Posts tagged with "pandemic"

Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra via 360 Magazine by 360 Magazine

How did the pandemic affect culture? These 3 new pieces of work will tell you 

We all know how much the world has been affected by the pandemic since March 2020. Social habits, travel, and sanitary measures are just three areas that have changed drastically in that time, and it will take a while for these to return to normal. 

In the art world, however, the changes haven’t been as well documented, even though the shock was just as severe for artists, writers, and museums.  

Three new pieces of work are about to change that, offering perspectives from a bookstore owner, a musician, and a museum curator during lockdown.  

All released in spring 2022, they’re part of an important seam of work emerging from the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Hello, Bookstore 

When Matt Tannenbaum launched a GoFundMe campaign shortly after lockdown, it was the culmination of an ongoing trend.  

Even before the pandemic struck, his bookshop was affected by the dominance of online sellers. In the era where people shop online instead of walking to the shops, play on an online casino instead of visiting a real-life venue, and stream movies instead of going to the cinema, it’s hardly surprising that people choose to purchase books online, too. 

Yet, not even Tannenbaum could have predicted what would happen next. The fundraising campaign doubled its target amount as sympathetic book lovers flooded the store with cash. Within just two days, the total had hit $120,000, meaning that the owner was out of debt for the first time in his career. 

The reason was clear: the pandemic had brought home just how much independent bookstores meant to their local communities, or the ‘lifeblood’ as documentary creator Adam Zax put it. Far from doubling down on internet sellers, book buyers were showing support for those small book sellers that exist for the love of reading, not profit. 

The documentary attempts to show the day-to-day life of the business, rather than just a series of talking heads. In it, viewers can see Tannenbaum talking to customers and reading pieces of literature out loud at random points during the day. Zax wanted to ‘capture the soul’ of the shop, which he started filming before the pandemic as part of a multi-year timeframe. 

It means that the pandemic, and the subsequent cash windfall, comes along coincidentally, but ends up adding to a remarkably insightful piece of work.  

Charli XCX – Alone Together 

What effect did lockdown have on the mind of a musician? Charli XCX’s fourth album, Alone Together, attempts to provide an answer. Produced in just 40 days, the record is a fascinating glimpse into how the singer and her partner dealt with an enforced period of cohabitation. 

At the start of the lockdown, Charli revealed how she was going to ‘open up’ the process of making a record to an online audience: she promised to share demos, get real-time feedback, and even crowdsource lyrics with fans during production.  

The whole process was captured on video, which became the basis for an accompanying documentary for the album. Both pieces of work share the same name: a description of how, even though everyone involved was isolated, they collaborated to form a record. They were ‘alone together’.  

The record is an interesting experiment, and proof that musicians can create entire pieces of work online now, hooking up whole studios to the web and producing music in real-time.  

The Guardian called it ‘a very modern, fusional kind of digital fandom’ and compared it to anime hit show Belle, which depicts a lonely teenager becoming famous in a virtual world of online fans and digital concerts.  

If Charli XCX’s work tells us one thing about the pandemic, it’s that the old way of making music has given way to the digital era. 

The Museum: A Short History of Crisis and Resilience  

The idea of a book about how museums have dealt with crises in the past came to author Samuel Redman before COVID-19 struck. So it was a coincidence when the biggest health emergency of the last 100 years happened just as he was getting into his stride.  

The pandemic goes alongside past crises, such as the Great Depression and the Second World War, in Redman’s investigation into how these institutions adapted to sudden change but have remained committed to core values over the course of centuries.  

According to Redman, though, some events had different effects to others. The Depression, for example, changed the fiscal nature of museums, while the 1970s art strike failed to have a lasting impact.  

The book also has one eye on the future, asking what kinds of crises could affect the world, and whether museums will remain such a crucial part of human life.  

If the institutions continue to show the same resilience, then there’s a good chance they’ll be here for centuries to come, according to Redman.  

Through these three pieces of pandemic art, we can see a common paradox: that is, despite the unprecedented pace of change, many things continue to remain the same.  

On one hand, buying books, recording music, and viewing exhibitions have all taken on a digital veneer: we can now do all three things online, something that was impossible just a few years ago. 

Yet at the same time, the desire to create, consume and remember is as strong as ever, which suggests that the creative side of human nature can handle anything that’s thrown at it – including a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. 

