March maskless / ‘A matter of life and death’ / Entertainment weakly

Chicago Public Square will take Friday and Monday off to honor one of the better U.S. presidents. Especially the better ones.

March maskless. So long as the pandemic numbers keep trending down, Gov. Pritzker’s set Feb. 28 for the end of most of the state’s indoor mask requirements …
 … and local governments—including Chicago’s—can still set their own (more stringent) timetables.
Many suburban Catholic schools aren’t waiting that long.
A local infectious disease expert warns the Tribune that people need to “be vigilant and prepare to restart mitigations if numbers go up.”
BuzzFeed News: The pandemic is changing humans’ bodies in ways unrelated to COVID.
No vaccinations are required for this year’s Oscars ceremony.

‘Enjoy both the upcoming Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day festivities mandate-free.’ Ignoring the fact that state rules trump the city’s, some Chicago aldermen are demanding Mayor Lightfoot end Chicago’s mask and vaccine mandates tomorrow.
Poynter’s Al Tompkins sees growing tension in a “rush toward normalcy while not reopening the door of vulnerability to a new wave of the virus that could shut down the economy for a third year.”

‘We are grateful for all the love.’ Chicago’s Wieners Circle hot dog stand—known as much for its political marquee humor as for its cuisine—says its staff is safe after a guy denied service for not wearing a mask left the store and returned to toss a brick through the door.
He was caught on video …
 … with a license plate number to boot.

‘A matter of life and death.’ A West Side resident tells Block Club Chicago the closure of West Garfield Park’s last grocery store means “I have to travel all the way east … to get food I’m comfortable with eating” …

‘If you’re tired of being ratted out by the anti-dibs crowd in your ’hood, move closer to the lake.’ Patch’s Mark Konkol says a public records request to the City of Chicago reveals which neighborhoods generate the most complaints about people using junk to save shoveled-out street parking.
Columnist Eric Zorn itemizes Mayor Lightfoot’s “record of secrecy,” which he says “belies her campaign promise of transparency.”

It’s the end of the line for print editions of classic magazines including Entertainment Weekly and InStyle …
 … but People survives.
ProPublica founder Richard Tofel on CNN president Jeff Zucker’s ouster in a scandal: “Time for people at CNN to stop complaining.”

Toilet papers. A book forthcoming from New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman reveals that White House staff periodically found wads of printed paper clogging a toilet used by Donald Trump …
 … possibly a violation of federal law, as may have been Trump’s transport of 15 boxes of presidential material to his Mar-a-Lago residence.

Tip of the cap.
The Chicago Public Square caps won by contestants in the Square fifth-anniversary quiz are showing up at mailboxes now. And champs like Michael Levin are sharing shots of themselves fashionably attired.
The prize box is depleted, but the quiz lives on.

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