Before we get to the really important stuff, here’s a calculator to help you determine how long your toilet paper supply will last. Now on with the show:
Pritzker vs. Trump. Illinois’ governor hasn’t been pulling his punches against the president.
■ New York’s governor is taking a different tack.
■ The administration’s scientific voice of reason, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has his hands full: “I’m sort of exhausted. But … I haven’t been fired.”
■ CNN counts at least 33 false claims from Trump about the virus in the first two weeks of March.
■ Ezra Klein writes in Vox, “It’s hard to decide which are scarier: the conversations I’m having with epidemiologists or the conversations I’m having with economists.”
■ Worldwide, more than 1.5 billion people are under “stay-home” advisories.
Congress’ creeping contagion. At least three U.S. lawmakers have tested positive for COVID-19 …
■ … including Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul …
■ … whose daddy, ex-presidential candidate Ron Paul, 17 days ago spouted this jiggery-pokery …
■ … which PolitiFact rates False.
■ The diagnoses complicate the vote on coronavirus relief legislation.
■ A Consumer Reports online petition demands that any legislative pandemic response put people—not corporations—first.
Jail alert. A Cook County Jail officer has tested positive for COVID-19.
■ A police chief’s plea to the president: “Stop testing NBA players and start testing our first responders” …
■ … several of whom in Chicago and Illinois have now tested positive.
■ BuzzFeed News: Doctors are worried the shortage of coronavirus tests is leaving black communities behind.
How ready is your hospital? A ProPublica project lets you check your area’s capacity to handle the coronavirus under various scenarios from bad to horrific.
■ Chicago hospitals are already feeling the strain “at every level.”
■ Among COVID-19 deaths: Chicago’s first transportation commissioner.
‘Kind of hell.’ A 50-year-old Chicagoan describes his fight against the virus.
■ And yet, virus rebels are still holding parties in Chicago.
■ A suburban religious school [updated, 11:26 a.m.] that had been refusing to close is moving to e-learning after all.
■ Fresh music from parodist Randy Rainbow explores the pain of social distancing.
■ Tips to stop touching your face.
Census counting on trouble. Displaced college students and contagion fears complicate this year’s essential job of figuring out who lives where in the United States.
■ A Sun-Times editorial: A poor count could cost Illinois two seats in Congress.
Can you catch it from newspapers and mail? An expert answers questions about the coronavirus.
■ A Trader Joe’s employee is among those who shared with the Tribune their logs of a day in the (coronavirus) life.
■ Reuters: Grocery clerks have become the nation’s “unlikely heroes.”
■ How to get Illinois unemployment benefits and rent help.
Pregnancy in a pandemic, revisited. More on a subject raised in Friday’s Square:
■ The Washington Post: “Pregnant women are opting for home births as hospitals prepare for coronavirus.”
■ NPR surveys experts on how to make delivery contingency plans.
Working from home? Counsel on how to look and sound better when you’re video conferencing.
■ Remember when stuff like this (from just 10 days ago) was among big workplace problems?
How to feel better. The Tribune’s Mary Schmich lists things it’s OK to do.
■ Conservative blogger and AIDS plague survivor Andrew Sullivan: “Plague living dispenses with the unnecessary, lays bare whom you can trust and … reveals what matters.”
■ Traffic and pollution are way down.
■ Time is making its Time for Kids digital library free for the rest of the school year.
■ Chicago journalism veteran Mike Fourcher recommends creating a family pandemic video diary.
■ Want to read a book to a kid via the internet? Here’s how to avoid backward text on your screen.
■ The crisis is reuniting old radio partners, like these guys and these guys.
Sounds of the shutdown. NPR has rounded up a list of live virtual concerts to watch on the internet.
■ The guy who bought FitzGerald’s Nightclub just before stuff hit the fan is finding “an odd joy in, you know, problem-solving and taking what comes your way.”
Stuff keeps happening. So check the Square Facebook page for news between editions.
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Thanks for link suggestions from readers Teresa Powell and Chris Koenig.