Chicagoans settle into new summer 'normal' during coronavirus pandemic

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Tawnya McVicker and her daughters have adjusted to a new normal as Chicago deals with the coronavirus.

"We don't go to really crowded places, but when we do get out like this, we feel like everybody's abiding by it and really trying to keep everyone safe so we can get through it," she said.

Like many, the real estate broker said she is trying to make the summer "work" during the age of COVID-19.

In Lincoln Park, restaurants along Lincoln Avenue between Wrightwood and Fullerton avenues took advantage of the closed streets to allow for socially distanced outdoor seating.

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"We are hyper-vigilant about maintaining distancing, masks and what we touch and what we sanitize," said Prost! General Manager Ryan Roberts.

Over at Old Grounds Social, otherwise known simply as "OGs," a few people enjoyed Sunday Brunch.

"I think they're taking into consideration all the changes that are happening and it's become the new normal, so they're coming out and respecting the new rules, but they are having fun," said Kayla DeGolyer, the head server at Old Grounds.

The crowds were visibly smaller than usual for mid-July in Chicago as the city slowly opens back up after the spread of COVID-19 forced a shutdown.

Since the Taste of Chicago has gone virtual and the city's beaches are still closed, people itching to get out have flocked to farmers markets like the Wicker Park Farmers Market.

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Sunday was the farmers market's second time open during the 2020 season, after being delayed by the pandemic.

In its 20th year, organizers of the usually busy collection of farmers and businesses said that even with restrictive protocols, they still hope to be back on track to be open every Sunday through Oct. 25.

"We're only allowing 50 into the market. We have someone monitoring both entrance and exit," said Alice Howe, the market's manager. "We have been at capacity since we opened at 8 a.m. People are really enthusiastic and we are really thrilled."
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