Posts tagged with "epidemic"

Disenfectant article illustration by Nicole Salazar for 360 MAGAZINE

4 things you must know before spraying that disinfectant

Photos of empty store shelves flooded Facebook and Instagram throughout the pandemic as consumers, desperate to protect themselves and their families, grabbed for any disinfectant in sight.

COVID-19 most commonly spreads person-to-person via respiratory droplets. These same droplets land on surfaces and survive for relatively long periods of time. We, in-turn touch these surfaces, and place personal items such as cell phones, toys, books, and bags on them. One of our greatest weapons in the fight against COVID and other infectious diseases is surface disinfectants.  

Most multi-million and multi-billion-dollar chemical companies drive revenue by creating a plethora of cleaning, disinfecting, and air freshening products that are packaged and shipped to the end user.

Regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as antimicrobial pesticides, disinfectants are often thought to be wholly beneficial and relatively harmless. There is, however, a dirty little secret in disinfection: it’s rarely done properly. Proper use instructions vary widely and guidance from regulatory agencies surrounding their use is often contradictory.  

So the question must be asked, are these products and the way we use them causing more harm than good?

Rayne Guest, founder and CEO of R-Water and a staunch advocate for safe cleaning protocols, shares four important things we need to know about the disinfecting products commonly found under our sinks. Through education, we can collectively adopt safer cleaning and disinfecting practices and avoid potentially life altering health issues from harmful common household disinfectants.

Pretty labels distract from the fine print. Ever notice streaks after cleaning or an allergy season that never seems to end? Consumers are urged to look beyond the pretty packaging and take a deeper dive into the Safety Data Sheet of the products you are reaching for. You will soon learn of ominous warnings you won’t want to ignore, including those related to your skin and lungs. The product Safety Data Sheets often requires that users don personal protective equipment which can include facemasks, gloves, and even “hooded chemical-resistant clothing.”  However, slick EPA approved marketing lingo often includes phrases such as “smell the clean,” “controls allergens,” and “for a fresher home.”

Scents do not freshen the product. To give your disinfecting and cleaning products color, suds, and fragrances, companies add a sometimes-toxic slew of chemicals that frequently “fight” with the active ingredients that do the work. These fragrances can be dangerous for the user and have been linked to skin and eye irritations, headaches, and neurologic symptoms.

Spray and wipe is a myth. All disinfectants have a minimum contact time for achieving their claimed efficacy, and for the majority of them, it is 10 minutes – a task that is easier said than done.  Most people simply spray and wipe, not realizing that they are not achieving proper disinfection. By not heeding the stated contact time, consumers are spending hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars on disinfecting products every year to improperly disinfect and clean.

Cleaning is often not completed in one simple step. There is a right way, and a wrong way to use disinfectants. After an advised pre-clean step and required wet time, surfaces like kitchen counters and children’s toys generally need to be rinsed thoroughly with water to remove the harmful residues left behind.

Throughout the pandemic, disinfection has received attention like never before. However, extended exposure and incorrect use of common household disinfectants can result in dangerous health risks including eye irritation, headaches, neurologic symptoms, skin problems, and respiratory issues. Tragically, respiratory issues make a person more vulnerable to COVID-19.

As we continue to use disinfectants at a ferocious rate, we need to also focus on their proper use. Doing so ensures that we don’t turn one of the greatest weapons we have against infections disease against ourselves.

Rayne Guest was raised in the mountains of Idaho. She attended five universities while studying various fields including business, marine biology, and nutrition. She has spent time in Southeast Asia, Europe, Australia, Brazil, Israel, Africa, among many others and is driven to do good by doing good in the world. As founder and CEO of R-Water, Rayne is developing patented cleaning and disinfecting technologies to further this cause, while unapologetically shaking up archaic industries.

Has COVID Clouded Your Retirement Picture? 3 Tips To Plan Clearly

Some people planning for retirement may do most of the right things in terms of saving and investing. But they don’t have a crystal ball and cannot foresee exactly how much money they will need in their non-working years – or for how long.

That uncertainty – magnified by the financial effects of COVID-19 – is one reason why it’s important to always keep the distant future in mind when planning and to consider all options that address those potential needs, says John Smallwood, president of Smallwood Wealth Management and author of It’s Your Wealth – Keep It: The Definitive Guide to Growing, Protecting, Enjoying, and Passing On Your Wealth.

“Too often, people are siloed in their view of their financial plan rather than focusing on the big picture,” Smallwood says. “Sometimes, it’s because they believe in a pitch that one magic product or investment is going to save their retirement.

