How COVID-19 has affected different forms of transportation

One thing that has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic is transportation. Whether that be public transportation, or moving by cars or bikes, they all have had significant changes over the last few months. 

Public transportation, including buses and subways, have taken a pretty big hit from the virus. This is because the amount of germs and commonly used areas deter lots of people from using public transit.

Also, many people are working from home and no longer are leaving their houses as often. As a result, in many large cities in the United States, China, and Europe, the amount of people who utilize public transit has dropped 50-90%.

Unfortunately, this takes a negative toll because the funding and money invested in these systems has been going quickly. 

Another form of transportation that has seen a significant difference recently are airlines. Because lots of people have been limiting their travel and staying home, airports are starting to resemble ghost towns and flights are almost completely empty,  with some flights only being about 15% full.

As of the time of this article, only one in five seats are being filled, while in the beginning of the year, airlines were filling about four out of five seats.

While thousands of airplanes are not being used and there are only a limited number of operating security lanes, airlines have asked for a $58 billion federal relief package. This is so they can pay grants to their employees and pay loans for some expenses during a time where airlines have lost big sums of money. 

While other forms of transportation have been struggling, a very popular way of getting around has been cars and personal vehicles. Not only is this the most sanitary option for many, but it also is significantly safer. Although fewer people are hitting the roads because of the ability to work from home, and the limited things to do outside, traffic has gone down leaving roads bare and somewhat empty.

Unfortunately, this has resulted in more fatal crashes and deaths mainly caused by speeding. In Minnesota and Louisiana, there have been more traffic related fatalities during the coronavirus pandemic than there had been at the same time in previous years. 

On a positive note, the environmentally friendly ways of getting around by foot and bike have flourished during this unfavorable time. While more of us have time to spare, and the weather has been enjoyable, lots of people have been out riding their bikes, walking their dogs, or going out for some exercise during the day. Not only is this a safe way to leave your house and get some fresh air, but it can be a very relaxing and stimulating thing to do after a long day of work at home to change up the scenery and relax. 

How the pandemic has affected movies

The coronavirus pandemic has brought a lot of changes to daily life and how things are going. Stores started closing early and only letting a certain number of people into the store, some business closed entirely, and many people have started to work from home.

One of the other things that has changed has been movie production.

Production on lots of movies and TV shows has been halted due to it including large groups of people and it being hard to adhere to the safety guidelines: like staying six feet apart. Movie theaters have also closed.

Due to the theaters closing, many film studios have opted to release their movies instead on a streaming service to be able to rent. Movies typically cost twenty dollars to watch this way.

The price has caused some controversy as some people feel like twenty dollars is too much. This is because theater ticket prices for one person can be as low as five dollars, depending on where you’re going. Even an AMC ticket is usually only around fourteen dollars for a single person.

However, for a family with children, this price is extremely cheap. Some families would be paying double the price to go see a movie, plus with food and drinks it becomes even more expensive.

An at home theater experience ensures families can pay a way lower price to see a film, they can have cheaper microwave popcorn, and they can pause the movie if they need to.

This has proved to be beneficial for the movie companies too, as Trolls: World Tour made way more money than its projected profit.

Companies seem to be comfortable offering their movies this way, as at home theater rentals seem to become more and more common.

Not every movie can benefit from the pandemic. Many have had to halt production and change their release date. This can cause a shift in a company’s schedule for years. This can be seen with Marvel. They had every movie planned out for many years, so even having to push back one release date can affect all their movies. This can result in a major profit loss.

Movies like Mulan, Wonder Woman 1984, and Venom 2 have been pushed back months for their release. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is nearing it’s tenth anniversary and was going to be rereleased in theaters, but now it’s going to have wait.

Other movies like Scoob! and The Invisible Man have adjusted to the pandemic by releasing for a rental.

The pandemic has caused many things in our daily life to change. One thing is for sure though, movies will always be around and many studios are willing to adapt to change to put out their movies for viewing. Although production has halted on some projects, they will still be released.

What the US government has done wrong during the pandemic

Some countries have handled the COVID-19 pandemic better than others: Australia is already going back to school, South Korea has had widespread testing since the beginning of the pandemic, and Germany has the lowest mortality rate in the world.

On the other hand, in the US, the stay at home orders are being extended into June, there is a shortage of testing, states are competing for resources, and we have the most cases in the world. 

One of the biggest issues that the US has faced is the lack of testing. In the beginning, the WHO came out with tests that worked and were widespread and were working for the most part, but the CDC made their own tests that were going to be used in the US. These tests had major setbacks, and the US couldn’t get as many people tested as other countries because we weren’t producing enough tests.

Another huge issue is that states are competing for resources like ventilators and masks. The US government hasn’t done a good job providing, and rationing, resources so whichever state has the most money, or is willing to spend the most money, will get the most resources.

