On Saturday, Princeton University announced that it would strip the name of former U.S. President Woodrow Wilson from buildings on its campus following letters and calls from students and alumni. The decision follows years of controversy and protests by students, who criticized Wilson’s place given his racist views and policies, including keeping Black students from enrolling at Princeton when he headed it.

And, this week, we chatted with lifestyle columnist Elizabeth Wellington about what the green phase of Pennsylvania’s coronavirus-related restrictions means for your life.

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Behind the story with Elizabeth Wellington

Barber Bernard Dandridge trims the hair and beard of Walter Bullen, 17, of Woodbury at the Total Perfection Barber Shop and Beauty Salon on Mt. Ephraim Avenue in Camden on June 22.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
Barber Bernard Dandridge trims the hair and beard of Walter Bullen, 17, of Woodbury at the Total Perfection Barber Shop and Beauty Salon on Mt. Ephraim Avenue in Camden on June 22.

Each week we go behind the scenes with one of our reporters or editors to discuss their work and the challenges they face along the way. This week we chat with lifestyle columnist Elizabeth Wellington on how to live in the green phase.

You’ve been covering how to live during the pandemic. What’s a big takeaway you’ve learned through this process?

My first takeaway is that this virus is real. It is not a game. And we have to be careful. Not just careful, but extra careful. We are all responsible for the spread of the virus and every bad choice we make keeps the virus alive and attacking our population’s most vulnerable.

The Philadelphia area moved into the green phase on Friday. It’s the least restrictive phase, but what does it actually mean for daily life?

The green phase is good because we get to get our hair done, eat out, return back to some level of normalcy. But we still need to be diligent: wear our masks and social distance. And make sure we don’t bring this disease into the home of our most vulnerable population.

Is there anything that has surprised you about covering life during the pandemic?

That so many people are resistant to wearing masks. Seriously, nobody wants to wear a mask but we should all want to keep ourselves and our loved ones healthy. (Philadelphia issued a citywide mandate Friday requiring masks to be worn.)

What is something positive you’ve seen or something that gave you good vibes during this time?

During the pandemic, I’ve become a fan of virtual yoga. I love it. I practice in my apartment nearly every day and the collective good energy is really helpful. I practice with people all across the country and the globe. That has really given me good vibes because although I live alone, I don’t feel that I am alone.

Email Elizabeth Wellington at ewellington@inquirer.com and follow her on Twitter at @ewellingtonphl.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

Who knew all this wildlife was in the city? Thanks for sharing what you saw at FDR Park, @philosophydan.

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!

What does the green phase mean if you’re considered ‘high risk'?

While most Pennsylvania counties are in the green phase, that doesn’t mean the coronavirus is gone. Every time you leave your house, a level of risk remains. This risk is higher if you’re 65 years or older, or have a serious underlying medical condition. So how can you stay safe as things reopen? My colleague Grace Dickinson detailed three different possible approaches: maintain as many elements of the red phase as possible, explore with heightened caution, or stock up on masks. While businesses can’t always ensure social distancing, there are still safety requirements in place to hopefully minimize the spread. If you’re very worried, stay home as much as possible.

What we’re…

Comment of the week

“This is very sad news as there is a paucity of places that keep kashrut. This especially affects the Penn Student community. I echo the sentiments below hoping that the owners are able to find a new location.” — christopher donald, on Mama’s Vegetarian, one of Philly’s falafel destinations, has closed for good.

Your Daily Dose of | ‘The Nutcracker'

The Pennsylvania Ballet announced this week that this year’s production of The Nutcracker is canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. So, here’s a throwback to our behind-the-scenes look at last year’s production. Check out Jose F. Moreno’s video and photos to see backstage and read more about the 2019 production, which featured a new tree, from Ellen Dunkel.