“The pandemic causes some people to look for fast solutions, but there is no magic wand that you can wave and save your financial plan. The ‘magic’ that is going to help you is to put multiple products and multiple strategies together in an integrated way that is unique to you.”

Smallwood says those either starting or reevaluating a financial plan should consider these points:

  • Avoid cookie-cutter solutions. Because every person’s circumstances are different, a one-size-fits-all approach in financial planning doesn’t make sense for the future retiree, Smallwood says. “Whether it’s a mutual fund, insurance policy, annuity, a stock option, 401(k), or something else, the truth is that banking entirely on a single product or type of investment is setting you up for financial failure,” Smallwood says. “There are always popular products being pushed, but cookie-cutter solutions don’t take into account that every client has different financial pressures. Single products are often focused tightly on rate of return, but they don’t look at everything that’s happening in a person’s life or at erosion principles, which are actually taking away more wealth than is being accumulated in many cases.”
  • Know how to minimize market volatility. Smallwood says having measurable goals and a realistic view are important to success with a financial strategy. And part of that strategy includes understanding and minimizing the impact of market volatility on your money. “One way to make a sense of it all is to know the difference between average rate of return, sequence of returns, and actual return,” he says. “Average rate of return is over the life of an investment. Sequence of returns is the order in which your investments provide you with a return. Actual return is the actual amount of money gained or lost during a quarter or year compared to the initial value of an investment.”
  • Don’t get caught up in chasing returns. “Financial success does not come from chasing returns or selecting a magic product or asset class,” Smallwood says. “It comes from having a balanced plan, and then stress-testing that plan for weak areas to see how taxes, feeds, inflation, medical expenses, market volatility, college expenses and other variables can impact wealth potential. People who chase returns typically buy an asset class, or they buy a fund based on its past performance. If it doesn’t do well, they sell it, and they buy the next hot-performing fund. That’s how they fall into the trap that keeps eroding their wealth.”

“To be successful with your retirement plan,” Smallwood says, “you need to keep an open mind, understand your uniqueness, and not follow the crowd in terms of what are the right solutions for you.”

About John L. Smallwood, CFP®

John L. Smallwood is a senior wealth advisor (www.johnlsmallwood.com) and president of Smallwood Wealth Management and affiliated companies, providing investment consulting and financial plan design for corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and professionals. He is the author of It’s Your Wealth – Keep It: The Definitive Guide To Growing, Protecting, Enjoying, And Passing On Your Wealth, and a previous book, Five Ways Your Wealth is Under Attack.

Art illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 magazine

Transformed Grief – Estefana Johnson, LMSW

When COVID-19 hit, there was an instant collective response of panic. People rushed to fill their pantries with nonperishables and toilet paper.  Schools closed, businesses closed, and lives were flipped upside down as our routines were disrupted by lockdowns and uncertainty. In a moment in which we most needed comfort and connection, we were forced to isolate for fear of spreading the virus to our loved ones. I remember countless sleepless nights where I obsessively checked the dashboards and reviewed the little data provided on how this virus operated, who was being affected, and the odds of survival. I called my parents frequently to remind them to “stay home, wash your hands, wear your masks”. I knew then if my father were to become infected, he would not survive. He was elderly and his lungs had much damage from decades of exposure to dust and cement as a mason. 

My father was the humblest, hardest-working man with the biggest faith I’ve ever known. He taught me patience, integrity and to never take life seriously as it is but a journey in the span of our existence. As an emigrant from Mexico with an 8th grade education, he faced adversity with relentless courage, and boundless humor. When he contracted COVID in July 2020, my heart shattered and my heart plunged into agony. Even then, Dad persisted: “no te preocupes mija, todo va estar bien” (don’t worry, my daughter, all will be well.) And yet, on July 27th, he passed. 

How can things be “well” when our world is shattered as we face our worst fear? Grief is the price of love. Years of working with trauma survivors as a clinician have allowed me to see that not all people can withstand the weight of tragedy and loss. Grief rips away our sense of normalcy, leaving us feeling broken, raw, and exposed. Many people lapse into survival mode to weather grief, a constant battle of managing misery and pain. Unresolved anguish, like unattended mold, can weaken our body structure, infect our attitude with anger, cloud our vision with resentment and spread toxic spores of bitterness towards others. And yet, there are those who rise up in the midst of adversity, seemingly fueled by the pain, and transformed to a more resilient, truer self. Like steel, refined through the fire. But how?

Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl wrote, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” The human race has continued to thrive through plagues, war, genocide, famine and tragedy. Death is not the only loss we experience; we also grieve the loss of hope, health, relationships, or such as in this pandemic, loss of “normalcy.” Loss creates change. Change is only constant in life and outside of our control. It is in the acceptance and embracing of change that we can refine and solidify the core of what defines us. Even in the face of death, my father’s courage did not relent as he reaffirmed his identity: “I am a soldier and I will fight till the end – bruised and battered, I will fight until I am called home.” And fight he did.

Just like many other ‘essential’ workers, my sisters, both of whom are nurses, and I had to return to work. With the raw pain of loss, we found ourselves facing others in the midst of the tragedy we had just endured. I had never felt such gratitude for the tool that had become my specialty: Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), an evidence-based technique that enables clients to reframe their memories of troubling events. Without ART, I could not have held space for the grief many clients brought to my office.  When we experience severe emotional events, the memory is imprinted into our subconscious mind through images. It is this deeply-rooted, emotionally-laden memory that causes our body to experience reactive responses such as extreme fear or panic long after the event has passed. Talking about painful memories can sometimes exacerbate symptoms since we cannot reason our way out of the pain. The subconscious does not speak in words; it speaks in images. Thus, metaphors are the language of emotion.  

Clients often share an inability to forget the image of their loved one’s death as it haunts them both in their waking life through flashbacks. ART targets these images through a brief, succinct process called voluntary image replacement. Grief work enables us to redefine the connection to our loved ones through memories of their life, rather than their death.  ART helps to facilitate that process. It has enabled me to transform my suffering to fuel my purpose as I help others navigate through the process of healing and post-traumatic growth.  Post-traumatic growth is an undergoing of a significant shift in one’s relation with the self and the world. It’s the ability to extract wisdom from suffering, create purpose from the pain and become more of our truest, most powerful selves as we break through perceived limitations. It leads us to acceptance of reality and enables us to feel more connected to our own humanity and that of others as we embrace our vulnerability.

Through ART, I now hold the memory of my father in a space full of love and resoluteness. I see him sitting in my sister’s living room, watching his children chat and grandkids play with a look of blissful pride on his face. It brings comfort to the void left by his departure, a reminder that life is finite.  And every time a client returns to my office after an ART session and tells me “The images are gone –  all I see is my mother’s smile,” my heart is filled with hope.

For additional information on Estefana Johnson go here.

360 MAGAZINE illustration for online gaming by Symara Briel Wilson

Travelling Tips from the Experts

When this epidemic is done and travel resumes, where do you want to head? Make your dreams a reality with our travel tips to start you on the road to greatness.

So, Done any Good Travelling Lately? 

No, it may not be the best time for any overseas, or even local, travel. And the rest of the year will probably not see much of an improvement with this pandemic around. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t keep dreaming, right? 

The great thing about travel is that all these fantastic places that you’ve been longing to see are not going anywhere. And just like those beautiful sights, sounds and smells, the fact that travelling costs money isn’t changing either. We can’t all be lucky enough to have a job like my friend Stan, who travels the world on income made from the fastest payout online casino he bets on, and which you can read more about here https://new-casino.ca/articles/fast-payout. Though that does sound tempting.

For the rest of us, we need to save, to scrimp and maybe even to borrow to fund our dreams. But that’s OK, because we have a whole host of travelling experience here in the office, and we’re more than happy to share all our tips to get you in the traveling zone.

Money, Money, Money!

Those sexy Swedes were right about one thing; it’s a rich man’s world. Travelling is going to cost you a pretty penny and saving up is the first thing that you need to be doing. Look at it this way; every sacrifice you make before you go is another cool thing you can spend your coin on when you’re away. And trust us, you won’t regret it.

The silver lining to a pandemic is that you’re more limited than usual to find all those exciting things that you normally spend your money on. No more concerts, no more dinners out, no more buying rounds of shots for the entire bar of strangers every weekend. Yes, it sucks, don’t get me wrong, but you need to look for the positive in a bad situation sometimes.

So, instead of seeing all that money building up in your bank account and spending it on Amazon, save, save, save. Then spend your time researching all the amazing places you’re going to visit in New Zealand or Peru or Cambodia or wherever your first trip will take you.

Do Your Research

Many are used to flying by the seat of their pants when they are touring the world. And we’re not for a second implying that that’s not a good idea, not essential for the soul sometimes. But all too often, we’ve come back from a trip only to find that when we decided to drive 8 hours inland to see that wicked cave system, we missed one of the very things we went all that way to see.

It’s a great idea to ensure that the time you’re planning on going (not that it’s a great time to book anything into any calendar right now!) is good weather wise too. Koh Samui is not that great when there’s flooding from the monsoon season in October, trust us. 

Travel guides are easily accessible online these days, like Lonely Planet and even Trip Adviser. And online searches of the country’s official tourism page is definitely advisable too.

