Posts tagged with "coronavirus"

Vinexpo Paris via Vinexposium for use by 360 Magazine

Paris Expo Porte de Versailles

The Vinexposium group’s flagship event opened at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, marking the return of large-scale trade events after a two-year hiatus. The official opening ceremony, attended by Julien Denormandie, French Minister of Agriculture and Food, launched the three-day exhibition punctuated by tastings, business meetings, and the major reunion of every strand of the industry in Paris this February.

The Minister praised the courage and determination of the organizers and the attendees for staying focused in order to make the event a reality. He particularly wanted to send out a message of confidence to producers: “Rest assured that we are by your side to honor these wonderful products and a love of wine which I share and which I am delighted to see celebrated here at the exhibition”.

During the official opening ceremony, Rodolphe Lameyse, CEO of Vinexposium, stressed the significance for the wine and spirits trade of resuming business: “Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris in February is a key date in the buying calendar. Today, we are gathered here in Paris and it is a huge pleasure to meet up once again. May the celebrations continue!”

As the first round of business meetings set the tempo for the first day, the prevailing mood throughout the exhibition aisles on the eve of the second day was one of joy.

“What a feeling to attend the first international wine fair after two years. Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris is already a success because it stuck to its original program. It was a bold decision. Respect…” comments Ilaria Ippoliti, export director at Tenuta del Buanamico.

“It’s the right time of the year for buying Northern hemisphere wines and Paris is so easy to get to from the UK », adds David Gill, Specialist Sales & Wine Development at Kingsland Drinks

Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris continues through to February 16 at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles. The event is hosting 2,864 exhibitors from 32 countries, visitors from over 100 countries, and a program packed with 100 conferences, masterclasses, and panel discussions.

About WINE PARIS & VINEXPO PARIS

Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris is the annual event for wine and spirits professionals from around the world. Hosted in February, it aims to offer a cohesive focal point for industry players centering on a comprehensive, relevant, and inclusive range of products that showcases not only French wine regions but increasingly vineyard sites across the globe.

j-balvin-announces-neon-experience-cancun 360Magazine

The Bourbon Room Hollywood

 The Bourbon Room Hollywood is set to officially reopen this Saturday, Feb. 5 as Hollywood’s hottest new live music, entertainment, and dining destination, debuting two new rock supergroups and a lineup of the best in rock n’ roll tribute acts in the country. Kicked off by the global sensation Rock of Ages, The Bourbon Room brings the best in live music, nightlife, comedy, and theater to Hollywood with the same edgy, rock and roll attitude that built The Sunset Strip. If Joe’s Pub and The Troubadour had a baby, it would be The Bourbon Room. 

Originally built for the hit musical Rock of Ages in July of 2019, The Bourbon Room was also home to a 10-week, sold-out run of Tarantino Live in partnership with For the Record. The venue was off to a great start until July of 2020 when Covid hit and Rock of Ages tragically lost the lead star, Nick Cordero after complications from Covid, and everything came to a screeching halt.

“After the loss of our talented, dear friend Nick, and being denied financial assistance from Save our Stages, and repeated shutdowns; it has been an uphill battle,” said Matthew Weaver, Owner of The Bourbon Room Hollywood. “Although the pandemic has been devastating, we used the opportunity to remodel and rebrand; and are ready to present locals and tourists with the ultimate live music and culinary entertainment experience.” 

This stunning 8,000 square-foot entertainment venue is unlike any other venue in Los Angeles paying tribute to The Sunset Strip and bringing together the best in rock n’ roll music, great food, live entertainment, and craft cocktails. Overlooking the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame, The Bourbon Room is a gateway to a 200-seat custom theater, flooded with neon lights and signs from iconic clubs that made The Sunset Strip. It features a million-dollar, state-of-the-art sound and lighting system and cutting-edge production for the ultimate live music experience. The walls display guitars and platinum records with zebra print carpet, paying further homage to The Sunset Strip.

