Kids and COVID / 10-15 shots / It’s that time

Kids and COVID. As hundreds of thousands of children under 17 return to Chicago Public Schools this week—eating together, maskless—Axios Chicago reports that kids under 17 make up the largest chunk by age of the city’s current Chicago COVID-19 caseload.
Even as Chicago schools opened again, kids were being sent off to quarantine—prompting one parent to complain, “This whole system has been a mess.”
Bloomberg: COVID hospitalizations among kids have surged to a nationwide record.
Your Local Epidemiologist columnist Katelyn Jetelina: “Children are not spared by this virus. Omicron has certainly put this in overdrive. … But … healthy children fare much better than adults.”
Confronted by increasingly shaky official reports—a “data disaster,” in the words of one journalist—news media are shying away from emphasizing case counts.

‘There’s no way Mayor Lightfoot truly believes the positions she’s been taking.’ Reader columnist Ben Joravsky concludes that “the Chicago Teachers Union embarrassed the mayor by revealing how inadequate school safety standards were. And rather than correct the standards, the mayor said whatever she had to say … to justify negligence that’s unjustifiable.”
Daily Southtown columnist Ted Slowik: “Teachers are the bad guys because valuing health and safety apparently is a losing political strategy.”
Chicago students are planning a walkout Friday to protest their lack of a voice in negotiations over whether they should be back in class.
McSweeney’s takes both sides: “Don’t you realize that [COVID CASES/SUICIDE RATES] have spiked to unprecedented levels? It seems pretty obvious to me that those numbers are directly caused by kids [GOING/NOT GOING] to school in-person. And I’m pretty sure I saw a [TIKTOK/HEADLINE OF AN ATLANTIC OP-ED I DIDN’T READ] that corroborated that.”

President Biden’s doing the same for six other states.
 Block Club: A Chicago bar manager was threatened with a knife after turning away a guy who lacked proof of vaccination.
A thing recalcitrant police union leaders might ponder: United Airlines, which has imposed an employee vax mandate, says about 3,000 of its workers are presently positive for COVID—but none hospitalized.

Uh, FBI? Look over by here. The Daily Beast: The FBI Was Looking for This Armed Man From Jan. 6. We Found Him.”
In (correction) what USA Today wrongly billed* as his first published opinion piece since leaving office, Barack Obama mourns that “almost every Senate Republican who expressed concern about threats to our democracy in the immediate aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection has since been cowed into silence or reversed their positions.”

10-15 shots. A police report the Tribune landed through an open-records request reveals just how much gunfire was exchanged last month when the husband of Illinois’ second-highest-ranking state senator pulled out a Glock 27 .40-caliber pistol against carjackers.
A Chicago cop’s been “relieved of his police powers” after shooting three people in a suburban bowling alley as he was off-duty.

‘Phytoplankton needs a better lobbying strategy.’ News from the latest Advances in Atmospheric Sciences prompts Esquire columnist Charles P. Pierce to warn that oceans are “getting very hot, which is very bad for humans whether we acknowledge it or not.”
A new book, The Insect Crisis: The Fall of the Tiny Empires That Run the World, explains that “yields of the three most important grain crops—wheat, rice, and corn—lost to insects will increase by as much as 25% per degree Celsius of warming.”

It’s that time.
Here we go again, as Chicago Public Square and—more significantly—our late, lamented breaking-news cartoonist, Keith J. Taylor, once again have made the finals for voting in the Chicago Reader’s Best of Chicago poll. Click here for handy links that will take you right to those spots on a very long ballot.

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Friend of Square Chris Koenig made this edition better.

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* Reader Mike Janowski flagged this, among many others.

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