CHICAGO — During the shelter-in-place order, many in our area who are working from home are also taking the chance to work on their homes.
Nearly every public place, from bathhouses to barbershops, are closed because of the coronavirus crisis. So people all over are using their downtime to catch up on do-it-yourself projects.
At Sherwin-Williams in Lakeview, the doors are closed to customers but the parking lot is full of painters.
Among them is Nic Koester, a banker who’s using the opportunity presented by his office being closed to paint his home office.
“Unfortunately, my wife has put me to doing the ‘Honey-Do’ list during the downtime,” Koester said. “Me above anyone can’t wait for this Coronavirus to end so I can get back to taking it easy at work instead of doing all the projects at home.”
Jeff Bogacz owns rental properties on the North Side, and says the pandemic period is a time to catch up on building maintenance.
“Just picking up paint, so my guys are staying busy during the downtime, we got a lot of work for ‘em still,” Bogacz said.
Zach Strauss owns the popular Wrigleville bar Sluggers, and says while the bar is closed they’re working on some long-term projects.
“We’re doing all kinds of projects: cleaning up the joint, staining wood, painting, scrubbing, waxing, you name it this is what we’re doing to try to keep ourselves busy,” Strauss said.
But some Sherwin-Williams employees have questioned whether a paint shop is an “essential business” along the lines of a grocery store or a pharmacy.
Employees and their families have taken to social media posting messages that ask, “Hey uncle Sherwin, how is paint essential?”
Asked whether he thought paint was essential, one local painter embodied Chicago’s unofficial slogan as “the city that works.”
“We’re just doing a little work that we can at least attend to now because of what’s happening – so we’re going to get our product, get some coffee and do our job, and hopefully this thing will be solved in short order,” he said.
Some have complained of boredom during the pandemic, but now they can keep themselves occupied by literally watching paint dry.