May 1, July 4 / No shot wasted / ‘F*ck Tucker Carlson’

May 1, July 4. Mark your calendars for two milestones pegged by President Biden in his first major address to the nation:

May 1 for all states to make all American adults eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine …
 … and July 4 for safe gatherings in small groups to celebrate Independence Day.
But he’s not issuing a guarantee: “Things may get worse again.”
Chicago City Hall warns businesses and others it’ll be watching carefully over the weekend and into next week to make sure St. Patrick’s Day celebrations don’t violate pandemic crowd limits. (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)

COVID’s covert conception. An investigation by the Sun-Times and the Brown Institute for Media Innovation concludes the pandemic was raging through the Chicago area for weeks before it was publicly recognized.
Also: “At the height of the pandemic’s first wave, most Cook County COVID-19 deaths were Black residents. Since then, white suburbs bore the brunt. It continues to hit Latino areas … hard.”
Chicago Public Square one year ago today: “Photos compare famous places before and after the coronavirus pandemic.”

No shot wasted. That’s the goal of a startup Dr.B, which aims to text people about COVID-19 vaccine doses that otherwise would go unused.
Cook County was set to open 20,000 vaccination appointments at noon Friday.
Coming soon: Phase 1C.
Experts tell the Tribune: Don’t be picky about which vaccine you get.
The Sun-Times’ Neil Steinberg talks to medical staffers reluctant to get vaccinated.
The Conversation: “Vaccine passports” for the inoculated could further fracture society along class lines.
Your Square columnist got a second shot Thursday.

Square is free for all thanks to generous support from a few. You can join them by naming your contribution—a one-time tip or a continuing pledge. And today, National Support Chicago Public Square Day*, is a great time to do that.

Cash coming. The American Rescue Plan signed by Biden Thursday could put money in people’s bank accounts as soon as this weekend.
An online calculator can project how much to expect.
One of the plan’s champions hails it as the biggest shift in U.S. social policy since the Depression: “It’s saying families are too big to fail, children are too big to fail, the elderly are too big to fail.”
Three aldermen are calling for Chicago to test a universal basic income—monthly, no-strings-attached payments for Chicagoans living in poverty.
Cook County’s launching a pandemic rental assistance program for tenants and landlords: Up to $15,000 for rent and utility payments.

‘Right the wrongs of the past.’ Chicago aldermen are moving ahead with action on reparations for people descended from the enslaved.

‘F*ck Tucker Carlson.’ That, Illinois, is your U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth—who lost both legs in the Iraq war—tweeting about the Fox News windbag’s mockery of women in the military.
Jezebel: “Duckworth quipped that she … likely dances better than Tucker.”
Care about how Illinois’ legislative district maps are drawn under new census data? Politico lists 10 public hearings to be held next month.

Donald ducking out. Disney is closing its stores in Chicago and Rosemont.

Step 5: Don’t forget clocks on desktop computers, laptops, telephones, cell phones, beepers, pens, refrigerators, convection and microwave ovens, TVs, VCRs … Sunday’s return of Daylight Saving Time means it’s time to revisit a time-honored (or at least not time-dishonored) step-by-step guide to making the switch.
“Time activist” Scott Yates says it’s time to “end the barbarism of changing the clock twice a year.”
It could be tougher than usual this year because of the pandemic.

Back in My Arms Again. That’s just one of several songs Square readers recommended for a “completed my vaccination” playlist. Thanks, Paul ClarkJim GrimesCameron MasiclatSarah Hoban, Jane Cowen Schoen and Sandra Slater.
 Have more suggestions? Drop them in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
 Want to gift someone who’s joined Inoculation Nation? You could do worse than this T-shirt.
 Thanks to reader Mike Braden for making this edition better. 

Graham Crackers is a Chicago Public Square advertiser.

* Not a legal holiday.

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