Five Tips for Finding Peace After Living Through a Natural Disaster

Your entire world can change in the blink of an eye. Few people ever think they’ll see their neighborhood on a news broadcast, but natural disasters affect millions every year. Thanks to climate change, the problem grows more severe all the time.

It takes time and plenty of TLC to put the pieces of your life back together again. Be gentle with yourself as you navigate the process. Here are five tips for finding peace after living through a natural disaster.

1. Seek Necessary Resources

Depending on how the natural disaster affected your property, you might not have a place to call home for a while. What about your children’s school? Your transportation to and from work?

Your first contact is your local emergency manager. They’re your best resource for meeting your immediate needs for food and shelter. After that, please reach out to the following individuals:

  • Your loved ones: Your loved ones deserve to know you’re alright. Fortunately, social media makes it easier than ever. You can mark yourself safe to alert your friends and relatives who also use Facebook. Let people know what they can do to help and how you prefer to be contacted – a flurry of phone calls may or may not be what you need.
  • Your employer: If you weren’t at work when disaster struck, you need to let your employer know how it affected you and what arrangements you can make until it is safe to return.
  • Your insurance company: First, document the damage and make a list. Take photographs. If you have some from before the disaster to prove the extent of your loss, all the better.

You might also reach out to local animal shelters if you have pets that you could not evacuate on time. They’ll take a description and reunite you with your beloved companion if they locate them before you do.

2. Give Yourself the Gift of Time

Surviving a natural disaster takes time. This statement isn’t fluff – it’s a physiological fact. While some people recover from a shock to the system more quickly than others, you need time for your body and mind to return to homeostasis.

If possible, take time away from work to heal with those you love. The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers programs for disaster survivors that provide housing and medical assistance. The Small Business Association provides aid to those whose livelihoods suffered the impact of hurricanes, floods, and fires.

It’s important to be aware of the potential that you may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that’s triggered by witnessing or experiencing a terrifying event. Symptoms can include nightmares and anxiety, as well as uncontrollable flashbacks and thoughts about the event. Evidence suggests that the chances of PTSD and even suicide increase after someone survives a natural disaster. 

A natural disaster can shatter your world in the blink of an eye. You and your loved ones could find yourselves without shelter or food, and understandably stressed and anxious. However, if you begin to feel like what you’re experiencing goes beyond normal stress, you may be experiencing some form of PTSD. In either case, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with a certified mental health professional in the wake of surviving a natural disaster. They will be able to help make sense of what you’re experiencing and prescribe an appropriate treatment plan.

If you don’t have the resources to see a mental health professional in person, look into free online resources, counseling and rehabilitation groups and even text therapy, which can be more accessible for some.

3. But Also, Safety First

Your first instinct is to heave a sigh of relief once the twister disappears in the distance and you and your family take your first tentative steps out of the basement. Inhale, exhale, and contact everyone who’s not in your immediate vicinity who should be. Then, take stock of the second shock wave – the illnesses and infections that often follow natural disasters.

For example, after a flood, mold becomes a serious health concern. The CDC has recommendations for assessing your risk and handling the potential hazards to your health. Untreated cuts and scrapes can lead to blood poisoning and tetanus. Get a booster if need be and wash all wounds, dress them with triple antibiotic ointment, and clean, sterile bandages. Pay attention to signs of discoloration and streaking lines around the injury.

It’s not unusual to become sick in the wake of a natural disaster’s wake. Storms stir up germs and displacement introduces you to new ones when your immune system is already compromised by stress. Please take a COVID-19 test and adhere to the required quarantine – even if you don’t have the novel coronavirus, you need a few days to rest and recover.

4. Stay Close to Your Loved Ones

Natural disasters make you cherish the ones you love. Nature intended for you to cling to each other in its wake. Honor that instinct.

Stay close to your loved ones. If you have children, they will need your guidance and support to heal. They don’t have an adult frame of reference to cope with what happened – they’ll need your help to process big feelings and make sense of the senseless.

Spending time with your loved ones also soothes your soul. Disasters have a way of reminding you what matters most. You can’t take material things with you, but the love you leave behind survives.

5. Accept Offers of Help

You might not realize how wide your friendship circle extends until you survive a disaster. However, please take advantage of offers of help. Don’t let pride deny you and your family the support you need to heal.

Please take advantage of available social services. You might not have ever needed a food bank before, but visiting one is better than letting your children go to sleep hungry.

If you’re spiritual, your house of worship is another sanctuary that may open its arms to you and your loved ones. Shelter yourself and those you care about in the arms of your faith, letting members of your congregation accept you and uplift your spirits.

Shanghai during COVID-19 lockdown via Hannah Zhong for use by 360 Magazine

Shanghai Navigates COVID Lockdown

On March 28, the urbanist city in China of Shanghai began to lockdown. As of now, all people continue to be quarantined at home, with schools and businesses closed.

During the extended quarantine of Shanghai, the number of infections has continued to climb. A few things about the gravity of the lockdown are worth noting.

First is the treatment of positive patients. In most countries, people with mild infections only need to be quarantined at home to wait for self-recovery. China differs from often countries as they have adopted centralized quarantine, which includes quarantine of close contacts.

After the outbreak, countless shelter hospitals were built in Shanghai, with some schools, office buildings, and stadiums were requisitioned to build shelter hospitals. Because the speed of construction could not keep up with the spread of the virus, many covid positive patients waited at home for more than a week for treatment and were later sent to shelter hospitals even after testing negative. Many patients even spend whole days in transfer cars because all the shelter hospitals are full.

The conditions of shelter hospitals are also very diverse. Some places have sufficient food supply, and the environment is very hygienic. However, the sanitary conditions of some hospitals are shocking. Hundreds of people share one restroom, and in severe cases, toilets may even be filled with excrement.

Next, it is important to dicsuss the lack of food, specifically outage of all packages and restaurant delivery. The government issued a statement on March 28th, which entailed the Pudong district being locked down from March 28th to April 1st. Remaining areas would be locked down from April 1st to April 5th. Many people stored food for four days as directed by the government, but Shanghai’s lockdown was not lifted by the fourth day.

The government distributes food and daily necessities to residents, but the food everyone received could not sustain a month-long confinement. Some open supermarkets began taking orders in the morning hours, but a community with tens of thousands of people can only take hundreds of orders, leaving most citizens with no way to order food.

As a result, some people spontaneously initiated group purchases, with a resident of the community as the leader, negotiating with food suppliers, and then ordering the food needed by the entire community, and then distributing them by themselves. In communities with few households, everyone can only rely on supermarket deliveries.

Lastly, non-COVID-19 patients have not been receiving adequate treatment. During the quarantine period, all citizens were unable to leave their homes, which led to the difficulty of seeing a doctor for patients with underlying diseases. There are many patients who need hemodialysis, chemotherapy, and surgery that cannot be treated in time.

For emergency patients, it is even more difficult, because hospitals need Covid PCR test reports within 24 hours before they can accept patients. There are some acutely ill patients, such as myocardial infarction, renal failure, etc., who died at the hospital gate because they were waiting for the PCR test report.

As April 21, Shanghai had been closed for 24 days, with the number of infected people beginning to slowly decline on April 17. The government declared that “Zero-Covid policy” must be implemented. It remains to be seen where Shanghai will go in the future.

Article by: Hannah Zhong

Shanghai during COVID-19 lockdown via Hannah Zhong for use by 360 Magazine
Piggy Bank illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

DBDT Recieves ARP Grant

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

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

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

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

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

About Dallas Black Dance Theatre 

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

Handcuff art via Allison Christensen for use by 360 MAGAZINE

HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN THE UNITED STATES

Human trafficking can be defined as “a crime that  involves the exploitation of a person for labor, services, or commercial sex.” 

The illegal ring of human enslavement primarily for sex acts has been a problem in the United States for quite some time. The popularity of social media combined with the ongoing stresses from the COVID-19 pandemic have only furthered the presence of human trafficking in the country.

Human enslavement has been a rampant problem often stemming from the Midwest, expanding through the rest of the country. The Midwest serves as the epicenter for trafficking endeavors for several reasons. First off, the number of federal interstates that are common make it easier to transport victims. Commerce tends to be high in areas such as St. Louis and Chicago, simplifying the traveling process of victims. The Midwest has, too, been regarded as a safe part of the country, which masks the existence of human exploitation in this part of the country.

Although servitude of humans has great linkage to the Midwest, it has an intense correlation to the Black community, specifically Black woman. According to the FBI, 53% of all children involved in juvenile prostitution arrests are Black.

