How to create a pandemic pod for safe social interaction
Outdoor summer barbecues, socially distanced hikes, and mask-wearing play dates at the park have helped people maintain in-person contact with friends and family during the coronavirus pandemic.But those outdoor gatherings will become less feasible as the pandemic stretches into the fall and temperatures drop, leaving many grasping for an alternative.Enter pandemic pods. Also known as quarantine bubbles or quaranteams, they are becoming increasingly popular among families and extended family as a way to socialize safely.A pandemic pod is a group of friends or families who agree to strict safet...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Barton Goldsmith: Adjusting expectations in work, play, and family
Whatever your feelings and beliefs about COVID-19, it is painfully obvious to most people that life has changed and will remain different for some time to come. With the massive changes that we’re experiencing, realigning our expectations will help us cope.Writing off 2020 is not really going to help you emotionally. Putting your plans on hold is not the same as putting your whole life on hold, although it is easy to fall into the trap of believing otherwise. None of us expected this massive adversity, and we are learning how to deal with it as best we can, one day at a time, just bumping alon...
Tribune News Service
Mohsin Hamid discusses 'Exit West'
In Mohsin Hamid’s moving novel, “Exit West,” a series of mysterious doors appear around the world, immediate portals into distant lands. The novel follows a pair of lovers who first attempt to navigate their own city, racked by violence, before ultimately deciding to test their luck through the doors.When the novel debuted in 2017, it was published coincidentally in the midst of controversy surrounding President Donald Trump’s travel ban affecting majority-Muslim countries. The book went on to critical acclaim — The New Yorker proclaimed it “a novel about immigrants that feels instantly canoni...
A military veteran in recovery is using his home to help struggling veterans find peace and sanctuary
PHILADELPHIA — Anthony Luton has seen a lot of things in life, good and bad.A Vietnam-era veteran, the West Philly man served his country in the Air Force and struggled with service-connected depression for years before he knew what was wrong with him. He’s been through addiction, and come out the other side. Homelessness, too.By the time he was in his 60s, Luton was well on his way to earning a college degree in behavioral health. But he didn’t want to wait to help people. He felt he already had something of value to offer: his home.“It’s a four-bedroom house my mother left me,” Luton said. “...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Despite obstacles, essential worker wages are up slightly during COVID-19
SAN DIEGO — In the early days of the pandemic, grocery worker Roger McCullough was taken aback by the praise he’d regularly receive from customers. Even a member of the military thanked him for his service. But, then things started to change.McCullough, 55, who’d worked at Vons for 30 years, said customers grew more frustrated with workers about everything from having to wear a mask to items being out of stock. It didn’t help when his Vons made national news for a customer wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood in the store, and people criticized workers for not beating up the hood-wearing patron.But, it...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick mourns death of his mother, misses Saturday's scrimmage
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick did not participate in the team’s scrimmage on Saturday to mourn the death of his mother.Fitzpatrick wanted to practice with the team on Saturday, jogging onto the Hard Rock Stadium field alongside fellow quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa and Josh Rosen before the team scrimmaged for the first time during training camp.But Fitzpatrick’s time on the field was short-lived.Fitzpatrick and Dolphins coach Brian Flores walked together in step, both with one arm around the other in an interaction that was significantly more personal than just a day off for the ve...
Why Europe guru Rick Steves wants travelers to stay home
The man who built a business empire encouraging Americans to visit Europe is embracing a new concept: Stay at home. The continent remains on his mind, though, especially while recording the audio version of his recently released book, filled with favorite travel moments, “For the Love of Europe.” Rick Steves — guidebook author, television personality and small-group tour entrepreneur — is bullish on the future, even if he can’t predict exactly when he will travel again. This conversation has been edited.Q: What does it feel like to stay at home?A: It is reminding me that life has many dimensio...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Our plan to work and teach from home blew up. Now I'm taking family leave
SAN DIEGO — The headline on July 13 — Los Angeles and San Diego Schools to Go Online-Only in the Fall — hit our household like a lightning bolt.I cursed loudly in the small sunroom-turned-office of our rented house in Southeast San Diego. “I just read it,” my wife called back telepathically from the kitchen, where she was making lunch for our two boys, ages five and six.Like so many working parents, we were counting on K-12 schooling to provide not only education but indispensable childcare. Online distance learning, on the other hand, required intense adult supervision for our soon-to-be kind...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Larry Stone: For many, the Mariners fan cutouts that fill T-Mobile Park are more than just a fun gesture
SEATTLE — They dot the stands, a virtual throng of Mariners fans, in silent and perpetual vigil throughout this oddest of baseball seasons.If you’re able to forget, for a moment, that they are made of synthetic material, and really stretch your imagination, you can almost remember what it was like when real people made real noise at T-Mobile Park. Instead, with live fans banned from attendance due to coronavirus, we get cutout replicas, more than 13,000 of them.“In this bizarre world we’re living in, and this very different sports world, it’s kind of nice to see fans in the seats, even if they...
The Seattle Times
Mac Engel: Why universities cut budgets rather than tap from their massive endowments
FORT WORTH, Texas — While colleges and universities slash budgets in the face of historic losses, a common echo on every campus rings, “Use the endowment!”Stanford University, with the nation’s fourth-highest endowment at $26.4 billion, cut 11 sports from its athletic department.TCU, with an endowment of $1.7 billion, has scaled back benefits for employees, and high-ranking coaches and administrators have taken pay cuts.The University of Texas system’s endowment is the second-richest in the U.S., and its schools have narrowed budgets via pay freezes and some layoffs.Why are the colleges and un...
Fort Worth Star-Telegram