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COVID-19

Small towns brace for altered college football schedules

Greg Echlin Aug 6, 2020
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A Northwest Missouri State University football game in 2019 with a large crowd of spectators. Greg Echlin
COVID-19

Small towns brace for altered college football schedules

Greg Echlin Aug 6, 2020
Heard on:
A Northwest Missouri State University football game in 2019 with a large crowd of spectators. Greg Echlin
HTML EMBED:
COPY

College football brings in the bulk of the revenue to run most college athletic programs. Many schools have decided to give it a go during the COVID-19 pandemic, though some schedules have been delayed. And just Wednesday, the NCAA announced it’s canceling the Division II and III championships. Regular games are still on for now, though that could change soon.

The economic effect of college football is felt not only on campus, but in the surrounding communities, which depend on students and their families patronizing stores and restaurants when they attend sporting events. So local business owners are keeping an eye on the athletic calendar.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

So what’s up with “Zoom fatigue”?

It’s a real thing. The science backs it up — there’s new research from Stanford University. So why is it that the technology can be so draining? Jeremy Bailenson with Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab puts it this way: “It’s like being in an elevator where everyone in the elevator stopped and looked right at us for the entire elevator ride at close-up.” Bailenson said turning off self-view and shrinking down the video window can make interactions feel more natural and less emotionally taxing.

How are Americans spending their money these days?

Economists are predicting that pent-up demand for certain goods and services is going to burst out all over as more people get vaccinated. A lot of people had to drastically change their spending in the pandemic because they lost jobs or had their hours cut. But at the same time, most consumers “are still feeling secure or optimistic about their finances,” according to Candace Corlett, president of WSL Strategic Retail, which regularly surveys shoppers. A lot of people enjoy browsing in stores, especially after months of forced online shopping. And another area expecting a post-pandemic boost: travel.

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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