The numbers are startling. The number of COVID-19 infections in the U.S. is skyrocketing and breaking records for the number of infections almost daily. One of the hardest-hit states in Florida and the MLS is determined to bring their season back using Florida as their meeting ground.
MLS athletes and staff members are testing positive for COVID-19 after arriving in Florida.
Major League Soccer is one of the first sports to attempt to restart its season. Fans were excited about the decision to restart the sport and MLS officials set their sights on the Walt Disney World Resort. Teams were flown down to Orlando to create a bubble to restart the sport as safely as possible.
Florida is experiencing one of the most severe spikes in cases in the country and the MLS is not immune to the spread.
Florida recently reported more than 10,000 cases July 1, a record for the state, and within 1,000 infections from the nation’s record set in New York. Orange County, which is home to Orlando and Walt Disney World Resort, is facing one of the most devastating outbreaks in the state.
There is a lot of chatter about whether or not is possible for this bubble idea to work.
“So far, most guys have been sticking to their rooms, playing video games, FIFA and 2K. We’ve had the opportunity share meals together, which was nice because I haven’t eaten in a group in a long time,” San Jose defender Tommy Thompson told Tampa Bay Times. “It felt great to be back on the field. When we all got on that bus together and started to train with contact, it felt really good.”
Fans are questioning if this idea is going to work.
Some players have told the press that they do feel safe in the bubble as the teams practice and prepare for the MLS is Back Tournament.
“Everyone is wearing masks, some guys are wearing gloves, and I feel safe 100 percent,” Dallas midfielder Tanner Tessmann told Tampa Bay Times. “They separated us on the buses and on the plane. We are staying one to a room in the hotel. So, I feel really safe. They have good procedures in place, so everything should go smoothly.”
The MLS is Back Tournament is set to begin July 8, considering everything goes according to plan. The rest of the teams are expected to arrive this week with the first game between Inter Miami and Orlando City.
Covid-19 is changing the all-American college experience. There is no more late-night munchie runs at 3 a.m., house party hopping, or late-night cramming with friends in the library. The spirit has completely changed, but all for the greater good of keeping others healthy and safe.
Still, that doesn’t discredit the fact that we are losing the value of our education by it moving online. We’re no longer able to use the campus as a resource to help fuel ourselves academically or socially. We long for the day we are able to build a sense of community again.
Here’s how Covid has changed the college experience and what you can do to make it better.
The Move to Online
Being a college senior myself, remote learning has taken a huge toll on me. My days are lengthened with logging on to Zoom for everything, and yes- even my pair of blue-light glasses can’t keep me focused.
I find myself eagerly waiting for my professor to say “That’s it for today everyone,” and sometimes can only hang in there for half of the time. I’m constantly left feeling anxious and frustrated.
I was sure that universities would begin to understand how different students cope with a very tricky, unstable, and scary situation at hand. However, I’ve experienced the opposite. An overwhelming influx of papers, online assignments, and weekly quizzes quickly presented themselves. Not to mention more group projects. Weekends soon became “working-weekends” and with assignments piling up I truly felt like I was drowning.
It wasn’t long until I had to think for myself. How am I going to cope with the now? I needed to figure out the best plan I could to navigate something out of mine and everyone else’s control. If you too are struggling during this time whether it be financially, academically, emotionally, etc, please know you are not alone. Below are some resources that might help each day go by just a little better than the last, and hopefully give you peace of mind.
COVID Emergency Assistance Funds
The last thing that we want to do is pay full price for online learning, especially during a pandemic. So check with your college or university about COVID Emergency Assistance/Relief Funds.This has greatly helped students access resources such as food, housing, course materials, technology, and affordable health care. In some cases, they even pay you to be at home. Additionally, FAFSA is allowing students to get even more aid granted despite if they were already given their semester disbursement- so it’s definitely worth checking out.
Trust me, we all could use a little help in this area. Luckily, Tuition Funding Sources’s (TFS) database connects students to monthly scholarships based on needs, wants, and qualifications. They have highlighted “scholarships of the day” as well as career aptitude tests that can help your search become even more personal.
Businesses are also partnering up right now to help students around the world get the support they need to further their education.The McDonald’s® HACER ® National Scholarship assists Latino students to be front and center and attain the education they deserve. In 2019, more than $500,000 was granted to 30 students in order to help finance tuition costs. And better yet, The 2020-2021 application period just opened October 5th.
This app is a lifesaver. From brief wellbeing exercises to longer guided meditation, Headspace is offering free downloadable tracks that can help you ease your mind at home or on-the-go anywhere and anytime. Tune in when you need a break or to re-center yourself.
Sometimes hearing someone speak and having an honest conversation about a certain topic is really fun to engage with. It provides us another perspective other than their are own, and it’s interesting to get a glimpse at the way other people live. Taking 30 minutes out of your day to listen to an episode can help ease some stress, reminding you that others are by your side who, too, have felt the same chaos.
For a great selection of podcasts, search Spotify or Apple Podcasts to start the search on some good series.
