Letters to the Editor

Bill Figel’s “Guest Viewpoint” in the April 15 issue of The Beverly Review was yet another example of the courageous writing we expect from our neighborhood’s newspaper of record.

What reader’s heart wouldn’t be filled with righteous joy as Figel celebrates the triumph of law enforcement over the religious faithful who take God seriously and object to government interfering with the practice of their faith?

These First Amendment radicals sound pretty un-American to me. These folks need to be in Figel’s basement, wearing their N95 masks and making palm crosses, waiting for a late-night movie to provide a metaphor for our current crisis.

Maybe Figel can move the basement furniture around to accommodate the 22 million Americans who signed up for unemployment, along with the millions of kids plugged into the Xbox/PS4 matrix as their schools remain empty and their intellectual growth is brought to a halt.

Yes, the crisis will bring Americans closer together and bring out the best in each of us. It would be nice to let the kids go play outside, perhaps just until the movie is over. But, doing so might arouse the ire of the ever-watchful Facebook mom, ready to pinpoint your child’s location with laser-like precision and relay the coordinates to mission control for the drone strike.

Through a simple modification (found on Google) of their “Hate Has No Home Here” signs, these compassionate residents of the Village in the City can use an everyday virtue-signaling lawn placard to determine social-distancing violations from blocks away.

I’ve seen this Terminator-like analysis of immediate threats at play in the empty paper-product aisles of neighborhood grocery stores, where I saw a man in a plastic-wrap body suit with a gym sock pulled over his head be mistaken by three frantic shoppers for a family pack of bathroom tissue. (It didn’t end well.)

Figel is spot on with his take on our president. Who in their right mind would want to see churches filled on Easter? Chicago Catholics are proud of our non-attendance, so much so that we’re closing parishes all across the archdiocese.

The last time I saw people running to get into a church, it was pouring rain, and the restaurant across the street wasn’t open for business.

Religious people need to take Figel’s approach. Church is something you attended in the distant past, and you hold those memories close to your heart.

Who doesn’t enjoy hearing a baby boomer as he fondly takes a stroll down memory lane telling you about the great old parish he moved out of as soon as it turned black?

As for today, we proudly close churches in Chicago, knowing, as Figel does, that it’s really in our basements that the Lord’s word is proclaimed, albeit only during commercials or when the Wi-Fi goes out.

Now, some of you science deniers might say one of the following: 98 percent of people who get the disease recover. Adults over 60 and people with severe underlying chronic health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, lung disease and weakened immune systems are most at risk and should practice social distancing. No ICU deaths have been reported among people younger than 20, or the vulnerable should be isolated and protected while those capable of working should continue to do so.

Blah, blah, blah.

I know McCormick Place looks a bit empty, but give it time. Some wiseguy said he saw an off-duty fireman rigging up beds with dummies similar to Ferris Bueller’s bedroom so each one rolls over when the door opens, but that’s nonsense. In Chicago, we get the bodies to where we need them, whether it’s the voting booth or the ventilator.

We have plenty of cash on hand to support everyone during this time of crisis. Trillions, in fact, and it’s in the mail as we speak.

Just make sure to pat your great-great-grandkid on his yet-to-be-formed head and thank him for picking up the tab.

Maybe even get him a gift card from a local restaurant, but make sure it’ll still be good in the year 2060.

It’s the right thing to do.

So, stop taking lives by going for walks and do as the sign says—stay home. But, if you have to go out and jump your brother’s car, be green and try putting that reusable grocery bag over your head, poke out a few eyeholes and wrap the bottom with duct tape.

It works just as good as the masks from China that Gov. Pritzker spent $17 million on.

Michael Connolly