Start Making a List

Now you’ve started looking into all the cool things to do, start making a list of the things you definitely don’t want to miss. Also, make a note of them on a map so you can start to get a good feel for where they are in relationship to each other. Not only is it good to slowly start to navigate your way around the country, but it’s perfect to start seeing things that are in between. 

Hopping from one place to the next is always relatively easy via public transport or tourist buses, so you’ll be able to visit that awesome lake on your way to the glaciers, or that pristine beach, or the forest your friends keep going on about.

Referring back to your list whilst you’re on your journey will make sure that those last minute detours won’t cost you an even better surprise. 

Learn a Little of the Lingo

Just a simple “good morning” in the local language will break down social barriers faster than money can buy. And it’s just as important as “thank you”, which you may never use in your everyday life anymore, but will open so many more doors on your travels. Oh, and it works wonders when you smile at the same time.

Language goes hand in hand with local cultures too, so when you’re learning when Ramadan is for your Egypt trip, delve a little into the customs and rules that coincide with it. Again, so important when it comes to mixing with the locals. You may just find yourself at the dinner table in the middle of the street, breaking bread with the entire community who have had all the food supplied by the wealthier tenants. Now that’s a story to tell your friends.

Balance Your Guard with Common Sense

Now we’d be the last to say that nothing ever happens when you’re travelling, no one gets in any trouble in Sudan. But if you don’t let your guard down just a little, you may as well just read the guide books and stay on your sofa. The paranoia that you’re a constant target will leave you with regrets when you get back home. So, play it safe but don’t forget why you’re there.

Paying too much for the fruit at a street stall or being ripped off on that $8 sarong is not worth battering an eye at. Instead, go with the flow and focus more on local scams that will matter. Checking with the front office crew about which bars to avoid, the areas that are notorious for pick pockets and how safe the subway is at night are things worth worrying about. 

Being smart about how you hold your bag, where your valuable are and what’s going on around you whilst you’re in the marketplace, is better than avoiding that culture at all. You’ll only travel there once, trust me, so make it count. 

Opioid Crisis Takes a Turn with Death of Founder

By: Elle Grant

The opioid epidemic is one of the great public health crises facing the United States today. Over the past two decades, the crisis has ebbed and flowed in different moments, but overall deaths, especially amongst younger people, have increased at an alarming rate. One of the most distinct drugs at the root of the problem is OxyContin from the company Purdue Pharma, a substance now known to be distinctly addictive and dangerous.

OxyContin, also known on the street as killers, OC, Oxy, poor man’s heroin or Oxycotton, is dangerous particularly due to its most active ingredient; “a 12-hour, time-released form of oxycodone, a synthetic form of morphine that is found in common painkillers like Percodan and Percocet.” Alarmingly, OxyContin can have as much as ten times the amount of oxycodone as an average Percodan or Percocet. Approved by the FDA in 1995, the National Institute on Drug Abuse asserts the “chronic use of drugs such as OxyContin can lead to physical dependence and severe withdrawal symptoms if use is stopped, including insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes with goose bumps, and involuntary leg movements. Large doses can cause severe, potentially fatal, respiratory depression.” Intended to be taken orally, many patients and addicts chose to inject or snort the pills (after being modified) to quicken and heighten the effects. Oxycodone is intensely addictive, requiring more frequent and stronger doses as the body becomes dependent.

Efforts were being made to hold OxyContin owners and Purdue Pharma executives accountable for their actions. Thousands of lawsuits had been filed against the Sackler family, one of America’s wealthiest with an estimated combined net worth of about $13 billion. One of the main pillars of the family was Jonathan Sackler, son of one of the three Sackler brothers that transformed the small drug company Purdue Frederick into a hugely profitable pharmaceutical firm. Sackler passed away on the June 30 due to cancer, complicating many of the lawsuits as he was often named a defendant. Other members of his family have been named other defendants, depending on the case.

The famed OxyContin pill launched in the mid-1990s and was continually and thoroughly promoted by the Connecticut based family. The members of the family are charged with the accusation that “eight people in a single family made the choices that caused much of the US opioid epidemic” due to an unethical, irresponsible, and often illegal scheme. Furthermore, “the actions of the Sackler family and Purdue Pharma included sharing studies that they knew were misleading, claiming that this was an effective, long-term treatment that didn’t give rise to risks of addiction,” Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser told reporters at a news conference last year. “Those claims were verifiably false and ignored expert warnings. And they even undermined studies suggesting that there were addictive effects.”

Purdue as a company as well as the Sackler family deny any wrongdoing. Currently, Purdue seeks bankruptcy protection in order to counteract nearly 3,000 lawsuits that attribute blame to Purdue for beginning the opioid crisis. A Department of Justice criminal investigation is ongoing, relating to this process.

