The Conversation

Movie theaters survived pandemics and home video before, but can the film industry adapt this time?

Movie theaters survived pandemics and home video before, but can the film industry adapt this time?

Since the start of the pandemic, the film industry has been in free fall. As deaths have continued to climb, so have studio losses, with crowded theaters – once a source of collective entertainment and escapism – now seen as Petri dishes for the virus. Familiar blockbuster franchises whose summer releases studios banked on to […]

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Staying safe as states start to reopen and assessing risk when reconnecting with friends and family

Staying safe as states start to reopen and assessing risk when reconnecting with friends and family

Editor’s note: Now that states are relaxing social distancing restrictions, people desperately want to see friends and family, go to a restaurant, and let our kids have playdates. Even grocery shopping sounds fun. But how can you do that and still stay safe? Here, an epidemiologist who is immune-compromised himself walks you through some decision-making. […]

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How to shop safely at the grocery store amid the coronavirus pandemic

How to shop safely at the grocery store amid the coronavirus pandemic

Wear a mask, but skip the gloves. Don’t sanitize the apples. And if you are older than 65, it’s probably best to still order your groceries online. As a food virologist, I hear a lot of questions from people about the coronavirus risks in grocery stores and how to stay safe while shopping for food […]

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How drawing helped a Penn State professor cope with his mental illness and combat stigma

How drawing helped a Penn State professor cope with his mental illness and combat stigma

I’ve lived much of my life with anxiety and depression, including the negative feelings – shame and self-doubt – that seduced me into believing the stigma around mental illness: that people knew I wasn’t good enough, that they would avoid me because I was different or unstable, and that I had to find a way […]

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A-lop-bam-boom: Little Richard’s saucy style still influences music and culture today

A-lop-bam-boom: Little Richard’s saucy style still influences music and culture today

Little Richard was washing dishes at a Greyhound bus station in Macon, Georgia when he wrote “Tutti Frutti,” “Good Golly Miss Molly,” and “Long Tall Sally.” The singer, who died Saturday at 87, sent the songs as demos to Specialty Records. Soon he was having lunch with talent scout Robert “Bumps” Blackwell at a New […]

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Small businesses still struggle to receive aid after hurricanes, coronavirus, and other disasters

Small businesses still struggle to receive aid after hurricanes, coronavirus, and other disasters

The U.S. government has committed hundreds of billions of dollars to help small businesses weather the coronavirus pandemic. But early reports suggest larger companies are gobbling up much of the aid, while many of the neediest ones – particularly those with only a few dozen employees – aren’t benefiting. For example, large, generally profitable companies […]

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Alcohol sales spike as America drinks through coronavirus crisis, adding more health issues

Alcohol sales spike as America drinks through coronavirus crisis, adding more health issues

In the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic, it has become easier to buy alcohol than toilet paper or eggs. Across the U.S., governors are terming alcohol sales an essential business and loosening restrictions to permit home delivery and carryout cocktails, throwing an economic lifeline to one group of small businesses. Are alcohol sales actually essential? […]

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Why wearing face masks in public is now recommended to reduce spread of coronavirus

Why wearing face masks in public is now recommended to reduce spread of coronavirus

With the coronavirus pandemic quickly spreading, U.S. health officials have changed their advice on face masks and now recommend people wear cloth masks in public areas where social distancing can be difficult, such as grocery stores. But can these masks be effective? President Donald Trump, in announcing the change in the Centers for Disease Control […]

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Bob Dylan’s JFK assassination song ‘Murder Most Foul’ connects to uncertainty of coronavirus pandemic

Bob Dylan’s JFK assassination song ‘Murder Most Foul’ connects to uncertainty of coronavirus pandemic

Over the past few weeks, the coronavirus has turned the country’s cultural spigot off, with sports suspended, museums closed, and movies postponed. But the virus hasn’t stopped Bob Dylan, who, on the evening of March 26, released “Murder Most Foul,” a 17-minute long song about the Kennedy assassination. [Despite the COVID-19 shutdown, Dylan is still […]

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When restaurants close, Americans lose more than just a meal

When restaurants close, Americans lose more than just a meal

Arnold Schwarzenegger tweeted a video of himself on March 15 saying: “No more restaurants.” Seated in his palatial kitchen with two miniature horses, Whiskey and Lulu, beside him, the former California governor pronounced: “We don’t go out, we don’t go to restaurants. We don’t do anything like that any more.” Stay at home as much […]