If you're in Chicago, you're surely aware of the news: The mask mandate is over at the end of the month.
However, the city's sticking to its guns where select senselessness is concerned.
On Tuesday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the forced covering of faces will soon be eliminated in most areas. Additionally, proof of vaccination in places such as bars and restaurants will no longer be required.
Earlier in the month, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said mandated masking would take a dive if COVID cases continued to do the same.
On Monday, Cook County — the nation's second-most populous county and for which Chicago is the county seat — indicated it would do the same.
Even so, Mayor Lori's not above sending the citizenry back to surgical attire.
From the Chicago Tribune,
Lightfoot said she will “not hesitate” to impose new rules and mandates to protect public health in the future but said her goal is to never “shut down our economy again.”
Lightfoot's announcement was widely expected. The city had said lifting the mandate will require three out of four COVID-19 metrics to fall to the lowest or second-lowest category of risk — and remain there for two consecutive weeks.
City officials later said, however, that they would consider going forward with dropping the mandate even if they hadn't hit those totals to avoid confusion for residents.
That's all well and good, but don't assume the sanest heads have prevailed.
0-19 years: 99.99997
20-49 years: 99.9998
50-69 years: 99.995
70+ years: 99.946
And last September, the Centers for Disease Control published its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
From my coverage at the time:
Over the yearlong span, there were a total of eight “COVID-19-related” deaths among…1,790 minors.
That constitutes a 0.4% death rate among those admitted.
For further reading, see “‘Extremely Rare': New Study Makes Stunning Claim Concerning In-School Transmission of the Virus.”
We've often heard the phrase “Follow the Science.” The best I can tell, any accompanying directive usually involves following no science at all — as none will be provided. Furthermore, you'll be asked to wholly ignore any science to the contrary.
In a story not completely unrelated, what's the caveat in Chicago?
Back to the Tribune:
Under the statewide and newly announced city rules, face coverings will still be required in schools, health care settings and public transportation.
Are we Following the Science(TM)?
It seems to me that most of America desperately wants to move beyond our paralyzing pandemic. At the moment, we're leaving the children behind.
They're the least vulnerable — it's been reported that unvaccinated kids are less vulnerable than vaccinated adults.
And they're the most in need of seeing and showing their faces; it's critical to their social and emotional development.
Moreover, during youth, two years is an eternity — and an extremely important span of time.
No matter, for now, children in Chicago will have to stay masked. Likewise, actual science, perhaps, won't be allowed to show its face.
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