Things That Matter

Going Stir Crazy In Quarantine? Then These Awesome Virtual Tours Will Help You Escape Without Ever Leaving Your House

Ok, so we’re all basically still under stay-at-home orders – meaning the rest of the world is pretty much off limits to us all right now. But thankfully we do have access to the World Wide Web, right?

Sure, there’s no shortage of TV shows to binge watch and virtual chat rooms to fill every one of our vacant moments – but why not take a little trip outside your home thanks to the help of some super cool tech? Basically everyone from your local state park to world-renowned museums has been able to provide virtual tours for anyone with high-speed internet to enjoy for a while now. 

So, give your mind and eyes something new and stimulating to feast on with these round-the-world virtual tours.

Take A Visit To Virtual Disneyland

OK, so yea it’s true. Disney announced that their parks would remain closed through the end of 2020. However, you can go on some of the rides virtually. So you might not get that ‘stomach in your throat, feel like I’m gonna throw up’ feeling from a virtual spin on Space Mountain but if you’re a Disney fan – this trip down memory lane is so worth it.

Revisit iconic rides like Space Mountain and Splash Mountain through the thrilling lense of a maverick visitor who broke the rules and recorded their whole ride.The real gems here are the slow, kid-friendly, and well-lit rides like It’s A Small World or Snow White’s Scary Adventure. We find that the closer they are to our childhood interests, the better they are to revisit.

Travel Back In Time On A Virtual Tour Of Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul

Credit: thatgaygringo / Instagram

Which Frida Kahlo fan hasn’t dreamed of visiting her Casa Azul in Mexico City? Now transformed into a museum, it is a must-visit spot in the Mexican capital and you can visit without even having change out of your PJs.

Yet again, the magic of Google brings the museum of your living room, bedroom, patio – where ever you wanna be.

Get Close And Personal With Animals From Around The World

Credit: San Diego Zoo

With what may be the most live cam options, the San Diego Zoo lets you switch between koalas, polar bears, and tigers in one sitting – oh my! The National Aquarium is also getting in on the virtual action. You can walk through tropical waters to the icy tundra in this floor-by-floor tour of the famous, Baltimore-based aquarium.

Fly With NASA Into Outer Space

Credit: ExoPlanet Travel Bureau / NASA

With the global pandemic having many of us thinking about our futures here on Earth, now is as good a a time as ever to think about life outside Earth. NASA launched a tour on desktop, but if you want to experience the tour in its greatest form, use a smartphone and download Google Expeditions for an augmented reality trip to NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center.

But if you rather get into deep space then check out this 360 YouTube experience. And if you want colorful stars and planets, check out the Exoplanet Travel Bureau.

Take A Virtual Hike Through America’s Stunning National Parks

Credit: GoTrekUS / Instagram

Google has been super busy Gathering images and photos from basically every corner on Earth – and I’m not exaggerating. They’ve partnered with the National Park Service to follow park rangers through numerous national parks across the U.S – meaning you can hike in Alaska’s glaciers or Hawaii’s volcanoes.

For a Google-free walk among the trees, the National Parks Service has a very robust virtual tour of Yellowstone National Park: the park has nine webcams strewn about, one of which has a Livestream feed.

Check Out Digital Collections From Thousands Of Museums

Google Arts & Culture is a great resource for any art fan (with limited access to art with over 2,500 museums) and it’s especially handy for those of us under lockdown, unable to visit our favorite museum.

They’ve got collections everywhere from Mexico City’s ‘Day of the Dead’ celebration to Brazil’s Museu Nacional. So grab a drink, a sketchbook, and get ‘walking’ those museum halls.

Travel To Far-Off Lands To Inspire Your Future Real-World Travel Plans

Credit: Google

Major tourist attractions like Peru’s Machu Picchu, Brazil’s Christ The Redeemer statue, and Mexico’s Chichén Itzá are all accessible from in-depth online tours.

You can also take a virtual hike on the Great Wall of China or visit the the Pyramids of Giza.

Get A Virtual View Of Real Street Art

Credit: Red Bull Street Art

Tons of groups have used Google Earth to create walking tours in every corner of the globe. For street art fans, Google Street View has been magic. These virtual walking tours are for art lovers, travel lovers, and for those who can’t exactly hit the pavement right now. This one from Bogota is especially cool.

Stalk The World With 24-Hour Live Streams

Credit: EarthCam

Do you want to know what exactly is going on in Times Square, right this second? Wouldn’t it be nice to stream a panoramic view of Paris during the workday?

You can watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle in real-time. You can also watch over Time Square any time with this live feed or watch ships pass through the Panama Canal with this one.

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Peru’s President Survives Impeachment Over Handling Of Coronavirus But What Happens Next?

Things That Matter

Peru’s President Survives Impeachment Over Handling Of Coronavirus But What Happens Next?

Chris Bouroncle / Getty Images

Earlier this month, Peru’s Congress moved to initiate impeachment proceedings against the country’s president over his alleged involvement with a singer involved in a fraud case. However, Peru’s struggle to contain the Coroanvirus outbreak also became a focal point of the impeachment proceedings.

Although, President Martín Vizcarra survived the impeachment vote this week, his country is still spiraling out of control in terms of the Covid-19 pandemic. Peru now has one of the world’s highest mortality rates, made worse by political strife and Peruvians are wondering where the country goes next amid all the turmoil.

Peru’s President survived his impeachment trial but he still faces serious hurdles in the road ahead.

What started out as an alleged fraud and corruption case, devolved into a sort of referendum on Vizcarra’s handling of the country’s failed Coronavirus response. The Coronavirus tragedy has fueled political insurrection. On Sept. 18, an opportunistic legislature tried to oust the president, who has been dogged by accusations of misusing public funds and then covering up the scandal.

However, the revolt fell flat. Just 32 lawmakers voted to remove Vizcarra, glaringly short of the 87-vote impeachment threshold, which is a good thing. Regime change on top of a public health hecatomb might have pushed the afflicted nation that much closer to collapse.

The decision came after long hours of debate in which legislators blasted Vizcarra but also questioned whether a rushed impeachment process would only create more turmoil in the middle of a health and economic crisis.

“It’s not the moment to proceed with an impeachment which would add even more problems to the tragedy we are living,” lawmaker Francisco Sagasti said.

The original impeachment case stemmed from his alleged involvement with a singer who faced serious charges of fraud.

President Vizcarra faced the challenge to his leadership after the Congress approved a motion to start impeachment proceedings against him over leaked audio tapes and alleged ties to a singer involved in a fraud case.

Lawmakers in Peru’s Congress, a mosaic of parties from the left and right with no overall majority, heard recordings of two private conversations between Vizcarra and government officials about meetings with Richard Cisneros, a little-known singer.

Vizcarra told reporters that the new challenge represented “a plot to destabilise the government.” “I am not going to resign,” he said. “I have a commitment to Peru and I will fulfill it until the last day of my mandate.”

Presidential elections are due to be held next year and Vizcarra has already said he will not run again.

But given Peru’s failed Covid-19 response, the president also faces serious doubts in his abilities to bring the country back from the brink.

Latin America has been devastated by the pandemic and it’s only been exacerbated by the total obliteration of growing wealth across the region – as millions are left out of work. The pandemic has largely undone decades of hard work that helped pull millions of Latin Americans out of poverty.

And Peru once the showpiece of Latin American economies — growing at a pacesetting 6.1% a year between 2002 and 2013 and lifting 6.4 million out of poverty — the country saw gross domestic product fall 30% in the second quarter, and is likely to finish the year aound 17% poorer before rebounding next year, according to Bloomberg Economics. Despite generous aid to the poor and strict social distancing rules that drew international praise, the Andean country has been burdened by the pandemic with one of the world’s highest mortality rates.

The possibility of a president being impeached amid the pandemic, had many in the U.S. wondering if we could do the same.

