Return to golf, greenhouses, grooming 'feels so good'
We took a small step toward a return to the new normal Friday when golf courses, greenhouses and even pet groomers were allowed to reopen a month after Gov. J.B. Pritzker's first stay-at-home order to help fight the spread of COVID-19.
Customers flocked to the businesses, albeit with face coverings and social distancing requirements.
At Springbrook Golf Course in Naperville, players were required to wear masks and play in twosomes with tee times 15 minutes apart.
"It feels so good to be outside and to be with friends," golfer Greg Cornwell said.
Golfer Dave Clark called his round at Springbrook "the best five-mile walk that I have had in a long time."
Lawn and garden fans at Platt Hill Nursery in Bloomingdale were similarly excited, or "stoked," as Tina Blazer of Lombard put it. "Thrilled to be here and out among people," she said.
Debbie Fuller took her mom, Judy Kemmann of Lombard, shopping for plants as a break from seven weeks with her own children, which she said "has been obnoxious."
"I've been waiting seven weeks for us to go out and buy some plants and be happy," Debbie Fuller said. "To be in my yard and plant some flowers will be amazing."
Owner Chris Danca of the Original Dog Barber in Arlington Heights had a backlog of appointments when he reopened Friday.
"We're already booked next week and I have 30 messages when I'm done today, and the phones are ringing nonstop, so it's going to take a month or two -- if not longer -- to catch up," he said.
Danca reopened his shop with two groomers, not as many as usual. He said he expected to see between 25 and 40 dogs during the first day back on the job, meeting each animal outside at its owner's car and returning the pet to the car with grooming complete.
"I think it's something maybe we could have done from the beginning without stoppage," Danca said. "We're not that dissimilar from a vet. Hair requires tending just like the medical needs of a dog, to a degree. We could have observed the protocol."
• Daily Herald staff photographers Brian Hill, Rick West and Joe Lewnard contributed to this report.