Business leaders urge people to celebrate holidays safely amid COVID-19 pandemic

COVID Thanksgiving

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- There’s a groundswell of appeals from business leaders and the medical community urging people to take coronavirus-related precautions seriously during the coming holidays.

The Illinois State Medical Society and a hospitals' association are teaming up with manufacturers and retailers to urge Illinoisans to wear face masks and limit gatherings this holiday season.

Mark Denzler, President and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, explains why this is important to people who own factories.

"If the virus continues to spread unabated, not only will we see significant health impacts, in terms of people getting sick and potentially dying, but then it trickles down to the economy. It makes it harder for manufacturers and retail stores to have workers and can potentially lead to additional mitigations where the governor could shut down businesses further," he said.

Denzler said it’s frustrating. Some people are defying requirements to wear face masks and businesses restrictions, saying it’s in the name of liberty and the economy. But, he said, the best thing for the economy is the get the coronavirus pandemic under control.

"Wearing masks is not a republican or democrat issue. It's a jobs issue and it's a public health issue. And it is frustrating to see people ignore science and ignore the data that is out there, and again, if we take these steps, that quite frankly are fairly easy to do: wearing a mask and socially distancing, we can get this under control. Our economy would be so much stronger at that point," he said.

Nationally, 100 health systems, including the University of Chicago Health and Rush University systems are issuing similar appeals.