Afternoon Edition: March 19, 2020

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

SHARE Afternoon Edition: March 19, 2020

Marion Dollar of Pilsen has decided not to drive for Uber and Lyft to do her part in social distancing amid the coronavirus crisis, even if that means forgoing income.

Brian Ernst/Sun-Times

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.

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Afternoon Edition

Chicago’s most important news of the day, delivered every weekday afternoon. Plus, a bonus issue on Saturdays that dives into the city’s storied history.

Expect more rain this afternoon with the possibility of some thunderstorms as well. The high will be 59 degrees and the low tonight will be around 40 degrees. Tomorrow will be chilly, with more rain; temperatures are expected to fall to 37 degrees by 5 p.m. Good thing we’re staying inside! 😅

Top story

How a wide swath of workers are seeing their pocketbooks hit hard by the coronavirus: ‘We are all so connected’

With events canceled, restaurant and bar workers furloughed and people avoiding unnecessary travel, workers from stand-up comics to housekeepers are finding themselves suddenly unemployed.

And those who haven’t been told to stay home say they are being left with the choice between earning a paycheck and doing their part to promote social distancing and stop the spread of the virus.

We talked to some of the workers who have been impacted:

Alydar Skyy, a 30-year-old bartender and stand-up comic from Arlington Heights, said she’s effectively unemployed coming out of the already slow months of January and February. Not only have her shifts been suspended, her stand-up gigs are canceled, too.

“I would have made about $400 this weekend,” she said of her comedy work.

Maria Morales, a mother of six who lives in Gage Park, was let go last week from her job with a cleaning crew at McCormick Place, when her boss called to say since no events were scheduled, there was no work for her. Morales said she is not eligible for unemployment insurance, since her company pays her as a temporary worker.

“They told us we might not get work again until June,” she said.

Carolina Sanchez, 28, has two jobs to make ends meet, but both her sources of income have been threatened by the pandemic. She works part-time at a clothing store in Pilsen that has seen its business drop dramatically. She’s also a professional photographer, but her 15 photoshoots in March and April have all been canceled.

“My main concern right now is being safe, but if the store closes or if nothing happens with photography, I will most likely end up moving back in with my parents in Michigan,” said Sanchez

Dan Rothstein, a bandleader who performs at corporate events and weddings, said many musicians are being forced to find ways to recoup lost income or remodel their businesses to remain active, like teaching music lessons using online video services.

“The only ones that are going to survive this are the ones who are going to adapt,” he said.

Read the full story from Carlos Ballesteros and Matthew Hendrickson.

More news you need

  1. Mayor Lori Lightfoot today ordered all Chicagoans with confirmed cases of coronavirus — as well as those just exhibiting symptoms of the highly-contagious disease — to stay home to prevent community spread of the pandemic. Violators will be slapped with citations and fines by Chicago Police and the Department of Public Health.
  2. Cook County launched a text message alert system and phone hotline today in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Text “alertcook” to 888-777 to opt in.
  3. A Chicago Police detective who works out of a police facility on the West Side has tested positive for COVID-19. The detective, assigned to the department’s police shooting team, was last at work on March 16.
  4. Yes, fears over the coronavirus decreased in-person voting throughout Chicago and the suburbs on Tuesday. But record numbers of early voters helped the region avoid even lower turnouts seen during the presidential primary of 2012. Lauren FitzPatrick and Caroline Hurley break down the numbers.
  5. Are you new to working from home? Film critic Richard Roeper has been doing it for nearly four decades. In that time, he’s written eight books and thousands of pieces for the Sun-Times. He shared a few tips on how to stay productive.
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A bright one

Even though we’re going through a stressful, chaotic time, Chicago isn’t all doom and gloom. There’s plenty of beauty to behold even as you practice social distancing.

Consider the walls in your neighborhood where color explodes in the form of murals and mosaics. Chances are there’s a gorgeous work of public art just steps from your front door. Before you go on a walk to get some fresh air, find a few of murals near you using our interactive map, and plot your path accordingly.


A mural by Jeff Zimmermann at 1813 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago.

Annie Costabile/Sun-Times

If you have a car, the possibilities are endless. From the drivers seat, you can cruise over to Hubbard Street, which serves as a mile-long concrete gallery with over 250 murals. Or Pilsen, where the murals are so plentiful they spill into the alleys.

There’s a ton to explore: our map features over 700 murals and mosaics. And whether you’re a history buff, nature lover or comic book fan, we’ve organized the artworks by theme. Enjoy!

Explore the murals near you with our interactive map or read stories about Chicago’s murals and mosaics.

From the press box

With the IHSA basketball playoffs canceled, we turned to the numbers to predict how they would play out on the court. Our latest simulation covers the Class 4A playoffs, which conclude with Collinsville facing Mundelein in the title game. Stay tuned in coming days for simulations of Classes 5A, 6A, 7A and 8A.

On the pro hoops side, it appears the demise of Bulls executive Gar Forman is all but complete. When asked where Forman’s been the last few months, one member of the Bulls organization joked he’s been “scouting in Siberia.”

Your daily question ☕

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has ordered all Chicagoans with confirmed cases of coronavirus — as well as those just exhibiting symptoms — to stay home. Do you think this is the right call?

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 to tell us about something you’ve had to do around the house that you put off, but now have time to tackle as your self-quarantine. One reader has been having a very productive week:

Thanks for reading the Chicago Afternoon Edition.Got a story you think we missed? Email us here.

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