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Chicago’s lesbian mayor and ‘angry auntie’ Lori Lightfoot isn’t pulling any punches when it comes to coronavirus

Emma Powys Maurice April 10, 2020
Lori Lightfoot

Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot laying down the law from her kitchen (Twitter/@chicagosmayor)

Chicago’s lesbian mayor Lori Lightfoot is refusing to sugarcoat her coronavirus advice – but that doesn’t mean she can’t use humour to get her message across.

As leaders around the world struggle to strike the right tone amid the crisis, Lori Lightfoot has mastered the art of memes to get Chicagoans to stay at home.

In her characteristic no-nonsense attitude she’s telling people point blank to “Stay home, save lives”, with the reminder that no, your pedicure is not an ‘essential’ activity.

Chicago’s angry auntie is not afraid to lay down the law herself: last week she actually drove around the city telling people gathered outside to social distance or go home.

“I personally drove around yesterday, and I was up on the North Side, in the 50th Ward, and I’ll continue to do that,” Lightfoot said at a press conference on Wednesday.

“I told people that I saw gathering in clusters not abiding by the social distancing rules to break it up. Yes. And I’ll continue to do that.

“I mean what I say: We have to protect ourselves. We have to be smart about what we’re doing in the course of this pandemic. And if it means that I drive around and check whether people are in compliance, I’m happy to do it.”

It wasn’t long before her stern public service announcements took on a life of their own as Chicagoans used photoshop and cardboard cutouts to spread the word: “Lightfoot is watching you.”

The memes evolved into an Instagram account called ‘whereslightfoot‘, which quickly racked up more than 51,000 followers by inserting Lightfoot’s stern face into various Chicago scenes.

 

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A post shared by ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ (@whereslightfoot) on

The mayor is well aware of her legendary meme status and is loving the attention, retweeting her favourites.

It looks like the Lightfoot effect appears is clearly having results, with data showing that Chicago and its surrounding areas are scoring top marks for social distancing.

Analysts say the rate of coronavirus increase in Illinois is now “looking less and less exponential” and the state may be “bending the curve”.

More: Chicago, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Lori Lightfoot, social distancing

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