The opioid crisis, an epidemic that has spanned from 1999 to the present, has killed almost 500,000 individuals, potentially more. This count includes those that have died from an overdose involving an opioid, including both prescription and illicit opioids. Said epidemic can be characterized in three waves. The first beginning with the rise of prescribed opioids in the 1990s, including “natural and semi-synthetic opioids and methadone.” The second wave is marked by an increase of overdose deaths specifically related to heroin. The third commenced in 2013, with alarmingly stark increases in overdose deaths due to synthetic opioids, especially those “involving illicitly manufactured fentanyl” Unfortunately, “the market for illicitly manufactured fentanyl continues to change and it can be found in combination with heroin, counterfeit pills, and cocaine.”

Many Americans are unaware of the impact of the opioid crisis, or the fact that it is becoming increasingly, not decreasingly relevant to society. Yet, there are signs of positive change. Overall opioid-involved death rates decreased by 2% from 2017 to 2018, with sharper drops in prescription and heroin-involved deaths. Yet the increase in synthetic opioid-involved death rates increased by 10%, proving more work must be done to protect Americans. Currently, the Center for Disease Control combats this epidemic by monitoring trends, advancing research, equipping states with resources, supporting providers, partnering with public safety officials, and increasing public awareness.

Apart from crooked doctors, big pharmaceuticals, especially Jonathan Sackler, the Sackler family, and Purdue Pharma have received a majority of the blame for the epidemic. Jonathan Sackler’s death marks the death of who many see as a villain, but before justice was served in the American court system.

The opioid crisis, two decades in, has captivated the American imagination through film and media, as many crises often due. Netflix in particular has made efforts to document the crisis, including with the true crime series The Pharmacist and the limited series The Business of Drugs. Coming to Netflix next month is the long-awaited Hillbilly Elegy, starring Glenn Close and Amy Adams, both nominated for six Academy Awards each. The film lends a careful eye towards Appalachia, an area ravaged by the opioid epidemic, and features Adams in the role of a struggling addict. The film has already generated major Oscar buzz and will certainly bring further attention to a crucial issue.

Addiction is an incredibly difficult disease to combat. If you or a love one is struggling, please consider contacting the national hotline.

Rhea Roberts-Johnson in 360 MAGAZINE talks about Coachella and Goldenvoice.

Goldenvoice Black – Trailblazer

By Neecole Cockerham

Rhea Roberts-Johnson is the first Black woman to be promoted to a VP position at Goldenvoice, an AEG subsidiary. The new executive is also a new mother to an energetic toddler named Story, with her husband industry impresario Marcus Johnson.

As if having a career and being a full-time mom doesn’t take up enough time in the day, Goldenvoice staff and vendors have been forced to postpone Coachella, one of the world’s leading music festivals, due to the COVID-19. The coronavirus disease has created an unprecedented pandemic.

In the midst of the quarantine, the abnormally shut in citizens of the United States, witnessed via a cell phone recording, the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, who pressed his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and forty six seconds. At that moment Black people in the United States were forced into a position that challenged our civil liberties and stripped away our dignity as if we were inhumane. People of all races, from all walks of life took to the streets – men, women and children. The coordinated, mostly peaceful marches were organized by activists and the Black Lives Matter Movement. The protesters began to mobilize and protests began across the U.S and and on every continent around the world. People banded together for an unprecedented globalization of civil unrest and demanded change for the rights of Black people in America against the country’s systemic oppressed law enforcement agencies, and the society that inadvertently supported their actions.

The times are somewhat changing – as universal corporate offices have taken a short but hard look at themselves and the systemic racism that they have promoted through the years. Corporations are challenged with how they hire, retain and promote people of color within their organizations. They are being held to task to begin to fill openings with qualified Blacks and other people of color instead of continually engaging in white employment nepotism, frat boys and a Becky in tow.

The round table at Goldenvoice was a diverse group of people who acknowledged the repugnant feeling of what their eyes had seen and everyone’s heart had felt.

I sat down with Roberts-Johnson, to ask the down to earth, prestigious executive a few questions over a Zoom conference. I’ve known Rhea for a number of years, so it was easy to dive into a conversation that was just as she is – honest and candid.

Can you explain GV Black?

“Goldenvoice Black was birthed from round table discussions of Black employees, who for some time, have exchanged views of working as Blacks in a predominantly white environment – it is the voice of the people. GV Black has become a source of comfort to communicate what being Black means in today’s climate. Our social responsibility is to have acknowledgment from the corporation in which we work, the need to bring equality and more diversity to our workforce and to outline and monitor productive steps to insure that this equality is met.”