The February entertainment line-up starts on Saturday, Feb. 5, with Travis Haley (Lexxi Foxx), the ex-bassist from Steel Panther with the LA debut of Hollywood Gods N’ Monsters (HGNM)—”the biggest smash-up band in the world.” The band features Travis along with singer Dave “Diggity Dave” Aragon (“Pimp My Ride”), rapper HYPE, singer Kris “7even” Aragon, drummer Daniel Adam Parker, and guitarist Brian Jennings. HGNM smashes together the songs every generation has grown up with, mixing songs of the ’70s bands Chic with Queen, Aerosmith, The Sugarhill Gang, Blondie, and DMX.

Starting Wednesday, Feb. 23, Gilby Clarke (Guns N’ Roses) debuts his new band The Keef Richards with a weekly Wednesday residency. The supergroup features Kenny Arnoff (Smashing Pumpkins, Chickenfoot, etc), Teddy Zig Zag (Guns N’ Roses, Alice Cooper) and Sean McNabb (Dokken) along with different big named special guests weekly. Early arrival is recommended. You never know who is going to show up!

Other confirmed shows include Spazmatics on Feb. 18; Pettybreakers on Feb. 20; English Beat on March 4 & 5; The Dan Band on March 18; and Punk Rock Karaoke on February 25th featuring an amazing line up of punk rockers including Greg Hetson (Bad Religion, Circle Jerks) Stan Lee (The Dickies), Randy Bradbury (Pennywise), and Darrin Pfeiffer (Goldfinger, Sum 41). 

The venue will also introduce new residencies such as Broadway at The Bourbon Room, a brand new monthly musical cabaret celebrating the songs, stories, and stars of Broadway. Guests can sing along to their favorite songs, discover new talent, and hear stories from artists’ time spent on and off the stage. 

Designed by BUILT Inc., the same team behind popular LA venues such as Guy’s Bar, Trousdale, The Nice Guy, The Peppermint Club, and Pink Taco, The Bourbon Room is by far one of the sexiest venues in Hollywood. Upon entering, you head through a nondescript set of wrought iron doors and up a set of stairs before being greeted by an edgy, full-service speakeasy cocktail lounge adorned with exposed brick walls, HD TVs, swanky chesterfield sofas, and a leopard print stage. The Lounge is the perfect place to sip cocktails and enjoy a bite before the show. 

The menu features upscale comfort and bar food from Executive Chef Frankie Guerrero, craft cocktails, and a large selection of fine wine. Chef Frankie brings years of culinary experience with a focus on bar and comfort food. He has worked at some of Los Angeles’s most notable popups and restaurants supporting high-profile chefs like Tim Hollingsworth at Field LA and Free Play, Ludo Lefebvre at Trois Familia, and Ludo Bird and at Neal Fraser’s Fritzi Coop, later morphing into Arts District Brewery. His most recent project was supporting B.J. Novak‘s pop-up restaurant Chain for Tim Hollingsworth.   

Some of Chef Frankie’s signature items on The Bourbon Room menu include Frankie’s flavorful Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich that is brined and served with an in-house spread of slow-roasted garlic confit, olive oil, and herbs and The Bourbon Room Cheeseburger built with a mixture of Snake River Farms Wagyu beef and brisket on a potato bun.

Piggy Bank illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

DBDT Recieves ARP Grant

Dallas Black Dance Theatre (DBDT) is pleased to announce they have been approved to receive an American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic. Dallas Black Dance Theatre is recommended to receive $100,000 and may use this funding to save jobs, fund operations and facilities, secure health and safety supplies, and provide marketing and promotional efforts to encourage attendance and participation. In total, the NEA will award grants totaling $57,750,000 to 567 arts organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, DC.

“Our nation’s arts sector has been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Endowment for the Arts’ American Rescue Plan funding will help arts organizations, such as the Dallas Black Dance Theatre, to rebuild and reopen,” said Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, chair of the NEA. “The arts are crucial in helping America’s communities heal, unite, and inspire, as well as essential to our nation’s economic recovery.”

“Dallas Black Dance Theatre is extremely grateful for this NEA grant which will be used to support the 10 dancers in our second professional training company, DBDT: Encore! over the next two years,” said Zenetta S. Drew, Executive Director of Dallas Black Dance Theatre. “These artists provide critical services for Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s growing dance education programs, community outreach services, and artistic collaborations.”