Finally, the spread of misinformation by the president is causing a lot of problems. Trump has been contradicting Dr. Fauci and telling people to take medicine that hasn’t been proven to help, or ingest chemicals that could have disastrous side effects. He recently told people that testing is overrated and that the less you test the less cases you have. Ever since the beginning of the pandemic, Trump has been saying things that aren’t true and has not been listening to the government issued guidelines.

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Are video games good for you during quarantine?

During quarantine there is a little more free time for people to decide what to do.

Some people want to complete or start a video game. If you play video games in quarantine is that good for you?

It is good for you to a certain extent, meaning that you don’t want to stay up till 1am playing the video game. Video games help improve your mind with puzzles and strategy with interactive experiments throughout the game.

Video gaming is up 75% on Verizon’s networks. This means, if you go online to play with a stranger you are likely to find someone to play with.

Gaming helps you keep your mind off things, kills time, fun, and a good way to “social distance.”

With the new systems of gaming there are popular games that are really good that I personally also enjoy. With these popular games you can connect with your friends and play together.

Then though, video games have been stereotyped like “waste of time” but this is the perfect time to unwind, and hangout with friends.

Overall, video games are good for you during quarantine.

 

Apps

There are lots of things to do during this time.

You could draw or play board games.

You could do so much, but most people just like to chill on their phones.

That’s okay too!

Since we have a lot going on in our day, we have to make sure we are taking care of ourselves. We should all try and do our best to make good habits that can last us until after quarantine. If you already have good habits that you want to stick to there are some fun games to pass the time below as well. 

1. Headspace

This app is a really good way of keeping track of your mental and physical health. It’s good for stress, and is a good way to help wind down for the night.

On Google Play it has a 3.5 star review and over 10 million downloads. 

2. Brain Test:Tricky Puzzles

This app is so much fun! It’s a fun way to find new ways of solving problems and it is a really good way to spend time playing! It’s not really an IQ tester but it’s fun to play around on. 

It has a 4.6 star review and over 50 million downloads.

3. What’s up? – A Mental Health App

This app has a lot to offer, it keeps track of your good days, when you rate them on a scale of good to bad. It’s almost like an online diary to help you reflect on the past. It has habit trackers and uplifting quotes. 

It has a 4.3 star review and over 500 thousand downloads.

4. Bored Button – Games 

This app offers a bunch of games and puzzles! A great way to pass the time with many levels and games to choose from. Once you finish up school work this app has a lot to give.

It has a 3.8 star review and over 5 million downloads.

5. Houseparty 

This app is one of my favorites! It’s a great way to connect with others through a video chat! There are built in games that you can play with your friends from a distance! If you get your friends to download it you can play with a bunch of your friends! It’s a great way to stay connected and have fun! 

It has a 4 star review and over 10 million downloads!

I hope this was a helpful article! I know how hard it is to find ways to spend your time since we’re all stuck at home. Stay safe!

Conditions in Amazon warehouses

So, we all know there is a global pandemic going on right now where everybody who is labeled as a non-essential worker is being asked to stay inside in much as possible.

This, and the fear of contracting or spreading the virus, has many people shopping online.

With the rise in online orders, many things are out of stock or take longer to ship. All of this purchasing has been handled at distribution centers that are having significant losses in staff. 

According to the New York Times, workers in Amazon distribution centers across the country are realizing what a large role they play in the success of the company. The workers are using this as leverage to “demand better pay, better sick leave and more of a voice in how the company is run.”

Fear about, and around, the coronavirus has caused attendance at Amazon warehouses to fall as much as 30%, leaving the remaining workers to struggle with the rise in the number of orders while the numbers of staff are falling. 

Amazon has also been accused of firing workers who participated in protests about the working conditions inside the warehouses. These conditions depend on what state the warehouse is in, and has also been a rough topic as some are closed for cleanings while others remain open.

Many employees have tested positive for the corona virus. After the first case was found in Queens, NY, employees at 50 other sites had also tested positive.

Recently, Amazon has been giving its workers quarantine leave and has also raised their wages, while also giving more space between stations and tripling the janitorial staff.

Shanghai Disneyland reopen

By La Dafia Dehaney

Disneyland, in Shanghai, reopened back to the public on May 11, 2020. The SVP of Operations for Shanghai Disney Resorts, Andrew Bilstein, reported that “We have a very dedicated team of custodial cleaners that we’ve increased the number of those throughout the park that are constantly wiping down all the surfaces.”

To stay open, Disneyland is required to have only 24,000 people daily, the visitors are required to wear face masks (only costumed workers are the only ones not required to wear masks), the visitors should also practice social distancing, have their temperatures taken and have disinfectants. The park is covered with garbage cans dedicated solely for used face masks. 

Shanghai Disneyland parades have been canceled due to people always crowded at the sidewalk to watch them. The theatres there have also remained close.

To go on rides at Disney, they have placed purple social-distancing mats on the ground. To practice more social distancing Disney has decided to leave rows of seats empty on the rides, and the employees have been instructed to constantly disinfect ride vehicles and lap bars.

