Posts tagged with "COVID-19"

The Best Ways to Have Family Fun During a Lockdown

By: Marie Miguel

It hasn’t been easy trying to navigate everything during the pandemic. The tragic loss of life has been difficult for many families around the world. It’s also been hard adjusting to not being able to go out and do things that you normally like to do. If you’re raising kids, then you might feel as if you’re going stir crazy being stuck inside together with your family. 

The kids want to be able to do something fun, but you’re going through another lockdown. What are your best options to keep everyone occupied and happy? Keep reading to learn about the best ways to have family fun during a lockdown. This might give you a few good ideas that will make your time spent together at home a lot more entertaining. 

Play Board Games

Have you sat down as a family to play a board game recently? This is a tried and true family activity that has helped many families bond over the years. There are a wide variety of different board games out there that you can try out. You just need to find one that the entire family can enjoy and understand. 

If you have younger children, then you might wish to pick a board game that is a bit on the easier side. If you’re playing with older kids, then you might be fine playing more complex games such as Trivial Pursuit. Whether you’re going to play Monopoly together or if you want to have a rousing game of Scrabble, it’ll be a good time. It’s a fun way to pass the time that you should take advantage of. 

Play Video Games

What if your kids aren’t quite so into old-school board games? You could always try sitting down to play video games with them. Even if you don’t play a lot of video games, it’ll be fun to interact with your kids. There are all sorts of good family-friendly titles that you can choose from. The Nintendo Switch is a particularly good console choice if you’re looking for games that will be fun for kids (and adults) of all ages. 

You can start a little family rivalry in Mario Kart. Or you can work together to try to solve puzzles in games such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. There are hundreds of games that you could choose to play, but the important thing is to enjoy your time with your kids. Games can be magical because they can help you to escape when you need to the most. 

Arts & Crafts

Sitting down and doing arts & crafts with your kids could also be a good time. Sometimes it’s nice to just take it easy and try to create something artistic as a family. There are all sorts of little art projects you could take on if you’re so inclined. Create decorations for various holidays or help to teach your kids how to paint. 

Many have rediscovered their love of art during the pandemic. This could be a good weekend activity that you can enjoy with your significant other and your kids. You’ll simply need to ensure that you have the materials for whatever art project you’re interested in. You’ll be able to admire the results of your work when you’re finished, too. 

Listen to Music

What about just relaxing in the living room as a family and listening to music? Yes, sometimes it’s hard to agree on what to listen to when everyone in the family has different tastes in music. However, it can still be fun to share your favorites with your family. Some families have decided to let each kid pick one record, and they will sit down to listen to all of them on a special music day each weekend. 

Another idea is to share your love of music by teaching your kids how to play instruments. If you’re a musician, then this could be a good time. Of course, your kids will need to be interested in music or it might not be so fun for them. Music is powerful, and it can help you have a great time even when you’re stuck inside during a lockdown. 

Watch Family-Friendly Shows

Most families will spend copious amounts of time watching shows on Netflix or Disney Plus during the pandemic. Your family might wind up being no different. That doesn’t mean that watching some great shows with your family won’t be a valuable experience. You can enjoy movies and all sorts of other entertainment media together. 

With so much great content to watch, it’ll be easy to find a new movie to enjoy with your family each weekend. Make some popcorn and sit down in the living room to watch something together. It gives you something to look forward to as a family. Turning it into a fun occasion with snacks and mood lighting should be a good time. 

Cook Together

Have you thought about cooking together? Depending on how you feel about cooking, this might sound like a great idea or a terrible one. Cooking can be a lot of fun when you approach things with the proper attitude. It can also be valuable to teach your kids how to cook early on in life. 

You can make simple dishes together, and the kids will enjoy it. If you want to make things really easy, you can have kids help you with baking. When you’re making cookies it’ll be easy to let the kids cut out the cookie shapes with cookie cutters. Family cooking time could become a staple in your household even once the lockdown is finished. 