Do you have any fear in being a part of a revolutionary entity within the internal confines of a corporate environment?

“As a woman we are already marginalized in this environment. As a Black woman and a mother of a Black male child, I am more interested in social equity not just for now but for the future of those who come after me. I had no mirror to show me insight into how to maneuver in the world of behind the scenes entertainment. The conversations we were having at Goldenvoice were more than just about talking. We were all hurting just like many people and it was important for us to say something and even more important to agree on the actions that we would take to support diversity, elevate youth and develop community under the Goldenvoice umbrella.”

The music festival Coachella released its first statement ever about their position on injustice. The declaration issued by Coachella would be the words of Rhea Roberts-Johnson.

The poetic rhyme scheme is just 5 lines shy of a Sonnet and reads like a mission statement of hope:

We do not stand for injustice.

We do not stand for racism.

We do not stand for bigotry.

We stand for music.

We stand for celebration.

We stand for love.

We stand for unity.

We stand for Black Lives.

They Matter.

~Coachella

Now that the protesting has come to a halt, the pandemic is at an all time high; Goldenvoice employees are working from home or either furloughed… Goldenvoice recently posted on social media and received backlash from a few public critics, because of the word “bodies”..Can you comment on it?

“I’m actually glad that you asked this question. Before I go into what it means, I have to mention that the statement was written by Black employees, and had the public known that, it may have been received differently. Surprise! There are Black people that work at Goldenvoice (I’m sure that’s shocking to some since in its early days the company booked a lot of punk rock bands). We used the word “bodies” as a metaphor to draw attention to the objectification of Black people. Many types of Black and brown people in this country are dehumanized and not allowed the luxury of full humanity as so many others are. We also used it to emphasize the history of physical violence against Black people in our country whether it be through slavery, lynching, police brutality, etc. It’s a common term used by social justice activists, and having come from one of them, there probably wouldn’t have been a peep. Coming from a festival, some people were taken aback.”

Rhea I think to be silent nowadays is to be in agreement. Maybe those taken “aback” will be propelled into recognizing the truth and understanding the ladder is merely semantics.

What is next for GV Black?

“Without giving up too much too soon, we along with our non-Black allies at the company, are working diligently to create an even more inclusive environment for our employees, fans, artists, vendors, etc.”

Rhea Roberts-Johnson is a rare breed. She has a silent strength that exists when you can only imagine the amount of pressure that is being experienced to incite change. As we wait to see what’s next to come you can feel a glimmer of hope. Goldenvoice, GV Black and Coachella are consciously pioneering trailblazers for utilizing their platform to be all inclusive and unite people as one just as music does.

travel, 360 MAGAZINE

What are the best places to travel to on your own?

Travel is one of the best things that you can do to broaden your mind, experience new cultures, and have lots of fun. Many people, though, do not have friends to head off with, which makes traveling on your own a must. Before you go, you have to plan appropriately to get the most from any trip. If you chose to head to New Jersey on a break, it would be wise to look at sites, including the Tropicana Online Casino, so you had something fun to do in your hotel room during chill time. The same is true for other destinations within the USA or around the world. Looking at what the nightlife is like, what sights there are to see, and what there is to do in the day is sensible. 

Of course, before you delve into the finer details of any resort or city, you need to pick the right place first. That is often a little trickier for solo travelers who have a slightly different set of priorities than those holidaying in a group. But which are the best destinations for solo travel around the world?

Cannes

Beautiful Cannes is in the South of France on the fabled Cote D’Azur. However, like most other destinations around the world, it has been hit by COVID-19 lockdown measures recently, Cannes plans to revive tourism soon. But what makes this place so great? First of all, the weather is superb during the summer months, and this makes it perfect for relaxing on the gorgeous beaches there while doing some people watching. 

The café culture is also evident, so you will feel very comfortable when sipping a latte alone while watching the world go by. Cannes is also a very safe and welcoming destination, which makes it ideal for solo travelers. With a buzzing atmosphere and many other single travelers around, it is a fabulous place to holiday on your own. 

Stockholm

If you fancy heading somewhere where Scandi cool is in full effect, Stockholm in Sweden is a reliable choice. Stockholm just has an air of laid-back charm that allows you to slow down and recharge your batteries. The city that you access via a series of bridges is spread across 14 islands, which makes it simple to get around.

It is also full of lovely parks and stunning architecture to marvel at while having plenty to keep you occupied. If you need help getting around, there is a fun guided Vespa Tour you can take. If you are a real foodie, there are numerous Michelin-starred restaurants around the city where you could dine alone in true style. With a friendly and cozy feel, this is a real gem for solo travel. 

