President Trump has signed a $900 billion pandemic relief package that will deliver long-needed cash to businesses and individuals. It also avoids a government shutdown.
President Trump has signed a $900 billion pandemic relief package that will deliver long-needed cash to businesses and individuals. It also avoids a government shutdown.
Don't be surprised when you file your tax return this year.
Readers are determined to travel again – as soon as possible. The urge to travel is stronger than ever after months of lockdowns and CDC warnings.
TOPSHOT – US President Joe Biden delivers his Inauguration speech after being sworn in as the 46th US President on January 20, 2021, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Semansky / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK SEMANSKY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) In the 24 hours since Joe Biden was sworn in as President of the United States, he has already rolled out a plethora of policy changes: rejoining the Paris climate accord, ending the Trump administration’s travel ban, and extending the moratorium on pandemic evictions. He’s also already done more to respond to the coronavirus pandemic than Trump did during his entire last year in office, announcing a response plan involving the signing of 10 executive orders and use of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to help accelerate the process. But the DPA is not technically a new plan — it was passed in 1950 during the Korean War and it gives the president the authority to “expedite and expand the supply of materials and services from the U.S. industrial base needed to promote the national defense.” In this case, what the nation needs to be defended from is COVID-19. Former President Trump also invoked the DPA to combat the pandemic, which he used to stop individuals from hoarding supplies, limit the export of medical supplies to other countries, and address some supply shortages. But Trump’s use of the act was spotty and inconsistent, and experts argued he should have done more with it. Now, Biden plans to just that. For Biden and his team, the DPA will allow them to respond more rapidly to a dire pandemic that has been woefully mismanaged by the outgoing administration. “For almost a year now, Americans could not look to the federal government for any strategy, let alone a comprehensive approach to respond to COVID,” Jeff Zients, Biden’s COVID-19 response coordinator, said on a press call. In fact, Trump’s response was so inept that his administration never even created a plan for vaccine rollout; Biden’s team discovered they were inheriting a non-existent distribution plan for vaccinating Americans from the previous occupant of the White House just in the last day. Biden’s team has already identified 12 immediate supply shortages, including for N95 masks, isolation gowns, gloves and swabs needed for tests, as well as a need to increase production of things like syringes, which are necessary for administering the vaccine. One of the executive orders he signed on Wednesday required wearing masks on all federal properties, and his team says he plans to make masks mandatory on public transportation, as well. Biden’s plan also involves providing more funding at the state and local levels to combat the coronavirus. “The team will work with the states and the manufacturers to ensure that we’re using the DPA as aggressively as needed to accelerate the supply of the vaccine,” Bechara Choucair, Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine coordinator said on the call with reporters. An aggressive response to the pandemic cannot come soon enough for a country that has been ravaged by the virus thanks in large part to the failure of the federal government (the Trump administration never even released a national strategy). Nearly 3,000 Americans are dying every day of COVID-19 and the national death toll has risen to over 400,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control. A new, more infectious strain of the virus has been discovered in the U.S., making the country even more vulnerable. Thankfully, we now have a president who wants to do something about it. “We must do this equitably. We cannot miss vaccinating communities that are hit hardest by the pandemic. This is going to have to be critical to our success,” Choucair said. “More people, more places, more supply. That’s what this boils down to.” Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
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.
Going for gold. From Harper's BAZAAR
Marijuana sales soared in 2020, from $10 billion the year before to nearly $18 billion. Experts say the pandemic played a major role. "I think people turned to cannabis to help relieve stress," says author of Weed the People Bruce Barcott.
New data from advisory firm BDO suggests that the United States remains "over-stored" despite COVID-19 induced closures.
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
This is a haunting reminder of how many people we've lost to the pandemic.
President Joe Biden plans to target economic relief for the American people as soon as Friday.
One reporter says kids are getting too much screen time during the pandemic. He's parent-shaming, and he needs to STFU like, yesterday.
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."
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
Ladies first. ALWAYS. 👏
“Why are you guys always always mad at me?”
Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney urges the Biden-Harris administration to move quickly in cementing the ERA in the Constitution.
