Some holiday alternatives | Five for Your Weekend

A time to join with close ones and, perhaps, open a dialogue? (Photo via Creative Commons/Flickr)

Happy weekend, everyone

I hope you all are safe and well. As we all are facing the reality of a Thanksgiving without members of our extended family, limiting our celebrations of gratitude to our household, we need to find little things to improve our spirits.

Here are a few ideas to help you cope with this abnormal holiday season:

1. Reach out to family virtually. If you have the ability to video chat, conference call or otherwise talk to your extended family members it will no doubt boost your spirits and theirs during these trying times.
2. Start a new tradition. Holidays during a pandemic can lead to some creative ideas about new ways to celebrate, new traditions like games and recipes. Give it a try, who knows what might catch on!
3. Plan an adventure. If you’re missing travel and visiting family elsewhere, planning a trip for 2021 can help fight the blues. During a pandemic, travel insurance is your friend, but otherwise have fun planning your next excursion!

As always, the top five articles from this week are below.

Enjoy your weekend,

Cassie Miller, Associate Editor

1. Pa. lays out COVID travel restrictions ahead of holidays, without guarantee of enforcement

Out of state travelers to Pennsylvania should have a negative test for COVID-19 within the last 72 hours or stay at home for 14 days, according to new guidance from the state Department of Health.

That guidance comes as Pennsylvania averaged more than 4,000 new cases of the deadly disease a day for the past week.

Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine announced the rule, among a number of smaller tweaks to existing health orders, as new coronavirus cases increase in the commonwealth as the weather turns cold and more people spend time inside.

The new rules do not come with any new enforcement measures, but Levine, continuing rhetoric she and Gov. Tom Wolf have used throughout the pandemic, asked for citizens’ cooperation.

2. The Pa. House will review the 2020 election, but it’s unlikely it will change the results

While the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania House is preparing for a wide ranging review of the 2020 election, the review appears unlikely to impact President Donald Trump’s loss in the Keystone State.

That’s despite days of rallies, one big, most small, by ardent Trump loyalists from across the country outside the state Capitol calling for the Legislature to overturn the election results on baseless assertion of election fraud.

That reality became clear Tuesday, as House Speaker Bryan Cutler tapped Rep. Seth Grove, R-York, to assess state election law and the administration of the recent presidential contest at least until the end of November. Cutler appointed Grove the acting chairman of House State Government Committee. He’ll replace retiring Rep. Garth Everett, R-Lycoming.

3. Trump lawyer tells MontCo judge he has no evidence of fraud, report

An attorney representing President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign in a case in Montgomery County admitted in open court this week that he had no evidence of voter fraud, according to a published report.

The Trump campaign and Republican National Committee filed suit against the Montgomery County Board of Elections in an attempt to get the county from counting mail-in ballots.

In an exchange with the judge hearing the case, lawyer Jonathan Goldstein tried to refer to what the board was doing as a “scheme,” according to Philadelphia Magazine. But that claim did not survive an exchange with the judge.

4. Trump federal lawsuit over election observers resolved, report

Kadhim Shubber, a reporter for the Financial Times, live-tweeted a U.S. District Court hearing on a legal action brought by President Donald Trump’s campaign dealing with observers at the ballot-counting operation in Philadelphia.

5. Pa. is getting hammered by new COVID cases. Can a new lockdown be far behind? | Thursday Morning Coffee

With Pennsylvania rocked by a fall surge in COVID-19 infections, a loud voice in the state’s medical community is speaking up.

On Wednesday, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia recommended that schools across the metropolitan Philadelphia region revert to virtual instruction, as it warned of a “catastrophic situation”, the Inquirer reported. The news came even as the Philadelphia public schools nixed plans to stop hybrid instruction, our partners at the Philadelphia Tribune reported.

Speaking to the Inquirer on Wednesday, David Rubin, the head of CHOP’s PolicyLab, said that while most infections of children and teachers appeared to be taking place away from the classroom, there was “increasing evidence” that the virus was being transmitted in schools around the Philly area. And there may be even more because contact tracers haven’t been able to keep pace with an exploding caseload, the newspaper also noted.

And that’s the week. See you all back here on Monday. 

Cassie Miller
A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. She is a graduate of Penn State University where she served as the campus newspaper’s photo editor. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared.