Coronavirus Knocked Me Down. It’s Good To Be Back.

Gary Kopycinski, human coronavirus
Here I am emerging from my battle with human coronavirus OC43. Wash your hands. Use hand sanitizer. In our closed environments in the cold months, it’s there. (Photo: very kind CNA)

New Lenox, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Tapping this out down I-80 prior to my release from Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox. It ended up being human coronavirus OC43 (That’s zero-C-four-three – a beta coronavirus), a nasty, vicious type of the common cold. Other types, which this is not, include MERS and SARS. They thought I had pneumonia, but that proved not to be the case. Just an infection in the lungs which the coronavirus 0C43 (Again, that’s zero-C-four-three) can help usher in.

This was enough for me. Symptoms are in the bullet points of the CDC link I added above. Don’t need to reiterate them here. I had them all.

Bottom line: wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer, I’m told.

So, I haven’t published in a spell. A week ago I was feeling drawn out, weaker, more tired in the evenings. This was probably already doing its work. Also confirmed this stay? Type 2 diabetes. So my misaligned sugar along with the coronavirus brought me down. This is the first day in what seems like forever that I’ve felt like opening my computer outside my normal day job, let alone writing to you wonderful people for the joy of it.

So, yes, it’s good to be back.

As a rule, I’m not used to writing about myself. Asked advice from fellow journalists in LION Publishers, the best professional journalism organization I’ve ever belonged to. In other organizations, including the Society of Professional Journalists, there’s too much of a cutthroat undercurrent. In LION? Collegiality. Good solid advice.

Their advice? One member summed it up best, ” Just tell them the truth. That’s the business we are in. “

I could use some advice. In with items to be used for hygiene, they included this strange artifact. It came with the toothbrush, but I can discern no way to use it on the teeth. If I ever used one of these, I’ve long forgotten why or how. I’d appreciate any thoughtful advice from readers.

comb, Made in China
This unknown item was given to me for use in the hospital. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

We have some catching up to do.

There were the trustee and mayoral candidates forums, both lacking luster or vision. The trustee candidates, Candyce Herron and Tiffani Graham, sidestepped even the simplest questions and accepted the premise on a tax question full of conjured statistics. Only two of the three trustee candidates were present, and even sitting Trustee Tiffani Graham dodged, sidestepped, or deferred answers until she could do more “research.” The most common response from the trustee candidates? To paraphrase, “If the person who wrote that question talks to me after the forum, I’ll be sure to get an answer to you.

On the mayoral side, Trustee Mae Brandon had the edge. She was the only candidate who caught that the question asking why Canadian National funds were used for a $450,000 new park, presumably the one on the Village Green. The answer? CN funds were not used for that park. Rail Fan Park was constructed and paid for by Canadian National as part of the Village’s $7.3 million deal with the railroad in 2009.

Trustee Jon Vanderbilt also missed the conflation of the parks. Former Trustee JeRome Brown, for his part, not only missed that, but said he never would have voted for it. He was not on the board at the time of the CN agreement, but, hey, why miss a ribbon cutting for a new park?

John Ostenburg, Georgia O'Neill, JeRome Brown, rail fan park, ribbon cutting, Park Forest
Trustee JeRome Brown reaches over Trustee Georgia O’Neill’s shoulder at the ribbon cutting of Rail Fan Park, July, 27, 2013.. (Photo: Brian Gallagher)

Trustee Brandon was also the only candidate to catch the error in the question how many homes does the Village of Park Forest own and would you advocate selling them? The answer to the first part of the question? Zero. Zilch. Nada. Park Forest owns no vacant homes. They are owned by banks or are in foreclosure. Trustee Brandon got that. Neither Trustee Vanderbilt nor former Trustee Brown did.

More on the forums in an upcoming article, now that I’m emerging from the fog of this cold.

Other items? Look for a roll out of police reports, updates from past board meetings, and more school news. One item readers may want to jump on is Marian Catholic’s venture into a Queen of Hearts raffle. Tickets are at Carlos Lorenzetti’s restaurant in Chicago Heights.

Finally, Steve. Steve Garcia, our new sports writer, has sent three articles on Chicago baseball. Look for his articles soon.

It’s good to be back.