New York 

You might not immediately think of New York as a solo travel hot-spot, but it is. With so much to do and so many people around, you never actually feel isolated. New Yorkers are famous for their particular charm, and this means you will always find a friendly face in cafés, bars, or shops. If you want a city that will also keep you busy, the Big Apple is it.  

The shopping here is excellent (especially Fifth Avenue), and it gives you every chance to pick up cool souvenirs to bring home. Also, New York has many fabulous sights to see – from lovely Central Park to the Metropolitan Museum. If you fancy a change from dining and drinking each night, why not check out the best plays on Broadway? 

Dominica 

One surprising choice for any single traveler may be the Caribbean – after all, it is known as a honeymoon spot or a cruise destination. Dominica is a little different, though, and is somewhere that feels perfect for traveling alone. If you like an adventure when away, it is a great choice. The island has lakes to trek alongside and massive gorges to cave through. The wildlife here is naturally fantastic, and there is also some excellent accommodation for a reasonable price. You will always feel safe here, thanks to the welcoming local community, and it is an island that is very easy to walk around. With delicious local food and some charming bars to enjoy a shot of rum at, Dominica is a real hidden gem. 

Solo travel spots are worth researching first

No doubt, checking out the best places to go alone before booking any trip is worthwhile. Doing so will ensure that you end up in a place where there is plenty to do, and that makes you feel comfortable being there as a single person. Hopefully the above has given you some fresh ideas on the most exciting places to try. 

wine, 360 MAGAZINE, illustration, wine festival, wine tasting, wine lovers, wine enthusiasts

WINE DONATED TO FRONTLINE WORKERS

An Initiative to Donate Bottles of Wine and Messages of Encouragement to Frontline Workers.

Signor Vineyards and their employees are sending personal notes of encouragement and a bottle of wine to family and loved ones who serve as frontline and essential workers.
 
-Signor Vineyards is a boutique family vineyard nestled in the Texas Hill Country that features world-class charcuterie and wine, French country gardens, and farmhouse shopping at Joanna’s Market. 

-Due to COVID-19 Signor Vineyards is closed for tastings but wine can be purchased through their drive-thru and online. 
 
 
Signor Vineyards and their employees have launched the Bottles for the Frontline campaign. Bottles for the Frontline is an initiative to share some liquid relief and words of encouragement to workers who are a part of the front line and relief efforts in fighting COVID-19. 

The Signor team have sent bottles and taken to social media to share personal notes to their loved ones. Bottles from the family vineyard are being distributed to brave men and women throughout the country. Among them are a COVID ICU Nurse at the University of Chicago, Store manager at Texas grocery store chain, HEB, Surgical RN, and many others. 

“We understand how much our frontline workers are sacrificing and putting at risk for our community. Many are working through such stressful situations and do not have the comfort of hugging their children and being around their family. We thought this small gesture could help instill a little hope and relaxation in this time.” – Will Coker, General Manager 

Typically, Springtime brings the Bluebonnets and thousands of visitors from across the country to Fredericksburg, Texas. 

Like many vineyards in the Texas Hill Country, Signor Vineyards has closed their tasting room doors until further notice and have switched to drive-thru and online sales. This has been a change of pace for the vineyard, which has become a destination where friends and family come from all over to congregate.

“A big part of what we do is bring people together. And even though we cannot do that at this time, we can carry on the feeling of joy and fellowship that comes when you open a bottle. We know that our frontline workers deserve much more than but it’s the least we can do.” Clay Signor, Owner/ Proprietor 

In the spirit of giving back, Signor Vineyards is taking nominations for frontline workers. People can nominate and share stories of the heroes in their lives by commenting on their Facebook or Instagram post. Signor Vineyards is also encouraging other wineries and vineyards to join their cause and share their photos using #bottles4frontline. 

Signor Vineyards is located at 362 Livesay Lane, Fredericksburg, TX. Visit www.signorvineyards.com or follow them on facebook or Instagram @signorvineyards. 

 

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, coronavirus, COVID-19

In COVID Fashion

With the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, the shortfall of supplies and equipment for healthcare workers was inevitable. In this time of uncertainty, New Yorkers as well members of a global society are dependent upon community outreach and government. Leaders like Michael Costillo, Christian Soriano and GAP have taken action by lending their resources to impact the scarcity in surgical mask industry.

As of late, stylist/designer Armon Hayes created a protective mask for 360 Magazine’s Vaughn Lowery. Not your typical medical face mask, it was derived from Gucci fabric from a vintage belt bag with velcro stone wash denim straps. Designed out of necessity, fashionable protection is sweeping the market. The idea of a protective mask is becoming a part of our normalcy, inducing creativity during these turbulent times.