Remember That You’re Never Alone

Remember that you’re never alone when you’re starting to feel depressed or anxious. These are trying times, and you can reach out if you feel like you need help. BetterHelp has some awesome resources on parenting, which can help you get through difficult times. Whether you need parenting advice or if you just need to talk to someone about the stress that you’re experiencing, BetterHelp can assist you in the process of putting things into perspective. 

Don’t hesitate to contact an online therapist if you’re feeling uneasy about things in life. Online therapy has helped many people to work through significant problems. It’s easy to talk to a therapist from the comfort of home, and it’s great that this therapy option is so affordable. Look into things today if you’ve been having a tough time and would like to start feeling better. 

Adventure created by Heather Skovlund from 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

Difference Between a Good vs a Great Vacation

Eager travelers are increasingly convinced that getting the right help when planning a vacation is priceless in today’s confusing travel atmosphere.

Andra E. of Indiana completed her first Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park getaway in July with Austin Adventures, a Montana-based boutique tour operator. Between the pandemic and a cancer diagnosis, her journey to the perfect vacation wasn’t easy. Austin Adventures sympathetically navigated multiple rebookings for her. The result? Her highly anticipated trip exceeded expectations.

“We were looking forward to not having to make all the decisions and arrangements while exploring a large and beautiful part of the country. What we got was a great trip with guides who were knowledgeable, personable, and thoughtful. They planned out the meals and activities; they truly handled every detail. We were completely spoiled! (The Austin Adventures) team has been nothing but kind, helpful, and accommodating.”

COVID-19 aftereffects rage on in the travel industry in the form of volatile border reopenings, record-setting crowd numbers in National Parks and worldwide iconic destinations, and availability shortages due to the soaring travel comeback.

But planning experts like Active Adventures and Austin Adventures, newly merged brands as of August 2021, are proving their worth by easing the stress of traveling in today’s era.

​​“Our numbers are definitely showing that travelers are anxious to get back out there,” said Dan Austin, Founder of Austin Adventures. “Between January and September, we’ve seen a 200% increase in travel inquiries compared to the same period in pre-pandemic 2019. Bookings are also breaking records, up 130% over 2019.”

Active Adventures and Austin Adventures have covered all the bases of vacation planning and execution for over 60 collective years. In the last year, their time-tested expertise has proved priceless as more and more travelers turn to professionals for travel planning help.

Professionals and agents find partnering with a reliable tour operator just as valuable. Kristin Cless of Houlahan Travel concurs: “As Travel Professionals, we are extremely concerned about the safety of our clients when they are traveling. Working with Austin Adventures takes all the guesswork out of that process. We know the great lengths they go to ensure the safety and well-being of their clients and it is a huge weight off our shoulders.”

The menu of helpful services offered by tour operators and travel professionals is endless:

  • They are travelers’ number one fans and advocates. Operators and professionals are there to clean up the pieces when previous vacation plans have been destroyed and they can provide an extra layer of protection when facing confusing rebooking and cancelation conditions. What they always want for travelers is a seamless, stress-free experience from start to finish!
  • Operators and professionals alike serve as the eyes and ears on the ground at clients’ desired destinations. They are nimble navigators, in tune with the ever-changing environment, and they are vital insiders’ resources into border openings, restrictions, and inventory. When plans seem bleak, operators and professionals have a plan B, C, D, and are more ready to fill in last-minute requests.
  • Years of operating and finding time-tested good practices result in genuine expertise on how safe travel really works. Whether there is a global pandemic or not, operators and professionals know what it takes to pull off a safe vacation.
  • All logistics are handled and mapped out for groups of all traveler types: Families, adults, couples, and solo adventurers. Operators and professionals can round up all the details needed to plan high-end requests and distribute the information and paperwork needed for each traveler, making it easy to check those items off the planning list. Travelers who may have relied on their own independence when planning their getaways in the past are also increasingly recognizing the priceless value travel professionals and agents bring to the table. Having professionals and agents on their side amplifies travel planning security and confidence.

360 Magazine is excited to see so many travel options and to enjoy active adventures. The future of travel and all the requirements and planning that come along with it may continue to evolve, but help from travel professionals and tour operators is here to stay.

