Mothers’ dismay. Warning that the COVID-19 pandemic won’t take a break for Mother’s Day, Illinois Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike is discouraging social visits to Mom this weekend—especially if she’s over 60 …
■ … but, if you must, a University of Chicago epidemiologist recommends hugs only “in a very safe way with your fabric mask on and your hands clean.”
■ Pandemic rules are separating moms from their kids in Illinois foster care.
■ Daily Herald columnist Burt Constable, whose mother died in November, sympathizes with people who “must explain to moms and grandmas in longterm-care facilities why they won’t be visiting.”
■ Mother’s Day is a boon for Chicago-area florists.
■ Ex-mayoral and presidential candidate Willie Wilson plans to give away five million masks at three Chicago churches Saturday.
Summer camp hopes. The Chicago Park District holds out the possibility its programs for kids could resume July 6.
■ Black teens are pleading with Mayor Lightfoot to turn down the scolding.
■ The state has cleared schools to let kids return to clean out their lockers—under controlled circumstances.
It’s in the White House! One of President Trump’s personal valets has tested positive for COVID-19 …
■ A history of presidential valets: Nixon was last to bring his personal guy. (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)
‘Everybody chill the f*ck out about these COVID-19 mutations.’ The Daily Beast puts new research in perspective, discounting Los Angeles Times reporting cited in Tuesday’s Square.
■ A day after Trump complained all this testing makes the U.S. “look bad,” his coronavirus response coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, told CNN she’s “been very encouraged” by testing and wants more.
■ A Yale epidemiologist says the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic is “getting awfully close to genocide by default.”
Not so fine. Hastily signed contracts will give a private company tens of millions of dollars to fix Illinois’ long-crappy unemployment benefits system …
■ … which Gov. Pritzker just last month declared “works fine if you have a normal number” of applications.
■ FiveThirtyEight: Today’s jobs report gets worse the more you read it.
‘Very poor performers.’ The Tribune links a family with a big footprint in Illinois’ nursing home business to a severe COVID-19 outbreak.
■ A strike by 6,000 Illinois nursing home workers apparently won’t happen—and they’re getting a raise.
Restaurant distancing. Whenever Chicago eateries return to business, they’d have an easier time keeping diners apart under a plan to let outdoor patios and rooftop gardens stay open later.
■ The industry wants to open on a limited basis June 1 instead of Gov. Pritzker’s tentative target, June 28.
■ Farmers markets will spread out a lot more this summer in places like Hinsdale and Oak Park.
■ Want a haircut? Post-lockdown visits to the stylist may require a temperature check.
■ Mayor Lightfoot’s set a 1 p.m. news conference to spell out her framework for reopening Chicago.
Justice’s ‘ugly day.’ Lawfare assesses the Trump administration’s “exceptionally rare” decision to drop its case against ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn—“without a single career prosecutor being willing to sign onto the brief seeking dismissal.”
■ A 1996 court document confirms Joe Biden accuser Tara Reade told her ex-husband she was sexually harassed while working for Biden in 1993.
Gear shift. The World Naked Bike Ride won’t happen in Chicago June 13 …
■ … and the city’s annual “Ride of Silence” for those killed or hurt in bike accidents will go virtual May 20.
■ Chicagoans are beginning to push for the closure of streets, turning them into social-distancing-friendly promenades.
Local news’ ‘unique and dangerous’ situation. Facing a pandemic-fueled economic slump, a coalition of Chicago-area news organizations (including Chicago Public Square) is teaming up for a joint fundraiser under the banner Save Chicago Media.
■ The Facebook Journalism Project and a coalition of Chicago charities are plowing cash into dozens of local news organizations (not including Square) for COVID-19 coverage.