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On Assignment: Team Rubicon COVID-19 Response -- Chicago

Over the last two years, I've documented several natural disaster relief efforts for Team Rubicon; from Hurricane Michael recovery work in Mexico Beach and Panama City, Florida, to tornado recovery efforts in Dayton, Ohio, and recently, the Super Tuesday tornado damage and recovery efforts in Cookeville, Tennessee. When 2020 began, I never imagined that I would find myself in Chicago, Illinois documenting the global novel coronavirus pandemic response for Team Rubicon.


In March, Team Rubicon launched the Neighbors Helping Neighbors initiative that asked local TR volunteers around the country to step into the arena assisting local communities in whatever capacity needed to help combat the impact of COVID-19. Chicago, one of the COVID-19 'hot spots' in the country, called upon Team Rubicon to play a critical role for the city. Their role(s); receiving and delivering critical PPE throughout the city via a collection and delivery point at the United Center, tracking and maintaining technology items used to treat COVID-19 patients at the McCormick Place Convention Center which has been converted into an alternate care facility (ACF) for the city of Chicago, and delivering food to the local communities in and around Chicago.



Above: an image I took of local Cincinnati Greyshirt Michael 'Monica' Ilyinsky on the day the #NeighborsHelpingNeighbors initiative launched. Michael was taking perishable food items from the Cincinnati Art Museum and delivering them to La Soupe (a local soup kitchen) to feed those in need. The image was used to launch the initiative and Garrison Brothers used the image in a fund-raising campaign for Team Rubicon.




Non-perishable food sits on the floor of the United Center in Chicago, IL. Via a partnership with Team Rubicon, the City of Chicago, the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks, the United Center was set up as a drop-off point for critical food and PPE items that would be delivered to those in need.




A TR volunteer organizes donated PPE at the United Center that will be delivered to individuals and businesses in need.




'Kazy' getting his name written on his Team Rubicon volunteer Greyshirt at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.





Bob and an employee from the City of Chicago track and manage donated PPE at the United Center.




Above: Video footage that I captured for Team Rubicon during their operations at the United Center and McCormick Place Convention Center.





A statue of Michael Jordan with the scrolling banner displaying Team Rubicon in the background.




A woman signs for donated PPE from 'Kazy' at the United Center.




People stand in line outside of the United Center as they wait to pick up donated PPE from Team Rubicon volunteers.




One wing of the McCormick Place Convention Center that has been converted to into an alternate care facility (ACF) to treat COVID-19 patients. This wing will have the capacity to treat 1,200 patients if needed.



Upon completion, the McCormick Place Convention Center will have the capacity to treat up to 2,900 COVID-19 patients if needed via three separate wings.




A Team Rubicon volunteer tracks and maintains all of the technology items that will be used within the alternate care facilities at the McCormick Place Convention Center.

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© 2019 by Jason Whitman

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