Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you should read to get your week started.
First: In case you missed it, here are our answers to common coronavirus vaccine questions. It covers everything from whether it’s safe (it is, for most people) and who can get it.
Then: Lawmakers have finalized a nearly $900 billion coronavirus relief package, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced last night.
And: Jalen Hurts played well, but the Eagles weren’t able to put together a game-winning drive to beat the Cardinals.
When 21-year-old Maddie Neville contracted COVID-19 in October, she developed only mild symptoms. After she quarantined, was feeling back to normal, and tested negative for the coronavirus, the Temple student traveled home to Gouldsboro, Pa. But when she was there, Neville started gasping for breath and had intense chest pain.
Then, after she kept getting worse, she passed out and was airlifted to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where doctors diagnosed her with congestive heart failure due to coronavirus compilations.
Neville is now recovering and is telling her story after becoming “angry” about social media posts that claimed the viral disease isn’t real.
The Philadelphia region’s small-business owners have been forced to find ways to try to stay afloat during the pandemic. For those who were able, they found new ways to make money, especially through online shopping. Others had to fundamentally change their structures, moving from for-profit to nonprofit so they could get additional funds through grants. Others shut down entirely.
And still, about nine months after coronavirus-related restrictions began in earnest last spring, most small businesses fear that the worst is yet to come as far as the virus’ impact on the economy, according to a new poll of small businesses.
Helpful COVID-19 Resources
When can I get the vaccine? Can my boss require it? Is it safe? And more common vaccine questions.
Here are the updated coronavirus case numbers as COVID-19 continues to spread across the region.
Is it safe to travel this winter? If you are, here’s a full breakdown on how to stay safer away from home wherever you stay and however you get there.
Sign up to get free coronavirus news updates in your inbox three times a week.
What you need to know today
Congress is finalizing a coronavirus relief package that would, among other things, provide stimulus checks worth $600 per person, for people who earned less than $75,000 last year.
There are about 10,000 Pennsylvania votes that are in purgatory. And they’ll be there until the U.S. Supreme Court tells the state what to do with them.
With clashes over the pandemic and Joe Biden’s election win, 2021 is not looking good for bipartisan cooperation in Harrisburg.
Because of shrinking enrollment and troubling finances, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced last month that it’d close two schools in June. Although church officials said their decision was final, supporters of the schools are raising money and hoping for a miracle.
Businesses in Pennsylvania are organizing to defy the state’s pandemic mandates by operating at 100% capacity, for example. Now, officials are coordinating a response.
About 25% of Camden’s public school students aren’t showing up for virtual class. School officials have been “sending letters, making home visits, delivering Chromebooks, troubleshooting internet problems, and calling parents,” they told my colleague Melanie Burney.
Through your eyes | #OurPhilly
Did anyone else go “urban sledding”? Thanks for sharing this video, @philly_music_dad.
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!
🦅 Even in the Eagles’ loss in Arizona, it’s clear Jalen Hurts is bringing some much need “juice” to his team.
☝️ Wawa opened its first drive-thru on Friday in Westampton, N.J. It wasn’t originally conceived as a drive-thru, but, like so much else, COVID-19 changed that.
🎁 For all you last-minute shoppers, here’s our experts’ guide to some of their favorite Philly gifts.
⚕️ Colleges are seeing more interest in health fields. Could it be a by-product of the pandemic?
☃️ Here’s the final snowfall map from last week’s storm. How many inches did your area get?
🏀 Speedy Morris should be in the Basketball Hall of Fame, writes columnist Mike Sielski. But it might not be for the reason you think.
“This was a squirt who got it. Who seemed to realize that as 2021 rolls around, you don’t make it out of a bruiser like 2020 if you don’t get that the little things are sometimes the biggest things to hold on to for sanity.” — writes columnist Maria Panaritis about the joys of sledding.
Mary Adamson, an ICU nurse at Temple University Hospital, writes about what a typical day is like in the fight against COVID-19.
Philadelphia writer, publicist, and advocate Paige Wolf is immunocompromised. She writes a piece urging you to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
What we’re reading
A report published Friday on Philadelphia city government’s demographic data revealed that “the racial makeup of the city’s high-level workforce is at odds with the demographics of the city’s population,” the Philadelphia Tribune writes.
The Washington Post published a difficult story about concerns regarding young athletes’ mental health.
Hawaii’s beaches are being endangered by world-famous surfers and wealthy homeowners, according to an investigation by ProPublica and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Your Daily Dose of | ‘Hamilton’
In honor of her late son Ron Silberstein, 77-year-old Montco native Marge Sexton (pictured above) recorded a sample of the opening rap from Hamilton. Every year since Silberstein died by suicide on Christmas morning 2015, Sexton and her family try to do something special in memory of Ron.