Posts tagged with "pandemic"

Soccer illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Soccer for Success

The U.S. Soccer Foundation adapted and launched its signature Soccer for Success program to fit ever-changing COVID-19 landscape.

The Foundation spent the past few months listening to its partners to best support the needs of soccer communities. By adapting its Soccer for Success curriculum, partners can run the program across a variety of settings. In lieu of the traditional in-person trainings, they are providing an online training that is specifically designed to prepare coach-mentors to deliver the program across these new settings. The 12-week curriculum consists of:

  • Thirty-six pre-recorded video sessions that can be sent directly to participants and their families to complete at a time that works best for them. The sessions are around 15-20 minutes in length, can be done at home with little space and equipment, and incorporate health and wellness tips and information.
  • Thirty-six practice session plans that provide coach-mentors with guidance on how to run 45-minute virtual sessions (in real time) with their participants. The practice sessions include both soccer activities and health and wellness teaching points.
  • Thirty-six practice session plans that provide coach-mentors with guidance on how to run 60-minute, in-person socially distanced sessions with participants. The practice sessions include both soccer activities and health and wellness teaching points.
  • Thirty-six traditional in-person practice and game day sessions.

This formatting gives our partners the flexibility to run Soccer for Success three days a week for a typical 12-week season in the way that works best for them and their community at any given time, said Sarah Pickens, U.S. Soccer Foundation Associate Vice President of Programs. 

In some places, space constraints may limit the number of in-person socially distanced participants allowed at one time. Fortunately, with this program, partners can alternate days that players can come in person, while still providing virtual lessons to any other students enrolled in the program. No matter what stage a given community is in, children have a way to participate in each session. This approach also anticipates the very real scenario that things will continue to change rapidly. Therefore, even if COVID-19 guidelines change, partners can still run programming virtually or through distribution of pre-recorded sessions without missing a beat.

Pickens added, This helps children have some sense of consistency, keeps them active, and keeps them connected to each other in a positive and fun way. The bottom line is that Soccer for Success keeps kids healthy in body and mind. In our current reality, this is more important than ever. 

About U.S. Soccer Foundation

The U.S. Soccer Foundation programs are the national model for sports-based youth development in underserved communities. Since its founding in 1994, the Foundation has established programs proven to help children embrace an active and healthy lifestyle while nurturing their personal growth beyond sports. Its cost-effective, high-impact initiatives offer safe environments where kids and communities thrive. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization.

Follow U.S. Soccer Foundation: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Face mask illustration by maria soloman for 360 MAGAZINE article.

Anti-Mask Protest Sparked in Utah

By Payton Saso

On August 21, 2020, a protest was held in St. George, Utah that was organized in objection to wearing face masks. The debate about whether or not face masks help has been going since COVID-19 was declared a national pandemic, but one group decided to go a little further than online debates and hold a protest.

The protest came after the state governor, Gary Herbert, declared that masks would be mandated at school, USA Today reported. The marchers gathered at the Washington County School District where hundreds opposed forcing kids to wear masks saying, “safety is not as important as our freedom and liberty.”

The protest came under fire after a the news broadcast that covered the protest went viral. “A white woman earnestly attempts to explain the alleged injustice: of her situation by drawing a comparison to the killing of George Floyd,” The Cut recapped. Clearly the woman here is comparing the final words and pain of George Floyd to the minor inconvenience of getting slightly out of breath from wearing a mask, which is disturbing on many levels.

The original broadcast was covered by ABC 4 where they reported, “Up to a thousand people showed up in St. George, stating children being forced to wear masks in classrooms is illegal and unconstitutional.” Which without a Supreme Court trial, these unconstitutional claims just remain an uneducated opinion.

This protest came just a few months after a similar protest in Jacksonville, Florida where anti-maskers met at the Duval County Courthouse to oppose the mask mandate there, The Florida Times recapped.

St. George News stated that, “…rally attendee Dustin Cox, who also spoke over the megaphone, encouraged district students in attendance Friday to not wear a mask when they return to school Monday, even if it means getting expelled.”

Where if protestors make the claim that if masks are getting in the way of learning, wouldn’t getting expelled be a greater obstacle to learning?

There is not really any science accepted that masks cause more harm than good, even though that is often what anti-maskers claim. The World Health Organization has repeatedly set out initiatives for the public to wear masks. Protests like this have been seen across the world even in some of the countries where COVID has hit hard.