Free Online Game And Slot Websites To Pass The Time

As of recent, people have had to hunker down in their homes due to the COVID-19 epidemic that has brought the world to an abrupt halt. Many states and cities have ordered residents to stay in their homes at this time in an effort to deter the spreading of the virus. 

Now that people are in their homes for longer periods of time than they are used to, one thing is certain: they’re getting BORED! If this happens to apply to you, and you find yourself bored often on a day-to-day basis, then perhaps you could use some free games to help out that problem.

On various websites and platforms, you can gain access to a ton of free games, such as online slots, puzzle games, RPGs, shooters, and so much more. There’s an abundance of free online games and slots out there, and this list was made to show you some of the best websites to refer to. Staying at home doesn’t have to be so boring, after all. 

Free Online Slot Websites

There’s plenty of websites to choose from to find online slots, which has been one of the most popular forms of entertainment during this quarantine for many people. This list will make it easier to find the best websites available.

Casino.org

This website is one that is packed with a ton of information, and offers an abundance of free slots and games to be enjoyed by site viewers! They don’t require you to sign up, so you won’t have to worry about wasting time on that. When on their website, head to the ‘Free Games’ module, filter it to ‘Slots’, and check out their selection! In their library, they have some of the classics like Golden Legend, and Mystery Joker. They have over 7,000 free games and slots to be enjoyed, so get over there ASAP!

Slotsup.com

Whereas the website that was mentioned just before has over 7,000 games and slots in their library, slotsup.com has over 7,000 slot games alone! That is certainly an impressive abundance of free slot games to choose from. On their website, they make it clear to you that they have a big passion for free slot games, and want to extend that joy to you. It’s important to get some practice in before you get to using real money, and this is exactly what you can do when you visit their site. Whether you are on Mac, PC, or mobile, you can view and play these slot games in Full HD. 

Twin.com

Even though they are widely used for the live casino and real-money betting features, twin.com also has a ton of free slot games to enjoy on their website. They have more of a modern take on slot games, featuring some of the newest and more comprehensive ones available. Some slot games they have include Book Of Dead, Immortal Romance, Reactoonz, and much more. 

Freeslots99.com

Just like the name suggests, you can find plenty of free slots to play on this website. This website is dedicated to bringing you an abundance of free slot games, which is why they have over 20,000 of them! They pull many of their free slot games from software providers such as IGT, WMS and Aristocrat. They have all of the popular ones, like Big Buffalo, Bikini Beach and Leprechaun Riches. 

Free Online Game Websites

Addictinggames.com

One of the most classic websites for online games still lives on to this day, and is better than ever. On this website, there are tons of categories of games to choose from, all for free to play at your own leisure. Many games on this website can be accessed with just one click, and do not require any external downloading. This makes the website much more user friendly, and overall more convenient to use. The only downside is that the ads that are run on this website are unskippable, so you’ll have to sit through them each time they come up. 

Agame.com

This is another website that has been around for quite some time, and has always catered to audiences of different ages. Often, free game sites can have games that may be unnecessary for children to view, but Agame.com features a kids section, which makes it easier for both the kid and the parents. Regardless, the website has many categories of games to choose from, such as adventure, action, racing, and much more. Sometimes, ads can pop up while in gameplay, but they aren’t typically too long. 

Boredgames.com

Just like we’ve mentioned earlier, people are BORED! And this is why they need somewhere to turn to for some entertainment, such as boredgames.com! The site, though it is called ‘bored’ games, features anything but boring games. There are no downloads required for any games on this site, so you can get to playing right away. You can find games in categories such as puzzle, action, strategy, fighting, etc. The website does make you download a Google Chrome extension, although, which may be annoying to some. But, if fun games are what you are looking for, boredgames.com has them!

Playretrogames.com

Who doesn’t love a whirlwind of nostalgia delivered in the form of a videogame? On this website, you can play a ton of retro / classic games that were once widely played. The library of games on this website consists of popular games from the NES era, such as Jurassic Park, Castlevania, Mario’s Time Machine, NHL Hitz, etc. The best part is, most of the games support an NES controller, so if you have one, fire it up! Sometimes, the games can take a while to load, especially if your internet is being slow. 

Conclusion

In order to stay more occupied during this crazy time, where we’re all being forced to stay inside for longer amounts of time, it would be smart to check out some free online slot and game websites. These can be played for hours at a time, with no cost to you. These websites include addictinggames.com, freeslots99.com, casino.org, boredgames.com, and many more! They’re all free to use, so why not give them a shot?