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Please, don’t be a Covidiot

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2020

* Times like these bring out the best in some people and the worst in others

30-year-old [Ro Nguyen] had just watched a movie at a Streeterville cinema with a friend on March 12 and was strolling down East Grand Avenue around 8 p.m., the two of them marveling at the deserted streets.

As they headed toward the Red Line station, Nguyen said a man walking nearby saw them and yelled out, “F— China!”

Then the man spat on Nguyen, he said. The saliva splattered on his jacket. […]

Asian American organizations last week launched the #WashTheHate campaign on social media, highlighting stories of coronavirus-related racism. The Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council and Chinese for Affirmative Action groups also started collecting reports of incidents of hostility against Asians.

Go read the whole thing.

* The Sun-Times ran that goofy Politifact piece we discussed yesterday, but gave it a proper headline

Fact-check: Postponing primary not in Pritzker’s power

* More from the Sun-Times

A 52-year-old Niles man allegedly charged at police officers during a DUI arrest and coughed on them while yelling, “Now you have the corona!” police said.

Grzegorz T. Kuprowski faces a felony count each of driving under the influence and battery of an officer, according to a statement from Niles police Sgt. Tony Scipione. […]

During a DUI test, Kuprowski became upset with the officers and started coughing on them, saying “get away” and that he had “corona bacteria,” Scipione said.

Dude is such a Covidiot that he doesn’t know the difference between a virus and bacteria.

* Ugh

City Hall reports that the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection has fielded 190 price gouging complaints this month, up from only two complaints during the same period last year.

Not surprisingly, most are for household or health items such as toilet paper, tissues and hand sanitizer. Some are related to food and drink, presumably bottled water. BACP evaluates each complaint based on relevant factors, such as prices prior to the Illinois Disaster Declaration and prices at nearby stores, and will impose fines of up to $10,000 per offense.

Earlier this week, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul said price gouging complaints had also ballooned statewide in March.

* Press release…

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul is calling on the country’s top online marketplaces to crack down on price gouging amidst the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Raoul joined a bipartisan group of 33 attorneys general, led by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro along with co-leading Attorneys General Hector Balderas (NM), William Tong (CT), and T.J. Donovan (VT), in sending a letter today urging the companies — Amazon, Craigslist, eBay, Facebook and Walmart — to quickly implement preventative measures on their platforms to ensure that consumers don’t get taken advantage of during this public health crisis.

“We believe you have an ethical obligation and patriotic duty to help your fellow citizens in this time of need by doing everything in your power to stop price gouging in real-time,” the letter reads, in part.

The letter follows an analysis by U.S. PIRG Education Fund which revealed that existing monitoring on Amazon’s platform was not preventing significant price hikes. In particular, the price of most of the hand sanitizers and masks rose at least 50 percent higher than the 90-day average. Since then, more than 267,000 Americans have signed PIRG’s petition calling on Amazon to protect consumers from price gouging.

The analysis is here.

* Anyone can sue anybody for anything, but if this nurse’s claims are true it’s totally unacceptable behavior by Northwestern

A former nurse at Northwestern Memorial Hospital filed a lawsuit alleging she was fired after warning coworkers that masks the hospital provided did not adequately protect staff against COVID-19.

Lauri Mazurkiewicz filed the suit Monday in Cook County Circuit Court, naming the hospital and several employees as defendants, the lawsuit states.

According to the suit, the hospital began accepting and treating patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in March, allegedly exposing Mazurkiewicz and others to the virus.

Instead of distributing N95 masks, which are effective at preventing the wearer from contracting the virus, the hospital allegedly provided staff with “less-effective” masks, the lawsuit claims. The hospital allegedly also prevented its employees from wearing N95 masks.

* Tribune

Chicagoans were ordered to stay at home starting last weekend and, according to a company grading social distancing, the city’s getting an A.

Both Cook County and the state of Illinois have high marks as of Tuesday on the “Social Distancing Scoreboard,” an interactive project based on GPS location data collected by the company Unacast that roughly measures whether or not people are heeding the advice of officials to “flatten the curve” of the spread of the coronavirus.

The scores were determined by the change in average distance traveled compared with before the coronavirus outbreak. If residents are staying put aside from the occasional trip to the grocery store or pharmacy, the dip in travel would be apparent in the data.

