It’s a Good Friday, but not a great Friday. Here’s what’s news:
A summer without a summer. Gov. Pritzker says he doesn’t see how Illinois can host large summer festivals in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
■ Mayor Lightfoot has been cruising the city personally breaking up crowds of people flouting her stay-home orders.
■ Acting under a movement known as “Right to Recovery,” black community leaders accuse Chicago police of racist enforcement of checkpoints, curfews and demands for identification in the pandemic.
■ The New York Times’ David Leonhardt explains that the path back to “normalcy” may involve “contact tracing” for those exposed to the virus—something with which he says “Americans may not be comfortable … which would mean the American effort could either be less effective or more labor-intensive” than other countries’.
Brain fears. Growing evidence suggests COVID-19 may attack people’s brains, as well as their respiratory and digestive systems.
■ The director of the Cleveland Brain Health Initiative explains: Viruses can attach themselves to the terminals of nerves that can “transport the virus into the brain.”
■ The Tribune answers readers’ questions, including “When are you past the point of infecting others?”
The curve advances. In a pattern likely to repeat for communities across the country over the next few weeks, New York City reports hospitalizations way down even as deaths reached record levels.
■ Cook County is readying a refrigerated warehouse to store more than 2,000 bodies if necessary …
■ … and if that proves inadequate, an Oak Park ice rink that once served as the Blackhawks’ practice ice (2010 link) could also be transformed into a morgue.
■ A second Cook County Jail detainee is dead after testing positive for COVID-19 …
■ … even as a judge rejected a plea to release vulnerable inmates.
‘How did the U.S end up with nurses wearing garbage bags?’ The New Yorker’s answer runs through President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
■ The Trib’s Eric Zorn: “In the name of giving people hope, Trump has led many of his supporters, including Republican governors, to drag their feet on accepting the need for physical distancing and stay-at-home orders that health experts tell us have saved countless lives” …
■ … and that seem to have spelled resurgence of the humble phone call.
Rush ready. Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center was farsightedly built for a pandemic.
■ A radio report from the hospital’s 2011 opening cited technology that seemed science-fictiony then—and not so much now.
Airline headaches. The Trib’s Lori Rackl documents the games some carriers are playing to deny travelers refunds.
■ Up in the air: How much airlines will get under the federal coronavirus stimulus plan.
■ The nation’s banks are struggling to process small business applications for rescue funding.
Pork chopped. A South Dakota meat processing plant is shutting down for cleaning after more than 80 workers were diagnosed with COVID-19.
■ The Onion jokes, “Walgreens Introduces New Dumbass-Only Shopping Hours For Dipshits Who Don’t Know How To Stay 6 Feet Away.”
Among Mad’s maddest. Caricaturist Mort Drucker—who illustrated hundreds of Mad magazine TV and movie parodies—is dead at 91.
■ Newsweek revisits some of his most memorable pieces.
Take a pay cut or quit with severance. That’s the choice Tribune Publishing is offering non-unionized staffers.
■ The president of the guild representing Chicago Tribune newsroom employees, Megan Crepeau, tweeted: “We’re risking our health to inform readers about a worldwide pandemic. In return they deny us sick leave and try to cut costs.”
■ The Trib’s struggles are far from unique among the nation’s local news companies.
■ How contagious might printed newspapers be?
A reader writes.
A self-described “runner, scientist and big fan of Chicago Public Square” who asks not to be identified flags an item that was the most-clicked by far in yesterday’s edition—regarding research suggesting people exercising outdoors should stay even farther apart: “This is not peer-reviewed research. It is a research team that spoke with the media. … The statement at the end of the article is troubling: ‘Blocken said the study was in the process of being approved but that the team … chose to share its findings in the light of the current coronavirus pandemic.’ This might be a well-done study with accurate, useful information. But it’s still important to follow the scientific process.”
■ Smithsonian Magazine: “How to avoid misinformation about COVID-19.”
|Your support keeps|
Chicago Public Square coming.
Thanks, Joe Hass, for making today's edition better.