It was a stark sight. On Sunday night, the steps of the Abraham Lincoln statue, in front of the Capitol, were aflame with nearly 2,000 candles. Each candle represented a person in Illinois who died after being infected with the new coronavirus. Scott McFarland organized the vigil. The District 186 board member started the Springfield Families Helping Families Facebook group after it was announced in-person classes were canceled starting in mid-March. The vigil was kept to about five volunteers to ensure social distancing and shared online. McFarland said he got the idea after a similar event in Madison, Wisconsin – where health care workers lit a candle to represent each infected person in the state who had been hospitalized. Organizers did so to urge people to stay home and stem the spread of the disease. McFarland said he wants the lives lost to be a reminder that "what we're doing matters right now, staying home, trying very hard to keep this thing at bay, so that number doesn't increase."

Illinois Times has provided readers with independent journalism for more than 40 years, from news and politics to arts and culture.

Now more than ever, we’re asking for your support to continue providing our community with real news that everyone can access, free of charge.

We’re also offering a home delivery option as an added convenience for friends of the paper.

Click here to subscribe, or simply show your support for Illinois Times.

Comments (0)

Add a comment

Add a Comment