In the U.S., Donald Trump has left much of the country to fend for itself as the pandemic ravages state after state. There has been little in the way of a national plan for how to overcome the outbreak. In fact, many lies about the virus, treatment, and contagion have come directly from the president himself.

He’s even instructed the CDC to stop sharing pandemic-related information with the public, and instead to send all data directly to the White House.

Donald Trump and his administration have sowed division and false information that has resulted in the deaths of more than 200,000 Americans and months of on and off again quarantine orders that seem to have no end in sight. With policies like this, it’s no surprise that some are seriously considering a second impeachment trial.

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You Can Order A ‘Taco Vacuna’ And ‘La Cura’ At This Covid 19-Themed Taqueria

Culture

You Can Order A ‘Taco Vacuna’ And ‘La Cura’ At This Covid 19-Themed Taqueria

Tacovid: SaborViral / Facebook

Pandemia. Brote. Vacuna. La Peste. Although you may find these terms in a glossary about the Covid-19 outbreak, that’s not what these words actually refer to. Instead, they’re options on the menu at a Mexican taqueria called “Tacovid: Sabor Viral”, a perhaps surprisingly very successful Coronavirus-themed restaurant.

Although to many having a Covid-themed taqueria may seem morbid or disrespectful or perhaps gross – I mean who wants to order a plague taco? – the taqueria is making light of a very serious situation with humor. Something that several other businesses have done since the pandemic began.

”Tacovid: Sabor Viral” is the Mexican taqueria going viral – pun intended – for its Covid-themed menu.

Ok…virus-themed tacos don’t exactly sound appetizing. Especially, as we’re still in the midst of a very real pandemic. But one 23-year-old man in the Mexican city of León, who was forced to close down his dance studio because of Coronavirus, is counting on a Covid-themed restaurant – and so far he’s been surprised by its success.

Brandon Velázquez converted his dance academy into a taquería at the end of July, and given that Mexico and the rest of the world was – and is – in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic decided to call it Tacovid Sabor Viral.

“I had to close my dance academy during the pandemic [but] then an opportunity arose to return to the same place, however, people still did not go out for fear of getting infected.” he told the newspaper El Universal.

“I had always wanted to open a taqueria and, at the end of July, the opportunity to do so occurred. It was how I took advantage of the moment to create this business with a coronavirus theme,” he added.

Items on the menu are named after – you guessed it – the Coronavirus and don’t sound like anything you’d willfully choose to order.

The young entrepreneur detailed the name of each dish, taking full advantage of the Coronavirus theme.

“We have around 12 different dishes, among them are the ‘Tacovid’; we have ‘Forty’, ‘Quesanitizing’, ‘Pandemic’, ‘Outbreak’, and many others. The price varies depending on the dish you order,” he told El Universal.

In addition to themed dishes, the servers also fit the Coronavirus-theme.

When the pandemic hit Mexico, the government urged Mexicans to observe “su sana distancia” and the now common mascot – Susana Distancia – was born.

“In the restaurant, a waitress dressed as a nurse with the name of ‘Susana’ takes orders and works the tables, referring to the healthy distance campaign that was implemented as a precautionary measure,” he says.

To his surprise – and honestly mine as well – the taqueria has been very successful.

Brandon told El Universal that he’s been pleasantly surprised by the support he has received from customers. “I’m surprised because we have had really good sales, despite the circumstances, we have had a lot of support by the community and we’ve already expanded to have two locations.”

“Customers are funny about the theme we are using in the business, and they are delighted with the dishes we are offering. They enjoy it and have a good time,” added Brandon.

Things are looking so good for Brandon and his Covid-themed taqueria, that he’s looking to expand the food business and add new dishes to the menu. “There is always the idea of new names for other dishes that we want to include in the menu.”

Brandon also said that he’s looking to build out a business model so the restaurant could expand to other parts of the country as a franchise.

Apparently, people are really into Covid-themed foods, as this isn’t the first place that a shop as cashed in on the pandemic. Back in April, a panadería was selling out of Covid-themed baked goods so quickly, they couldn’t keep the shelves stocked.

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