The American Rescue Plan was signed into law in March 2021 when the NEA was provided $135 million for the arts sector. The funding for organizations is the third installment providing more than $57.7 million for arts organizations. In April 2021, the NEA announced $52 million (40 percent) in ARP funding would be allocated to 62 state, jurisdictional, and regional arts organizations for regranting through their respective programs. The second installment in November 2021 allocated $20.2 million to 66 local arts agencies for subgranting to local artists and art organizations.

For more information on the NEA’s American Rescue Plan grants, including the full list of arts organizations funded in this announcement, click HERE.

About Dallas Black Dance Theatre 

Dallas Black Dance Theatre is an internationally recognized professional dance company that engages the cross-cultural community through contemporary modern dance presented from the African American experience. The National Endowment for the Arts designated the 45-year-old company as American Masterpiece Touring Artist in 2008. The company also received the Texas Medal of Arts Award for Arts Education in 2017.

Rita Azar for use by 360 Magazine

Travel Tips During the Holidays

Travel Preparedness Expert Cheryl Nelson has generated a few travel tips to keep you and your family safe during the holidays! Let’s break down these travel tips.

Packing

Nelson encourages holiday travelers to not overpack! Ensuring that you and your traveling party have not overpacked can save a lot of time, stress and even money. Make sure that you only pack what you really need and know you will use! If you are traveling by plane and must check a bag, know your airline’s weight restrictions prior to check in. If you’re traveling with a roller bag, make sure that you can lift that bag into the overhead bin by yourself. If you also plan on buying more items on your trip, make sure to save extra space in your suitcase.

Another specific tip that Nelson has is to roll your clothes when packing them instead of folding. This surprisingly saves a lot of room!

When packing your medications, try not to pack every single medication or supplement bottle. Pack your pills in a pill container or small bags and label them. Nelson recommends keeping a cold shortening product with Zinc on-hand, such as Zicam, to deliver general health while traveling.

Vaccination cards

Travel expert Nelson recommends having your physical vaccination card on hand when traveling this holiday seasons. Some states and even restaurants (like New York City) require proof of vaccination, so it’s best to do your research on the area you’re traveling to beforehand. Definitely make note to bring your vaccination card when traveling outside of the U.S. Nelson also urges travelers to make copies of both the front and back of the card, and to also keep a spare copy in your luggage as well as at your home. Another smart tip would be to take photos of the card to keep on your smartphone.

Nelson suggests keeping your card in a sleeve like this to ensure its protection. She also advises to not laminate the card as there is a potential to add to the card with future booster shot information.

Read the updated CDC guidelines

Continue to consider the plans of your travel leading up to the anticipated dates of travel. Evaluate the amount of people you may be around, if there are COVID-19 outbreaks in the location and if there are specific restrictions in your place of travel. Although traveling by air is not risk-free, Nelson believes that traveling on a commercial airline to be safe. The cabin’s air is run through a HEPA filter and refreshed every few minutes, and airlines also still require masks as protection tactics.

Be mindful of others around you

Prioritize good personal hygiene throughout your trip. Wash your hands in warm water for at least 20 seconds, carry hand sanitizer and use it after touching common surfaces. If you are vaccinated and still feel more protected by wearing a mask, wear a mask. Throughout the duration of your trip, continue to make time for rest. Drink a lot of water and don’t forget to exercise, even by just walking. Remember that it is OK to give yourself a mental break! Nelsons encourages travelers to relax, and

Art by Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

Scientists Mapping Next Pandemic

An international team of scientists has created a powerful new resource to speed the development of vaccines and treatments to battle the next pandemic.

University of Virginia School of Medicine researcher Wladek Minor, PhD, and collaborators in China and Poland have developed an Internet information system, called virusMED, that lays out all we know about the atomic structure and potential vulnerabilities of more than 800 virus strains from 75 different virus families, including SARS-CoV-2, influenza, Ebola and HIV‑1. Several of the collaborators, including the lead investigator, Heping Zheng, are former students and members of Minor’s lab at UVA. 

This new panorama of the proteins of potential threats will help scientists respond quickly and effectively against the next pathogen poised to wreak havoc on humanity. Minor and his collaborators compare the resource to Google Maps, in that it organizes and annotates major points of interest on a virus that scientists can use as a roadmap in drug and vaccine development.