While it is every Americans right to free speech and that will be protected under the constitution, the timing and subject just seem to be a bit insensitive. With over 195,000 deaths and 6.5 million confirmed cases in the United States, doing anything we can to slow the spread doesn’t seem unconstitutional — especially if it is as simple as wearing a face covering.

Halloween illustration by Maria Soloman for 360 MAGAZINE.

The Henry Ford’s Hallowe’en

The Henry Ford’s Hallowe’en in Greenfield Village presented by Meijer Celebrates 40th Anniversary with Reimagined Experience

The Henry Ford is excited to announce its continued 40-year tradition of Hallowe’en in Greenfield Village, presented by Meijer. Taking place over 15 nights, beginning Oct. 8-11, 15-18, 22-25, 29-31 from 4 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., this year’s event has been reimagined to ensure every guest’s visit is safe, responsible, and filled with spooky-fun. Tickets for members are now on sale. Non-members tickets become available September 16. All tickets can be purchased at thehenryford.org.

This year, Hallowe’en is completely taking over Greenfield Village, with a festival-like atmosphere replacing the prescribed walking path. Fans of past Hallowe’en events will still recognize many of their favorite aspects including more than 1,000 hand-carved jack-o-lanterns and 50-plus costumed characters from classic stories such as The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz, alongside newly-created storybook experiences.

Guests this year will be the first to experience a brand-new train adventure aboard the Hallowe’en Express. This ghostly journey around Greenfield Village is a ride for guests of all ages and due to high demand and increased safety procedures, requires advance timed reservations.

As The Henry Ford continues to prioritize the health and safety of its guests and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was necessary to make important program modifications including the omission of treat stations and dining experiences such as the Hallowe’en Fairy Tale Feast and Eagle Tavern Harvest Supper. Fall treats, hot beverages and craft beer will still be available for purchase.

In order to accommodate this large-scale, new experience, Greenfield Village will close its daytime operations beginning October 5, with the intention to reopen operations throughout weekends in November.

Due to limited capacities, advanced ticket purchases are highly recommended for Hallowe’en in Greenfield Village. Tickets are $14.50 for members and $17 for non-members, ages two and up. While each admission includes a ticket aboard the Hallowe’en Express train, timed advanced reservations are required. To make a complimentary reservation, call The Henry Ford’s Contact Center at 313-982.6001. Walk-up Hallowe’en Express tickets will not be available.

About The Henry Ford

Located in Dearborn, Michigan, The Henry Ford, a globally recognized destination, fosters inspiration and learning from hands-on encounters with artifacts that represent the most comprehensive collection anywhere focusing on innovation, ingenuity and resourcefulness in America. Its unique venues include Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Greenfield Village, Ford Rouge Factory Tour, Benson Ford Research Center and Henry Ford Academy, a public charter high school. Together with its online presence at thf.org, its national television series The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation and Invention Convention Worldwide, the growing affiliation of organizations fostering innovation, invention and entrepreneurship in K-12 students, The Henry Ford inspires individuals to unlock their potential and help shape a better future.

Hiccup in COVID-19 Vaccine Development

By Althea Champion

In a statement from AstraZeneca, reported by STAT News, the biopharmaceutical company reported a halt in their global research trial. The company, which is working with the University of Oxford and is one of the few waist-deep in the process of developing a COVID-19 vaccination, reported that the halt is a “routine action which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials.”

The company is in Phase 3 of their clinical trial in the U.S., as well as Brazil and South Africa, according to the New York Times, and in Phase 2/3 in England and India. AstraZeneca began the third phase of its clinical trial not much longer than a week ago, on Aug. 31.

Phase 3 efficacy trials involve thousands of volunteers, some of which are administered the vaccine in question, and others the placebo.

AstraZeneca and its most close competitors, Moderna and Pfizer, which have each been in phase 3 of their clinical trials since July 27, are backed by the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, a targeted allocation of resources meant to hasten the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The halt of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine—AZD1222—is the first made public by its drug maker, and will allow a safety review to take place. 

“A volunteer in the U.K. trial [of AZD1222] had been found to have transverse myelitis, an inflammatory syndrome that affects the spinal cord and is often sparked by viral infections,” reported the New York Times. “However, the timing of this diagnosis, and whether it was directly linked to AstraZeneca’s vaccine, is unclear.”

