Month: July 2020

Cross-continent couples fight for ‘sweetheart’ status amid COVID-19 travel bans

Leah Howd is worried that her 5-month-old son, Johan, won’t remember his father when they are finally reunited.

“He is too small to understand the person on the computer monitor is his dad,” she said.

Howd, 39, of Peoria, Illinois, hasn’t seen her partner, Bas Bruurs, 41, of the Netherlands for three months — they are among thousands of couples now kept apart in different corners of the world by COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The U.S. has banned most foreign travelers from Europe since March, while the European Union barred Americans from visiting its 27 member states July 1.

NBC News’ Social Newsgathering team spoke to Americans desperate to be reunited with their partners who are using social media hashtags such as #LoveIsEssential and #LoveIsNotTourism to spotlight their stories.

Howd and Bruurs, who met playing the online video game Guild Wars 2 in 2015, have been dating since 2017, and they

Read More

4 effective ways to make your virtual workplace more inclusive

Let’s be honest: pre-pandemic, working from home was a dream. After COVID-19 forced almost everyone to work remotely, we’ve discovered the new virtual workplace encompasses more than Zoom calls, virtual coffees, and cat memes in Slack.

Tech companies did not exactly embrace working from home before the worldwide lockdown, despite studies showing working from home increases employee productivity. Skilled remote workers are also happier employees that are 9% more engaged and 50% less likely to quit their job.

The crisis disproved the perception that working from home was counterproductive. By mid-May, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey emailed his employees that the entire workforce was allowed to permanently work from home – Slack followed suit in June. Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft recommended their employees work remotely until October or for the remainder of the year.

Work-life balance, mental health, and diversity and inclusion were already important subjects

Read More

41 Design Shows to Watch Now

With the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic still impacting people’s daily lives and routines across the world, folks are continuing to turn inward and hunkering down for what may be several more weeks of social distancing. What better time, then, to start watching a design-focused TV series that is informative, heartwarming, and/or aesthetically pleasing? Happily, there is no shortage of design shows to choose from during this period, whether you’re more into stories about life-changing renovations or elaborate, gravity-defying feats of architecture. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the most bingeable design-centric series on streaming services and cable now, with hopes that they will offer a small respite from an exhausting news cycle. Beautiful imagery aside, these series will remind you of the importance of these places we call home.

Selling Sunset

<h1 class="title">2</h1> <div class="caption"> The <em>Selling Sunset</em> agents at one of their multimillion-dollar listings. </div> <cite class="credit">Courtesy of Netflix</cite>

The Selling Sunset agents at one of their multimillion-dollar listings.

Courtesy of Netflix

Plenty of drama keeps things interesting on

Read More

The 20 Industries That Will Never Be the Same After the Coronavirus

There are occasions when a crisis sparks a wholesale change in the way that America does business. One of those epoch-shifting moments when people are forced to take note of a process they might not have questioned before, only to realize it has to change. Likewise, sometimes it’s a matter of an industry just needing that push to take steps toward the future that might otherwise have dragged on for years. Regardless, a major crisis can often spark major changes in the economy, and thus far, it appears the coronavirus pandemic won’t be any different.

Across the country, many businesses are in the process of learning a lot about their supply chains, their products, their workforce and perhaps most of all, just how crucial it can be to have infrastructure in place for remote work. As the coronavirus has essentially redefined the 2020 business year across the U.S., it’s also … Read More

Greece, Malta and Norway reopen to UK holidaymakers

Greece has reopened, but tourists remain few and far between - Getty
Greece has reopened, but tourists remain few and far between – Getty

Greece, Malta and Norway have reopened to UK holidaymakers, taking the number of countries Britons can visit without significant restrictions to 26. 

While Greece rebooted its vital tourism industry on July 1, a ban on direct flights from Britain was extended due to the UK’s relatively high infection rate. Flights can resume from today. 

Among the first airlines to return will be BA, which has availability on its 1150 departure to Athens tomorrow, and Wizz, which is offering flights to Athens and Crete from Thursday. Tui, Europe’s biggest tour operator, also plans to restart Greek holidays in the coming days. 

Arrivals in Greece must complete an online form. They may also be asked to undergo testing for coronavirus, but this is unlikely.