People who attend so far have been very respectful about the social distancing rules.

Due to the travel restrictions, only Shanghai residents, and the surrounding provinces, were allowed to go, but guests must book entry tickets online to avoid a large crowd. Also, they must show a green QR Shanghai health code, this helps the government track them if they are exposed and who they have been in contact with.

Shanghai Disneyland is the only one of the company’s parks to reopen, Disney is uncertain when they will reopen the other theme parks. But, Disney has signaled that Disneyworld in Florida might reopen next. The mall there, Disney Springs, will begin phased reopening on May 20.

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A quick list of how to stay positive during quarantine

Here are some suggestions on how to stay positive during quarantine:

  • Make sure to let sunlight in: Sunlight is shown to increase the brain’s release of serotonin a hormone. Serotonin can boost moods and helps a person feel calm and focused.
  • Listen to music: Music can cause your brain to release dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that makes you feel good and is often associated with why we use our phones so much. The dopamine is addicting and your brain gets used to it.
  • Talk to someone: We may be separated but we are not alone in these times. We all are going through the same thing so we all have something to talk to each other about. You should also ask your family how they are doing and how they are holding up, it could just make there day better.
  • Exercise: Exercise is good for your body and your mind. Some of us may being doing this already but I know a lot of us are just inside sitting around and that can’t be healthy. So get a move on and get some exercise even if it’s once a week
  • Eat healthy: Eating healthy has always been a good way to stay positive and it shown to have good effects in your life. Junk food can make you groggy and lazy if you eat it more then healthy food. So eat your greens and veggies, oh and don’t forget the fruits

Good things happening in the world

Coronavirus came to the U.S. in late January. The first confirmed case in the U.S. was on January 21st. Ever since, the news has been filled with new information about the virus. How to stay safe, how to prevent it, etc.

Along with the negativity, there have been many more positive things happening in both the environment and the world. 

Disneyland is donating excess food to food banks. Even though Disneyland closed temporarily due to the safety concerns, their oversupply of snacks will be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. The food donated was dairy, fruit, and vegetables.

Walt Disney, and Disneyland resorts, have a continuing commitment to reducing any food waste. Each year they donate over 1.2 meals to their local Second Harvest Food Bank. There are also cast members volunteering to collect, sort, and distribute food donations. 

Specialists say that there is still hope in conserving marine life. Although the process will take three decades; it’s all due to human activity. According to Mongabay, 8 million tons of plastic pollute the ocean every year. If humans can pollute less, then the ocean could be fully re-established by 2050.

Humans can strive to help by attempting to decrease carbon emissions that accelerate climate change. While some parts of the ocean are easy to restore, some aren’t. For example the coral reefs. Coral reefs are bleaching because of climate change.

If the ocean is going to be saved, action must be taken within a short amount of time.

Oil companies are collapsing during these times but the wind and solar energy are the opposite of collapsing, they are growing. Industry executives and analysts expect renewable businesses to grow in 2020, while oil, coal, and gas companies struggle.

In California and Texas, for example, solar panels and wind turbines now produce more electricity, in a more economical way, than coal and natural gas. The good thing about solar and wind energy is that it’s sustainable and clean for humankind. 

While the world has been having a problem with polluted air and non-clear skies, during the time of self-quarantining and not leaving the house, carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced. According to VICE, air travel has dropped by over half in late March. Which accounts for 2.5% global carbon dioxide emissions. This is a good thing because when we do need to go outside for some fresh air or take a walk, we will smell pure and clean air. 

Quarantine haircuts

By: Vivian S

About a week ago, at the time of writing this, as the sun set over the horizon and the day wound to a halt, I walked upstairs with my mother. We stood in front of a mirror and she handed me a pair of scissors. Reaching out, I grabbed her hair, and carefully, I hacked through the mounds of tangled hair she had grown during quarantine.

It was the best experience of my life.

Stuck at home during social distancing, one of the businesses that has been closed (at least here in Minnesota) are hairdressers.

Now, lost as we are without our stylists’ help, our hairs have begun to grow long and matted. Some have taken this tragedy into their own hands though, as my mother did, and cut their own hair at home.

Now is the time! That haircut you dream of yourself having in your nightmares? You can give yourself that! No one ever need know; it’s not like you shall be seeing anyone anyway.

Of course, I can make no promises as to how long social distancing shall last. Who knows? Perhaps you may be called back to work tomorrow, and all of your coworkers will see, and laugh, at the mohawk you gave yourself. It may be better to play it safe and give yourself a haircut you would be willing for others to see you with.

If you want ideas for your own haircut, you need only to search for “coronacut” on Twitter or Instagram to see all the photos of people trying to do their own.

Why, you could partially shave your head. That’s an idea, though whether your razor will die halfway through is out of my vision.

Regardless, corona haircuts seem like a great way to have fun during social distancing. I have not gotten mine yet, but it is only a matter of time.