A more than 40% decrease leads to an A, with grades dropping from there. Anything less than a 10% decrease — or an increase — ends in an F.

Counties scoring an “F” included Effingham, Cumberland, Bond, Union, Johnson, Pulaski, Jefferson and Clark. Grundy scored a “D.” Here’s the map

…Adding… And if you need further convincing…

More here.

…Adding… Hey, I have an idea. Let’s endanger most of our loyal customers…

* Related…

* CDC doctor: Rural areas shouldn’t let guard down as big cities bear brunt of COVID-19

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Rabid - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 12:56 pm:

    My union demands training and a pulmonary test before wear N95

  2. - Bruce (no not him) - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:03 pm:

    Some places you have to drive 20 miles or more just to get groceries. Rural travel reductions are not that easy.

  3. - ste_with_a_v_en - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:04 pm:

    Someone needs to reach out ti Illinois Review…

  4. - Downstate Illinois - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:07 pm:

    Big Brother Unicast can go do something that Rich doesn’t allow mentioned here. Some of those rural counties don’t even have a supermarket let alone a pharmacy, Walmart or Sam’s Club. Also most counties in this state have no confirmed cases and the few that do have just one. These folks still have to drive to work another county or two away. If they lived in Chicagoland they’d do things different. It may be a major disaster up there but it’s not a health crisis here just a self-inflicted economic disaster.

  5. - Jack Sprat - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:09 pm:

    Bruce is right. If you live 20 miles from the grocery store, your social distancing measure by this data would be poor. Additionally, most counties in Illinois have zero cases. Hard to lecture people about staying at home when there isn’t a case for 100 miles.

  6. - OpentoDiscussion - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:11 pm:

    - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:08 pm:

    Is anyone surprised re Effingham County? -

    Please explain what you mean.

  7. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:13 pm:

    “As they headed toward the Red Line station, Nguyen said a man walking nearby saw them and yelled out, “F— China!”

    Then the man spat on Nguyen, he said. The saliva splattered on his jacket. […]“

    The president is purposely pouring fuel on the fire. He is again stoking violence against POC. Fearing his and the GOP base’s wrath, there is no condemnation from the sycophants in his party.

  8. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:20 pm:

    ===Rural travel reductions are not that easy. ===

    Stop making excuses. I grew up in the country.

  9. - Pent up - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:26 pm:

    So trump under fire for hoping to relax some restrictions by april 12 but Pritzker orders end 5 days earlier on the 7th??? Double standards?

  10. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:28 pm:

    ===Double standards? ===

    I deleted your first one to save you some embarrassment, but you just had to post again.

    State law limits disaster declarations to 30 days. Pritzker issued the declaration on March 8.

    So, please, don’t be such a hyperpartisan covidiot.

  11. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:28 pm:

    ==Someone needs to reach out the Illinois Review==

    They are just parroting the line of some conservatives who care less about people’s health than money

  12. - Dakota - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:32 pm:

    –I grew up in the country.–

    I live there now, and went for a drive in the country last night, and will again tonight. Didn’t come into contact with anyone.

  13. - Captain Obvious - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:35 pm:

    Possible explanations are not necessarily excuses. Wyoming as a state scores the worst on this measure and since I have spent a good bit of time there it did not surprise me. No not because of their politics but because of their low population concentration and much longer trips to obtain necessities. And I agree with Grandson. Why, if it weren’t for Trump there would be no racism and we would all be singing kumbaya around the campfire, 6 feet apart of course to comply with social distancing recommendations.

  14. - Downstate - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:35 pm:

    -I live there now, and went for a drive in the country last night—

    Yup. My in-laws, in the high risk category, have been out every day since the order. They are driving their car to just see what’s going on. Number of people that they have interacted with: 0. They’ve unknowingly driven up these numbers.

  15. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:38 pm:

    One trend I find disturbing is by some social media trolls who respond to news of any notable death attributed in the media to coronavirus that it must have been something else. Wondering if there was something that made them vulnerable to educate the public is one thing, but this seems like they are actively trying to push down the numbers by attributing it to something else for political reasons. For pete’s sake if they died in a hospital within days/weeks of testing positive for this it was a contributing cause. Good enough, ok?

