'When this is over …' / Food fears / Skilling's back

Chicago Public Square is honored to be among the finalists for this year’s Chicago Headline Club Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalismfor Best Continuing Blog and Best Illustration (Keith J. Taylor). Winners to be named in May. This is a tribute to those who support this service—a group of which you can be a part:

Chicago Public Square coming.

‘When this is over …’ The Tribune’s Mary Schmich envisions a future after COVID-19 “had retreated and the fear had faded.”
Journalist Bill Grueskin asked readers to draft “the first sentence of the best novel” about the novel coronavirus. Here are “some of the funniest, scariest, most eloquent, most heartbreaking responses.”
The Atlantic’s Amanda Mull: “After the pandemic, the office dress code should never come back.”

‘Time to #FireFauci.’ In a fresh sign of tension between Donald Trump and the nation’s top infectious disease expert, the president retweeted that assertion from a failed congressional candidate who’s been pushing pandemic conspiracy theories (March 30 link).
The Daily Beast: Trump spent Easter asking confidants “What do you think of Fauci? (Cartoon: Lisagor Award finalist Keith J. Taylor.)
Fauci says a “rolling reentry” to a more normal way of life may be possible as soon as next month.
Over the weekend, two pieces of reporting sent Trump on a Twitter rant.

A testing ‘Wild West.’ Medical experts warn that a rash of unregulated COVID-19 blood tests could slow the path to recovery.
The Post gives Trump four Pinocchios (the most!) for his statements about hydroxychloroquine’s promise as treatment for COVID-19.
John Oliver on Trump: “If he was captain of the Titanic, you’d just know he’d be saying … ‘These lifeboats have become so popular. … It’s really a tribute to a well-run ship’” (HBO, but also free on YouTube).
NBC News documents 20 years of presidential failure—from Clinton to Trump—to prep for a pandemic.

‘It’s like burning down your home to get rid of a mouse.’ The Sun-Times’ Neil Steinberg on Trump’s resistance to financial help for the post office: “The Washington Post is mean to him. … The Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, who also owns Amazon, which delivers lots of packages through the mail. Trump thinks … if he hurts the postal service, he’ll hurt Bezos.”
Want to know who’s getting that $2 trillion in federal relief? Good luck.
ProPublica: The White House pushed FEMA to give its biggest coronavirus contract to a company that never had to bid.
Vox: 11 concrete steps the government can take to avert economic disaster.
People on the hook to payday lenders may never see their government stimulus checks.

Cautious optimism. As Illinois on Sunday reported fewer pandemic deaths than it’d seen in six days, Gov. Pritzker said he’s beginning to consider ways to ease restrictions on life in the state.
The governor warns that the Trump administration is trying to squeeze self-employed workers’ ability to qualify for pandemic jobless benefits.
The Trib’s Eric Zorn: “Pritzker lapsed into cheap political pandering at his daily COVID-19 crisis briefing.”

Food fears. The global food industry is struggling in the pandemic—paradoxically, among other things, with too much stock … for now.
But the meat industry is looking vulnerable to shortages.

Death for life. Medical experts are pleading with states that impose the death penalty to send hospitals the capital-punishment sedative and paralytic drugs that can save COVID-19 patients’ lives.
A New York doctor shares video from an emergency ward: “All you hear is oxygen.”

Bike lanes rising. With auto traffic evaporating, German cities are adding bike lanes bigtime …
 … but Mayor Lightfoot’s not ready to reopen Chicago’s lakefront to bike commuters.
Lightfoot is enraged by the weekend demolition of a defunct coal plant’s smokestack—covering a Southwest Side neighborhood in dust …
 … but she admits the city let it happen.

Easter twisters. Tornadoes Sunday swept the South, killing at least 19 people.
The storms shredded coronavirus distancing efforts.
Virginia’s governor is making Election Day a state holiday.

Disney whirled. The New York Times: The Walt Disney Co., built in large part on the business of gathering crowds—at theme parks, movie theaters, cruise ships and sports stadiums (it owns ESPN)—“was almost perfectly exposed to the pandemic.”
Saturday Night Live’s lockdown episode “wasn’t the funniest,” Variety reports, “but it may be the one that has hewed closest to the show’s original spirit in quite some time.”
An animated highlight: Middle-Aged Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Skilling’s back. WGN’s iconic meteorologist, Tom Skilling, is returning to the job after more than a month off for surgery.
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos has COVID-19.

RedEye sunset. Once Chicago’s biggest-circulation newspaper (2007 link), the RedEye edition of the Tribune has published its last print edition, at least for now.
Since the pandemic’s dawn, U.S. news outlets across the U.S. have laid off, furloughed or cut the pay of about 28,000 workers.

Chicago Public Square coming.

Thanks to Pam Spiegel for insightful proofreading on this edition.

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