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.

AHCA/NCAL Is Facing A Workforce Crisis

Nearly Every U.S. Nursing Home And Assisted Living Community Is Facing A Workforce Crisis

86 percent of nursing homes and 77 percent of assisted living providers said their workforce situation has gotten worse over the last three months.

58 percent of nursing homes limiting new admissions due to shortages.

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes and long term care facilities across the country, released a survey of nursing home and assisted living providers across the U.S. Results from the survey highlight an urgent need for Congress to address the labor shortage facing the long term care industry.

Key findings include:

86 percent of nursing homes and 77 percent of assisted living providers said their workforce situation has gotten worse over the last three months.

Nearly every nursing home (99 percent) and assisted living facility (96 percent) in the U.S. is facing a staffing shortage. 59 percent of nursing homes and nearly one-third of assisted living providers are experiencing a high level of staffing shortages.

More than 7 out of 10 nursing homes and assisted living communities said a lack of qualified candidates and unemployment benefits have been the biggest obstacles in hiring new staff.

Due to these shortages, nearly every nursing home and assisted living community is asking staff to work overtime or extra shifts. Nearly 70 percent of nursing homes are having to hire expensive agency staff. 58 percent of nursing homes are limiting new admissions.

78 percent of nursing homes and 71 percent of assisted living facilities are concerned workforce challenges might force them to close. More than one-third of nursing homes are very concerned about having to shut down their facility(ies).

“The survey demonstrates the severe workforce challenges long term care providers are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Too many facilities are struggling to hire and retain staff that are needed to serve millions of vulnerable residents,” said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “Lawmakers across the country must prioritize long term care and that begins with providing resources to address workforce challenges. When facilities have the means to offer competitive wages and training programs, workers will follow. We have laid out key proposals in our Care for Our Seniors Act, which will allow us to boost our workforce, but without the help from Congress and state legislators, this will not be possible.”

Parkinson said the reconciliation package currently under construction is an appropriate vehicle for Congress to fund a long term solution to addressing chronic staffing shortages in nursing homes and other long term care facilities.

“Congress has the opportunity right now, through budget reconciliation, to include meaningful investments in long term care, which will help address key staffing challenges. Our caregivers are the backbone of long term care, and they deserve the full support of our lawmakers. We cannot allow facilities to close because of these challenges, which will directly impact residents and their families, especially when lawmakers have the means to help solve this dire situation,” concluded Parkinson.

Servant of the Mind Cover Art via Republic Records for use by 360 Magazine

Volbeat – Servant of the Mind

Multi-platinum Danish band Volbeat announced the release of their eighth studio album, Servant Of The Mind, coming via Republic Records on December 3rd. The new album will be available in standard CD, deluxe 2LP vinyl (in various limited-edition variants, full info below) and a deluxe digital edition. Pre-order the album here.

For Servant of the Mind, the band, which consists of Michael Poulsen (guitars/vocals), Jon Larsen (drums), Rob Caggiano (guitars) and Kaspar Boye Larsen (bass) took their signature heavy metal, psychobilly and punk ‘n’ roll sound up a notch while showcasing Poulsen’s keen ability for songwriting and storytelling.

“I wrote the whole album in three months,” recalls Poulsen, “I was in a good place and mood while at home, and had a captive audience of myself… There are a lot of Volbeat signatures in it. If you go back to the first record and compare it to where we are now, you can hear how the band has developed its style, while keeping the signature sound.”

To coincide with the album announcement, the band has released the new single “Shotgun Blues,” an anthemic track in which Poulsen explores the ghostly events he recently experienced upon moving into a new home. “Every time you move into a house, you bring dead people with you,” he explains. “Weird stuff happens when I move into a [new] house… it’s very otherworldly.” Watch the lyric video HERE.

The album also includes the “double barrel” of Summer songs the band released this past June: “Wait A Minute My Girl” and “Dagen Før (feat. Stine Bramsen).” The former of which became the band’s ninth number one single on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.