This linkage stems back to the racism and oppression prevalent in US history, combined with sexualization of people of color. The Center on Poverty and Inequality generated a study to investigate this point, and found that adults generally regarded Black girls as “less innocent and more adult like than white girls.” Black women continue to be targeted, predominantly by white men. A 2012 research study found that about 85% of people who purchased sex online were white men.

These prejudices impact perpetrator motives, as they are statistically more likely to go after Black girls/ women. A two-year review of alleged enslavement occurrences found that 40% of sex trafficking victims were Black women.

The pandemic and the rise of social media, too, has played its factor in the rise of human subjugation. With many individuals suffering from economic and social deficiencies, trafficking systems have grown exponentially. The victims tend to be vulnerable, often children, in search of some form of attention. Victims often are coerced into enslavement with false promises of jobs or stability.

The growing commonness of human trafficking in the US is alarming and must come to a stop. One of the key problems that prevents victims from being identified is that they often do not believe they are victims. Victims cannot comprehend or see what they’re going through to be considered exploitation, as they often form trauma bonds with their abusers, are hidden in plain sight.

Common signs that can help us identify human trafficking:

  • Physically appearing malnourished
  • Physical injuries
  • Avoidance of eye contact, social communication; primarily with law enforcement
  • Rehearsed replies in social communication
  • Lack of identification documents
  • Staying at hotels/motels with older males
    • Victims refer to males as boyfriend or “daddy” – street slang for pimp
  • Young children serving in family restaurants
  • Individual not allowed in public alone, often spoken for

Trafficking cases continue to grow in numbers, with victims regularly becoming younger and younger. A North Carolina woman was recently sentenced to over 19 years in prison for sex trafficking a 13-year-old girl. This NC proceeding provides insight into common patterns that occur in human enslavement circumstances. It highlights the dominance of social media used in trafficking acts, the susceptibility that victims face and how perpetrators are typically somewhat close to victims.

Authorities were made aware of this case on January 1, 2020, when a 23-year-old girl was a believed victim of sex trafficking. They were able to uncover that from December 2 to the 25 of 2019, Simone McIllwain had been sex-trafficking the young girl in the Charlotte area.

The girl met McIllwain through a shared relationship, when McIllwain started advertising the girl online for commercial sex. She arranged that the 13-year-old girl would perform sex acts in her own hotel room, while she obtained segments of the profits.

She pleaded guilty of sex trafficking of a minor in April 2021, when she was placed in federal custody. Now, she has been sentenced to 235 months in federal prison and 20 years of supervised release.

National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1 (888) 373-7888

SMS: 233733 (Text “HELP” or “INFO”)

Website: http://humantraffickinghotline.org/.

Written By: McKinley Franklin 

Nursing Home Staff Shortages

Amidst the perseverance of the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare industry has taken a massive blow. There are intense staffing shortages in the field, and the public is suffering from these scarcities. The Washington Post gave a detailed report on these worsening staff deficiencies, more specifically in long term care facilities.

Nursing homes tend to lessen the stress on hospitals as recovered patients typically move there after being released. Without proper staffing, though, facilities have not been able to take in patients from hospitals. A specific example of this misfortune stems from the Terrace View nursing home in Buffalo, New York. The home is currently not running at full capacity, and there are up to 22 beds not being used due to lack of staff.

The Washington Post article elaborates on this disaster, highlighting another facility affected. “That means some fully recovered patients in the adjacent Erie County Medical Center must stay in their hospital rooms, waiting for a bed in the nursing home. Which means some patients in the emergency department, who should be admitted to the hospital, must stay there until a hospital bed opens up. The emergency department becomes stretched so thin that 10 to 20 percent of arrivals leave without seeing a caregiver — after an average wait of six to eight hours, according to the hospital’s data.”

Many long-term care facilities across the country are facing these same troubles. The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) found 58% of nursing homes are cutting down on arrivals, again, because of the shortage of staff members.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that 425,000 long term care workers left the industry since February 2020. Though other industries have seen economic growth since the onset of the pandemic, nursing homes have not had the same luck. “Remarkably, despite the horrific incidents of death and illness in nursing homes at the outset of the pandemic, more staff departures have come during the economic recovery. As restaurants and shops reopened and hiring set records, nursing homes continued to bleed workers, even as residents returned.”

These troubles are heightened in more rural areas. The article, too, depicts the story of Diakonos Group in Medford, Oklahoma, that had to shut down since there was simply not enough staff. The facility provided care for patients with mental health needs, but after the pandemic started, they found that their staff had endured too much. Diakonos Group CEO Scott Pilgrim explained that although the business offered a raise in hourly wages, bonuses and overtime, employees continued to leave, and they could not withstand these absences.

AHCA/NCAL urges lawmakers to work with the long term care division of healthcare to fix this staffing crisis and devote resources to employ caregivers. As hospitals continue to be directly affected by this catastrophe, change must be made as soon as possible. AHCA/NCAL encourages Congress to take action and ease these tensions placed on both hospitals and long term care facilities.

Alex Bogdan for use by 360 MAGAZINE

Tips to Maintain a Healthy Back

With the COVID-19 pandemic reaching another surge this holiday season, its more important than ever to stay safe, protected and healthy. With the pandemic continuing throughout the winter season, it’s easy to forget that the chilling winter weather can result in the muscles and ligaments of our bodies to contract and tighten significantly more. The muscles and ligaments that strengthen the back and spine, as well as the shoulders and knees, are considerably impacted by these seasonal changes.

From the Pinkston News Service comes a series of tips from Dr. Rita Roy, Chief Executive Officer of the National Spine Health Foundation, on how to protect and keep your back healthy during these frostier months.

Stretch regularly

Implementing a consistent stretching routine can lower your risk of injury, and can even elevate the healing process of a previous injury. Engaging in basic back stretches such as the child’s pose or cat-cow and enhance strength and flexibility to your spine.

Wear proper footwear

Dr. Rita Roy encourages everyone to be mindful of the shoes that you plan to wear depending on the weather you may be dealing with. Make sure that your footwear is a fitting size, by trying them on in-store first, if you can. Ensure that your shoes have proper lining to keep you warm during the chilling temperatures. Making note to purchase a set of footwear that has non-stick rubber soles and treads on the bottom of the shoe for an extra level of safety from slipping. Remember to also take those shoes off when you head indoors, replacing them with socks or slippers, so you don’t run the risk of slipping inside as well.

Be aware of your surroundings

If you know that you may be heading outside, make sure to pay attention to what surfaces you step foot on. To get ahead of the game, keep up on the weather conditions heading your way. If you live in an area with a lot of icy roads and sidewalks, make sure to take your time, walk slowly and steer clear of carrying large items along your path. Make sure to look around you and use the objects that are not moving to your advantage; hold onto a handrail or tree to give yourself some extra balance. Keep your eyes peeled and watch around you to avoid unwarranted hazards.

Stay active

While winter follows the holiday season, this may warrant a lot of eating, sitting around and mood shifts. Seasonal depression is ever apparent through this time of year, so it’s extremely crucial to get your body moving to aid the dreariness that comes with winter. Moving around in between meals through exercising can help you in more ways than you may know.

Don’t overextend yourself

While it is crucial that you keep exercising, be sure to not overreach these efforts. The end of the holiday season raises a whole new set of physical activities, such as, hanging Christmas lights and shoveling snow. These unique tasks pose risks to the body because these are not activities that are regularly carried out year-round. Shoveling snow can cause intense stress to your back. It is vital that you use proper techniques and equipment when carrying out these tasks. Give yourself well-needed breaks and time to rest while participating in these endeavors.

Always wear a seatbelt

This may seem like a misplaced tip among the rest, but nonetheless this one is exceptionally valuable. Studies have found that a large amount of weather-related auto accidents happen throughout the winter, and around 76,000 people become hurt in accidents that result on snowy or slushy roads. Back pain can result from a mere low-speed fender-bender since the body was not anticipating the impact. So, keeping your seatbelt on can limit these sudden movements.

Zara Biggs, Nike Communications, for use by 360 Magazine

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE HOLIDAY DISPLAYS LIGHT UP NYC

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE hosted its inaugural holiday window display to honor and rejuvenate imagination and creativity in New York City. The BOMBAY SAPPHIRE holiday windows gain inspiration from the traditional 5th Avenue holiday window displays while serving a greater purpose. The intention of the displays is to revive the creativity that has been deprived of downtown Manhattan since the beginning of the pandemic.

