Don't be surprised when you file your tax return this year.
The last thing anyone needs is social media posts spreading false information about the HPV vaccine, and yet, that's exactly what's happening.
Somewhere around the millionth day of lockdown, I decided that I needed to make a sartorial change. Here's the thing: I like sweatsuits just as much as the next person, but I was beginning to feel frumpy and unkempt, like I looked like a person in the throes of a pandemic, even though I am, of course, a person in the throes of a pandemic. (As a millennial, my main social currency is always keeping up appearances, despite how wrecked I may feel inside.) One mindless scroll through Instagram later and there it was in all its athleisure glory: Girlfriend Collective's Bike Unitard . I wondered whether I could pull it off. Bike shorts are one thing, I thought. A skin-tight one-piece is quite another. It leaves absolutely zero to the imagination. In my state of anxiety and uncertainty, I turned to the reviews, and after reading high praise such as "Better than a birthday suit," "This unitard is everything" and, my personal favorite, "Buy this!!!" I did just that and clicked purchase right then and there. A cool 78 bucks and precisely six shipping days later, the unitard was mine. And man, was it worth every penny. With a flattering scoop neck, low back, and built-in bra, this unitard [Stefon voice] has everything. It's made from a strong, compressive fabric that holds you in but isn't uncomfortable, and there are no unflattering seams anywhere - this thing moves every which way. The icing on the cake? Girlfriend Collective is a sustainable brand that practices ethical manufacturing and creates its activewear using recycled water bottles. I'm not going to come right out and admit how often I wear the unitard, so let's just say that it's in heavy rotation. Fortunately, it's so damn versatile that no one can tell. For Zoom meetings, I drape a cardigan over my shoulders. If I want to squeeze in an impromptu Peloton ride between calls, I jump right on the bike. On date night, I slip on a pair of high-waisted wide-leg jeans and - bam - I'm good to go. This unitard is truly a godsend for exercising and lounging around, which, for those of us lucky enough to be WFH, is really all we're ever doing these days, amiright? Related: Madewell Launched Leggings, and I'm Literally Never Taking Them Off
Setting aside this one-on-one time with them has really given them the opportunity to open up.
In 2019, I didn’t travel much. Instead, I swiped my credit card for every purchase and racked up points that I planned to use for a whirlwind luxury adventure in 2020. Spoiler alert: I ended up using those points to pay for groceries around month seven of being stuck inside my tiny NYC apartment. As COVID-19 raged across the world, every industry had to adjust to the new reality — and the credit card industry was no different. Travel credit cards changed their tune, awarding points for groceries and gas over travel and dining; cardholders turned to cashback cards to help pay their bills as unemployment soared. As the credit card industry adapted, so did those who relied on credit cards for a living — namely credit card points hackers and travel bloggers. The Points Guy, a credit card and travel/lifestyle website founded by Brian Kelly, is the behemoth of the credit card points world. With everything from luxury hotel reviews to tips and tricks to maximize your credit card points for otherwise impossible travel, The Points Guy has long relied on its ability to make enviable travel achievable. When the pandemic hit and travel was all but shut down, The Points Guy had to shift — and they had to shift quickly. “[At the beginning of the pandemic] we focused our coverage on helping our millions of readers navigate the new travel landscape — including how to get flight refunds, which travel insurance covers COVID-19 and which countries were open to US travelers,” Kelly explains. Once the initial shock wore off, they shifted their entire focus: “We were already transitioning beyond a purely points and miles, to a lifestyle and travel site, but COVID-19 accelerated this move.” As the world settled into extended quarantine, so did The Points Guy. They showed readers how to use points to pay for food, bills, and online shopping and they prepared their readers for life after COVID — encouraging them to save a stash of points for post-pandemic “revenge travel.” Due to their size and keen finger on the pulse of travel trends, their transition away from pure travel content was seamless. On the other side of the credit card points travel expert spectrum are travel influencers — people whose entire career rests on their ability to travel, usually full time. Haley Plotkin, who has run the blog and Instagram @readysetjetset since 2013, has traveled full time for the last five years — meaning she didn’t even have an official residence when the pandemic hit. “Having my own place didn’t make sense before, so I just stayed with my parents when I was home [in Austin, TX] for a day or two,” she says. “Now, I just live full time with my parents and I’m investing in furniture instead of travel.” For Plotkin, COVID-19 meant a complete shift in her content and income streams. With tourism boards and hotels canceling their programs, she was forced to shift from international travel guides and luxury island getaways to local Austin content and wine partnerships. Thankfully, with over 100,000 instagram followers, she had enough of a following to find other work, and though her income is certainly down since 2019, she’s still able to live. For some travel bloggers, though — especially those with smaller followings — the pandemic may mean the end of their careers as they know them. Dia Jin, a YouTuber who had been traveling and vlogging about travel hacking full time for three years when COVID hit, lost 90% of her business and had to rethink her entire career. “I started producing content around personal growth and spiritual expansion, but now everything is a bit up in the air,” Jin explains. She has settled in one place for the first time since she graduated college, and is racking up credit card points for future travels — even if she’ll just be traveling for fun, not work. Jin is not alone in dreaming of a travel-fueled future, even as she doesn’t know when the skies will become friendly again — and she’s definitely not alone in hoarding her points with that in mind. According to Jasmin Baron, a finance writer and Associate Editor of Credit Cards at Business Insider: “I think a lot of folks are still banking rewards and building up a stash to take a big trip when the pandemic ends. A sort of rewards splurge, if you will.” And even if the people traveling post-COVID don’t plan on profiting off it in the same way they once did, it’s hard to tell what lesson they’ll have learned from the pandemic. Will it be that credit card points shouldn’t be merely a way to experience luxury, but rather a way to stretch every dollar spent? Or will it be that, even if the system changes, there’s always a way to game it? As for me, I fall somewhere in between: While I’ll be saving up some points for international travel in 2022, I also can’t help but feel glee when I pay myself back for my endless takeout purchases as the pandemic rages on. I might not be a credit card points influencer, but I do appreciate getting perks where I can find them. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?This Is How Much My Credit Card Points Trip CostWhat To Do With Your Travel Credit Card PointsHow Lupita Nyong'o Does Downtime
One of them is sure to become "your song."From Country Living
Nikki Baird, vice president of retail innovation at Aptos, says the longer the pandemic lasts, the harder it will be to change consumer preferences.
The "Gossip Girl" star didn't hold back in a new Instagram post about the stressors of pandemic life.
"My grandparents have had the vaccine..."
During a recent interview with Deadline, the 25-year-old Netflix star said she's unsure how production would go "unless there was a vaccine."
One reporter says kids are getting too much screen time during the pandemic. He's parent-shaming, and he needs to STFU like, yesterday.
Not including: 'Lady in Red.'From Men's Health
This photo of George 😍.
And, in other news, Luna got her first pair of jeans and it was pure drama.
Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney urges the Biden-Harris administration to move quickly in cementing the ERA in the Constitution.
The coronavirus is forcing restaurant servers, delivery people and others to work under dangerous conditions. Here's what to tip them.
I had a good weekend. That's a big victory during the COVID-19 pandemic and everything else.