Other songs on the album weave intricate and fascinating tales. “The Sacred Stones” tells the story of “an earthly being who has committed himself to the dark side. He is on a mission, speaking to darker forces and fallen angels.” Meanwhile, “The Devil Rages On” looks at the idea of the devil taking human form. Album opener “Temple of Ekur” returns to the ancient themes explored in past songs such as “The Gates of Babylon,” while the epic album closer “Lasse’s Birgita” explores the story of the first witch burnings to occur in Sweden in 1471.

About Volbeat

Volbeat are two decades deep into a career that has found them sharing stages with genre legends like Black Sabbath, Metallica, Motorhead, Slipknot, Megadeth, Anthrax and more. They have racked up nearly three billion cumulative streams over the course of their career, notched a Best Metal Performance Grammy nomination for “Room 24 (feat. King Diamond)” from 2014’s acclaimed (and gold-selling) Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies, and have grabbed multiple Danish Music Awards. Not ones to rest on their laurels, their forthcoming album Servant of the Mind, which was written and recorded during the shutdown and quarantine necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, is introspective but pulls no punches and is no less raucous or driving than their previous efforts.

Wait a Minute… Let’s Tour

The band will kick off their “Wait A Minute… Let’s Tour” run, their first US tour in two years, at Atlanta’s The Tabernacle with shows in cities including Oklahoma City, San Diego, and Los Angeles (full dates below). Special guests The Hu, Twin Temple, and Municipal Waste will be joining them for select dates. Tickets for these dates are on sale now HERE. Earlier this week the band also announced their 2022 co-headlining arena tour with Ghost and special guests Twin Temple, coming to cities including Seattle, Denver, Chicago, Houston, and Phoenix (full dates below).  Tickets for the tour, co-Produced by Live Nation and Frank Productions, will be available HERE, Friday, September 24 at 10am local time. Limited VIP packages are also available HERE.

Since forming in 2001, Volbeat has gone from the clubs of Copenhagen to headlining stages around the world, including the famed Telia Parken stadium in Denmark (becoming the only domestic artist to ever sell out the venue). Over the course of seven record-breaking albums the band has picked up number one songs (including nine #1s on the US Mainstream Rock chart and counting, the most of any band based outside of North America), multi-platinum certifications, awards and accolades all over the planet. Their latest album, Rewind, Replay, Rebound, was released on August 2nd, 2019 and has spawned the hit singles “Last Day Under The Sun,” “Die To Live (feat. Neil Fallon)” and “Leviathan.” A live album featuring songs recorded during the subsequent world tour, Rewind, Replay, Rebound: Live in Deutschland, was released digitally on November 27th, 2020. Most recently, they contributed a cover of “Don’t Tread on Me” to The Metallica Blacklist, with all proceeds from the track benefiting the All Within My Hands Foundation and the Børne Cancer Fonden of Denmark.

SERVANT OF THE MIND Standard Edition Tracklisting

  1. Temple of Ekur
  2. Wait A Minute My Girl
  3. The Sacred Stones
  4. Shotgun Blues
  5. The Devil Rages On
  6. Say No More
  7. Heaven’s Descent
  8. Dagen Før (feat. Stine Bramsen)
  9. The Passenger
  10. Step Into Light
  11. Becoming
  12. Mindlock
  13. Lasse’s Birgitta

Deluxe 2 CD/2 LP and Digital Deluxe Bonus Tracks

  1. Return To None (Wolfbrigade cover)
  2. Domino (The Cramps/Roy Orbison cover)
  3. Shotgun Blues (feat. Dave Matrise from Jungle Rot)
  4. Dagen Før (Michael Vox Version)
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.

miami beach pride flyer for use by 360 magazine

Miami Beach Pride

Queer Entertainment Line-Up and COVID-19 Prevention Protocols

Pride returns in September with eight days of event programming, celebrity entertainment and preventive measures to ensure the safety of all attendees, vendors and volunteers

Miami Beach Pride is happy to announce its legendary pride celebration will return on September 10-19, 2021 with a hotly anticipated Festival and Parade happening on the weekend of the 18-19 boasting a star-studded roster of almost 100% LGBTQ+ talent. World-class entertainers such as Walk The Moon, Carson Kressley, Tracy Young, Nitty Scott, and Ralphi Rosario are slated to headline the pop and latin stages this year as well as host other ticketed events during the week-long celebration. The Miami Beach Pride theme and mantra is ONE LOVE, inspired by Bob Marley’s iconic song encouraging us to demonstrate love to ourselves and others, and is also the perfect tribute to the tropical surroundings that only Miami Beach can provide.