The storefront series was held in SoHo through December 19, in partnership with artist Shavanté Royster, fashion designer Romeo Hunte and NYC dancer Nicole von Arx.

Shavanté Royster

The Brooklyn-based Shavanté Royster is a graphic designer and illustrator, working in the creative industry since 2009. Growing up in a military family, often having to travel during her life motivated Shavanté’s innovation. Through her art, Shavanté often takes inspiration from travel, expressing this through shapes and rich colors. Shavanté’s work is comprised of digital illustration, painting and mixed media.

Romeo Hunte

Romeo Hunte New York is a lifestyle apparel brand designed in NYC for consumers who appreciate sophisticated details. The edgy aesthetic that the collection radiates mixes both feminine and masculine characteristics. Romeo Hunte pieces blend lavish outerwear with contemporary apparel. The Romeo Hunte woman and man can be described as a “dynamic duo” that appreciates the arts and pop culture with a modern flare.

Nicole von Arx

Nicole von Arx (NVA) studied Ballet, Contemporary and Hip Hop in Geneva, Switzerland at Dance Area, shortly after traveling to New York in 2008 to attend school at the Alvin Ailey School, graduating in 2011. Currently based among NYC and Geneva, NVA is a dancer and choreographer in both dance scenes. NVA has collaborated with the most notable choreographers in New York as a creator, dancer and teacher. Continuing her career, NVA has also worked independently as a choreographer with musicians, film directors and photographers.

The visionaries that were created through the course of the display aimed to fill the empty storefronts with avant-garde ‘windows of art.’ The pandemic has transformed the lives of creatives, small businesses and retail in New York and all over the world. BOMBAY SAPPHIRE worked to ensure that the artistic society would be celebrated and uplifted this holiday season with their holiday displays.

Each window highlighted a winter dreamscape created by artist Shavanté Royster. Both Shavanté and Romeo Hunte’s creative point-of-views joined forces to emulate the holiday magic of 5th avenue. Live models were seen wearing Romeo’s winter apparel upon Shavanté’s backdrops, with performances by NYC dancers.

Romeo’s devoted window showcased people draped in his designs that were created personally for the display. Romeo set the scene of a holiday celebration before a show over cocktails. The garments were designed with inspiration from Shavanté, with the backdrop and fashion coinciding throughout the display.

Romeo spoke on the experience of designing for the holiday displays, stating, “It’s been a joy to work on BOMBAY SAPPHIRE’s Holiday Storefront Series which pays homage to exciting young creative talents everywhere and the tenacity of New York City coming back after the pandemic. It was refreshing to collaborate with artist Shavanté Royster and the dancers as mixed media has always been an important part of my work, so it was cool to build and see the narrative of the holiday windows come to life with them through different facets, such as the dancers wearing some of my designs. I hope everyone can leave the windows feeling a burst of creativity and inspiration for the holidays, and hope for the year ahead!”

Covid patient image created by Sara Davidson at 360 Magazine use by 360 Magazine

Long-lasting COVID-19 Protection

In what could be very good news for the immunocompromised, an antibody cocktail tested at the University of Virginia School of Medicine appears to offer long-lasting protection from COVID-19.

The cocktail, manufactured by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, reduced the risk of COVID-19 infection by more than 80% for more than eight months, the company announced in a news release. The 81.6% risk reduction seen in the second to eighth months after administration continues the robust, 81.4% risk reduction seen in the first month.

William A. Petri Jr., MD, PhD, was one of the leaders of UVA’s testing of the antibody cocktail. He was pleasantly surprised by the durability of the protection reported by Regeneron. He said the drug could be of particular benefit for immunocompromised people who do not develop a strong response to vaccination.

“The significance of the finding is that the antibody cocktail can prevent COVID-19 in immunocompromised individuals whom we know sometimes fail to respond to the vaccine,” said Petri, an infectious disease expert.

Lasting COVID-19 Protection

Regeneron’s new analysis looked at the results from 1,683 people who were not infected with COVID-19 and did not have antibodies to the virus. Among trial participants who received the cocktail, none was hospitalized for COVID-19 during the following eight months. Only seven were infected with SARS-CoV-2, compared with 38 who received a placebo. Thus, the antibody cocktail provided more than 80% protection for 2-8 months.