  16. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:38 pm:

    ===Rural travel reductions are not that easy.

    Yes, in fact they are both easy and incredibly simple directions to follow.

    Don’t leave your house.

    As evidenced by the dozens more rural counties that don’t seem to have a problem with it.

    I’m also not surprised to see Grundy county high up on the failure list.

  17. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:41 pm:

    For me, it’s this;

    It’s non-partisan, this is a dangerous virus, it’s a crisis, I am looking to medical professionals as the United States is on pace for the worst outbreak compared to all countries.

    Why is this my baseline?

    Look at our own state map, listen to the foolish thinking the economy is most important in the coming weeks as we still are trying to flat the curve, and leadership is sorting itself out from the honest to the dishonest to the Covidiots.

    This isn’t the Hunger Games, no one’s own family member or our neighbors’ family is worth a stock market, or economy premise.

    So, that’s my baseline, health, and safety.

    You’re not brave or a patriot thinking it’s time to reopen anything until the medical professionals can give a scenario where that might be true.

    Be smart, safe, thoughtful to others by staying home, and try to find solace and peace while things are getting medically worse before they get better.

    Be around to move forward after, let’s not risk lives because we’re scared of what tomorrow might or might not bring.

  18. - Joshua - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:41 pm:

    I live in Lincoln Park at Clark/Diversey.

    There are approximately 75 people outside on the crosswalks, running, walking, shopping, etc. Most are three feet apart.

    This virus will not slow down if people don’t take the stay home order seriously.

  19. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:41 pm:

    === They’ve unknowingly driven up these numbers.

    They are also driving up their chances of being infected.

    The virus can survive on surfaces for hours to days. The size of a virus particle is approx the same size as cigarette smoke. If you can smell someone smoking a cigarette, you have the potential to catch the virus from them.

    You don’t have to be in physical contact, or even see the person who will infect you.

    What is so hard about “Stay At Home”.

    It’s not a complicated set of instructions.

  20. - Jocko - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:41 pm:

    The ’51st staters’ are getting their wish…only not in the way they imagined.

  21. - Huh? - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:43 pm:

    Don’t fall back on the “it isn’t here” pablum. LaSalle County for weeks was covid19 free. In just a few days, they have 3 cases of community transmission. Marshall County, out in the sticks has a case.

    People travel away and will bring it back.

  22. - Scamp640 - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:44 pm:

    @ Downstate Illinois. How many hospital beds are in your local downstate hospital? My small town hospital has a capacity of 48 beds, which includes 7 ICU beds. At any given time, the CDC reports that hospitals operate at between 2/3 and 3/4 capacity. That means in many small county hospitals, there may only be 12-16 beds available and only 2 ICU beds. Rural areas are particularly ill-equipped to deal with the coronavirus.

    This is not a self-inflicted economic disaster. This is a life-saving strategy that will cause some economic pain, but will ultimately save lives. What is more important to you? Profits or human life?

  23. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:44 pm:

    === Number of people that they have interacted with: 0===

    Until they, God forbid, have an accident or their car breaks down or they get a flat tire and need help.

    Stay home.

  24. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:47 pm:

    As we can see with the terrible virus trend, we have to proceed with utmost caution. We can’t pick arbitrary dates to revert to our previous behavior. We have to think long-term, and the sooner we don’t do or maintain stringent action the worse the consequences will be later. Our health and well-being don’t revolve around the president’s approval rating.

  25. - Cromulent M. Biggens - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:51 pm:

    Do the Unacast data control for residence? Or do they just show travel by anybody in or through a county? I wonder, for example, if the orange band along the I-70 corridor has at least something to do with truckers passing through.

  26. - Groundhog Day - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:55 pm:

    The biggest problem in the rural areas is the sparse ICU beds per population. WaPo had a data based article last week that 1 in 8 Trump voters lived in a county without ICU beds. Stay home.

  27. - PeoriaDem - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:57 pm:

    “If they lived in Chicagoland they’d do things different. It may be a major disaster up there but it’s not a health crisis here just a self-inflicted economic disaster.”

    Speak for yourself. Peoria has loads of people exhibiting symptoms who can’t get tested yet because they don’t meet the criteria. Literally over night we are gonna find out this is all over the state and in huge numbers once there is adequate testing.