“We believe that love has the power to unify us. By reinforcing solidarity and acceptance within our community and with our allies, we can truly begin to create more inclusive spaces that are representative of our amazing LGBTQ community. ” said Rich Walczak, Executive Director, Miami Beach Pride. “The foundation on which this week is built is the concept of self-acceptance and authenticity and why we want everyone to feel like they belong at our celebration this year.”

Miami Beach Pride, working in tandem with local leaders, announced its new COVID-19 protocols and prevention measures for a safe and exciting festival. The organization has been examining the various factors that can lead to disease spread and seeking to mitigate with a host of safety protocols including a campaign encouraging attendees to Stop The Spread and Register For Pride. Updates to the flow of the festival will follow CDC guidelines to include social distancing, sanitizer stations & distribution, frequent disinfection, increased VIP tent sizes and online registration. Free masks will also be available on-site.

Miami Beach Pride’s online registration portal is now available and ALL pride-goers are strongly encouraged to register. Registration enables the organization to communicate any changes more effectively in local, state and federal COVID19 safety guidelines and increases the accuracy of their contact tracing program. Please note: MBP Festival and Parade is FREE and open to the public.

To further support the health of the community, The Independent Medical Group will also be onsite to distribute thousands of COVID-19 vaccinations completely free of charge. Vaccination facilities will be clearly marked on the festival grounds and open to all attendees.

Weekend VIP packages and tickets to Sweet Spot feat. ULTRA NATE , SOAK Pool Party and Legends Ball are now officially for sale on our website. For more information on events related to Pride as well as the latest programming, please visit miamibeachpride.com and follow us on Instagram.

Heather Skovlund computer illustration for use by 360 Magazine

CSR In The Digital Age: With 360 Magazine

By: Kai Yeo

“We’re all connected through culture. Basically, we all must learn to adapt. We learn more through traveling and seeing more. When you’re in a different environment, everybody must love and laugh and dance. I don’t need to know your language. But companies need to focus on connecting everyone through love, not war.” – Vaughn Lowery

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been around for years, with its’ roots being found as early as the 18th Century. In my CSR research assignment before, I wrote that “the key idea of CSR is for companies to pursue pro-social objectives and promote volunteerism among employees (such as through donating to charity and participating in volunteer work), as well as by minimizing environmental externalities.” As an international student trying to find my career path in the United States, I find that company CSR is one of the first few things I look for when finding a suitable company to work with: how genuine they are and how much they care for their employees. The process of researching and writing my essay on CSR in the modern day and CSR within my internship site provided me with the valuable opportunity not only to learn about an important business topic, but also allowed me to develop a better understanding of what it is.

For my CSR Interview, I got the opportunity to speak on the phone with my supervisor Vaughn Lowery. His career started from “humble beginnings in Detroit to a full scholarship in Cornell University under the ILR program. From there, he became active in modeling, acting, and producing screenplays.” Now, Vaughn is the publisher and founder of leading fashion and lifestyle magazine, 360 Magazine, which is also my internship site. His job involves fostering relationships within the community and being an editorial director that curates and oversees content for all columns of the magazine. The position also entails making sure that Apple News, LinkedIn, Twitter, and all other news sites are updated. As a pop culture and design magazine, it is important to constantly be up to date with relevant content and breaking news. Being a quarterly publication, 360 is also working on their summer magazine issue. Vaughn mentions that with COVID making everything digital, the team has been working on expanding the business: creating a self-publishing division, developing e-commerce, getting sponsors, and most importantly, waiting for things to start opening back up.

