CHICAGO - Chicago bars were packed Saturday afternoon into the evening as revelers celebrated St. Patrick's Day a few days early and ignored warnings about the coronavirus pandemic.
"If you are young and healthy, listen up. We need you to follow social distancing guidelines too. You can have the unintended tragic effect of spreading COVID-19 to others who may be more vulnerable," said Gov. JB Pritzker, noting with exasperation that he saw a lot of people out and about on Saturday afternoon in Chicago.
The governor and other Illinois officials have been encouraging people to stay home and practice social distancing when they have to go out. "Social distancing" generally means staying at least six feet from other people and not dawdling anywhere you don't need to be.
The city canceled the annual dyeing of the Chicago River and St. Patrick's Day parades were also put on hold in order to discourage people from coming out and partying. However, the crowds of mostly young adults seemed not to care about the risk of contracting coronavirus or spreading it to others who are more at risk of a serious or fatal outcome.
"You know, we're trying not to think about it and just have fun regardless," Lauren Anthony told Fox 32 News as she was out barhopping.