The gist: Nearly half of Philadelphia’s fire and police workers are still unvaccinated despite having been eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine for months. Read more here. For introverts and people with social anxiety, quarantining may have brought less stress and relief. Now, as the region begins to open up, some people say they “forgot how to socialize.”

— Ellie Silverman (@esilverman11, health@inquirer.com)

What you need to know:

😷 Philly has unveiled its reopening plans, after 14 months of coronavirus shutdowns. Read more about it here.

💰 Thousands of Pennsylvanians are still waiting for jobless benefits. Advocates want the state to “pay benefits now.

💉 The United States is buying COVID-19 vaccine for everyone. That could pave the way for drug price reform.

🦠 The CDC endorsed Pfizer’s vaccine shot for kids 12 and up.

🏥 Fewer new prescriptions for addiction treatment drug were written during the pandemic, as overdose deaths have spiked.

📚 The pandemic and bitter partisanship polarized 2020. Now it’s seeping into school board races.

📰 What’s going on in your county or neighborhood? We organize recent coverage of the pandemic by local counties and Philly neighborhoods to make it easier for you to find info you care about. Sign up here to get those local headlines sent directly to your inbox on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Local coronavirus numbers

📈The Inquirer and Spotlight PA are compiling geographic data on confirmed coronavirus cases, deaths caused by the virus, and vaccinations to curb the spread. Track the latest data here.

Nearly half of Philly’s firefighters and police have skipped COVID-19 vaccines, unions say

Philadelphia’s fire and police workers have been eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine for months, but nearly half are still unvaccinated. My colleagues Jason Laughlin and Anna Orso report how this puts department administrators in a difficult position. “It’s totally up to you and we’re not forcing you to get it,” said Mike Neilon, a spokesperson for the FOP. “For your added security, from a health standpoint, you should get it.” Read more here.

For introverts and people with social anxiety, pandemic lockdown brought relief and more autonomy

My colleague Bethany Ao reports how for introverts and people with social anxiety, quarantining may have brought relief and less stress. And now some people say they “forgot how to socialize.” Elizabeth Gordon, a psychologist at the Anxiety and OCD Treatment Center of Philadelphia in Center City, said she recently went to an outdoor birthday party with her son and noticed many of the parents were standing around awkwardly. “We were making jokes about it. It will feel a little more exhausting and anxiety-provoking at first, but once we get back into the swing of things, it will feel a lot different,” she said.

Helpful resources

You got this: Your social guide to Philly’s reopening

Are you anxious about reopening? Cautiously optimistic? Or ready to go out now? No matter how you feel, we have a guide on how to handle the new normal.

🍹 Here’s where to get canned cocktails at restaurants and bars in Philadelphia

🌇 “This Used to be Philadelphia” reveals the stories behind the city’s most iconic public places and spaces.

🥯 Philip Korshak says happy workers make tasty bagels. (And yes, his South Philly shop is finally opening.)

Have a social distancing tip or question to share? Let us know at health@inquirer.com and your input might be featured in a future edition of this newsletter.

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