In Greentown, PA, a dot on the map of the sparsely populated Poconos, everyone last weekend was wearing a mask and socially distancing in the aisles of Dutch’s Market. Ditto at Newfoundland Beverage beer store where pickup trucks were decoratively parked out front. In this politically red part of PA everyone seemed cheerfully able to do business in a respectful and careful way. That’s hopeful news because Pike County, where Greentown is located, will be moving to Governor Tom Wolf’s “yellow” opening schedule at 12:01 a.m. on May 29.
Current data shows that Pike County has had fewer than 500 cases compared to Philadelphia’s nearly 18,000. Still, as Philadelphia’s cases continue to decline, with deaths down from April’s daily highs in the 40s to one or two a day this past week, we might take some comfort in knowing we can begin to open if everyone, including our young and invincible joggers, wears their masks, makes space for others, and avoids Lake of the Ozark-style pool parties. If we don’t, the data also shows job losses will be crippling to thousands of Philadelphians, many of them low-paid workers, who manage to survive Covid-19.
Editorial cartoons from this week include: