Why would I do that? Beats me. It was evening. End of another unexceptional day in Year Two of The Forever Plague. The old friend who was supposed to meet me for lunch downtown canceled at the last minute. Sick. That was disappointing. I was looking forward to going into the city, or what’s left of it. Maybe watching the game would connect me with the larger world, the community spirit of Chicago.
My announcing that I felt like watching the Bears must have alarmed my wife. She joined me, to monitor the situation.
“They get four attempts to move the ball 10 yards,” I explained, trying to bring her up to speed.
“I know that,” she replied.
Earlier, when lunch was still on, I contemplated the walk from Union Station to Michigan Avenue. Not too cold. Would a raincoat do? Yes. And what if I got shot? (Is that crazy? My hunch is, it’s exactly the calculus people perform nowadays.) No worries: I’ll tell my wife to bring the laptop to the hospital, so I could write up the experience. That would make a gripping Wednesday column ...
Rather, they are are angry red-staters trying to score points on the Fox World tally board. Crime is a real tragedy and constant worry in Chicago, even among those of us with little to worry about. But elsewhere it’s a schoolyard taunt, the kind of look-a-squirrel whataboutism that passes for argument.
What’s there to say? Murder is up in Chicago because it’s up everywhere. That’s no big secret. “The U.S. murder rate rose 30 percent between 2019 and 2020 — the largest single-year increase in more than a century,” the Pew Research Center reported two months ago.
And 2021 is just as bad. A dozen cities will break their all-time murder records. Chicago isn’t one of them.
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