Yesterday, President Donald Trump called for Pennsylvania to reopen (despite warnings from public health officials) during a visit to the state. As unemployment claims continue to rise, others are expressing their frustrations with the lockdowns that have caused massive job losses and pay reductions.

High school students and Muslims in the Philly area are both trying to figure out how to still honor traditions under stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines. And New Jersey beaches can soon reopen — but with restrictions.

The coronavirus pandemic has canceled many events, but high school graduations will go on. They’ll just look a little different. In Delaware County, Ridley High will still play “Pomp and Circumstance” over a loudspeaker, but the procession will take the form of a parade of cars circling the school’s parking lot. The event will likely take hours, with time slots so not all of the 470 seniors arrive at the same time.

Across the country, traditional high school graduations are facing roadblocks due to social distancing measures, but some people are asking officials to reconsider bans on senior gatherings. Parents in New Jersey have circulated petitions pleading for more traditional ceremonies, and some superintendents are asking legislative leaders to allow in-person, socially distant ceremonies.

New unemployment claims are still at extraordinarily high levels as more workers file after losing their jobs or having their hours reduced. At the same time, parts of the nation and Pennsylvania are reopening from lockdowns.

Frustrations with the restrictions are being expressed as growing pressure to lift stay-at-home orders — including calls from President Trump — despite warnings from public health officials. Even when things begin to reopen in Pennsylvania, things may not look exactly the same as normal.

It seems like almost every aspect of life has changed due to the pandemic, and Ramadan is no exception. This year, volunteers at the Philadelphia Masjid work to distribute dinners around the region every evening during Ramadan. The program delivers hundreds each night. The large-scale halal dinner delivery is the first of its kind for the community here, said one organizer.

Normally in Philadelphia, large community iftars may draw hundreds of people to break their daily fast after sunset. There’s been a mix of emotions for many area Muslims. Some say that even with the pandemic’s limitations, it is still a time to reflect and give back, even if that means going without a community feast.

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Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

Getting outside (while still social distancing) can give you a good boost. And I would love going outside even more if I saw this cutie there. Thanks for sharing this very good dog, @carmenino!

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!

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Rob Tornoe's Coronavirus cartoon for Friday, May 15.
Rob Tornoe / Staff
Rob Tornoe's Coronavirus cartoon for Friday, May 15.

“By extending the social and business hours of our society, we can make more use of our limited space. We can safely employ more people and do more of the things that make us feel human. The City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania can create more room for social distance by creating a 24-hour economy as soon as possible."writes city planner Michael Fichman on why Philadelphia should become a 24-hour city to survive the pandemic.

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Your Daily Dose of | Dance

Rhapsody Taylor always wanted to be a star. Years of dance training led her to a degree at the University of the Arts. She had expected to be busy this month with rehearsals, shows, graduation. Instead, she’ll graduate into a virtual ceremony. For now she’s living at home to save money, dancing in her room and occasionally the yard. She may have to get a regular job to tide her over until shows and productions begin again, but she won’t stop dancing or pursuing her dream of appearing on Broadway.