COVID tests, cheap(er) / Deathwatch / ‘Devastating, enraging and necessarily difficult’

COVID tests, cheap(er). Health reporter Dan Weissmann offers advice on how not to pay through the nose for COVID-19 test kits …
 … whose scarcity, Politico reports, has set off a “Hunger Games” scramble among schools.
As pop-up COVID testing sites garner a growing number of complaints, Gov. Pritzker’s spokeswoman concedes they’re unregulated by the state but encourages people to complain to the attorney general.
After close contact with a COVID-positive employee, Pritzker’s been working remotely.
An ex-Cook County Board member calls on Pritzker to provide high-quality N95 masks to all Illinoisans.

 … but parents of kids still too young for shots remain in a bind. (April 2021 photo by Seth Anderson in the Chicago Public Square Flickr group.)
Remember the excitement a couple of years ago about a plan to build a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone COVID exposure notification system? The Atlantic’s Charlie Warzel says its fizzling exposes a “public-health infrastructure … riding on an outdated set of rails.”

Deathwatch. Bracing for a surge in COVID deaths, Cook County has dispatched trailers to help hospitals “decompress their morgues.”

No school today—again. As a standoff over pandemic safety with the Chicago Teachers Union continued, Chicago Public Schools canceled classes for a second day today …
 … and “fed up” parents across the city tell Block Club they’re planning to pull their kids out altogether.
Hypocritically, Mayor Lightfoot—whose school leadership rejected the union’s call for remote learning—tells Politico, I don’t think there’s any good reason to close down the entire system.”
A Sun-Times editorial: “Unless CPS and CTU can work together as partners … Chicago has a bleak future.”
A Chicago Public Library branch has closed because of a high COVID rate among staffers.

You know: Like Voldemort. President Biden marked the anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection with a speech delivered where rioters swarmed that day—condemning a president who “for the first time in our history … tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power” …
Neither did ex-President Jimmy Carter, writing in The New York Times: “Our great nation now teeters on the brink of a widening abyss.”
Happy birthday to columnist Eric Zorn, who mourns: “On the 12th Day of Christmas, Trump’s true believers gave to me a body blow.”
The Reader’s Ben Joravsky cheers a Trump endorsement for Mary “Hitler was right” Miller in an Illinois congressional race.

Profiling the 19 Illinoisans charged so far for their actions that day, the Tribune finds a worrisome ordinariness.
Trib columnist Rex Huppke revisits “a date that will live in idiocy.”
The Conversation says it shouldn’t have been a surprise: “Nearly one-third of Americans surveyed—and a whopping 44% of Republicans—said in a 2013 PublicMind poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University that armed rebellion might soon be necessary in the U.S.
Brookings Institution research concludes that podcasters fueled the events that day.

Free rides. Chicago’s Divvy bike-sharing program is rolling out free membership for City Colleges of Chicago students.
Not that today’s a great time to ride a bike.

‘Devastating, enraging and necessarily difficult viewing.’ The Trib’s Nina Metz recommends a three-part series debuting tonight on ABC—about the 1955 lynching in Mississippi of 14-year-old Chicagoan Emmett Till and its aftermath.
Sun-Times critic Richard Roeper: “Women of the Movement does justice to Emmett and to his mother.”

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