John Prine / Mask mandates / Good News Dept.

John Prine. The Maywood-born mailman who became, in Rolling Stone’s words, “one of America’s greatest songwriters,” is dead of coronavirus complications at 73.

The Tribune: Prine’s death “will resonate through the music world.”
Bruce Springsteen mourns Prine as “a true national treasure.” (2009 photo by Eric Frommer.)
The Sun-Times: “Prine’s lyrics were like Edward Hopper paintings.”
Tribune veteran Charlie Madigan remembers Prine as “a man who could break your heart with one phrase and leave you laughing with the next.”
Celebrated critic Roger Ebert profiled Prine in 1970: Two months after his first public performance, “word got around somehow that here was an extraordinary new composer and performer.”
Here’s Prine performing a “Tiny Desk Concert” for NPR in 2018.
And here’s his 2016 duet with Stephen Colbert.

Trump’s day of ‘chaos.’ CNN itemizes Tuesday’s “wild performance” by Donald Trump on what was the nation’s most tragic day yet in the war against a pandemic.
CNN’s assembled a timeline of Trump promises on the virus—contrasted with the facts. (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)
Trump’s new press secretary said a month ago, “We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here.”
Politico’s Jack Shafer: Trump doesn’t get “that punishing reporters for asking direct questions doesn’t deter them, it only encourages them to put sharper points on their questions.”
Joe Biden says Trump was “very gracious” in their phone call Monday.
Bernie Sanders: “Congress that … must lead, and it must do so now.” (Update, 10:33 a.m.: Sanders is hanging up his presidential campaign.)
The Onion:Trump Overturns Presidential Limo While Touting Effectiveness Of PCP To Treat Coronavirus.”

Preckwinkle parted. Cook County’s board president is self-isolating after a positive COVID-19 test for a member of her security detail.
A staffer in Gov. Pritzker’s office has also tested positive.
Chicago has lost its first firefighter to the virus.

Mask mandates. Los Angeles is requiring employees and customers at grocery stores and other non-medical essential businesses to wear face coverings.
San Diego County threatens $1,000 fines for people who don’t wear masks at such establishments.
The Sun-Times’ Neil Steinberg: “Those N95 masks hurt.”
Better-off consumers are cutting their contamination risks by using grocery delivery services—an option not available to food-stamp recipients, many of whom are at greater risk.
Chicago’s garbage collection workers’ loads are way up—and they haven’t been given masks.

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We’re No. 1. The New York Times has Cook County Jail (as of this morning) atop its list of big localized outbreaks of COVID-19.
A federal judge is considering a request to free hundreds of the jail’s detainees.
Pritzker has signed an order allowing the furlough of “medically vulnerable” state prisoners.
New numbers reveal which parts of the Chicago area are lowest on available intensive care unit beds.
Illinois is in the market for thousands of cadaver bags.
It’s one of the states yet to clarify how to prioritize coronavirus treatment for people with disabilities.
Some critical care physicians warn that putting coronavirus patients on ventilators could bring little benefit for many and may make things worse for some.

How it spread. Analysis of Florida’s infection data shows visitors to the state moved on to 46 states and 75 foreign destinations before they were diagnosed.
Virus deaths in New York have topped the number of people killed in the World Trade Center attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

‘It did not go well.’ The AP assesses Wisconsin’s experience yesterday with a political primary in a pandemic.
It was especially harrowing for black voters.
Some waited more than two hours to cast their ballots.
A Wisconsin lawmaker who fought all efforts to delay in-person voting insisted, “You are incredibly safe to go out”—as he wore extensive protective gear.
Results aren’t due until Monday.
The Chicago City Council has been practicing for a meeting by Zoom a week from today.
WBEZ: Aldermen have their hands full helping residents solve virus-related problems.

Good News Dept.
An Oak Park block has been rewriting popular song lyrics for quarantine karaoke at 8:30 each morning—as witnessed by Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me! host Peter Sagal.
Stay-at-home orders have transformed normally smog-choked Los Angeles into a city with some of the cleanest air in the world.
The lockdown is over in Wuhan, China.
The National Rifle Association has laid off more than 60 employees.

The Primo Center is a Chicago Public Square advertiser.

Thanks to Chris Badowski for inspiration and to Mike Braden and Pam Spiegel for proofreading.

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