With a background in studying business and company culture, Vaughn says that his education helped him design a company culture that made sense, “Transparency, cool kids, intelligence. I wanted a space for comfort regardless of race, age, and religion. Education was not the answer to my business but a part of the process to help with preparing for my magazine. The most important thing is life experiences, there are no books on it.” Vaughn emphasizes sending people in his company for events and communicating with clientele because “you can’t speak about things you don’t know.” COVID has made jobs in the media a little more mundane, but he’s excited about things opening back up and is hopeful for the future. Without in-person experiences, it is hard to understand the inner workings of media companies with everything being digitally produced.

Vaughn defines Corporate Social Responsibility at 360 Magazine as “having an environment that is inviting and inclusive, especially showcasing inclusivity.” As a magazine that promotes culture and lifestyle, it is important that everyone he works with is aware of what is going on in the world that we live in and what is happening with minority populations. He speaks about being the only African American in a lot of his school and work experiences, and he created 360 with the ideal of having more minorities and women working in his company: “We all live in the same world… and some people don’t know that. But we need representation and for people to see us. It’s not on us to educate them, but it’s on us to speak up.” 360 avidly speaks up for diversity (#metoo) and openly supports nonprofit organizations.

When asked about how veritable he thinks big companies are with CSR movements, he says that they’re doing it for a myriad of reasons. Companies get away with more stuff as a corporation, “But the responsibility is about being genuine. The board of directors and Zoom calls and the whole spiel. If they’re trying to just make money, revenue principals are not true to themselves. 360 was founded on real culture. The diversity is important. It is what it is.”

“Your company diversity is a reflection of the world, we’ve been doing this since the start of 360, we’ve been ahead of the trend.” The magazine has always featured drag queens, people who are transgender, and minorities, “This is very important when doing events and stuff, it’s a big family. We have less than 50 people. And it’s important for our clients to know that we have each other and rely on each other. That we know how to respect one another and appreciate each other, despite all odds.” Vaughn believes that diversity and inclusion of people of color has always been important, and he emphasizes that 360 will keep pushing these agendas and morals as long as he’s the head of the company. I see this in his effort to get everyone together (even if it is just on Zoom for now) to celebrate big articles, book releases, sponsorships, and so on.

As I type this interview essay, I find two key points to really reflect on: 1) assumptions about company morale and 2) why diversity is so important to me.

1) I think back on everyone else I’ve spoken to during my time as an intern here with 360, and I find that these core values that Vaughn spoke about with me are reflected in all the conversations I’ve had with him and other employees. Coming from a very structured, patriarchal Asian background, I came into this internship thinking that it would be like all my previous experiences (they talk of diversity, but it’s never really executed once you’re a part of it – school projects, internships, part-time jobs, and so on). However, no one in the company has been curt or condescending when speaking with me, and they truly mean it when they point out mistakes and gently correct me. Maybe it is because of the way I was brought up, or the environment I was most familiar in, but these good intentions had me on my toes for the first couple weeks I was here, and I’m honestly still getting used to it.

2) With the rise of Asian hate crimes in the past year, I find myself turning very reclusive and immediately trying to find fault with people when something brushes me the wrong way (though sometimes it really is a racist comment or remark). It’s been difficult having to correct people when they say my name wrong or trying to explain my culture when these simple things can so easily be looked up online. I’ve been very lucky growing up well-traveled and seeing different parts of the world, and I understand that not everyone has that privilege, but how far does “I don’t know” get you in the digital age? I need to work in a company where people are willing to learn and grow new perspectives, and I see this quality in Vaughn too as he speaks about his loneliness as the only African American in his industry when he was first starting out.

After 45 minutes of talking about diversity and the whole CSR conversation winding down, Vaughn tells me to keep doing what I love, “Understanding the industry through work experiences is how you’ll get in. It’s constantly changing.” He talks about learning to forecast and foreshadow and having connections at arms’ reach. By the end of our conversation, I felt that I learnt a lot and could have a clearer vision of what I wanted out of this internship. I’ve had the opportunities to go for company events (for brands including Lillet, Chinese Laundry, Rockstar Original, etc.), though I would really like to be able to go to a CSR event in the near future to promote these same values that I share with 360 Magazine.