WILMINGTON, DELAWARE – AUGUST 20: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden delivers his acceptance speech on the fourth night of the Democratic National Convention from the Chase Center on August 20, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. The convention, which was once expected to draw 50,000 people to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is now taking place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) Only two days in, President Joe Biden is making sweeping changes in an attempt to undo four years of damage from the Trump administration. After exacting a slew of executive orders since he took office on Wednesday — including protections for the LGBTQ+ community, relief for student loan borrowers, and more — Biden is expected to sign two more today that aim to specifically help the working class. One of the orders will expand food assistance and deliver stimulus checks to Americans in the lowest income brackets. The other will raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 for the federal workforce, a fight that organizers have been pushing for tirelessly for years. With the new executive orders, Biden is also directing the Department of Labor to establish that unemployed people can refuse to take jobs they worry will jeopardize their health and still qualify for unemployment benefits, which has previously not been the case. The latest executive orders will also boost food aid to people in low-income communities, as well as prioritize getting the approved $1,400 stimulus checks to people who don’t usually file taxes and aren’t easily reached by the government. As one of the executive orders demands, the Department of Agriculture will consider increasing Pandemic-EBT benefits by 15%, giving any family with three children more than $100 in additional support every two months. Additionally, the government will begin to provide funds to replace the lack of free or reduced-price meals that families in low-income communities have lost because of school closures. The order will direct the department to potentially allow states to increase food stamp benefits for approximately 12 million people who did not receive emergency benefits earlier in the pandemic. The agency will also revisit the plan to redetermine how much is provided in food stamp benefits to more accurately reflect how much it currently costs to afford a basic healthy diet in America. Millions of people in America have continued to suffer during the coronavirus pandemic — financially, physically, and emotionally. In addition, the economy lost jobs in December for the first time since April 2020, making these changes imminent to tackling both COVID-19 and restructuring a suffering working class that is still recovering from Trump’s presidency. “The American people can’t afford to wait. And so many are hanging by a thread. They need help, and we are committed to doing everything we can to provide that help as quickly as possible,” said Brian Deese, the National Economic Council director, on a press call Friday. He noted that at least 30 million people in America are currently experiencing some level of food insecurity, and worse. “More than 10 million Americans are out of work, 14 million Americans are behind on their rent and nearly 30 million adults and as many as 12 million children are experiencing food insecurity.” While the executive orders are being signed fairly early on in Biden’s term, the effects won’t take place immediately. For example, the minimum wage increase won’t happen just yet. Instead, Biden has planned to direct the federal government “to start the work that would allow him to issue” an order “within the first 100 days” so that federal contractors will also work up to issuing $15 per hour, as per a White House press briefing. Advocates and organizers have continued to demand that more comprehensive relief be provided after more than ten months of the pandemic with little to no government aid. And one thing is clear, already: Biden is trying to make good on his campaign promises to overturn many of President Donald Trump’s discriminatory policies. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Here's Why TERFs Are Already Mad At BidenMarjorie Taylor Greene Wants Biden ImpeachedTikTok Calls For More Looks From Biden's Grandkids
If you've eaten outside at a restaurant amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a very valid concern you might have had is whether the utensils you used were properly washed. Most restaurants are doing everything they can to follow recommended health and safety protocols, but it's only natural to worry. And that's exactly what happened when Margie Stein had a date night after months of social distancing. In addition to worrying about the cutlery on the table, she also noticed over a dozen plastic forks and knives on the lawn as she left the restaurant, which were presumably from takeout orders. Fueled by her desire to do something for the environment and her own peace of mind for her health, she called up her best friend, Nataly Neuman, and NAMAR, a line of biodegradable, reusable, and recyclable cutlery, was created shortly after. "I thought of a compact cutlery case that you can take with you anywhere and is also not bad for the environment," Stein told POPSUGAR. After a few months of stewing on her idea, Stein called up Neuman. "I thought I was just going to let her know about the idea I came up with, but she loved it so much that she fully ran with it," she said. "She reached out to the manufacturers and created the branding, website, and Instagram. She made the idea in my head come to life." A few months later, NAMAR - dubbed after their first names - was born. Made out of wheat straw, the eco-friendly cutlery set was created with the mission to help people get one step closer to minimizing the spread of germs and reducing waste. "The idea behind it is to have something that feels high-end and compact to fit in your pocket yet impactful enough to make a difference," Stein said. A portion of the proceeds from NAMAR sales are donated to Feeding America, a nonprofit organization that aims to connect people with food and end hunger. The practical and sustainable cutlery set comes in four different colors: Sea Foam (green), Sand Dune (nude), Purple Field (lavender), and Pink Skies (pink). To learn more about the brand and shop its popular cutlery sets, keep scrolling.
The British actress also revealed that while she's all for doing a second season, she's concerned about the filming process due to safety protocols and the current pandemic. She explained, “I can’t imagine how...