U of I professor: The pandemic hit people aged 35-44 harder in its second year 

Sheldon Jacobson, a computer science professor at the University of Illinois spoke with WJBC. (Photo courtesy: WJBC/File)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – The pandemic hit people aged 35-44 harder in its second year than the first.

Sheldon Jacobson, a computer science professor at the University of Illinois, says one reason is people in that age group shied away from, for example, social distancing and vaccines just as the delta variant was on the rise.

“These are all opportunities that everybody has available to them, and when people choose not to use them, there are consequences,” says Jacobson. “People in general have a very difficult time assessing personal risk.

“Most people would be more frightened getting onto an airplane than getting into their car, yet getting into their car is a much riskier proposition than getting onto an airplane, and the same thing comes with the precautions against covid-19.”

Jacobson says the fact, albeit macabre, is that older people died in the first year and thus were not around in the second.

Dave Dahl can be reached at News@WJBC.com.


Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…