First: The coronavirus taught medicine so much, this year and quickly. We’ve chosen 10 highlights.

Then: You’ve probably heard the one about that lawsuit or 50 to overturn the election targeting mail ballots. They didn’t get anywhere. But this one, which isn’t about the presidency, could.

And: And before you go out tomorrow for last-minute supplies, here’s our complete guide to what’s open and what’s closed in the Philly area on Christmas Day.

We hope you’re able to take some time for yourselves as we close out this hectic year, and Merry Christmas to everyone celebrating tomorrow. We’re taking a short holiday break, too, and will be back in your inbox on Monday, Dec. 28.

— Ashley Hoffman (@_ashleyhoffman,

What COVID-19 has taught medicine in 2020

A particle just nanometers in diameter has had an immeasurably extensive reach around the world when it came to medical discovery.

In the effort to understand this virus that spanned the planet, we’ve learned 10 valuable lessons as its destructive path diverted in directions no one expected, how it ensnared our health care system, and even where we could find hope. There’s still much to be understood, but it’s been a year of groundbreaking progress at a breakneck pace.

So as we prepare to end 2020 and start 2021, we’re going through 10 highlights.

Here’s the Pa. election lawsuit over mail ballots that could overturn a race — but not the presidency

As we close out a year of headline-making election lawsuits, there’s a tense court battle being waged over a few dozen monumentally pivotal Pennsylvania mail ballots that will determine the election winner.

It’s over a state Senate seat, and the dispute zeroes in on 2,349 late, erroneous ballots. The Republican challenger is arguing that procedural county discrepancies violate the Constitution. Experts say this high seat is just the beginning of the decision’s impact that could clarify a big mess of a question, per data and democracy reporter Jonathan Lai’s story.

Answering that question could even have implications for a historic presidential election years before this one.

Helpful COVID-19 Resources

What you need to know today

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

We’re “old enough to know how it works.” But we “also know you work for him.” (Home Alone reference!) Thanks for sharing this fun Santa portrait @the_brittjames.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout-out!

That’s interesting


“It’s time that we learn to keep the spirit of the season alive not just in December but all year long, especially as we figure our way out of this pandemic.” — just in time to reach the North Pole, columnist Jenice Armstrong writes a Christmas wish list on behalf Philly to Santa.

What we’re reading

Your Daily Dose of | Cannoli

The iconic Christmas Eve line at for the tubular treats at Termini Bros. usually begins to pile up beneath the streetlamps at midnight until 6 a.m when Vincent Termini Sr. opens the door to his usually packed namesake destination.

But in 2020, that sweet tradition naturally presents a problem for everyone flocking to the institution, which will celebrate its 99th Christmas this year. Now, like many other businesses, people will be queuing up virtually for the delights of the bakery offering curbside delivery. Some will still want to have the in-store shopping experience this year. And the family had a message to deliver for those who do. Sending someone to pick up their bake goods is fine.

And if customers would like to hold off on the ritual, there’s always next year: the 100th Termini Christmas.