Yesterday was World Press Freedom Day, a day honoring the importance of a free and independent press. My colleagues shared some of the work they’re proud of. I encourage all of you to check that out. Their suggestions are filled with stories, pictures, and videos that will make you happy, skeptical, optimistic, and so much more.
For 81 years, generations of families have said their goodbyes inside the Terry Funeral Home in West Philadelphia. Since the pandemic began, owner Gregory Burrell has been having difficult conversations. In any given year, the funeral home handles an estimated 5% of the black deaths in Philadelphia. But with the coronavirus pandemic disproportionately affecting black people, Terry Funeral Home is trying to honor public health restrictions and centuries-old traditions.
“It’s so much rapid death so quickly,” said Burrell.
Late last week, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that the state would begin reopening 24 counties in northern Pennsylvania. It’s the first step in the state’s tiered plan to gradually lift shutdown orders. Those counties will move from the “red” phase to the “yellow” phase of the state’s plan, meaning that some restrictions can be eased. Here’s what each of the tiers means. Once an area begins reopening, the state has plans to keep track of the coronavirus to try to prevent another outbreak.
Temperature checks at the door. Dining rooms with half the seating. Plastic barriers. Servers and patrons in masks. Disposable menus with fewer options. All of these could be possibilities when restaurants eventually get the green light to reopen.
My colleagues Michael Klein and Sam Wood talked to those in the restaurant world about having to “chart a new path forward,” in the words of one veteran bar and restaurant owner. There are multiple scenarios being discussed behind closed doors, including slow reopenings, innovations, and even some optimism for a quicker recovery than many think.
Here’s a timelapse of what “rush hour” looked like in Philly last week. Thanks for sharing, @phillydroneshots.
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!
“It struck me, when he shared that, how much good is accomplished by people just going out and doing it. Too often people delay carrying out their good ideas by thinking they need to set up a nonprofit or coordinate with a city organization or agency, to get a stamp of approval.” — writes columnist Helen Ubiñas about not waiting for permission to do something good, especially in the time of the coronavirus.
If you still have recommendations for what your fellow Inquirer readers can do to pass time during the coronavirus lockdown, send an email to me at email@example.com.