Malta reopened to tourists on July 1, but only those from selected countries including Germany and

Read More

Nick Offerman’s 5-Step Plan to Get Into Woodworking

There is perhaps no more telling anecdote about the murky distinction between Nick Offerman, the actor, and Ron Swanson, the fictional Director of the Pawnee City Department of Parks and Recreation he played on Parks and Recreation, than the parting gifts bestowed on the cast and crew shortly after the series ended in 2015. 

A little less than a year after the final curtain, series co-creator Mike Schur took to Twitter to reveal that Offerman had carved elegant canoe paddles with the Pawnee City crest emblazoned on them for the entire cast and crew — paddles that were made from wood Offerman had salvaged from the rubble that once was the Parks & Rec set.  

It was both a heartfelt tribute to a beloved character, and a testament to how deeply Offerman loves the craft of woodworking. Offerman’s father and uncles had instilled in him a love of woodwork

Read More

Will UConn play football this year? Public health experts unsure about fall sports during coronavirus pandemic

Currently, UConn football players are on campus in Storrs. They have been tested for COVID-19. They have passed through a modified quarantine period during which they remained in small groups. They have completed strength and conditioning workouts. They have begun on-field activities.

But no one knows for sure whether they’ll actually get to play.

Amid a raging pandemic, public health experts both nationally and in Connecticut have raised eyebrows about the idea of college sports this fall. Some say the games will be safe as long as schools implement proper protocols. Others wonder whether sports, particularly on college campuses, are worth the risk.

“We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and there is no way we can make the risk zero,” said Dr. Matthew Cartter, Connecticut’s state epidemiologist. “We have to ask ourselves as a society, are sports important that we’re willing to accept the risk that people involved in

Read More

75 Websites That Can Save You Money in a Recession

fizkes/istockphoto
fizkes/istockphoto

Time to Save Online

Now more than ever, as the country finds itself in a pandemic-induced recession, saving money has become essential for Americans. The good news is there are plenty of websites that can help you do that, connecting users with deals and discounts on everything from grocery shopping to clothing and gas. Here are some of the top options for pinching pennies.

Related: How COVID-19 Is Changing Retirement in America

RetailMeNot
RetailMeNot

RetailMeNot: Discounts, Sales and Online Cash Back

RetailMeNot
RetailMeNot provides digital codes to apply at checkout when shopping online. The site also includes holiday sales and even clearance sales across all categories.

Groupon
Groupon

Groupon: Discounts and Coupons

Groupon
Groupon offers a massive selection of localized deals and discounts. Those who sign up for alerts will get notifications about everything from special sales to new promo codes or price drops on items or services you may have

Read More

“Many Delegates” Expected, U.S. Movie Prospects & Controversial Directors

Click here to read the full article.

News yesterday that Telluride was canning its 2020 edition in the face of ongoing coronavirus challenges has left a hole in a film festival calendar already decimated by cancellations and postponements. The ‘fall festival trifecta’, as it is regularly referred to (Venice-Telluride-Toronto), has become a perfecta, and the events that do go ahead will be slimmed down this year to make them more manageable and safe.

These peculiar set of circumstances are putting added spotlight on the Euro fests that take place in later summer or early fall. Sarajevo insists it is happening in August (14-21), despite the recent cancellation of events in neighboring countries, and that is followed by Venice (September 2-12). Next up in the calendar is Spain’s San Sebastian Film Festival (September 18-26). The event, set up in 1953, has long brought together films from Cannes, Venice and Toronto, alongside

Read More

These couples are stuck thousands of miles apart because of travel bans

Leah Howd is worried that her 5-month-old son, Johan, won’t remember his father when they are finally reunited.

“He is too small to understand the person on the computer monitor is his dad,” she said.

Howd, 39, of Peoria, Illinois, hasn’t seen her partner, Bas Bruurs, 41, of the Netherlands for three months — they are among thousands of couples now kept apart in different corners of the world by COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The U.S. has banned most foreign travelers from Europe since March, while the European Union barred Americans from visiting its 27 member states July 1.

NBC News’ Social Newsgathering team spoke to Americans desperate to be reunited with their partners who are using social media hashtags such as #LoveIsEssential and #LoveIsNotTourism to spotlight their stories.

Howd and Bruurs, who met playing the online video game Guild Wars 2 in 2015, have been dating since 2017, and they

Read More