“The battle with COVID-19 is not over yet, but we cannot wait to start preparing for the next pandemic. VirusMED is a step towards an advanced information system that brings together researchers with diverse expertise to tackle complex biomedical challenges,” said Minor, the Harrison Distinguished Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics at UVA. “The information contained in virusMED will help viral researchers from many disciplines, especially those working on drug design or anti-viral therapies. We provide novel structural analysis and integrate pertinent information from various resources to provide a comprehensive picture of the proteins’ most important and vulnerable regions.”

Virus Hotspots

By quickly unlocking the SARS-CoV-2 virus mechanism of action, scientists were able to develop safe and effective vaccines for COVID-19. Minor’s new database aims to put that type of critical information at scientists’ fingertips in one convenient location.

VirusMED contains extensive information on virus species and strains, hosts, viral proteins and antibodies, as well as drugs that have already been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, among other important scientific data. The researchers call the points of interest on a virus its “hotspots,” and these hotspots make for strong starting points for drug and vaccine development.

“One of the most promising strain-indifferent antibody therapies developed for the treatment of COVID-19 used this type of information to improve upon a unique antibody isolated from a survivor who was infected by the SARS virus back in 2003,” said David Cooper, PhD, research faculty in Minor’s lab. “People who are surprised by rapid drug and vaccine design don’t realize that researchers today are building upon decades of previous research.”

One of virusMED’s major advantages is that it brings together the extant knowledge about viruses in one location, Minor said. Previously, that data was spread across multiple resources and often “siloed” so that it was not easily accessible. With virusMED, researchers can browse the information by virus or by their hotspot of interest.

The free and accessible database can be found HERE.

“One of the goals of my lab is to make tools that other scientists can use. We look at the forest and find ways to help others focus on the trees,” Minor said. “Resource generation is not glamorous, but the ultimate goal of science is to make life better. One of the anonymous peer-reviewers of the paper claimed they instantly became an enthusiastic user of the system. We expect virusMED to really make a difference.”

Findings Published

The researchers have published their findings in the scientific IUCr Journal. The work will be featured on the journal’s cover. The research team consisted of HuiHui Zhang, Pei Chen, Haojie Ma, Magdalena Woinska, Dejian Liu, Cooper, Guo Peng, Yousong Peng, Lei Deng, Minor and Zheng. .

To keep up with the latest medical research news from UVA, subscribe to the Making of Medicine blog.

Art by Mina Tocalini of 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

Fabtech Conference 2021

By: Skyler Johnson

Coronavirus affected every single aspect of society, including factory labor. The Fabtech 2021 conference showcased the top metal forming brands in Taiwan, discussing the unique ways they were able to adapt to Covid-19. 

Mechalogix was the first company that spoke. They designed a system designed to lower labor costs through computers that actually monitor the performance of the machines and send back statistics to the operator, allowing the user to gain statistics from the strength of a saw blade to overall performance. If something needs to be replaced, the user will know, and a mechanic can be sent to the machine. But, no one needs to be watching the machines, which allows for a decrease in labor costs.

SEYI has developed a computer program that allows for users to interface with a lot of different aspects of the press, figuring out the analysis of the machine, including operation analysis and downtime analysis. Like with Mechalogix, the technology is able to send messages immediately to maintenance personnel.

Tailift has implemented a system to help in decreasing the time between taking orders and delivering products by using different web services that cut out the middleman between taking orders and delivering products, and have secured high speed internet and a strong firewall to do so. The company has also invested in technology including utilizing robot arms which help to increase efficiency and decrease maintenance costs

Da Jie is utilizing automated technology in order to avoid human cluster as a result of the pandemic, thus leading to more efficiency in production and 50% of the material being saved. SImilar to Tailift, the company uses robotic arms and other devices in order to save on cost. 

Ultimately, metal forming companies have implemented a lot of changes in order to deal with the pandemic, making their systems smarter and more efficient in the process. The pandemic has hurt everyone, but these factories were able to adapt.

illustration by Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

DELTA VARIANT PUTS NORMAL BACK-TO-SCHOOL SEASON AT RISK

By: Clara Guthrie

There was a period in the late spring and early summer of this past year in which it seemed America’s COVID-19 struggles were nearing some long-awaited conclusion: the last few moments of breathlessness before a collective sigh of relief. At that time, students and their parents looked forward to a seemingly normal back-to-school season. Yet, the recent rise in the Delta variant has introduced a new wave of doubt.

