Up until earlier this week, if you lived in Chicago and had plans to travel to Montana or Guam in the near future, you were probably feeling uncommonly lucky.
On Wednesday, the Chicago Department of Public Health added the only state and only territory that were not on its COVID-19 Travel Advisory last week – Montana and Guam – to the advisory. The move effectively expands the list to include all 49 outside states and all four U.S. territories.
States are added to the Travel Advisory's "orange list" when COVID metrics rise above the threshold of 15 cases per day per 100,000 people. Any below that mark are on the "yellow" list, with public health officials still warning against non-essential travel. Daily COVID case rates must be below 15 per 100,000 residents for two consecutive weeks for a state to be removed from the advisory.
Those are some insanely stringent metrics by which to implement a travel ban. It almost sounds like they were, you know, made up by feckless municipal bureaucrats as part of a desperate attempt to seem competent and capable. It certainly doesn't seem like they're tied to any actual scientific standards!
But then again, I'm not from Chicago, so maybe they do things a bit differently there.
But wait, here's the best part:
The U.S. average daily case rate per 100,000 residents is 148.1 (62.2 last week). Illinois' daily case rate currently is 182.1 (87.1 last week). Chicago's daily case rate is 169.7 (140.3 last week).
That's right: Chicago's own per-100k case rate is nearly 15% higher than the national average. That means the city is is warning residents to stay away from all other states even though statistically they are less safe in Chicago itself!
Guys... I'm starting to think the official response to COVID might be a bit more based on hysteria and groupthink than we were initially led to believe.
P.S. Now check out our viral vid "How to speak Bidenese" 😁 👇