The curious inconsistency of bans on games and parades because of the coronavirus

The South Side St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been called off, but bars still will be open. Am I safer in a packed bar or walking down the middle of Western Avenue?

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday canceled St. Patrick’s Day parades because of the coronavirus.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday canceled St. Patrick’s Day parades because of the coronavirus.

Sun-Times files

Another Sun-Times reader recently wrote to ask that the Illinois High School Association ban handshaking before and after basketball games.

But what, then, about during the game when the sweat starts flying? When player are in contact with each other for 32 minutes or more? Should the IHSA ban boxing out an opponent or scrambling for a loose ball?

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On a related issue, I called the 19th Ward office to confirm that the St. Patrick’s Day Parade along Western Avenue has been canceled. When I was told yes, I asked if businesses along the parade route, such as bars and restaurants, also were to be closed. I was told no, they could remain open. I then asked if I was safer in a packed bar than walking down the middle of Western Avenue. I was told “Have a nice day” — and they hung up. 

Mick Cozzie, Morgan Park

Socialism means playing by rules

Socialism has been demonized by the right since forever. Though socialism was once respectable in our country, corporate interests have been able to discredit the word by equating any kind of economic democracy with communism. The fact that there are many varieties of socialism has been brushed aside in our political discourse. 

Whether the word socialism offends you or not, the idea of a publicly accountable market economy should not. I like to think of it as comparing good old American football, which has rules, to English rugby, which apparently does not.

Gershon Mayer,  Hyde Park

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