On August 8 alone, The New York Times reported 36,068 new Covid-19 cases and a seven-day average of 110,360 total cases in the United States. Covid-related deaths are also on the rise, with a seven-day average of 516 deaths. This figure has risen from a weekly average of 188 deaths only one month prior, on July 6. Experts attribute these rising numbers to the highly contagious Delta variant overlaid with low vaccination rates in certain areas across the country. When asked about these trends in mid-July, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said, “This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated. We are seeing outbreaks of cases in parts of the country that have low vaccination coverage because unvaccinated people are at risk.”

Unfortunately, as the Delta variant continues to run rampant throughout unvaccinated communities, people who are fully vaccinated are also being infected. Although, it is far rarer. These “break-through” cases speak mainly to the wild infectiousness of the Delta variant, coupled with the facts that no vaccine is 100% effective and that our knowledge of how long immunity lasts after vaccination is still quite murky. According to CNBC, however, “break-through” cases still represent fewer than 0.08% of those who have been fully vaccinated in the United States since the start of the year.

With that being said, the Delta variant is impacting the hopes of a normal back-to-school season in two distinct ways. The first, perhaps more obvious way, is that parents and teachers are fearing for students’ health. This fear suggests a potential return to online learning and more strict social distancing and mask mandates enforced within schools.

It is important to note that COVID-19 poses a far lesser threat to young children than to adults; the risk of becoming severely ill from the virus increases for those over the age of 50 and only grows with age. According to the CDC, the risk of serious illness or complications from COVID-19 for children is actually lower than that from the flu. However, children under the age of 12 are not yet eligible for any form of vaccination. This restriction is raising concerns about how susceptible younger age groups are to becoming sick, even if that sickness does not lead to any serious complications.

Thus, many parents and school districts are pursuing a range COVID-19 precautions to ensure the safety of students. Time Magazine shared a story last week of a school board in Des Moines, Iowa that has already decided to offer a virtual learning option for elementary school students. The ability to transition to in-person learning is available whenever the family feels comfortable enough to do so. This move was, in part, forced by the recent ruling of eight states, including Iowa, to ban schools from being able to require masks – despite the CDC’s recommendation that all students should wear masks inside schools, regardless of whether or not they are vaccinated. “Had we been able to follow the CDC recommendations that everyone in school is masked, regardless of their vaccine status—if we were able to mandate that, then I think we’d be having a different conversation here,” Phil Roeder, a spokesperson for Des Moines’ Polk County public schools, said.

Other counties are having similar struggles, even without the imposition from state governments to ban mask mandates within schools. For example, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in May that all online learning would be eliminated come fall, a decision that he has not yet reversed. But many parents are now petitioning for online options for their children as safety concerns continue to rise. One parent, Farah Despeignes, who is the president of the Bronx Parent Leaders Advocacy Group and has two middle-school-aged sons, said, “When you think about the conditions of the schools with old buildings, with not enough ventilation, that are co-located, that are overcrowded—for us, in the Bronx, in underserved communities, it’s not as simple as, ‘Well, let’s just get back to school.’”

In California, options for students are equally limited. According to The Los Angeles Times, the state has done away with “hybrid learning, ”a combination of in-person and online learning. As a result of such, Los Angeles County parents had until August 6 to choose between either solely in-person or online learning for their children. The latter option is expected to take the form of an independent study, rather than the supportive online learning of last school year. On August 6th, L.A. Unified School District reported that only 10,280 of their almost 665,000 students opted for the online option.

The second prominent way in which the Delta variant is affecting back-to-school season is through the shopping behavior of students and their families. Back when the hopes of a normal school year were still high, The National Retail Federation predicted that consumers with children K-12 would spend a record-breaking 37.1 billion dollars this year. Furthermore, it was predicted that back-to-college spending would reach 71 billion dollars. These predictions were due to the excitement associated with a long-awaited return to the classroom after over a year away, when items like lunchboxes and backpacks seemed superfluous.