Be Patient with Yourself
Remember, this pandemic is not forever although it might feel like it right now. Do not feel like you are responsible for the frustration you are undergoing. Take some time to care for yourself and take a step back from the craziness of the world to remind yourself that things will get better.
Talk to a friend, counselor, or therapist if you find yourself in a crisis more than you can bear. Crisis Text Line offers free, 24/7 service to anyone who needs some support and wants to speak with someone. What’s nice is you have the option to either call or text, depending on what’s most comfortable and effective for you.
Get-togethers are looking a lot different right now, but you can still plan an event that will keep all of your friends together. Zoom can be a wonderful platform not only for the classroom, but to catch up with everyone. Plan a “Whine Night” where you talk about all things life or vibe to shared music. Your university should give you an unlimited personal meeting room link so you don’t have to pay a dime for the time.
Virtual Social Hours
Many universities are offering virtual social hours so students can connect to each other and get more of a sense of community as we navigate through the days. Check online on your school’s website to see what types of activities they are offering students at this time, and what events might fit your personal or career interests. You never know who you might meet!
Find Your Hobby
Having a go-to hobby during this time can give you something to look forward to and be an escape from all the ongoing chaos. Look into things like surfing, socially distanced yoga classes, cooking, or hiking to get you feeling joyful and inspired. Try one thing out and see if you like it, and if not who says you can’t just move to the next thing? You’ll be surprised at what you discover will be your next “thing.”
The pandemic has definitely made college life and life, in general, a whole lot harder. Know that it is completely normal to feel mad, sad, scared, or anxious about what’s to come. With these tips, my only wish is that they help you cope just a bit more as they have for me. Together we will get through this, slowly but surely.
It’s Halloween season but there are creepier things than ghosts and witches lingering in the air: fear of COVID.
As people across the globe begin to prepare for the fall and winter holidays, Halloween included, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is doling out words of warning when it comes to gathering around your community. In fact, the public agency recently advised that “when planning to host a holiday celebration, you should assess current COVID-19 levels in your community to determine whether to postpone, cancel, or limit the number of attendees.”
For many parents cautious of spreading the disease to loved ones and strangers, trick-or-treating isn’t going to be an option on the table.
We dug around Reddit to see just how parents are going to make the Halloween season special for their kids this year.
Check out their answers and ideas below!
“I’m trying to salvage as much of the holidays as I can for the kids. I’m planning to put a table at the end of my driveway with candy laid out, and a bottle of sanitizer so that kids don’t have to come to my door. Figure I’ll sit at the other end of the driveway and yell happy Halloween to anyone who comes by and restock the table as needed. Anyone else planning on doing something similar? Just curious if other parents are going to let their kids out at all.”- u/beejonez
“I won’t be taking my kids trick or treating this year but I do plan to make them goodie bags with Halloween themed stuff. My 7-year-old suggested we do an egg hunt im the yard like we do on Easter. I think she’s on to something with that idea.”- jeezlouise45
“We’re doing a Glow-in-the Dark, candy hunt. Painting our Easter eggs with paint and then doing it at night. We are making a day of it. Spooky foods and our own halloween party. I wasnt planning on not doing trick or treating this year, but all our neighbors decorated and I’m confused if it a go?! I wasn’t going to do any TorT. I might put something out for kids, like individual bags? I we may go to our neighbors, in our cul da sac, but defiantly not neighborhood. I guess we’ll see on Halloween.”- Wam_2020
“I have seen a lot of back and forth. The CDC, OHA and most health organizations are recommending doing nothing like a traditional Halloween this year. Including just putting candy out form a distance, as you are. We aren’t going out, Halloween will come next year. Going to dress up, watch a movie and eat the candy we would have handed out.” –HowdyAudi
“I actually hope we have a big rain storm, so the kids don’t feel like they missed out.”-Wam_2020
“I grabbed halloween bags from Winco and have prefilled them with candy. I will be passing them out from the end of my driveway as well so kids won’t be sticking their hands in a bowl or messing with sanitizer with gloves on. Just my gloved hands, my N95 mask, and the best compromise between safety and traditions I just won’t give up for anything I can arrange. Plus I’m, at least one of, if not, the “Full Sized Candy Bar” house in a neighborhood dominated by lower income families.” –Herr__Nilpferd
“I’m not taking my kids out. I think we will set up a table at the end of the driveway and give out candy with bbq tongs as our house is very decorated and I’m sure some folks will still be out TorTing. As for my kids I think they’re gonna get a candy shopping spree at the store.” –mithygreg
“Thanks for the insights. I’ll probably still put some candy out for the few that come around. But haunted hunts and such sound like fun things to distract my 5yo with.”- beejonez
“We’re a scavenger hunt at the homes of people in our Coronavirus bubble if I get my shit together and organize it … Giving each of our kids basically a Halloween version of an Easter basket.” –sunnydpdx
“I’m buying a shitload of candy and eating it while Watching spooky movies by myself, happy early Halloween guys.” –s3r1ous_n00b