It’s now been one year since the world stopped turning, and life as we know it changed. While it will never be the same as it was, there is also hope: Covid-19 cases are at their lowest level in months, and all U.S. adults will now be eligible to receive a vaccine by May 1. There is much to learn–and still learn–about the staggering impact of the past 12 months, which is our focus this week. Thanks for joining us.
THE BIG FIVE
One year later: 15 ways that Covid-19 has changed us.
Where were you when you first heard about Covid-19, or better yet – when was your life first impacted? This week marks a full year of hand sanitizing, mask wearing, social distancing, and working from home. Communicating through computer screens simultaneously has made us rethink the way we workout and experience nature. Curbside pickup and online shopping has given us a newfound gratitude for essential workers. Remote learning has shed a light on how much working parents juggle and has called attention to the rapidly growing mental health crisis. The “new normal” has transformed nearly every aspect of our world in a single year. What will our world look like a year from now? Only time will tell, but there is hope. Read more in Forbes
The new era for long-form journalism.
Streaming platforms, mobile phones, and more: today’s world has made reading long-form journalism harder and harder. Instead of running away from these platforms entirely, however, companies are embracing it and adapting to fit the needs of readers. The average word count for news articles has fallen from 449 to about 380. News sites are frequented more, yet engagement is down. Shorter, more digestible formats are emerging, and stories are often accompanied by audio, video, or multimedia to keep interest. In some cases, newsrooms are spreading out longer stories to be released over time. The news is getting fed to us via newsletters, podcasts, and more formats than ever before but in smaller courses, hoping that we’ll come back for more.Read more in Axios
How the pandemic has changed the way we live online.
Covid-19 forced households to rely on the internet to keep us connected not just for convenience, but for necessity: business meetings, Google Classroom math lessons, FaceTime birthdays, grocery delivery, and more took over our bandwidth. While we owe a great deal of thanks to the strength of our Wi-Fi signal, our surge in internet usage has possible long-term effects on our mental health, memory, levels of stress, focus, and trust in others. New studies are backing this up. As the post-pandemic life increasingly comes into view, many Americans say they’ll now plan to live a hybrid life, leaving researchers to continue speculating on what the best way is to stay connected and happy while living some of life online. Read more in Mashable
How Amazon quietly built a grocery store chain.
You may not have known it, but one of the largest companies in the world also happened to quietly launch a new chain in the middle of the pandemic. The first Amazon Fresh store opened to the public in the early fall of 2020 in LA, the first of several of its kind now popping up all around the U.S. Appealing to both customers who enjoy online orders and lower-income shoppers who frequent discounters like Walmart, Amazon’s prices have remained competitive with existing chains. Amazon’s model is also a unique one that looks to keep their customer base by planning stores near the highest number of Prime members. There are now at least 39 stores in the works, but some industry experts remain skeptical: after all, just like e-commerce, making it in the competitive grocery industry means you must go big to have longevity. But if anyone could do it, Amazon could. Read more in Bloomberg
Inside Google’s plan to change the game for job seekers and the college degree.
Taking note from a growing number of people who consider the current education system flawed, Google has announced the launch of new certificate programs designed to help people bridge any skills gap and get qualifications in high-paying job fields. These programs are marketed as the equivalent of getting a college degree…without the rigorous coursework or student loan debt. Topics include project management, data analytics, and user experience, giving enrollees qualifications in six months or less and costing under $1,000. Along with the obvious shift in tech due to Covid-19, a spike in digital jobs has presented a skills gap across generations. Google has also made a variety of changes to its platform including a special search bar for job seekers and partnerships with job sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn. “Searching” for your career will take on a new meaning. Read more in Inc.
- $100 billion. Warren Buffett’s new net worth, the highest it’s ever been as Berkshire Hathaway shares rallied to record highs recently.
- 1,300%. How much Gamestop shares soared this year, now valued at nearly $18 billion. Gamestop leads the trend of small value stocks seeing unprecedented success by unlikely investors.
- 13,000. The number of American Airlines workers who were told they can tear up furlough notices after passage of the Covid-19 relief bill this week.
- $60 billion. The amount of surprise tax hikes in the Covid-19 relief bill, directed at wealthy and big corporations.
- 81%. The number of Americans who say they will keep wearing masks until the pandemic ends, even after they’ve been vaccinated, according to a Axios-Ipsos poll.
- 8. The approximate hours per day that U.S. adults spend consuming digital media, up from just over 6.5 hours in 2019, according to eMarketer.
- $17.1 million. The amount of people who tuned in to watch Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
- 22,917. The number of kidney transplants in the U.S. last year. The kidney is the organ that is most often transplanted in the U.S., and the number has more than doubled since the late 1980s.
- 83%. The portion of the music industry’s revenue that now comes from streaming services, offsetting the decline of physical sales and digital downloads.
Have a great weekend. See you next week.