The vaccine was first developed by Oxford University’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group, according to nih.gov, and was then “licensed to AstraZeneca for further development.” Oxford-Astrazeneca began the third phase of its clinical trial not much longer than a week ago, on Aug. 31

The company stressed in its statement that the safety of their participants is a priority.

“We are working to expedite the review of the single event to minimize any potential impact on the trial timeline,” said the company in their statement. “We are committed to the safety of our participants and the highest standards of conduct in our trials.”

Running illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Best Workout Clothing Brands

Since COVID-19, many people have picked up new hobbies. While some people have honed the perfect sourdough bread recipe or crafted the ideal tie-dye technique, others have learned to love fitness. Now, with masks and social-distancing rules, people can venture out of their homes to enjoy outdoor exercise or even strict gym usage. And while your worn t-shirts and pajama shorts may have cut it in your living room it may be time to consider an upgrade to your workout outfits. Here are some of our favorite athletic clothing lines that are ideal for people looking to safely practice their quarantine-hobby outside of their home.

For shoppers who value unique styles:

Beach Riot

Beach Riot supplies bra tops, leggings, and shorts that you can feel confident that no one else on your running trail will adorn. With popping prints and unique silhouettes ranging from snakeskin, to palm trees, to tie-dye, Beach Riot offers bright prints to their bra and legging pairings. Best of all, you can get these adorable and functional styles for $78 – $98. Also, the brand even sells masks in some of their fantastic prints so shoppers can be dressed head-to-toe in brilliant patterns.

For shoppers who want guaranteed comfortable:

Champion

Champion may be known for their hoodies, but Champion offers the comfort and stylish taste that we all know and love in athletic-wear. With colorful sports bras, bike shorts, and mesh tanks, Champion Workout caters to all of your exercise needs.  Also, Champion is the perfect shop if you are looking for clothing to wear post-workout; in particular, Champion’s collaboration with MTV has some of our favorite comfy and cute clothing. After the successful spring exercise collection, Champion Workout returns for the fall season with new prints, popping colors, and fresh styles.

For shoppers who prioritize sustainable outfits:

Girlfriend Collective

In a world full of fast-fashion, Girlfriend Collective is a rare find of fashionable, ethical, and moderately priced athleisure. Girlfriend Collective offers buttery soft leggings, sports bras, and bike shorts while supporting ethical and sustainable fashion practices.

If you are looking to practice your shavasana in an outdoor yoga session, Girlfriend Collective will help put your mind at ease because each product is made from recycled materials. For example, the compressive leggings and bras are made from recycled plastic bottles (fun fact: 25 bottles go into each pair of leggings!). Other products, such as their t-shirts, are made from cupro, a fiber that is the waste from cotton industry production. Therefore, their cupro tanks and tees are zero-waste because they are made from other products cotton waste!

Conclusion

As the world eases into a new type of normal, it is important for us all to safely enter this new phase of life. This means taking what we have all learned while in quarantine – whether it be workout routines, recipes, or racial injustices – and applying this knowledge outside of our homes. Get excited about continuing your workout routine by adorning some new athletic-wear (and a mask, of course!) while following CDC guidelines. Be sure to check out these brands and let us know what other athleisure brands you’re loving.

COVID Mask Care illustration by Mina Tocalini

Study Shows State-By-State Reopenings Exacerbate COVID

As Summer vacations end in Europe and in the United States and students return to college campuses and primary schools worldwide, fresh waves of COVID infections are causing renewed restrictions after loosening in the Spring and Summer. However, a new study shows that this uncoordinated opening, closing, and reopening of states and counties, is making the COVID problem worse in the U.S., according to the authors of a new study released today. Using methods from their previous work, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, MIT PhD student Michael Zhao and Sinan Aral, Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy and author of the upcoming book The Hype Machine, have released the first comprehensive study of the impact of state-by-state re-openings on the COVID pandemic, spanning January to July, 2020 with surprising and troubling results.

After studying combined data on the mobility of over 22 million mobile devices, daily data on state-level closure and reopening policies and social media connections among 220 million Facebook users, the team found that reimposing local social distancing or shelter-in-place orders after reopening may be far less effective than policy makers would hope.

