Opinion

STAFF EDITORIAL: Lori Lightfoot: A Meme with a Message

Chicago has turned its mayor into a meme. 

We’ve all seen them — Mayor Lori Lightfoot edited into photos of the beautiful Chicago shoreline, parks and bike trails. 

Her message is clear in her stern face: Stay. Home.

Lightfoot has been thrust into the national spotlight in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic which has infected more than 13,500 Illinoisans and killed almost 400 in the state. She has teamed up with Gov. J.B. Pritzker and urged — no, begged — Chicago residents to stay home in an effort to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

The memes are pretty funny. Thanks to a very loyal subcommunity of the Internet, the Lightfoot memes have progressed quite far.

One person in Portage Park set up a cardboard cutout of Lightfoot outside their home.

Some people have printed her out and taped her inside their refrigerators to deter them from eating unnecessary snacks.


Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has made her way into the meme universe. But her message can’t get lost in the hilarity.

On Instagram, the account @whereslightfoot has made a “Where’s Waldo”-esque game out of editing Lightfoot into random scenes in Chicago and beyond.

It’s impossible not to find the humor in it. The people making these memes are clever and witty, and the mayor herself has said she enjoys them.

But we just hope her message doesn’t get lost in the mix among all the humorous comments.

All these people spending their time on Photoshop cutting and pasting Lightfoot into various scenes at least owe her their commitment to staying home.

A math model from earlier in March created by Imperial College in London projected around 2.2 million deaths related to COVID-19 in the U.S., but that was under the assumption no social distancing policies would be enforced, The Phoenix reported. Since then, Illinois officials have ordered residents to stay at home. 

A model mentioned in a March 31 press briefing by President Donald Trump originally predicted as many as 200,000 deaths, but has been updated since then and is reporting a range of 49,000 to 136,000 deaths as of April 7, The Phoenix reported.

It’s lost on us why people are still messing around with a deadly virus. Like everyone, we understand the urge to go for a walk, run or bike ride along Lake Michigan right now. But if everyone has that mentality, social distancing becomes a buzzword with no meaning. 

It’s not a hard thing to do. Just stay home.

It may be a bummer to be stuck inside, but unless you’re in a dangerous situation, it really is the easiest thing to do. 

If you do leave the house, keep Lightfoot in mind. Be smart. Go to places that won’t be crowded. Loyola’s campus is a safe bet right now. The quads and walking paths are mostly empty since classes have been moved online and students vacated the dorms.

But, really, it’s best to just stay home.

Just remember, Lightfoot’s watching.

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