Infection guilt / ‘Divisive? God, I hope so’ / Chicago’s loss

Infection guilt. After holiday gatherings amid the COVID-19 omicron variant’s rise, the Tribune’s Alison Bowen reports, people are wrestling with the shame of telling friends and family they’ve since tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Conversation serves up a neuroscientist’s guidance on how to overcome regret.

‘We just don’t know the implications.’ Suburban children’s hospitals report significant increases in the admission of unvaccinated kids—including infants—with severe COVID cases.
As caseloads rise, Chicago-area hospitals are stashing non-emergency patients in emergency rooms.
The Washington Post: Across the nation, hospitals are reporting record surges—and staff shortages.
On the plus side, Illinois again this year will cut low-income residents a pandemic break: City fees and fines won’t be deducted from their income tax returns.

‘My hope would be that everybody grows up.’ As Chicago schools remained closed for a third day in the teachers’ union standoff with the district, parents have launched a petition drive to get kids back in class.
Axios Chicago: At the heart of the dispute are the city’s infection metrics—which the district and the union agreed to last winter under a deal that expired in August and has yet to be updated.
Men Yell at Me columnist Lyz Lenz names her first Dingus of the Year for 2022: FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver, for “tweeting that shutting down schools is akin to an act of war.”

‘Parents are suffering, children are suffering.’ Gov. Pritzker is asking the White House to send the city more COVID tests—“anything and everything they could provide that would help us fulfill the need for testing in all Chicago Public Schools.”
The Post reports the Biden administration hopes to have half a billion COVID-19 test kits in the mail to American homes by the middle of the month.
Meanwhile, in Florida: Up to a million tests expired in a warehouse last month.
Too late for Star Trek: Picard, whose production has been suspended after more than 50 people tested positive for COVID.

‘Divisive? God, I hope so.’ Esquire’s Charlie Pierce ponders President Biden’s speech at the Capitol on yesterday’s insurrection anniversary.
Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg says President Biden was being optimistic when he said the Jan. 6 rioters failed: “They failed then. They failed so far. But like the defeated Confederacy, they lost but did not quit, and continue pushing their toxic brand of American evil.”

Doomsday glacier. Dozens of scientists are off to Antarctica to study ice whose melting could push the sea level up more than two feet.
Chicago gets a little warmer this weekend—but bundle up after that.
Walking near Chicago’s iconic Hancock building? Be very, very careful. (Photo: Harry Carmichael in the Chicago Public Square Flickr group.)

Chicago’s loss. Staffers of the A.V. Club entertainment news site—a spinoff of the University of Wisconsin-founded Onion, now based here—have been told they’re moving to Los Angeles … or losing their jobs.
A Chicago software engineer and Oak Park native who left showbiz three years ago returned to New York to star in Broadway’s COVID-ravaged production of Wicked.
Newcity’s out with its annual rundown of 50 people who really perform in Chicago’s theater community.
Clarifying reports earlier this week, Oak Park’s Betty White celebration happens not on Jan. 17, the federally designated Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but on Jan. 15—King’s actual birthday.

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