In fact, such closures may actually be counterproductive as they encourage those in locked down regions to flee to reopened regions, potentially causing new hotspots to emerge. This analysis demonstrates that travel spillovers are not only systematic and predictable, but also large and meaningful.

Arizona was one of the first states to open businesses, but in late June, bars, gyms, movie theaters, and water parks were shut down for 30 days as the state became one of the virus’s new hot spots. One month after dine-in restaurants, bars, and gyms were allowed to reopen in California, Governor Gavin Newsom made the country’s most aggressive reopening reversal amid his state’s spike in COVID-19 cases, shuttering all indoor dining, bars, zoos, and museums in the state. Similar reversals have occurred in Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, West Virginia among other states.

“We’ve seen a patchwork of flip-flopping state policies across the country,” says Sinan Aral, the senior author of the study. “The problem is that, when they are uncoordinated, state re-openings and even closures create massive travel spillovers that are spreading the virus across state borders. If we continue to pursue ad hoc policies across state and regional borders, we’re going to have a difficult time controlling this virus, reopening our economy or even sending our kids back to school.”

The new study showed that while closures directly reduced mobility by 5-6%, re-openings returned mobility to pre-pandemic levels. Once all of a state’s peer states (in travel or social media influence) locked down, focal county mobility in that state dropped by an additional 15-20% but increased by 19-32% once peer states reopened. “State policies have effects far beyond their borders,” says Aral. “We desperately need coordination if we are to control this virus.”

When an origin county was subject to a statewide shelter-in-place order, travel to counties yet to impose lockdowns increased by 52-65%. If the origin had reopened, but the destination was still closed, travel to destination counties was suppressed by 9-17% for nearby counties and 21-27% for distant counties. But when a destination reopened while an origin was still closed, people from the closed origins flooded into the destination by 11-12% from nearby counties and 24% from distant counties. “People flee closures and flood into newly reopened states,” says Aral, “we can’t avoid the travel spillovers caused by our ad hoc policies.”

These findings highlight the urgent need to coordinate COVID-19 reopenings across regions and the risks created by ad hoc local shutdowns and reopenings. In addition, the results highlight the importance of taking spillover effects seriously when formulating national policy and for national and local policies to coordinate across regions where spillovers are strong.

Kaelen Felix illustrates eviction article for 360 Magazine.

EVICTIONS POSTPONED FOR NOW

By Althea Champion

The Trump Administration recently announced a new eviction moratorium, which took effect Sept. 4th and will last until the end of December. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention put forward the order, which is meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, rent will be due when the moratorium expires at the end of the year.

The order is expected to go much further than its predecessor, the eviction ban classified under the CARES act, which protected 12 million tenants in qualifying properties and expired July 24th. The new moratorium is expected to protect all tenants who do not expect to earn more than $99,000 this year or face other financial limitations, and prove they are eligible.

This protection is meant to prevent a devastating wave of homelessness, that of which will likely spread the virus, worsening an already dire situation in the U.S.

Tenants breathed a huge sigh of relief as the news broke. According to a survey conducted by the National Housing Law Project, 85% of respondents expected a dramatic surge in eviction cases once the moratoria expired. However, the bills of tenants are not evaporating. Rather, they are starting a tab kept by their landlords.

“This Order is a temporary eviction moratorium to prevent the further spread of COVID-19,” the order reads. “This Order does not relieve any individual of any obligation to pay rent, make a housing payment, or comply with any other obligation that the individual may have under a tenancy, lease, or similar contract.”

Rather, it simply does not allow a landlord or owner of a property to evict tenants from their homes during the four month period it is active.

Tenants need to apply as soon as possible.

“To apply for the new moratorium, tenants will have to attest to a substantial loss of household income, the inability to pay full rent and best efforts to pay partial rent,” reports Matthew Goldstein of the New York Times. “Tenants must also stipulate that eviction would be likely to leave them homeless or force them to live with others at close quarters.”

This moratorium does not offer financial assistance. Instead, renters and landlords will take on the debt as they continue living in and renting their homes.

“The eviction moratorium the CDC enacted works from a health point of view, but it dodges the fundamental question, which is, how are we ultimately going to pay for this?” said Doug Quattrochi, a small landlord from Mass. on PBS NewsHour. “Just putting temporary band-aids on isn’t going to work when we knew, at the start of this, we were gonna need stitches.”

Maria Soloman illustration for Labor Day inside 360 magazine.