The federal Food and Drug Administration first authorized Regeneron’s cocktail in November 2020 to treat patients with mild to moderate COVID-19. The federal regulators then expanded the authorization in July to allow its use as a preventative treatment in people exposed to COVID-19 and those at high risk of exposure, such as nursing home residents. Regeneron’s antibody cocktail is not a vaccine and is not a replacement for a vaccine. However, it may greatly benefit people who do not develop a strong immune response to vaccination, such as patients receiving treatment for cancer and other people who are immunocompromised, said Petri, of UVA’s Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health. 360 Magazine is interested and excited to see what science can do in order to help protect us. 

For such patients, getting a periodic dose of the cocktail – annually, perhaps — could provide the immune protection that their own bodies can’t, Petri said. (More research will be needed to determine the best dosing interval.) “While these results still require peer review to ensure their accuracy, this is likely to be a significant step forward in the prevention of COVID-19 in the immunocompromised,” Petri said.

Art by Maria Solomon for use by 360 Magazine

The Future of Travel

By: Rebecca Rosbourgh

Travelers are dusting off their passports, getting ready to hop on flights and itching to explore new destinations, but the world is a much different place now than the one we remember from 2019. With the holidays around the corner, travel planning is in full swing. The behaviors we saw and knew from consumers before the pandemic can no longer drive the way we think about consumers. Everything has changed and while the future of travel looks promising in the post-pandemic world, the mindset for marketers has to shift. 

Here are the top 5 insights we found from our research about the future of travel: 

  • Travel research has changed drastically among globetrotters 
  • Safety and distance now top the list of travel concerns 
  • Consumers want to travel domestically and want luxury experiences 
  • Road trips made a comeback and are sticking around
  • Travel marketers should use these changes to find the right audience 

Research and then research some more 

When planning a trip where do you usually start? Maybe you begin by searching for the most interesting destination with a beach or the best prices for a hotel. That’s the way we used to go about planning for a trip and that’s also how advertisers found us. But these considerations have changed drastically as a result of the pandemic and a deeper dive into these new behaviors is needed.

So, what are people searching for now when they decide to plan a trip? They are looking at a completely different set of parameters, the first big one is distance. How far from home are they willing to venture? According to the data in MiQ’s latest report, The Unlocked World? travelers are choosing to stay domestic. We found that 70% of travelers from the US, China and Australia are opting to not leave their home countries. That’s a lot of people that are looking to travel short distances but still explore a new-to-them locale. 

Trip planners are also researching categories that are very pandemic-focused. We see people looking for vaccination rates in the areas they will be visiting, searching for safe accommodations, and requesting flexibility for bookings. The possibility of a refundable booking if the trip needs to be cancelled is a top priority now. Offering piece of mind to a worried traveler can be a great way to attract them to your brand. 

New travel trends 

A big pandemic travel trend that seems to be sticking around is the road trip, especially for travelers in the US and Canada. Over the past six months, we saw a correlation between the vaccination rates and interstate travel. If people are to continue their vacationing domestically and by car then marketers should plan to put their focus on reaching these road-trippers. 

Travel interest is growing, and growing very fast. We found that 42% of people around the world plan to travel in the next six months and that rises to 60% in the next 12 months. Asian and European travelers are looking to spend more and make those vacations luxurious. More people have confidence that the pandemic risk is less and they are looking to opt for premium travel experiences. Marketers can expect spending to be higher to create memorable experiences. 

With a resurgence in interest around travel, we found that over a third of audiences are still waiting to see how things are playing out with the pandemic even though they have started to plan vacations. They haven’t booked anything yet but are likely to continue their research, looking for a great deal. Marketers need to be aware of this longer term of decision making. 

Know where your audience is— and where they want to go

Planning a trip is not something that happens with one internet search. You’ll have many chances to reach your audience when they are planning a trip, but you have to know where they are located.  Understanding where they are starting from is the key to a great travel campaign. If your customers are in a big city and are looking for deals for a mountain getaway, you need to know that. Understanding preferences and identifying the audience can benefit your campaigns. 

As the end of 2021 approaches and holiday travel ramps up, marketers can benefit from understanding these trends to reach the right consumers. Programmatic omnichannel advertising can help advertisers to offer personalization and insights to help boost the chances of conversion for their travel campaigns. Working with a partner can help you to identify your audience in this new world of travel planning.