Since childhood, I projected my trans womanhood onto crushes. I didn’t understand my gender, so I assumed my affinity for women was solely romantic. I thought that if I could just find my soulmate my gender confusion would disappear. Until I did — and it didn’t. Then I came out. Two years later, in February 2019, I broke up with that soulmate and moved to LA in order to experience my true identity as an individual, separate from the relationship that I’d looked so hard to find. The decision kicked off a year of queer single chaos. I went on dates, I had one night stands, I fell hard for the wrong people, I tried new drugs and new spaces and a new persona. I felt like myself for the first time and I relished sharing that with the world. The best date I went on during that year was with Gaby. We didn’t hook up or catch feelings or go on some adventure; it was just coffee. But it began one of the most important relationships of my life. After the date, Gaby texted me to tell me that they had a partner, Mal, and that they were polyamorous. This shifted my expectations, but only slightly. I wasn’t looking for another relationship yet, and I was starting to accept my own polyamory. Gaby and I continued getting to know each other, and at some point we both confessed that we were better at finding hookups than platonic friendships. We clearly had an attraction. We clearly had a connection. But maybe dating wasn’t what was needed to best serve that connection. What if instead of hooking up, we asked each other, we did something far more vulnerable for both of us? What if we became friends? And so we made a pact not to have sex. Yes, that sounds like the first act of a romcom, but this one had a surprise ending: We kept our agreement. I thought being single was going to be about hookups and flings, but my 2019 was defined by friendship. I met so many people being out in queer community, and I began to realize that friends — true friends, like Gaby and Mal — could provide the support I’d always looked for from a partner. Before then, I had never allowed myself to be vulnerable, to open up emotionally, or to express my needs and wants in friendships — only in my romantic relationships. I struggled to make friends as a child, so as an adolescent and adult I tried to just be agreeable. I showed up for others and asked nothing for myself. But with my new friends, I could be vulnerable. It became okay to cry, to talk about money, to make mistakes, to say no, to say yes, to say maybe. These friends taught me what it means to trust in a friendship. And through this discovery of queer family, I achieved a newfound independence. I wasn’t reliant on one “significant other,” because I was part of several symbiotic relationships, in which we all took care of each other. It wasn’t that I lost interest in romance or sex or eventually finding future partners — it just no longer felt like a necessity. And then the pandemic happened. In spring 2020, Gaby and I lived within walking distance of each other, but we might as well have been in different states. They lived alone, but I lived with four roommates, all of whom continued to see their partners. I didn’t begrudge them this — if I was in a relationship, I would’ve wanted to see that person too — but it meant we weren’t totally quarantined, so I couldn’t safely see Gaby or anyone else. Meanwhile, Gaby was making plans to move in with Mal. Suddenly, cracks began to form in my newfound revelation around community. Sure, it’s nice to think that as queer people we can prioritize our friends over traditional relationship structures. But with the pandemic limiting the number of people we could safely see, people were choosing their partners. And I was alone. I spent months scrolling through dating apps, texting with strangers, going on FaceTime dates, getting reckless with DM slides — most of it fizzling out under the weight of just how many more months (maybe even years?) we had ahead of us. I’ve never been one to fulfill the lesbian U-Haul stereotype, but part of me wondered if I should try. Maybe if I met the right person, I could have someone too. It didn’t work. But I did manage to properly quarantine, so in July I could visit Gaby and Mal in the house they rented for the summer. We went swimming and stargazed and cuddled in bed watching Drag Race. For a brief moment, the solitude of the year gave way to the community I’d missed so deeply. Texting and FaceTime are nice, but they aren’t substitutes for physical touch or feeling a person’s energy right there next to you. As Gaby and Mal began looking for a more permanent home, my heart ached with my own impermanence in their lives. Towards the end of this trip, my roommates let me know there was an option to get out of my lease early. I shared this news with Gaby and Mal. “Why don’t you just move in with us?” Mal casually suggested. I told them not to joke about that, and they said they weren’t. At first, the same old walls went up, the ones that told me not to express my own needs out of a fear that I was asking for too much. But they reassured me again and again that they wanted me to be with them as much as I wanted to be with them. So when Gaby and Mal moved a month later, I moved too. They rented a place with a backhouse, and that’s where I now live. Every night I come into the main house and make dinner or we make dinner together and then we watch TV or listen to music or just talk. We support each other and love each other each in our own separate ways. I’m still dating, and I still want to find a partner of my own. But when I do, it won’t come from a place of lack — it will come from a place of surplus. I’m not searching for The One, because I don’t believe in that anymore. I believe in connections and community and love and sex and friendship. I believe in both the flexibility and the security of those words. I believe that someone can slide into your DMs and then a year and a half later they can become your family. I started the pandemic wishing my friends could care for me like my partners used to. Turns out? They can. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?What It’s Like To Be Single At (Kind Of) 31A Love Letter To Lesbian BarsI've Made More Friends In 2020 Than Ever Before