LABOR DAY: A TIME TO MOURN

By Althea Champion

While others spend the day with their families outside, grilling kabobs, taking advantage of the last inklings of warm weather, or swarming flash retail sales, others will spend it inside either on the clock on site, from home, or in isolation.

This Labor Day, 28 million Americans are out of work. Those who are, chiefly nurses, grocery store workers, custodial staff, and essential workers alike, are risking their health to stay employed. And, these are the people who, most likely, will not actually be permitted a day off to celebrate the federal holiday.

Created by the labor movement, Labor Day is meant to pay tribute to the hard work and dedication of American workers. More than a century ago, when it was celebrated in New York City for the first time, a parade ran through the streets, made complete by waving workers wearing smiling faces and flying flags, proud to be members of the new and progressive labor party. 

But, its establishment as a federal holiday came at a steep price. It was only after a massive boycott and the bloodshed of 13 and injuries of 53 did President Grover Cleveland recognize the first Monday of each and every September, which was already being observed in 23 other states, as a federal holiday.

Today, a great proportion (43%) of the essential working men and women of this country are people of color. And the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting them the hardest.

“According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native people had an age-adjusted COVID-19 hospitalization rate about 5.3 times that of non-Hispanic white people,” reported William F. Marshall, III M.D. “COVID-19 hospitalization rates among non-Hispanic Black people and Hispanic or Latino people were both about 4.7 times the rate of non-Hispanic white people.”

For the 1 in 5 people in the workforce receiving unemployment compensation, the day is similarly solemn. Benefits are in high demand. And, some of those who applied for it have either not received it because they were denied, or are still waiting.  The extension of their benefits, some of which have not even been delivered yet to applicants, are a hot spot of contention amongst congress, and job opportunities are few and far in between.

According to Aimee Pichee of CBS News, the unemployment rate fell below 10% for the first time since March. Despite this promising piece of news, she also reminds us that, “the hiring rate has slowed each month this summer, a signal that the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic may be losing steam.” 

Today, instead of going to a party or participating in a parade, we will acknowledge the impact of our workers, and mourn those who lost their lives fighting on the front lines against a pandemic that our country’s unit of government could not contain. Many are still fighting, punching a clock day-in and day-out, and will do so today despite the holiday.

Rodent illustration by Nicole Salazar for 360 MAGAZINE.

CITY RATS × STREETS

By Althea Champion

Thirty-four years after the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant meltdown, lush greenery and wild wolves freely inhabit the landscape, uninhibited by the burden of human life’s presence. Nine months after the first reported case of COVID-19 in the U.S., another lifeform—one much less beautiful and romantic—roams the comparatively barren city streets of the U.S.: rats.

In East Coast cities, from New Orleans to Boston to New York City, residents are reporting sightings of rats swarming, scouring the city, capitalizing on the valuable real estate human beings recently left behind in pursuit of the safety of their homes.

The swell of rat turn-out is not simply because the once busy streets they cowered in the shadows of are now empty, but because they are starving and in dire straits. It seems that hard times are not unique to humans during these past few months, but are actually falling on rats, too.

“Community-wide closures have led to a decrease in food available to rodents, especially in dense commercial areas,” the CDC reported in a May update of rodent-control guidelines in respect to COVID-19. “Some jurisdictions have reported an increase in rodent activity as rodents search for new sources of food. Environmental health and rodent control programs may see an increase in service requests related to rodents and reports of unusual or aggressive rodent behavior.”

According to the Boston Herald, Boston is currently handling an impressive rat problem of their own, with the Allston/Brighton neighborhoods reporting a whopping 88% increase in rodent activity in comparison to last year.

“Boston is experiencing an unusually large surge in rodent complaints during the coronavirus pandemic,” reported Meghan Ottolini of the Boston Herald. “With residents reporting massive infestations in gardens and rats ‘the size of cats’ scurrying down the street in broad daylight.”

The waste that rats once prospered on is no longer available as a result of much frequented restaurants and bars closing their doors. Scraps can no longer be found without extensive searches. Thus, city rats, motivated by their acute distress and changing landscape, are resorting to desperate measures. 

In New York City, where restaurants are permitted to serve patrons outdoors as of June 22, rats are also showing up to dine at the literal heels of customers bating for crumbs, according to The Guardian.

