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Enforcing Chicago’s Indoor Mask Mandate: Dunce Caps, Air Horns and Back-Alley Seating

Rex Huppke, Tribune Content Agency on

I, for one, applaud Chicago officials for reinstating the city’s indoor mask mandate.

First off, as a person who struggles with IFH (Intense Face Handsomeness), I’ve long hated walking around with my visage fully exposed. It cuts into the profits at my subscription website HotHuppkeFace.com. (It’s a “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” situation.)

But more importantly, an indoor mask mandate is a smart public health decision. The number of COVID-19 cases in Chicago and across the country is rising thanks to the more contagious delta variant and the more obnoxious subset of humans who refuse to get vaccinated.

So while it may be only me and my fellow IFH sufferers who are happy to strap the masks back on, it’s certainly in everyone’s best interest. Which brings us to the first problem: For some, caring about what’s in everyone’s best interest has become uncool, replaced by “acting like a large human baby who cares only about himself (or herself, but mostly himself, if we’re being honest).”

The presence of these large human babies understandably makes the owners of restaurants, bars and stores feel a bit trepidatious about the indoor mask mandate’s return. It makes them wonder how they’re going to get back to enforcing a rule some protested in the first place and most thought was gone for good.

I have some sensible ideas to help worried business owners, but first, let’s go over the Chicago mask mandate rules and why they’re necessary.

 

Starting Friday, everyone 2 years old and up — whether vaccinated or unvaccinated — has to wear a mask in public indoor spaces. That includes shops, fitness centers, restaurants and bars. If you’re inside, your mask is up, and if it’s over your mouth but below your nose, everyone thinks you’re dumb. (I don’t make the rules, folks.)

In eateries and drinkeries, masks can come off to eat or drink. If you’re on a restaurant patio or in some other outdoor space, you won’t need a mask, unless the owners say otherwise.

Generally speaking, health officials don’t want people walking around crowded indoor spaces without masks, as that increases the potential spread of the virus if someone happens to be infected.

I can already hear the whiny complaints: “But I’m vaccinated! Why do I need to wear a mask?”

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