters will require patrons to wear masks upon reopening, which will begin in mid-July. Customers who don’t wear masks won’t be admitted or allowed to stay.

“We think it is absolutely crucial that we listen to our guests,” Aron said. “It is clear from this response that we did not go far enough on the usage of masks.”

Rival chain Regal followed AMC’s lead. Spokesman Richard Grover said Friday that moviegoers must wear masks in all its theaters as well.

Read the full report here.

New cases

Analysis & Commentary

7:18 a.m. Illinois politicians start to get serious about fundraising as the state reopens

As Illinois slowly begins the reopening process, some state legislators have decided to start hosting in-person fundraisers.

For the past few months, most legislative incumbents and challengers have abandoned fundraising. The global pandemic, accompanied by an international economic crash, made the idea of raising campaign money seem crass, inappropriate and even dangerous.

Eventually, some folks began hosting online fundraisers. It’s an election year, after all, and elections cost money. So, for a price, contributors could pay for a password to attend Zoom events and support their candidates of choice.

Several candidates also began dialing for dollars. But April was not a good month for campaigns. $2.87 million in A-1 reports (contributions of $1,000 or over) were filed in April. That’s about a third of the $7.7 million reported in April of 2016, a similar election cycle.

Just $3.6 million in A-1 contributions were reported this May, which is about a fifth of the $15.5 million reported in May of 2016.

Read Rich Miller’s full column here.

Published at Sat, 20 Jun 2020 15:53:52 +0000

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