Journal Entry Type #87: Let’s Count All the Ways COVID Changed Our Lives

I recently found out ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres are closing down all their theaters across the U.S. If you’ve never been to one of them, they were by far the best theaters around. Of course, the price was high but they had the best popcorn. I don’t know what they did, but it was the best popcorn I have ever eaten and will probably never again get the chance the eat. When someone was on their phone, you either had two choices: turn it off or leave. This also means the Cinerama Dome has closed too. No more movie premieres. No more seeing Hollywood actors and actresses. The only one I saw was Giovanni Ribisi, but what was even cooler was seeing Illeana Douglas stopping at the corner, riding her bike. I digress.

In addition to movie theaters taking a massive hit and other forms of entertainment except for video games, salad bars and buffets are a thing of the past. They will never make a return in huge numbers. A favorite salad bar restaurant close to me will never be re-opened. People don’t feel safe eating exposed food anymore. Not enough people are getting the vaccine and this virus is so damn powerful, I don’t blame them. I still won’t eat in a restaurant until next year sometime although I was half-forced to walk into a mall a week ago. I suppose malls are making a come back now, but I see some empty spots where stores used to be over a year ago.

There are a handful of businesses that closed down many of their stores in 2020 and 2021. Some businesses permanently closed down their stores and establishments. Here are some of them and this is not an exhaustive list.

Permanently Closing

1. Century 21

2. Lord & Taylor

3. Stein Mart

4. Bed Bath & Beyond

5. Pier 1 Imports

6. Christopher & Banks

7. ArcLight Cinemas/Pacific Theatres

8. Regal (Cinemark)

Reducing Stores

1. Nordstrom

2. Neiman Marcus

3. J.C. Penney

4. Sur La Table

5. Gap

6. Godiva

7. Banana Republic

8. The Children’s Place

9. Disney

10. AMC

The COVID obviously hit the tourism industry like a knife plunging into someone’s body over and over again. The airlines, cruise ships, hotels, and casinos all took a beating like never before. I’ve heard this is far worse than what happened on 9/11 (regarding the U.S.) and I completely believe it. The attacks in NYC disrupted airline flights, but this virus has disrupted everything and anything. It has completely brought people to their death and if not death, then onto their knees except the uber rich who made so much profit I want to vomit. The unemployment rate overall is 6.0% in March 2021, but many states have a much higher rate such as New York, Nevada, California, Hawaii, Connecticut, New Mexico, etc. One state is not like the rest in the U.S. Nevada had a 30.1% unemployment rate in April 2020 where Minnesota had a 9.9% rate in May 2020 and Nebraska had a 8.7% rate in April 2020. What does this all mean? It means the U.S. is nowhere near it should be in terms of COVID cases, vaccines, and unemployment numbers. This isn’t even accounting for those who stopped looking and aren’t counted.

On another note, Bernie Madoff is gone. I doubt anyone is missing him. Here are some other famous people who died this year in 2021. Some are more beloved than others, but they were widely known around the world or in certain pockets of society. This is not an exhaustive list.

Those Who Have Died So Far

  1. Jessica Walter (actress)
  2. Michael Apted (director)
  3. Dustin Diamond (actor)
  4. Hal Halbrook (actor)
  5. Hank Aaron (baseball player)
  6. Larry King (journalist)
  7. Cloris Leachman (actress)
  8. Prince Phillip (royalty)
  9. DMX (rapper)
  10. Cicely Tyson (actress)
  11. Larry Flynt (magazine owner)
  12. Christopher Plummer (actor)
  13. Yaphet Kotto (actor)
  14. Tommy Lasorda (baseball manager)
  15. Dearon Thompson (actor)
  16. Tanya Roberts (model/actress)
  17. Joseph Siravo (actor)
  18. Beverly Cleary (writer)
  19. Mary Wilson (singer)
  20. Lawrence Ferlinghetti (poet/bookstore owner)
  21. Roger Mudd (journalist)

There are many other ways COVID affected all of us, but the two outstanding ones are the economy and health. The death toll is 2.9 million worldwide so far and the U.S. has the most cases and deaths. Yet, we are making progress with vaccine shots. About 20% are fully vaccinated and 37% have one vaccination. In order to stop the spread of COVID, all countries need to be vaccinated. It’s a no brainer and I hope as a collective whole, we can get there.

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