My colleagues analyzed data and found that thousands more people may have died from the coronavirus in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey than the reported death toll. Even so, the region is moving toward the loosening of some coronavirus-related restrictions. Outdoor dining might be one of the next things to return, but some restaurateurs say they’re hesitant to go all-in on an al fresco experience.
Outdoor summer dining might give some of us a sense of normalcy. And Gov. Tom Wolf is working with the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association on guidance to allow for the safe reopening of restaurants for outdoor dining, according to his office. But we won’t be getting the outdoor dining experience we’re used to.
Because of the turbulence of the last few months for the restaurant industry, some restaurant owners are unsure if they even want to tackle the logistics and costs of outdoor dining, especially if they just switched their business models to focus on takeout.
The coronavirus may have killed up to 9% more Pennsylvanians than the reported death toll for the month of April, an Inquirer data analysis suggests. And in New Jersey, the possible undercount is even larger. The undercounts might be explained by a spike in deaths attributed to both pneumonia and influenza.
My colleague Marc Narducci also answered other questions about refunds, third-party rentals, and the safety of sharing a house with people you might not typically live with.
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“We are better than this, as so many first responders and volunteers have proved nationwide by their dedication to fellow citizens. But that can be hard to remember with a president who is determined to divide.” — writes columnist Trudy Rubin about how Memorial Day should have inspired unity on COVID-19, but instead brought about Twitter rants and red-blue divisions.
Every day this week, we’re taking you behind the scenes of The Inquirer newsroom to learn more about what we do and how we do it. If you missed yesterday’s edition, you can find it here.
Today, we’re talking about our opinion section. Unlike our news coverage, which is fact-driven and written by reporters, our opinion section curates a diverse stable of writers to advocate, champion, argue, critique, and suggest ways to make the region better. This takes several forms, including editorials (the institutional voice of The Inquirer, a consensus opinion formed by the Editorial Board), columns, cartoons, op-eds, and commentaries. We also have essays, which can be written by anyone from high-ranking public officials to your next-door neighbor, and letters to the editor, which are direct responses to Inquirer stories. Learn more about the different types of opinion content — and how to submit your own here.
Here’s what Erica Palan, The Inquirer’s deputy opinion editor, has to say about our opinion section:
“Not a day goes by where we aren’t thinking about how we can add more voices to our pages. Sometimes that can mean working with someone who has never written anything before but has a unique experience or perspective that could change the way you feel about a divisive issue. I also wish people knew how much time the opinion department spends on fact-checking and original reporting. Just because our content has a point of view doesn’t mean that we get loose on journalism fundamentals. Much of what you see from our Editorial Board is based on as much reporting and editing as any other section of the paper.”
Check this out: The opinion team also hosts debates on various subjects of interest to the Philly area with Pro/Cons. The latest one is about whether Philly students should be graded during the pandemic. Feel free to give it a read and also weigh in with your opinion in the comment section.
Tomorrow, we’ll dive into our data reporting and how it works.