However, according to a recent poll by First Insight, many consumers are feeling anxious about returning to stores, trying on clothing in dressing rooms and making big purchases due to the risk of the Delta variant. In fact, 56% of respondents said they are actively cutting back their spending at retailers. The CEO of Bath Bed & Beyond, Mark Tritton, told CNBC that their stores have observed people delaying their back-to-school investments, and that peak spending may extend further into September than usual.

As many students return to their classrooms and the Food and Drug Administration continues to work on improving vaccines for individuals under the age of 12, it will become more and more clear how great of a mark Covid-19 has left on the American schooling system and the children within it.

Illustration by Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Resignation

By: Emily Bunn

Amidst searing scandal, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has resigned. Many have supported this decision after Cuomo’s many scandals came to light. First there were sexual harassment allegations, then a report exposed the Governor’s use of state resources to aid in the writing of his memoir. Cuomo was also pinned for undercounted nursing home related deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic. After that, tragically, even more sexual harassment charges against Cuomo were reported. The investigation in these charges has now been concluded to determine that he did sexual harass multiple women, violating state and federal law. Politically ostracized and facing the grim reality of impeachment, Gov. Cuomo decided to resign on Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio remarked on Cuomo’s circumstance in a statement: “It is beyond clear that Andrew Cuomo is not fit to hold office and can no longer serve as Governor. He must resign, and if he continues to resist and attack the investigators who did their jobs, he should be impeached immediately.” Many politicos in New York have also agreed with Cuomo’s departure. Hakeem Jeffries, Gregory Meeks and Tom Suozzi issued a joint statement saying, “the time is right” for Cuomo to resign.

After this statement was issues, each of New York’s 19 congressional Democrats called for their governor to resign. A lawyer for two of Cuomo’s sexual harassment accusers, Alyssa McGrath and Virginia Limmiatis, added: “My clients feel both vindicated and relieved that Cuomo will no longer be in a position of power over anyone. Taking things a step further, some Democratic lawmakers are requesting for Cuomo to be impeached. The governor is currently the subject of an impeach inquiry in the state assembly, reports The Hill.

Taking this place is current lieutenant governor and Buffalo native, Dem. Kathy Hochul. In 2011, Hochul ran for a congressional seat in a special election, in a Republican leaning district between Buffalo and Rochester, NY. Hochul ran against Rep. Jane Corwin at the time and won by 47% of the vote. She held the seat until 2012. In 2015, she became the lieutenant governor and before that, spent more than a decade on the Hamburgh Town Board. Now, Hochul looks to set up into the political arena. Hochul, 62,  is set to become the first female governor of the state of New York.

illustration by Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

LOLLAPALOOZA × DELTA VARIANT

By: Clara Guthrie

Public health experts are warning that the crowded Lollapalooza music festival in downtown Chicago this past weekend may lead to a dramatic surge in Covid-19 cases, especially given the increasing risk of the Delta variant. Festival organizers estimate 100,000 people attended the event each of the four days, and neither social distancing nor mask wearing (for vaccinated attendees) was enforced.

Despite concerns from medical professionals and a steady rise in Delta variant cases leading up the festival, both the Chicago Department of Public Health and Lollapalooza’s health experts approved the production of the festival as planned ahead of time.

Although operating at full capacity, the festival did have certain security measures in place in order to protect its guests; to enter, people had to show either their Covid-19 vaccination card or proof of a negative Covid-19 test from the preceding 72 hours. According to the festival’s website, they also required those who are unvaccinated to wear a mask.

In a statement released Monday by festival organizers, it was revealed that 91% of the attendees showed proof of vaccination, and 8% showed negative Covid-19 tests. The last 1% were denied entry due to a lack of proper documentation.

These statistics are complicated, however, by a claim from a Chicago Tribune photo intern, Vashon Jordan Jr., that fake vaccination cards were being used at the event. On August 1st, he tweeted, “Fake Covid-19 vaccination cards are 100% a thing at Lollapalooza in Chicago. You can get it with a single-day wristband for $50. I have confirmed that it does work.” In a separate tweet he clarified, “And by ‘fake’ I mean it doesn’t belong to the holder.” Jordan Jr. also recorded maskless concert goers dancing in large crowds and boarding public transportation—where masks are explicitly required—after the day’s events.

