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COVID-19

How people are celebrating this socially distant Mother’s Day

Meghan McCarty Carino May 8, 2020
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Flower shopping with a face mask. Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19

How people are celebrating this socially distant Mother’s Day

Meghan McCarty Carino May 8, 2020
Heard on:
Flower shopping with a face mask. Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
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It’s going to be a different sort of Mother’s Day this Sunday. With many businesses still closed and people keeping at least 6 feet apart, the usual brunches and shopping trips aren’t happening. So how are people celebrating Mother’s Day?

You can bet there will be a lot of takeout and video chats.

“A mask for my mom, from a friend of mine who makes them using beautiful vintage fabrics,” said Tina Duryea in Norwalk, Connecticut. She will also be bringing some potted flowers to her mom, who lives nearby, and leaving them on the porch from a safe distance.

The pandemic has shifted how consumers are spending for the holiday, according to Katherine Cullen, senior director of industry and consumer insights for National Retail Federation.

“Consumers might want to give their mom a device to help her stream entertainment and video chat,” Cullen said.

Books, gardening items and housewares are also popular this year. But spending on experiences, like spa treatments or meals out, has dropped off. Still, Mary Starr Hope in Marin, California, will be giving her mom the experience of song. She’s going to sing her the Merle Haggard tune “Mama Tried.”

This year,  a lot of folks are trying to be a little more creative.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

What’s the outlook for vaccine supply?

Chief executives of America’s COVID-19 vaccine makers promised in congressional testimony to deliver the doses promised to the U.S. government by summer. The projections of confidence come after months of supply chain challenges and companies falling short of year-end projections for 2020. What changed? In part, drugmakers that normally compete are now actually helping one another. This has helped solve several supply chain issues, but not all of them.

How has the pandemic changed scientific research?

Over the past year, while some scientists turned their attention to COVID-19 and creating vaccines to fight it, most others had to pause their research — and re-imagine how to do it. Social distancing, limited lab capacity — “It’s less fun, I have to say. Like, for me the big part of the science is discussing the science with other people, getting excited about projects,” said Isabella Rauch, an immunologist at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. Funding is also a big question for many.

What happened to all of the hazard pay essential workers were getting at the beginning of the pandemic?

Almost a year ago, when the pandemic began, essential workers were hailed as heroes. Back then, many companies gave hazard pay, an extra $2 or so per hour, for coming in to work. That quietly went away for most of them last summer. Without federal action, it’s mostly been up to local governments to create programs and mandates. They’ve helped compensate front-line workers, but they haven’t been perfect. “The solutions are small. They’re piecemeal,” said Molly Kinder at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. “You’re seeing these innovative pop-ups because we have failed overall to do something systematically.”

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