Staying Apart, Together: Gratitude, inspiring kids and movie nostalgia for the weekend
Editor's Note: This is a preview of USA TODAY's newsletter Staying Apart, Together, a guide to help us all cope with a world changed by coronavirus. If you would like it in your inbox on Tuesdays and Saturdays, subscribe here.
How are you?
I keep asking that question to my family and friends, to my exhausted co-workers, to myself (although not nearly enough). We are, as has become pretty usual for 2020, in the middle of history. In addition to the coronavirus pandemic, which has made yet scarier news over the past few days, the national conversation about systemic racism sparked by the death of George Floyd continues, and has led to, in a few instances, actual (if incremental) change.
There is a lot of work left to do to fight a pandemic that isn't going away any time soon. There is a lot of work left to do to combat systemic racism. But we can keep pushing. We can keep working, fighting and trying. Because this kind of effort – whether that's wearing a mask to the grocery store or reading a book on anti-racism – can be a coping skill, too.
One thing the past three months has taught us is to never expect anything. We're closing in on half of 2020 gone, and I can't name a single person who is doing exactly what they thought they'd be doing right now.
But those of us who are lucky enough to be here, to be healthy and safe, we have a lot to be thankful for. That's what I'm taking with me this weekend, a sense of gratitude. I'm thankful that this weekend that my dad gets to have a Zoom birthday party and that I can have a socially distant picnic with a friend who just moved to town for his medical residency. And then afterward, it's back to work.
Today's (socially distant) entertainment
A nostalgic institution is seeing a surge in interest amid the pandemic: drive-In theaters. For those of us missing the cinematic experience (me and my husband are definitely in that group), drive-in theaters provide an alternative for movie viewing while avoiding contact with others.
If you're heading to the drive-in, you should still keep safety in mind. USA TODAY's Jenna Ryu spoke with health experts to get tips on attending drive-in screenings this summer. Here is some of the advice they offered:
Keep a mask handy, just in case.
Bring snacks from 真人百家家乐官网网站home (if allowed)
Bring hand sanitizer.
Stay inside your car if you can, but it's OK to open the back hatch of your van or SUV to sit on.
See the full story here, and revel in the magic of the movies if you can.
(And if you are still planning just to stream movies at 真人百家家乐官网网站home, may we recommend the new Spike Lee film, "Da 5 Bloods" on Netflix? It's superb.)
Today's inspiration from the kids
One of the many casualties of the coronavirus pandemic is the speeches the best and brightest high schoolers get to give at graduation ceremonies. The teens who worked for years to be valedictorian of their class this year got to deliver either a virtual speech, or none at all.
USA TODAY Network reporters Alissa Widman Neese and Max Londberg spoke with teens around the country about this part of the commencement milestone they're missing, and many of them are able to handle it with incredible grace. This interview with a student really struck me.
Nadezhda "Dezzie" Niemann, the second valedictorian graduating from Cincinnati's Clark Montessori, attended her school's 2019 graduation. During the speeches, she felt a closeness with her community, something her school emphasizes.
She looked on as the 2019 grads stood in a circle. Each student held a candle and passed around the flame until all wicks were lit.
To cope with missing out on such rituals, Niemann — who will attend Oberlin College in the fall — remained in contact with friends and classmates. She noted the irony of how, after being separated from her classmates, she'd come to understand some of them even more. During virtual lessons, she observed how some must care for a sibling or run errands for their families. Different levels of privilege had been apparent before among her classmates, she said, "but this has opened my eyes a little bit more."
From the mouths of babes. Read the full story here.
- Some Americans received their stimulus package money via a prepaid debit card that came in the mail and kind of looked like spam. If you accidentally threw it away or lost it, we have good news: You coronadiaries.io/usatoday. Choose the first prompt, follow the instructions, and record a brief audio message. Please include your name. (You may need to enable your web browser to access the microphone; many browsers will ask your permission.) To make sure we review your submission, tweet us @usatodaypodcast. Any audio submission could be featured in podcast, digital and print coverage.
More info on the project here. I hope you can participate.
Today's (smartly dressed) pet
Ten-month-old pup Rigsby knows how to dress for working from 真人百家家乐官网网站home.
Says his owner Bailey Aldridge, "We adopted him 3 weeks ago. He came from a hoarding situation so he is weary of new people but he is very energetic and happy when you get to know him. He is part chihuahua and part rat terrier. I just wanted to bring a smile to someone’s face."
Mission accomplished, Rigs.Read or Share this story: /story/life/2020/06/13/staying-apart-together-newsletter-gratitude-and-inspiration-weekend/3176843001/