In 1963, an anthracite seam beneath Centralia caught fire, and it still burns today. For the past 27 years, abandoned Route 61, which runs through the Columbia County town, has drawn hikers, photographers, dirt bike and ATV riders, and teens with a case or two of beer.
“I’m just trying to get everyone’s mind off of everything else going around us,” said South Jersey photographer Michelle McMahon, who dresses up as the Easter Bunny and greets children from the back of her husband's truck. “Even if it’s five minutes, we need some normalcy."
The coronavirus may threaten more than zoo coffers. Philadelphia Zoo CEO Andy Baker said scientists believe primates and great apes could be susceptible. Keepers who work with them are wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
As the coronavirus pandemic spreads throughout the country, the Poconos’ long-standing connection to New York and its place as a vacation destination for people all over the Northeast is causing problems that Northeast Pennsylvania's Monroe County says it can't handle.
For Holocaust survivor Anneliese Nossbaum, of Jenkintown, true healing began when she decided in 1971 to talk openly about her experiences in concentration camps. Over the years, she spoke to thousands of students. She died Monday at age 91.
While lower population density is keeping rural America safer at the moment, spotty internet and cell phone services are just two issues that could make dealing with the coronavirus difficult when it finally arrives.
"You don’t use toilet paper if you’re out in the woods," said Dan Wowak, of Schuylkill County, a full-time woodsman who teaches survival skills. "Just grab some leaves and wipe your butt. At home, you can cut up old t-shirts. A lot of people just don’t know what to do."