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The [Monday] Papers

"University of Iowa researchers provide empirical data and analysis showing that stay-at-home orders may reduce the rate of coronavirus," the South Dakota Free Press reports.

"Wei Lyu and Dr. George Wehby studied COVID-19 spread in the Mississippi River border counties of Illinois and Iowa. In mid-March, Illinois's western border counties had a cumulative coronavirus cases rate of 0.026 per 10,000 people; Iowa's eastern border counties had a case rate of 0.024 per 10,000. Illinois implemented a stay-at-home order on March 21; Iowa issued a variety of business and school closure orders from March 17 through April 6 but never a stay-at-home order. What happened to coronavirus rates?"

You'll have to click through to find out, but I think you already know the answer. (And yes, I know the methodology may not necessarily be lock-solid; I do not know how they controlled for variables, though if I have time to read the actual study instead of the report about the study, I may find out.)


Meanwhile . . .

"[U]p north, Illinois residents drove across the border [over the weekend] to restriction-less Wisconsin for beer and burgers at Brat Stop," Shia Kapos reports for her Politico Illinois Playbook.

"I know this coronavirus is serious, but I have to believe it's up to the individual person. If you want to come to a bar or restaurant have a burger and a beer, you should be able to," Bill Glembocki, who runs the Brat Stop in Kenosha with his family, told Playbook.

That would be true if you were only endangering your own health, but the coronavirus is highly infectious, which seems to be the part these blockheads still aren't getting.

"At lunchtime Saturday, more than 50 cars among the 100 or so in the parking lot had Illinois license plates. And though the restaurant side practiced social distancing, with tables at least six feet apart, the Brat Stop's bar was crowded and only one server was seen wearing a mask."


And then there's these folks . . .

"Met by protesters and defying the stay-at-home order, Michael Valentine went to church Sunday at Metro Praise International Church in the Cragin neighborhood in Chicago, an area that has been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus," the Tribune reports.

"There is something great about praising the Lord when you're with other brothers and sisters," the 24-year-old said. "It's powerful, and it strengthens your faith and encourages you, especially during times like these."

"Valentine joined at least 100 other members of the congregation who also decided to attend the in-person services, according to the Rev. Joseph Wyrostek, one of the religious leaders advocating for local and state governments to allow all churches to open as soon as possible."

There's nothing quite like the spiritually selfish, whose fascist zealousness eliminates all others from life's equations.


Finally, from pundit corner . . .

"No matter the depth of your faith, it should never called 'non-essential,'" Laura Washington writes for the Sun-Times. "It's a cold, clinical adjective that comes from medicine and science. Worship comes from our hearts as a salve for our souls."

We all know that public officials aren't calling religion non-essential. It's the dangerous gatherings - dangerous to those beyond the congregations - that are non-essential. You can worship to your heart's delight to salve your soul from the comfort of your own home - or with others via Zoom, or outside in God's Great Outdoors.


"Those who go to worship in a community - to connect to their spiritual advisers, to celebrate baptisms, bat mitzvahs, weddings, funerals - their communal experiences are spiritual lifelines that keep them connected to the human need to hold hands in prayer, shake hands in peace, lock arms in song. You cannot do that online."

You know what else you can't do online? Hug a dying loved one as they take their last breath - and then attend their funeral.


"The term 'non-essential' denies our existential need to gather for worship. It sends the message, intended or not, that God is on hold. That worship is expendable."

Again: It's the gathering that is non-essential - and life-threatening to all of us. Nobody said worship is expendable.


"Willie Wilson has called on Pritzker to amend his stay-at-home order to recognize the places of worship as an 'essential business.'

"The church is the foundation of our soul, people need hope in these challenging times, and the church offers that hope," the prominent Chicago businessman and philanthropist said last week.

"If big box stores and grocery stores such as Pete's, Target, Home Depot and Jewel have the right to welcome more than 10 customers, so do churches, as they, too, are 'essential' for our spiritual well-being."

Again: You can't conjure food out of nowhere from inside your home - not even by praying to God for it. So grocery stores and those selling other life supplies are allowed to remain open as long as they meet requirements to keep their customers and employees safe and healthy.

"And liquor stores," Washington complains. "We can make runs for beer and booze all day long. We can stir ourselves an icy martini and sip a pink cosmo. Yet for Roman Catholics like me, a sip of sacred wine from a Communion chalice is off limits."

Are you really arguing for the right to share a chalice with tens or hundreds of others? This is the sort of thinking that continues to make this a longer slog than it has to be. You are free to believe that the wine is the blood of Christ - and He can find you at your home and get into your wine bottles there if you pray hard enough - but you should not be free to have the blood of others on your hands.


ADDING: "A judge has denied the request for a temporary restraining order allowing two Illinois churches to reopen in defiance of Governor JB Pritzker's stay-at-home order, a week after another church lawsuit was tossed by a different judge," ABC7 Chicago reports.

"Judge Robert Gettleman ruled on the lawsuit from Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church in Chicago and Logos Baptist Ministries in Niles Wednesday. The plaintiffs sued, saying that by restricting religious gatherings to 10 people or less, Governor Pritzker violated their federal constitutional rights, including the right to free exercise of religion, the right to peaceably assemble, and their right to 'be free from government hostility and disparate treatment under the Establishment Clause' of the First Amendment . . .

"The harm to plaintiffs if the Order is enforced pales in comparison to the dangers to society if it is not," Judge Gettleman wrote. "The record clearly reveals how virulent and dangerous COVID-19 is, and how many people have died and continue to die from it."

"Plaintiffs' request for an injunction, and their blatant refusal to follow the mandates of the Order, are both ill-founded and selfish," Gettleman continued. "An injunction would risk the lives of the plaintiffs' congregants, as well as the lives of their family members, friends, co-workers and other members of their community with whom they come in contact. Their interest in communal services cannot and does not outweighs the health and safety of the public."



See also:



I posted too soon. Here's some more, from the Trib, which reports that the city will issue fines today to churches who violated stay-at-home rules, including the size of allowable gatherings:

"Metro Praise International Church in Belmont Cragin opened and had 100 members show up, according to the pastor.

"Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church in Albany Park's pastor said that nearly 115 people attended the church's morning service and the same number was expected for the evening service."


New on the Beachwood today . . .

The Shutdown's Costs Are Overestimated
And the benefits underestimated.


The John Oliver Coronavirus Chronicles VII: Bursting Bubble Leagues
Plans to bring sports back "all degrees of bad."



Just want to take a moment to shout out the Foster Ave. diversion tunnel in Albany Park for keeping floodwaters out of thousands of people's homes. from r/chicago





The Night The River Turned Around.



See also: Fire Crews Rescue People Who Are Homeless From Flooded Lower Wacker Drive.


A sampling of the delight and disgust you can find @BeachwoodReport.







The Beachwood Q-Tip Line: Stop and shop.


Posted on May 18, 2020

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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