THUMBS DOWN! And a sad shake of the head to the potential fate of many museums in Illinois and around the country. A study by the American Alliance of Museums noted 16% of 648 museums surveyed gave themselves just 16 more months before COVID-related issues force closures. We’ll find similar cases with the thousands of other entities that depend on people coming in and out of their doors. Put this on the list of things we’re concerned about.
THUMBS DOWN! To the double blow of the deaths of two basketball coaches. MacArthur girls basketball coach Mike Williams passed away this week, as did legendary University of Illinois coach Lou Henson died. Williams had built the MacArthur team into a power, but more important was the commitment he had to his players. Henson regularly had Illinois winning 20-plus games per season and threatening deep runs in the NCAA Tournament. He coached the 1988-89 “Flyin’ Illini” to the Final Four. The outpouring of social media grief showed both Williams and Henson reached far beyond the court in the way they touched and related to people around the city and around the world.
THUMBS UP! To the return of professional sports. We know thumbs are going to be stumbles along the way. The first one for baseball is the Miami team, the Marlins, reflecting the city of Miami’s COVID-19 proliferation with double-figure positive tests. Sports are an easy way for us to put aside our problems, which is one of the reasons baseball played through the World War II years.Even the odd appearances and sounds of the broadcasts are gratifying. We’re being taken out of our houses, at least mentally.
THUMBS DOWN! To Chinese seeds. As columnist Stu Ellis pointed out, packages with seeds inside and Chinese language on the outside have been arriving via the mail. There may be no risk, but at the same time, agriculture officials want to take care. Don’t throw them away -- they could still sprout. The Illinois Department of Agriculture asks those who receive unordered seeds to email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THUMBS DOWN! To classifying too many things as “the enemy.” We’ve generally backed Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis.But he can be given to grandiosity and hyperbole. Pritzker prompted a demonstration in Springfield by saying, “The enemy is not the mask. If you’re not wearing a mask in public, you’re endangering everyone around you, so the enemy is you.” The easiest way to push anyone or any idea into an aggressively defensive stance is to pull out the word “enemy.” That’s poor leadership and poorly said.
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