F*ck you, COVID-19

Middle finger
The coronavirus pandemic has changed lives, routines you name it, and not for the better. Here’s how we can all stay sane and provide support to those who could really use some right now. | Image provided

There are two approaches we could’ve taken in our coverage of the coronavirus.

The first is to continue to hit you with more of the same – the rising confirmed case counts in the city, the fact that your way of life is on hold for the foreseeable future and that we’re almost four months into the start of what is now a virus of pandemic proportion and there’s still no real clear answer on what the fuck to do besides stay in the house until the government tells you it’s OK to come out. 

We’re going with approach No. 2. We can’t change the suck factor of the coronavirus outbreak and the fact that so many of us are losing precious dollars by the day as a result of not working. This week, we’re going to provide you with the things you can do instead of thinking about all the shit you can’t. Think of something we missed? Doing something you want to tell the rest of the city about? Email us at mail@philadelphiaweekly.com or hit us on social media with the hashtag #PWVoices.

Overheard in Philly

“I think the best part of this entire experience is watching all of the people who should be experts in medicine and government have the same dumbfounded ‘I don’t know, what do you think we should do’ look on all their faces. It really brings back to mind that in times of severe crisis how truly fucked we really are.”

— This gem came from two moms sitting on a park bench watching their kids at the playground inside Roberto Clemente Park in Fairmount on Sunday. If those moms listened closely, they’d realize that the virus stays on plastics and metals for up to a week and that their kids probably shouldn’t be touching swings, slides and other equipment during a pandemic if they’re truly concerned. Oh, and that stat didn’t come from us, it came from the epidemiologists working around the clock to figure this thing out. 
The PPA still sucks. Just a little less during the coronavirus given its new policies while we remain on lockdown. | PW file image

A reason to hate the PPA slightly less…

On Tuesday, Scott Petri, the executive director of the Philadelphia Parking Authority, announced his goons will not be out ticketing metered, kiosk or residential parking during the shutdown. You will, however, be ticketed if you double park, park in a crosswalk or so much as question PPA’s methods on conducting business. If you didn’t think COVID-19 was serious before, PPA relaxing on its own policies should certainly hammer home this shit is no joke. 

Support small biz

While the feds decide whether or not to give us all $1,000 bucks or not, we should consider giving a reprieve to the thousands of small businesses in Philadelphia that are figuring out how to stay afloat. You’ve heard others suggest buying gift cards and, honestly, it’s genius. To entice people to do the same, University City District is upping the ante, matching dollar-for-dollar on every purchase up to $250 per restaurant. At the time of this report, they already had 12 restaurants to consider. We’re not saying only shop U-City, we’re just saying this will be over soon (we hope), so think about how awesome it’ll be to have a gift card at your favorite restaurant to celebrate. 

One of the best things about being home is that once the shutdown is lifted, we’ll have plenty of conversation by way of all the shows we binged across a host of streaming services. | Image: Thibault Penin

Whatchu watchin’ Philly?

One of the things that are going to happen over the next few weeks is that we’re all going to be consuming a ton of television while we wait for these restrictions to be lifted. We picked these five things on the tube that should take your mind off the 24/7 news around the virus.

Dirty Money, Season Two | Netflix

A series of hour-long documentaries that convey just how deep the system goes, and just how much the rich will scheme to stay rich. There are six episodes this season and all are really interesting, but we especially love the one that highlights Jared Kushner and his slumlord approach to all things development. Never forget that, for a while, Trump’s dear son-in-law owned the Piazza in Northern Liberties and we all know how much of a shitshow that was before he got bought out. 

30 for 30 | ESPN Films

With there being no sports at all to consume thanks to COVID-19, ESPN has been regaling viewers with its award-winning documentaries. They’re always on and, just recently to help us all get by, they’ve put a slew of them on-demand for your viewing pleasure. For example, we never knew until this weekend that soon-to-be NBA Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade had a Chicago police officer hold a gun to his head while raiding his childhood home. What?!

Joe Rogan: Triggered | Netflix

The Fear Factor dude is seriously funny, but in a way that as an alt-weekly we can appreciate it. His latest standup on Netflix is seriously funny and mildly offensive all at the same time. We would never have known that the guy who watched people eat bugs, commentates on people choking people out and smoked a blunt with the founder of Tesla, would be a hysterical standup comedian. 

Frozen II | Disney+ and Movies-on demand

We’re told by a movie critic we trust that Disney released this one early just so kids can have something to get excited about while parents contemplate life as we know it. So if you’re forced to work from home and you’re at your wit’s end with all of the screaming and bickering in the background while you attempt to analyze spreadsheets, then the $5.99 you’ll spend to rent this for 24 hours is worth every penny. 

Uncut Gems | Movies on Demand

You’ll be in awe of just how much Adam Sandler can play a degenerate. Sandler is a jeweler who is constantly gambling with his life and the life of his family for a huge payday. It’s actually a really interesting watch with a plot twist that’ll have you buggin’ out. If you didn’t catch this one in the theaters, it’s also available for rental on-demand. 

Meet COVID-19, otherwise known as the piece of shit ruining life for literally everyone.


The number of confirmed cases in just 24 hours that brought the total to 34 in Philadelphia as of Wednesday. Wednesday was also right around the same time an announcement arrived that Uber and Lyft suspended ride shares in Philadelphia for the foreseeable future. All that means is we’ll just have to carpool with people we know as opposed to complete strangers, which, if you think about it is refreshing in itself.

He said it…

“This is an unprecedented situation that has no playbook. We’ll be making updates as they arise.”

– Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney on March 16 at the podium for the city’s daily updates around the outbreak. Coincidentally, March 17 marked the first time the city decided to put a bottle of hand sanitizer on said podium that numerous men over the age of 50 stood in front of. 

  • Kerith Gabriel's Headshot

    Kerith Gabriel is the former editor-in-chief at Philadelphia Weekly but somehow hasn’t figured out that means he doesn’t have to write nearly as much. As a routine contributor, journalism has been in his blood since his beginnings as a sports writer over a decade ago for the Philadelphia Daily News.

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