Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has ordered all schools in the state to remain closed through the rest of the academic year due to the coronavirus. While students and teachers stay home, a Kensington pastor is educating her daughter while continuing to preach from her living room. Separate from the pandemic, children of color are facing rising diagnoses of a chronic condition: type 1 diabetes.
On Thursday, Gov. Wolf ordered Pennsylvania schools to stay closed for the rest of the year due to the coronavirus outbreak. The order applies to all public K-12 schools, charter schools, private and parochial schools, and others. Pennsylvania high school sports also are done for the year.
A growing number of states had already shut down schools for the year, and school leaders said the order wasn’t unexpected. Schools have been closed since March 13. Since then, educators have been working on how to instruct remotely. Some districts began remote learning immediately after schools were closed, but others haven’t launched formal online instruction yet.
The Rev. Leslie D. Callahan recalls thinking weeks ago that the hardest part about this year’s Lenten season would be sticking to her fast. Now, a month into the pandemic, she’s navigating how this crisis is transforming worship for her membership at St. Paul’s Baptist Church in Philadelphia. In March, the church held its first coronavirus-era service on the video-conferencing application Zoom. Callahan solicited prayer requests through text messages and email.
But Callahan is also like other working parents, trying to educate her 7-year-old first grader, Bella, at the kitchen table along with writing sermons, meeting with deacons, and holding prayer calls. “I feel like, as a black woman, we just do what we’ve got to do,” she said. “Who has time to think about how I feel about this?”
This article is part of a series, “Portraits of a Pandemic,” that is a co-production between The Philadelphia Inquirer and the 19th News, a nonprofit newsroom covering gender, politics, and policy. The work is supported by the Pulitzer Center and the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.
Philadelphia families are grappling with a medical mystery. Type 1 diabetes, considered a rare autoimmune condition, is rising in children of color. The disease is most common among white people. But as diagnoses rise across the board, some children of color as young as 15 months are falling prey to it.
Type 1 diabetes is a brutal disease for people of any age or race, but research shows that children of color fare far worse than white children, suffering serious complications such as vision loss, kidney failure, and severe circulatory problems. And the disparity can’t be fully explained by poverty or level of education, factors that have been linked to poor health.
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Through your eyes | #OurPhilly
This is such a gorgeous shot of the Philly skyline. Thanks for sharing, @kslouf.
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!
🚲 Meet the 19-year-old who Lysoled a Philly street while standing on his handlebars.
🍷 If you need booze, you probably shouldn’t buy it in New Jersey. It’s illegal to transport alcohol across state lines into Pennsylvania.
🐎 H-O-R-S-E. Eight NBA and WNBA players will play the classic basketball shooting game on ESPN.
🏀 Kobe Bryant’s death brought memories of another Lower Merion classmate back to life for sports columnist Mike Sielski.
🌿 The coronavirus isn’t slowing down Pennsylvania’s marijuana industry. One dispensary even has a drive-through.
🍦 An activist in Fairhill is hunting down prohibited ice cream trucks to protect kids from the coronavirus.
“Our country is not only fighting this virus. We are in a full-on battle for our nation’s soul. The care of my daughter and the millions of Americans with intellectual disabilities reflect our society’s level of empathy and compassion. It defies logic to think that any doctor, nurse, ethical expert, or government bureaucrat is qualified to put a price tag on that.” — writes Lainey Moseley, a mother, freelance news producer for NBC News, and founder of Little Acorn House, on how coronavirus triage guidelines punish disability.
There are lessons Pennsylvania elections can learn so we don’t repeat Wisconsin’s political disgrace, writes David Thornburgh, president and CEO of the Committee of Seventy.
President Donald Trump’s utter lack of grief and empathy is the coronavirus dog that didn’t bark, writes national opinion columnist Will Bunch. [You can get more of Will Bunch with his new weekly newsletter, coming later this month. Sign up here.]
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Your Daily Dose of | The Upside
You’re not imagining it. People really are putting up holiday decorations. People are restless while they’re stuck at home and looking for levity during the pandemic. So, they’re digging out their holiday lights and inflatables to set them up to bring some merriment to their neighborhoods. “I mean, everybody is so depressed right now. We need a little bit of cheer," said Kim Lorich of North Tonawanda, N.Y., north of Buffalo.