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Afternoon Edition: March 18, 2020

Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot will use a live, televised address delivered in prime-time to update Chicagoans on coronavirus.
Sun-Times Media

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

This afternoon will be rainy with a high near 46 degrees. Tonight, we’ll get a few more sporadic showers and the low will be around 40 degrees. Tomorrow, more patchy showers and a possible thunderstorm in the morning as temperatures climb to 62 degrees.

Top story

Lightfoot to deliver live, televised address on city response to coronavirus

For the second time in her 10-month tenure, Mayor Lori Lightfoot will deliver a live, televised address in prime time to confront a crisis threatening Chicago — only this time, the threat is to public health as well as city finances.

Tomorrow night, Lightfoot will address Chicagoans from her City Hall office to outline what she calls the “comprehensive and proactive steps” she has already taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Chicago and “preview measures” she plans to take in the weeks ahead.

“This is a make-or-break moment as COVID-19 is one of the greatest public health threats of our lifetime. Now is the time for bold, urgent and transparent leadership, not false claims and political games,” Lightfoot was quoted as saying in a statement.

Already, Chicago Public Schools are closed on orders from Gov. J.B. Pritzker, along with bars, on-site dining in restaurants and cafes and all public gatherings larger than 50 people.

Lightfoot has said she is working with the Illinois Restaurant Association to craft a “local package” to support restaurants, other small businesses, and hourly and tipped workers severely impacted by the pandemic.

The last time Lightfoot delivered a prime-time address, it was to confront the city’s financial crisis, caused in large part by skyrocketing pension payments.

With conventions and concerts canceling, professional sports leagues on hiatus and more and more employees working from home, city revenues are dropping like a rock.

It’s not clear whether the mayor’s prime-time address will confront the financial impact of the pandemic or whether she will confine her remarks to public health.

Read the full story from Fran Spielman.

More news you need

  1. No large cache of votes remains to be counted from the primary election other than yet-to-arrive mail-in ballots, a spokesman for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners said today. See which races have projected winners, and which one are still too close to call.
  2. Three Chicago universities have announced cases of coronavirus at their campuses: DePaul University, University of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago. Some of the schools’ buildings are closed today for a “deep cleaning.”
  3. Bernie Sanders says he is reassessing his campaign, raising questions about whether he will drop out after losing three more states — including Illinois — and falling prohibitively behind Joe Biden in the race. What his campaign manager said today.
  4. City Hall began to automatically deny requests for public records today as a “non-essential City operation” that would be unduly burdensome to fulfill amid the public health emergency. See the automated response our journalists got from the city.
  5. In “Big Time Adolescence,” which is streaming on Hulu, comic Pete Davidson shows a true talent for acting while playing a teen’s unseemly mentor. Read Richard Roeper’s full review of the coming-of-age movie.

A bright one

So, we’re stuck inside. And right now, it’s not clear exactly how long that will last. But on the bright side, it’s a great time to do something you’ve been putting off, or always wanted to try, but haven’t found the time.

If you’ve been keeping up with the news (and since you’re subscribed to this newsletter, you probably have been), you know that staying indoors is the the only way to help “flatten the curve” of daily coronavirus cases that put pressure on our health care system. Not only is it the best way to stay healthy, it’s the best way to keep our most susceptible citizens healthy.

People confined at their homes sing and dance from their windows to bolster themselves up on March 17, 2020 in Madrid as part of the country’s fight against the spread of the coronavirus. | Getty Images
AFP via Getty Images

But it can also lead to a lesser evil: boredom and stir craziness! This list has 100 suggestions to help make your time at home as interesting — and productive – as possible.

Here are some of those ideas: Dust off those old puzzle boxes in the closet and get to work; start a blog or journal that your future kids can read; text your exes and get that one last thing off your chest; watch all the really long movies you’ve put off; finally read “Infinite Jest”; write letters to your family and friends; or organize all your closets à la Marie Kondo.

Check out 93 other suggestions of things to try while self-quarantining.

From the press box

Bears fans waiting to see would do at the quarterback position got their answer today as the team acquired Nick Foles from the Jaguars in exchange for a fourth-round pick. Mitch Trubisky suddenly has some major competition for the starting gig with a former Super Bowl MVP on the depth chart.

However, GM Ryan Pace now has just two picks to work with in the first four rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Your daily question ☕

What’s something that you’ve had to do around the house that you’ve put off, but now have time to tackle as we all self-quarantine? (And are you going to actually do it?)

Email us (please include your first name and where you live) and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday, we asked you if the coronavirus stopped you from voting in the election. Here’s what some of you said:

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