Good morning, everybody. You’re reading the Inquirer Morning Newsletter, and here’s what you need to know this Friday morning. We’re looking at why September might test the region as the pandemic continues and how a Cheltenham native’s nonprofit will continue to help Afghan war widows. You should also know that two Penn scientists received an award for their research that helped lay the foundation for the COVID-19 vaccines.

We really do want to hear from you. Reply to this email to let us know what you think about this newsletter, and what you need to stay informed about the region.

— Lauren Aguirre (@laurencaguirre,

With reopening, experts are ‘bracing for an uptick’ in COVID-19 cases

COVID-19 cases in the Philly area are leveling off, but health experts are “bracing for an uptick” heading into the fall. September will be a test for how the region will do against the highly transmissible delta variant, as students return to classrooms and college campuses.

While the rate of vaccinations are also modestly increasing, fall and winter also come with dropping temperatures and more indoor gatherings. National experts have long expressed concerns about what these seasons could bring.

Reporter Erin McCarthy shows how the region is preparing for the fall as the pandemic continues.

This Cheltenham native is helping war widows in Afghanistan

The fall of Afghanistan does not mean the end of Susan Retik’s charity, Beyond the 11th. She says women there who have been widowed by war need more help, not less. And that’s what she intends to do. Keep helping.

After the 9/11 attacks and the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, she was troubled by the inequity between her situation and those of Afghan women. Her husband, David, was aboard American Airlines Flight 11, the first plane to hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. When her husband was killed, the American public offered huge support to her as a “9/11 widow.” The Afghan women were destitute.

So, she cofounded Beyond the 11th in 2003 to help. This is how she plans to keep helping Afghan war widows.

Reopening resources

What you need to know today

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

I love fall too, and the changing seasons in Philly. Check out all four seasons in Manayunk on Instagram. Thanks for sharing!

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Photo of the Day

Philly had a rainy Thursday, but Friday looks as if it’ll be clear and sunny.