  28. - Huh? - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:57 pm:

    FEMA does have an informal waffle house index. It is based on how fast the waffle house reopens and extent of menu being cook. If closed and won’t be reopened any time soon, good indication of a pretty bad disaster.

  29. - OpentoDiscussion - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:59 pm:

    All of this back and forth about how easy or difficult it is for rural people in this COVID-19 breakout may let one vent but it does little to address the issue.

    I live in a very rural area. The nearest town is 10 miles away.

    If you have to work go there.

    If you need groceries or drugs get them but don’t run back and forth to town so easily as many of us do in this day and age. Get what you really need, think about it so you can combine trips and don’t go out any more than is absolutely necessary.

  30. - Evanston - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 2:01 pm:

    I had the same Asian Doctor for 30 years until he retired. I believe he was the best in the Profession. I now have another Asian Doctor and believe that she is the best in the business. She was trained and knew my former Doctor. Judge by the content of a person’s Character and not by the color of their Skin or their Race or their Nationality.

    I love my German heritage and don’t want to be judged by WWII because I may be of German heritage but shouldn’t be judged by one of the worst governments in the history of the world.

  31. - DataGuy - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 2:03 pm:

    Mark MacKinnon’s graph and analysis should be per capita since he is comparing US to other countries. We need to take this seriously and people need to stay home. Unfortunately, his incomplete post will fuel the fire of those saying we are overreacting.

  32. - very old soil - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 2:04 pm:

    The Trib article says “The scores were determined by the change in average distance traveled compared with before the coronavirus outbreak.” The important word here is change. If the average distance was 100 miles or 1 mile it doesn’t make any difference in this analysis

  33. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 2:13 pm:

    This is one of the best Trump impersonations I’ve heard (just listening to the voice of the young man doing it), for a light or at least tragicomic moment.

  34. - logic not emotion - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 2:20 pm:

    Biggens at 1:51 has an excellent question. I’m pretty sure Effingham has two major interstates intersect in it. How does the data differentiate local and non-local traffic?

  35. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 2:56 pm:

    ===I’m pretty sure Effingham has two major interstates intersect in it===

    Like I-80 and I-55 in Will county?

  36. - Practical Politics - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 3:06 pm:

    Good weather brought lots of people outdoors today. Some were not practicing social distancing either.

  37. - Cromulent M. Biggens - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 3:41 pm:

    I’m guessing the ratio of non-resident to resident miles is greater in Effingham County than in Will County. Whether that affects the Unacast calculations, I don’t know.

  38. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 3:45 pm:

    ===I don’t know===

    But you bloviated anyway.

  39. - Cromulent M. Biggens - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 3:48 pm:

    Heh on bloviating. Just wondering if it affects the calculations. Do you know?

  40. - RuralJewel - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 3:58 pm:

    Sorry, but could someone please clarify? Is this data based on gps locations of cell phones or what? I took a look at the Unacast website and the Tribune article but I am still a bit confused. Any insight?

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* Pritzker thanks Abbott Labs - "Our rate of rise is looking less and less exponential" - Praises local groups for pitching in - Shoutout to #SpritzersWithPritzker - Dr. Ezike: "If you think you don't have a case in your zip code that's probably not actually the case" - Pritzker defends pending minimum wage hike - Still no date for IDES fix - Could come back in the fall - More testing in African-American areas - Curve not bending down yet - Will be posting PPE contracts online - Following Gov. Baker's lead on contact tracing - Dr. Ezike outlines DHS DD center readiness - Addresses federal halt to funding drive-through testing - "I think everybody needs to think seriously about canceling large summer events" - Plans to pursue workshare program
* 1,344 new cases, 66 additional deaths
* Ted E. Leverenz
* COVID-19 roundup
* Worst case scenario: "Illinois could lose more than $28 billion between calendar years 2020 and 2023"
* Today's heroes: Tony and Lisa Yuscius
* Question of the day
* The testing situation
* Still no word on when gig workers can access Illinois unemployment insurance
* *** UPDATED x1 *** National stockpile runs dry as feds stop supporting drive-through sites
* 6.6 million new jobless claims
* Open thread
* *** UPDATED x1 - 50 at Shapiro, 29 at Ludeman *** Several Murray Developmental Center residents, 1 staff test positive
* Yesterday's stories

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