According to Dr. Tina Tan, a professor at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine who specializes in infectious diseases, the precautions taken by Lollapalooza were simply insufficient given the prevalence of the Delta variant. Tan said that a safer event would have maintained smaller crowds, enforced social distancing and masks, and only allowed vaccinated individuals to attend. “When you have 100,000 or more people who are in a fairly enclosed space and there’s no social distancing, the vast majority are not wearing masks, you are going to get some transmission of the Covid-19 Delta variant,” she said.

As of August 2nd, Chicago was reporting an average of 206 new cases each day, and many of those who are being hospitalized for Covid-19 are not vaccinated. These data reflect a recent and definite uptick in cases as the Delta variant poses a serious threat across the globe. Given the roughly two to 14 day incubation period for Covid-19, it is currently unclear just how Lollapalooza will affect these numbers in Chicago and its surrounding areas. According to Dr. Robert Citronberg, an infectious disease physician with Advocate Aurora Health, “The next couple of days you could potentially see cases. I think by next weekend we’re probably going to be having a good idea about how much transmission occurred because of Lollapalooza.”

What experts already know with certainty is that any transmission from Lollapalooza will not only affect Chicago and its suburbs but also the areas that people return home to after the festival, seeing as thousands of people travelled to Chicago just for the weekend. “The real problem is not so much that a bunch of young people who come into Chicago getting COVID at this event. The real problem is them taking it back to places that have very low vaccination rates,” Dr. Emily Landon, executive director for infection prevention and control at the University of Chicago Medical Center, said.

According to the New York Times, roughly 70% of American adults have received at least one shot: a goal that President Biden set for the country to hit by July 4th but that took almost an extra month to achieve. And many individual states are struggling to vaccinate their population and thus are grappling with new Covid-19 cases and Covid-related hospitalizations. Alabama and Mississippi have the lowest vaccination rates in the country, at 43.2% and 44% respectively. Illinois falls somewhere in the middle with 59% of its adults being fully vaccinated.

Lollapalooza’s controversy did not stop at Covid-19 concerns. On Sunday, the final day of performances, rapper DaBaby was pulled from his headlining spot after festival organizer caught wind of his previous homophobic comments. While performing at the Rolling Loud festival in Miami on July 25, DaBaby made discriminatory and incorrect comments about gay men and HIV, which he later defended in a series of 19 videos on his Instagram stories. “What I do at a live show is for the audience at the live show,” he said. “It’ll never translate correctly to somebody looking at a little five, six-second clip from their goddamn crib on their phone. […] Me and all my fans at the show, the gay ones and the straight ones, we turned the fuck up.”

Lollapalooza officials tweeted to announce DaBaby’s removal, saying, “Lollapalooza was founded on diversity, inclusivity, respect, and love. With that in mind, DaBaby will no longer be performing at Grant Park tonight.” Fellow rappers Young Thug and G Herbo took his place. On Monday, DaBaby took to Instagram to apologize “for my misinformed comments about HIV/AIDS and I know education on this is important.”

Looking beyond the festival’s drama, Rolling Stone took a moment to celebrate the most positive and powerful moments from Lollapalooza, saying, “it was full of life-affirming musical moments.”

graph via Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

Survey Reveals Customers Prefer In-Person Shopping

Beautyque NYC unveiled its consumer survey results assessing “Beauty Consumer Survey: Has the Pandemic Changed Beauty Retail Forever?”. Key results included concerns over safety in-store protocols with testers and sanitary issues, increases in online shopping, and a profound desire for in-store purchasing ability. To see full survey report, click HERE

“Over the past year, the pandemic has changed the way we do almost everything—including shopping for our favorite beauty products. We were interested to see how beauty consumers have adapted their shopping habits, and gauge their overall opinions and experiences when it comes to shopping online vs. shopping in physical stores,” explains Beautyque NYC Founder & Owner Sonia Khemiri. “We asked our community of beauty lovers to complete a survey, and we were able to extract some interesting key insights using the data submitted by 229 respondents.”

