Credit: whereslightfoot/Instagram

CHICAGO — With a smile Monday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she loves the round of viral memes showing her protecting all angles of the city with a stern look.

In fact, the mayor said she’s even acted out some of the scenes at home, without going into specifics.

“Like in any difficult time, I think we’ve gotta have a sense of balance, and humor is a part of it,” she said.

The memes began after the mayor shut down the lakefront, the Riverwalk and The 606 because people were not practicing social distancing in the wake of coronavirus. She then sent out an emergency alert via text telling people to keep away from each other.

“Really they’ve kind of caught on, people have been sending them from all across the country,” the mayor said, while crediting the artist, Danny Martinez, who started it. “Hats off to him.”

“I’ve actually enjoyed them,” the mayor said. “We’ve acted out a few in my household at night, which I’ll keep to myself.

“What it shows is the creativity of people in this city, in this region, that despite these dire circumstances, and this virus is deadly serious, that we can also see the lighter side of life, what makes us a vibrant and interesting and innovative and creative community. So I love ’em.”

The most popular memes have been from Martinez’s @WheresLightfoot Instagram account, in which the mayor, looking stern, is Photoshopped into scenes from the lakefront Wednesday, when police sent people home.

Some examples from the account: Twitter @BauerJournalism

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