LINCOLN PARK — As COVID-19 cases surge in the city, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is urging young people to stay indoors and avoid gathering in close quarters when travelling to and enjoying the scholastic spoils of the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.
“People aren’t taking responsibility for their actions, and that’s leading us down a dangerous path,” said Lightfoot in a press conference a safe distance from the museum, where a group of twenty or so unmasked youths noisily congregated outside, sharing beverages and bumming communal cigarettes. “I know we’ve lifted restrictions on a lot of things, but I really didn’t expect the interest in this nature center to be such a flashpoint in public health.”
Area 20-somethings have flooded the museum, located in the North Pond Nature Sanctuary, waiting in long lines for a chance to pay a brief visit to the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven or adventure through the Busy Beaver Lodge in the Hands-On Exhibit. “I mean, I’m still going to live my life,” said Jenny Threough, 28, who was in line with her boyfriend. “We’re still avoiding particles most of the time, but I’m not going to deny myself the opportunity to experience the Mysteries of the Marsh exhibit. I’m just not.”
The museum has remained closed to the public since the beginning of the pandemic, but that hasn’t deterred crowds flocking to its doors every day. “They say they’re closed, but I’m not going to stay home and miss them opening their doors as a surprise,” said Threough, perspiring.
“Folks, let’s use some common sense here,” said Lightfoot, as more and more early career professionals clumped together and spread germs wantonly outside the museum store. “Can’t you go to a restaurant instead?”