One of the most interesting takeaways of this survey was learning the beauty consumer’s feelings toward being able to physically see, feel, and test a product before deciding to purchase it. An overwhelming 80.4% of respondents indicated that being able to physically experience a product before buying is extremely important to them.

“Contrary to a lot of the buzz we’ve been hearing about how brick and mortar retail is dead, the consumers themselves are telling us otherwise,” says Sonia.

“The pandemic has caused me to enjoy shopping in a physical store more than before. I love being able to see, feel, smell and sample the products I purchase,” says survey respondent Jennifer G.

According to the Beautyque survey responses, the top 3 reasons why consumers like shopping for beauty products in physical stores include:

  1. Being able to see, feel, and try on products in person before buying
  2. Getting a product immediately rather than waiting for delivery
  3. Requesting a product sample to take home

However, concerns were expressed about sanitary efforts of retail stores. A significant amount of people indicated that they would only use product testers if they were sanitized before their use.

Just over 40% of survey respondents said that they will only be using product testers if they are fully sanitized immediately before use; 33.5% said they will avoid using testers altogether for the foreseeable future; and 24% said they will continue using product testers as they always have.

“I don’t feel very safe/clean touching using testers. I am okay with sealed products. I still do like going in person so I can see how big the product is, the actual colors and just the overall environment,” according to survey respondent Jenny N.

Beautyque also assessed whether the pandemic changed the shopping habits of beauty consumers? And if so, will this change in habits outlast the pandemic and continue indefinitely?

“We asked beauty shoppers how often they shopped for beauty products in physical stores before, during, and after the pandemic,” Sonia outlines.

Approximately 62% of respondents indicated that before the pandemic, they shopped in physical stores often or all the time; by no surprise, that number dropped to 12% during the pandemic; and now, after the pandemic, that number has crawled upward to 27%.

“These results show us that people are definitely not shopping for beauty products in physical stores as often as they did pre-pandemic—maybe because the pandemic isn’t fully over, maybe because they found that they enjoy shopping online more, or maybe a combination of many factors—but the reality stands that consumer shopping habits have changed for the long haul,” Sonia believes.

The Beautyque survey also inquired about beauty shoppers who online purchased before, during, and after the pandemic, to compare the results. Just over a third (34%) of respondents indicated that before the pandemic, they shopped for beauty products online often or all the time; that number jumped up to 53% during the pandemic; and has decreased just slightly to 46% after the pandemic.

According to survey results, the top 3 reasons consumers like shopping for beauty products online include: 

  1. Being able to shop from anywhere, at anytime
  2. Seeing product reviews and ratings
  3. Searching for brands/products quickly and easily

Survey respondents also indicated their favorite features that have improved the online shopping experience for beauty products.

  1. Personalized quizzes to find your perfect shade match, formula, etc.
  2. Ability to live chat with beauty specialists or brand representatives
  3. Virtual try-on technology

“I’ve grown to enjoy [shopping for beauty products online] much more. Being able to read reviews and engage with others online replaces the questioning that may occur in store,” survey respondent April P. says.

An interesting takeaway from the survey is that, although online shopping rose during the pandemic and although products bought online were more likely to be returned than those bought in-person, returns were still lower during the pandemic than before. Having said that, most people preferred to shop online than in physical stores, although the difference was slim. A significant amount of consumers also preferred to browse for products online, then buy them in-person, indicating a balance between the preferences.

“Many consumers feel there are elements of online shopping that retail shopping cannot compete with. The luxury of shopping from the comfort of their home, finding things through their keyboard and browsing other customers’ reviews — many consumers feel these affordances are more valuable than what in-person shopping allows,” Sonia says.

Beautyque NYC is a disruptive retail marketing platform conceived by US-based female entrepreneur and indie brand founder Sonia Khemiri. In addition to the first ever beauty 3D storefront, Beautyque NYC provides an in-depth and interactive marketing platform for its more than 25 brands and 10000 consumers.

In addition to taking its own polls with its beauty enthusiasts, Beautyque NYC also spearheads Brand Evaluation Programs for its brand members to provide them direct product feedback from a focus group testing process.

Survey respondents include 229 consumers, ages 18 and older provided insight to how and if their beauty shopping habits changed during the pandemic.

To learn more, click HERE.