Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s push to move Philadelphia to the “yellow” phase of reopening has met with skepticism among city officials. None of the five counties in the Philly area are close to meeting the low rate of new infections that the governor initially said was needed before restarting parts of the economy. "The one thing we are trying to make sure doesn’t happen here is that we move too rapidly,” Mayor Jim Kenney said.

The business shutdowns forced by the coronavirus pandemic have put tens of millions of Americans out of work, pushing unemployment to historic levels not seen since the Great Depression. It seems like every week, there’s a new grim statistic about the labor market.

It can definitely get confusing, but my colleague Christian Hetrick explains what you need to know about how the government tracks and measures unemployment so you can better understand the pandemic’s economic impact.

Despite efforts by national and state Republican Party officials to encourage mail voting during the pandemic, Pennsylvania Republicans don’t want to do it. As of Thursday morning, hundreds of thousands more Democrats in the state have requested mail ballots for the June 2 primary.

Election experts say that while fraud occurs more frequently in absentee voting than in person, it’s still very rare. Five states already conduct elections primarily by mail, but widespread mail voting is a newer thing in Pennsylvania.

The pandemic has redefined what the summer of 2020 will be. Big, crowd-drawing events have been canceled, and from rec centers to public pools, many other summer activities have been put on hold. But never underestimate the ability of Philadelphians to find a workaround.

Residents are already adapting their summer rituals to coronavirus realities. My colleague Inga Saffron explores life during the pandemic, and what Philly is doing to adjust as summer begins to heat up.

What you need to know today

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

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That’s interesting


Rob Tornoe's cartoon for Friday, May 29, 2020.
Rob Tornoe / Staff
Rob Tornoe's cartoon for Friday, May 29, 2020.

“There are few silver linings to come out of this crisis, but we should embrace those that exist. Clean air. Reduced noise pollution. Return of nature. Appreciation of being outside. These are not things we want to lose. With a reprioritization of our street space, we can keep all these things.” — writes Nick Zuwiala-Rogers with the Clean Air Council, and Jennifer Barr Dougherty, chair of Feet First Philly, on Philly missing its chance to be a leader in safe social distancing by not closing streets.

Behind The Inquirer

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 checking out our uplifting stories. We have a whole section devoted to them, called The Upside. We also have inspiring stories in our “We the People” series, which reporter Stephanie Farr describes as “a profile series about the everyday people who make Philadelphia extraordinary.”

Stephanie started the series in 2017 and has written more than 75 profiles since then. Here’s what else she had to say about “We the People”:

“As part of every installment of the series, I ask our readers to nominate someone for me to profile, since they know far more people than I do. Some of my favorite ‘We the People’ profiles have come from reader suggestions, like ‘Pete the Groin Crusher,’ a hemostasis tech at Pennsylvania Hospital, and Wynnifred Franklin, a 94-year-old baker who works six days a week at a Giant supermarket. Philly is an incredible city because of its people, and I love telling their incredible stories.”

Check this out: You can send your story ideas for “We the People” to reporter Stephanie Farr directly at

On Sunday, we’ll have our final day of taking you behind the scenes at The Inquirer. We’ll be getting a little meta and talking more about our newsletters — right inside this newsletter.

Let us know what you think about this series by replying to this email, or sending a note to

Your Daily Dose of | Philly fishing

Johnathan Pierce of Roxborough caught his white whale — so to speak. He has hunted Pylodictis olivaris, the flathead catfish, for a decade on the Schuylkill, but he ended up with more than he bargained for. Pierce’s flathead, officially weighing 56.3 pounds, will likely shatter the state record. But certifying the record isn’t so simple. Certified scales must be used, the fishing gear documented. Sometimes, witnesses are interviewed. In some states, even lie detector tests have been used to rule out catches.