In cities more than ever, the line between wildlife and the human race is slimming. Unlike those who live in more rural areas, animals are not something city folk come in contact with on a daily basis—aside from a dog, cat, and the occasional hamster. 

Perhaps this is changing. Linda Rodriguez McRobbie of The Boston Globe suggests that the urban wildlifes—the coyotes in Chicago and San Francisco, mountain lions in Boulder, and the groundhog in Philadelphias—are perhaps lessening the “artificial division between ‘man’ and ‘nature,'” and maybe that isn’t a bad thing. Perhaps, humans do not have to be separate from nature, and rodents do feature in nature.

It is, after all, the year of the rat.

Online game illustration for 360 MAGAZINE

4 Observations Showing Us the World Has Changed

Oh boy. Did you ever think back in, hey, just 2019, that we’d end up where we are now? The world has changed significantly over the course of a year, but honestly, the writing has been on the wall for a while now that things are about to get real.

1. Celebrity status is now cemented as a valid work background as a politician, even president

Yep, Kanye is making a swing at getting on the ballot for the next election in the US. Crazy? No, considering both Trump and Schwarzenegger paved the way have gone on to be successfully voted in, after serving as a reality TV star (/businessman) and action movie hero, respectively.

Celebrities are (mostly) aware that they get a huge platform to speak from: they already have household name recognition. In fact, this is why Taylor Swift said she kept her political opinions to herself for so long. She believed that she was ‘just a pop singer’ so her approval or disapproval of political goings-on shouldn’t be used to sway her listener’s votes. She ended up changing her tune, but it really speaks to the reasons why we shouldn’t listen to celebs just because they’re in our faces.

Instead (sorry, Ye) we should look to people experienced in politics, leadership, international relations, and industry, instead of celebrities who have experience in their craft, marketing, and jet setting. Instead, politicians should listen to celebs as consultants – they have a unique world view which can be useful to hear.

2. International travel is no longer a thing

Planning your next far-flung island getaway? Ha! Hahaha! Yeah… about that. 

Throw your mind waaaay back, back to the beginning of 2020. International travel was more affordable than ever. Your Instagram was filled with stories from your mates time at the Maldives, or Bali, or Croatia. Life was grand and you were excited for your summer trip this year. Then came Covid and now international travel is only really for EU citizens (and maybe not even) and everywhere else is closed. No stamps on your passport, ridiculously expensive flights, and zero tourist visas anyway. 

Hope you’re happy holidaying somewhere close to home or getting the green screen out and just pretending. How many airlines will collapse before this is all over? How much will the tickets be afterward? When are we going to get to travel? Who. Knows.

3. We’re doing evvvverything online

Working from home, attending classes online, socializing via Zoom. Everyone has had to get used to doing their regular ‘in-person’ activities in a stripped-back, purely online form. And it’s worked for the most part.

Even activities you may not have thought of have shifted online – for instance, gamblers stepping away from the huge, luxury casinos they’re used to playing at in favor of online houses. Of course, these land-based casinos have something their online counterparts cannot replicate (it’s good but not quite the same). When you enter you feel the energy, the scale of the places, and, unless you’re a billionaire, you may feel a little intimidated.

With such a huge shift online, it’s unlikely we’ll see the pendulum swing back entirely the other way to in-person activities. It’s great not having to wear pants, after all.

There is now such a thing as BC and AC: Before COVID-19 and After COVID-19, and it is apparent that there is a shift in international relations during these time periods. While there may not be a significant shift in power dynamics between different countries – yet – there certainly has been some interesting ripples as different countries, and even different regions within countries, feel dismayed at others’ policies.

4. International relations have shifted

Of course, much of this international shift has to do with the posture of the US, with Europeans now alarmed at the rising rates of coronavirus and wondering why US citizens aren’t more concerned with their health. There’s also the president out here returning to calling COVID-19 “The China Virus” which strains already fraught tensions between the two superpowers. The meddling of Russia in both the US elections and (allegedly) Brexit. People are still wary of China and yet intrigued as to how cleverly they’ve seemingly handled their internal coronavirus situation.

To sum up: it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin.

However, these new emerging dynamics are unlikely to go away, or back to the way they were any time soon, if at all. It’s going to be a very interesting few years to come.

The world has changed and it’s still changing – faster and faster. Let’s see where we end up next, hey? And can 2020 please be over already?