As the country approaches its first year of adapting to the changes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, we take a look at how the shutdowns and restrictions have impacted everyday life.
From remote work and school schedules to new ways to attend events and church services, COVID-19 continues to alter how we live. And some of the changes could go on long after the virus is gone.
Travel methods, destinations change
Crowded planes were no longer the norm in the last half of 2020 as travel plans were largely halted during the several months of the pandemic. Airlines also took on fewer passengers, blocking middle seats to create more space between customers.
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From local and state orders shutting down bars, restaurants and beaches to a gradual reopening of these tourism hotspots, some places are seeing a faster return to “normal.”
Sports fans largely sit out 2020 seasons
Arenas went from being packed with sports fans to sitting empty as the nation pondered its next steps in fighting COVID-19 last year.
Yet even as fans are slowly being reintroduced to games, albeit in limited numbers, the loss of 2020 sports highlights remains.
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Theaters sat (mostly) empty while drive-ins and streaming grew
America’s demand for entertainment did not slow over the last year, even as concerts were postponed and movie theaters closed.
While theaters closed for extended periods of time, audiences turned to streaming platforms in increasing numbers.
As people felt more comfortable venturing outside, the summer of 2020 threw it back to the days of the drive-in movies, a trend that resonated with audiences tired of staring at their small screens.
Virtual learning becomes the norm
Schools also had to make major shifts in 2020 as COVID-19 swept across the country.
The shift to virtual-only classes came with its own set of challenges — from students struggling with technology and broadband internet issues to families trying to find accessible and affordable child care while also working from home.
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Churches move services online, outside
Places of worship also had to adapt their worship during the pandemic. Large gatherings were held virtually or via drive-in church services. Masks became part of the Sunday morning ensembles.
Contributing: Paul Davidson, Joey Garrison, Mike Snider, Julia Thompson