The coronavirus pandemic is the closest thing to a worldwide shared experience since World War II. Very few areas of the world aren’t being affected in some way by the virus and COVID-19. The Rockford Register Star is reaching out to Rock River Valley natives throughout the world to find out how their lives are being altered.


The coronavirus is the closest thing to a worldwide shared experience since World War II. Very few areas of the world aren’t being affected in some way by the virus and by COVID-19, the respiratory illness it causes. The Rockford Register Star is reaching out to Rock River Valley natives throughout the world to discover how their lives have changed.


Alvin Portis, Auburn High School, Class of 1996. Alvin earned a bachelor’s degree from Augustana College in 2000 and a law degree from Loyola University Chicago in 2004. He has been an assistant Cook County state’s attorney since 2010.


How did you end up in Chicago and in that profession?


One of my earliest inspirations actually was former Rockford Mayor Charles Box. I got an opportunity through my mother to meet him when I was young and he told me that he went to law school. So I eventually attended Loyola University of Chicago School of Law and clerked for a judge. That judge recommended me for the Civil Actions Bureau of the State’s Attorney’s Office.


How long have you lived there?


I have lived in Chicago since starting law school in 2001. So approximately 19 years.


When did you first hear about the coronavirus?


I remember hearing about the virus late last year.


When did it begin affecting your life?


It really began affecting my life with the shutdowns of the court system, the school system and the statewide shutdown.


What is life like for you now?


Life has been an adjustment. Especially with remote learning and schoolwork for my children. Other than not being able to physically appear in court I am still working remotely and doing the majority of the things I am responsible for in the office. In fact, in some ways I am more busy!


What do you miss that you never thought you’d miss?


Although helping get two kids ready for school in the morning can be challenging, in some ways I do miss our morning car rides and dropping them off at school.


Are there any positives?


I think having this "great pause" has allowed me to reset some of the priorities in my life. I am taking more walks and coloring with my daughter. I am also a huge "Star Trek: the Next Generation" fan so I have been revisiting some of my childhood favorite shows like that. LOL.


Have you lost anyone close to COVID-19?


I have not personally. But I know several people close to me who have.


How do you think life might change when this is over?


I think things like social distancing are probably here to stay. For someone like myself, who values community and going to things like the movies, that will probably be an adjustment for me.


Alex Gary is a freelance correspondent