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Editorial: Plea to southern Illinois: Wake up and get the vaccine

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Walk the halls of Springfield or drink a beer in Carbondale, and you will hear a lot of discussion about the city of Chicago, and not much of it favorable. Downstaters routinely lament the wastefulness of city government, the lousy traffic, the lack of public safety, the crowded conditions.

They have many good points to make, especially when it comes to the city’s dangers.

As summer turns to fall, Chicago must come to grips with the awful reality that its 2021 homicide rate is on track to be the highest in a quarter century. Through the end of August, Chicago saw 524 homicides, per police data, some 3% higher than in 2020. That could well mean that more Chicagoans will lose their lives this senseless way than in any other year since 1996. And, as WBEZ reported, 1996 was toward the end of the crime wave sparked by the epidemic of crack cocaine. It was not exactly a model year.

These numbers are unacceptable. This was an especially deadly summer.

But people are also dying needlessly in southern Illinois.

As Rich Miller pointed out in his Capitol Fax last week, more than half the state’s........

© Chicago Tribune

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