Despite Illinois receiving it's statewide stay-at-home order on March 21, one small town bar hummed along at full strength.
It got shut down completely by law enforcement and many people received misdemeanor charges.
Things became awkward when the police noticed the Mayor's wife was one of the people being charged.
About 20 miles north of St. Louis, Missouri is a small Illinois town called Alton. It's home to about 26,000 residents and Brant Walker is its mayor.
The leadership of Alton has found itself navigating a somewhat common struggle in the era of the virus.
Although the Illinois town sits within a state whose governor, J.B. Pritzker, already issued a statewide stay-at-home order, some residents have pushed the envelope and continued to live as if these were the days before social distancing.
Mayor Walker, in a recent Facebook post, described his decision to respond with stronger enforcement:
"On Friday, due to the continued increase in cases in Madison County, as well as increased reports of large gatherings, particularly in some of our city parks, I directed the Alton Police Department to more strictly enforce the Governor's statewide 'Stay At Home' order through the use of citations."
Nonetheless, on April 4, a Saturday night 14 days after Pritzker's initial announcement of the order to remain home as much as possible, people congregated at Hiram's Tavern, clearly banking on the legal gray areas surrounding an "order."
Alton Police, however, showed no hesitancy as they broke up the gathering and issued several citations of Reckless Conduct, a Class A Misdemeanor charge, Alton Daily News reported.
On that list of guilty bar-goers was none other than Mayor Walker's wife. And it took no sleuthing for that fact to become public. The Mayor himself explained everything in that same Facebook post.
After his description of the bust, he moved on to address his wife's conduct.
"I was also made aware that my wife was in attendance at this prohibited social gathering. I instructed the Police Chief to treat her as he would any citizen violating the 'Stay At Home' order and to ensure that she received no special treatment."
"My wife is an adult capable of making her own decisions, and in this instance she exhibited a stunning lack of judgement."
"She now faces the same consequences for her ill-advised decision as the other individuals who chose to violate the "Stay At Home" order during this incident."
"I am embarrassed by this incident and apologize to the citizens of Alton for any embarrassment this incident may cause our City."
His post aroused some inflamed responses.
Mostly intended for his wife.
Jay Brook Lipe/Facebook
Other comments made a point to acknowledge Mayor Walker's transparency and integrity.
The irony also launched the small town onto Twitter's radar.
Only time will tell if the notable irony of the story emphasizes the Mayor's pleas and encourages safer behavior from the residents of Alton.