To read more about Vaughn Lowery, please visit his Wikipedia and IMBD.

image from Dina Allende for use by 360 Magazine

AUTOMOTIVE GROUP FIGHTS AGAINST BREAST CANCER

Two Automotive Executives Become Co-Chairs of the 2021 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer® Event in Broward

For the Craig Zinn Automotive Group, joining the fight against breast cancer hits close to home. That’s why two top executives from that organization have stepped up to co-chair this year’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Broward presented by Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino – Hollywood, scheduled for October 23, 2021. Fleet manager for Lexus of Pembroke Pines, Michele Alter, is a 21-year breast cancer survivor, and Brittany Zinn, assistant group general manager/CZAG, lost a maternal figure to breast cancer. The two plan to work closely with Trudy Spence, senior development manager at the American Cancer Society® Fort Lauderdale to make this year’s event a success.

The American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer® (MSABC) is a national movement. Fundraising events range from large-scale traditional walks to unique local experiences and celebrations. Making Strides has united communities, companies and individuals across the country in the fight to end breast cancer for more than two decades. The organization has known of Michele and her fight since 2002, when she first started participating in their events. Both Michele Alter and Brittany Zinn believe in MSABC’s commitment to create a future that’s free from breast cancer. “As we look to the road ahead, we are more determined and more inspired than ever before. It will unite Broward County communities to honor cancer survivors and caregivers touched by the disease and raise awareness and funds for a world without breast cancer,” said Trudy Spence. In years past, this event has raised over 700,000 dollars, which went towards funding breast cancer research and programs geared towards both men and women. At this time, the event will move forward in person, but it will keep federal, state, and local health guidelines in mind. As the fall season approaches, event-based decisions may be made to best meet the health and safety needs of everyone involved. Michele and Brittany hope to get as many people signed up to help raise funds. “Between now through October, people can fuel the fight against breast cancer by fundraising. It’s as easy as downloading the American Cancer Society FUNdraising App, which will allow you to register for the October event and ask for donations via email, text and social media,” said Michele Alter who was first diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 32.

For many, being diagnosed is a life changing experience, and Michele believes that cancer lit a fire in her soul. Early during her treatment, she decided that she would not only beat cancer, but she would also volunteer and help The American Cancer Society fund a cure. “They were there for me when I needed them the most, so I feel blessed that I am here today ready and able to co-chair this year’s Making Strides/ Broward event.” Michele believes in the programs, because they were the only thing that helped her see the light during those moments of darkness. Brittany comes from an automotive family that happens to also be highly philanthropic. Her father, Craig Zinn, encourages everyone in his company to give back to the community. Despite wearing many hats, Brittany was eager to serve as co-chair for this year’s event to honor the memory of Ingrid, who was like a mother to her. “I’ve seen what breast cancer does to a person. Since I was young, Ingrid kept the true depth of her struggles from me. Had I known, I would have been there for her, much like The American Cancer Society was for Michele,” said Brittany.

According to the American Cancer Society journal, a Cancer Journal for Clinicians, there will be an estimated 1.9 million new cancer cases diagnosed in 2021 and 608,570 cancer deaths in the United States. Given the pandemic, it’s believed that people with active cancer may be more susceptible to COVID-19, because of their impaired immune system. For that, the Broward chapter wants to ensure everyone that even if they cannot attend in person, the success of this event will depend on enthusiastic individuals who commit to raising funds, in addition to generous donors who will support those participants.

WHEN:

Saturday, October 23, 2021, at 8:00 a.m.

WHERE:

Huizenga Plaza, 32 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

REGISTRATION:

Click HERE to join the walk by signing up as an individual or team. Be sure to download the app to your phone and link the dashboard to Facebook. Fun Fact: Those that connect their fundraiser to FB, raise seven times more money.

image from Dina Allende for use by 360 Magazine

Participants at the 2019 event

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.