Global Trends 2020

Signals

Nasa develop a necklace that warns wearers not to touch their face

Post-Coronavirus, many people are consciously trying to touch their face less – but finding it hard to break an unconscious habit. NASA have developed a necklace that vibrates when wearers go to touch their face, nudging them away from the unhygienic behaviour

 

Source: https://eu.usatoday.com/story/tech/2020/06/29/dont-touch-your-face-nasa-developed-necklace-remind-you/3277469001/

Airplanes consider how to accommodate passengers after COVID-19: empty seats, hygeine screens and reversing seats all options

Corona virus has meant that the interior of planes will need to be completely re-imagined when flights start to return to normality. The days of cramped rows in economy could be over, with some airlines suggesting flying with empty seats to separate passengers. Others are coming up with more inventive solutions, which range from introducing hygiene screens and include changing the seating formation.

Sources: https://www.yankodesign.com/2020/04/23/aviointeriors-proposes-plastic-barrier-to-allow-safe-flying/

https://simpleflying.com/economy-glass-hygiene-screens/

Private plastic domes allow for socially distanced yoga

In Toronto, one fitness company have introduced plastic domes which allow people to practice yoga in a socially distanced way.

Source: https://www.cp24.com/news/outdoor-yoga-in-a-dome-pop-up-coming-to-toronto-1.4990231

Despite the economic benefit, Britain has declined to join the EU scheme to revive tourism

Tourism supports around one in ten jobs in the UK, and brings millions of pounds into the country every year. However, the UK has declined to join a new EU-led scheme to revive the struggling tourism industry – citing Brexit. This was met with dismay by many. The UK is already expected to face the deepest recession in Europe and actions like this may make it worse.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/jun/16/dismay-uk-fails-join-eu-scheme-revive-tourism

Lawyers claim the UK has a legal duty to review air pollution

There is growing evidence of a connection between coronavirus and air pollution. In light of this, lawyers are pressuring the UK to review pollution targets and press for improvements.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jun/16/coronavirus-uk-has-legal-duty-to-review-air-pollution-targets-say-lawyers

Two thirds of Americans receive more in unemployment benefits than they earned before the Coronavirus

The pandemic has brought the flaws in America’s economic system into sharp relief. One dismal signal of this is that over two thirds of jobless workers receive more in unemployment benefits than they previously earned.

Source: https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/06/15/67-of-jobless-workers-get-more-in-unemployment-tha.aspx

Digital tourism takes off

From the Northern Lights to the Great Wall of China, travellers from all over the world can cure their wanderlust with a digital experience that can transport them across the world from their own home.

Sources: https://www.thrillist.com/travel/nation/virtual-trips-travel-tours

https://explore.org/livecams/aurora-borealis-northern-lights/northern-lights-cam

Most UK offices stand empty

UK-based landlord Land Securities offered a glimpse of the impact of covid on office usage as it reported a £837m loss. Less than ten per cent of its office sites were in use and many of its tenants are now struggling to pay their rent.

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52629786

Manhattan prepares for “Working from home”

Increases in working from home, and other changes to office working patterns, pose significant threats to established business districts. One of the world’s busiest, Manhattan in New York, is bracing itself for future disruption if this ‘new normal’ means businesses consider reducing office space or creating less central locations – taking money away from landlords and local shops

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/12/nyregion/coronavirus-work-from-home.html

Environmental airline bailouts

The French government has provided financial support to the national airline, Air France – but with green conditions. Receiving the money is contingent on the airline cutting its domestic flights where they compete with rail to help reduce their carbon footprint.

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-52527517 

BA’s 12,000 redundancies opposed by petition calling for government to step in

BA’s decision to push through 12,000 redundancies at a time when the government’s furlough scheme is available to support workers impacted by COVID-19 and parent company IAG has secured a 1 billion Euro loan to save BA’s sister airlines, has angered the 120,000 signatories of a petition stating that BA’s behaviour is illegal and immoral

Source: https://inews.co.uk/news/british-airways-coronavirus-furlough-scheme-staff-redunancies-jobs-424435

Warren Buffet drops airline stocks

The famous US investor Warren Buffet has sold his shares in America’s four largest airlines. Admitting a rare mistake, Buffet says that the reversal in fortunes for Delta, American, Southwest and United, brought about by Covid-19 is here for the long haul. Previously, his organisation held around ten per cent of shares in all four airlines.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/03/warren-buffett-dumps-us-airline-stocks-saying-world-has-changed-after-covid-19

23 million domestic travellers as China eases lockdown

Domestic travel surged in the first public holiday in China since it started easing lockdown restrictions. The number of travellers increased by 50% compared with the previous public holiday at the start of April.

Source: https://globalnews.ca/news/6898862/china-coronavirus-tourism/

Specially developed chocolate balls boost children’s immune systems to protect them from Covid-19

Avida Health launches tasty chocolate balls including bioactives like probiotics or beta-glucan which reportedly offers immune system benefits. They hope this functional food will be more appealing than vitamin tablets.

 

Source: https://www.confectionerynews.com/Article/2020/04/30/Chocolate-balls-for-immune-health-Singapore-firm-s-new-product-for-kids-amid-COVID-19

Scientists develop unobtrusive on-flight technology that eliminates viruses

Ultraviolet lights that eliminate viruses are being tested by scientists at the University of Columbia – and their findings could have implications for how airlines fight COVID-19 as airlines and manufacturers adjust to requirements in the post-COVID-19 age.

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/scientists-think-they-know-ways-to-combat-viruses-on-airplanes-theyre-too-late-for-this-pandemic/2020/04/20/83279318-76ab-11ea-87da-77a8136c1a6d_story.html

Large-scale travel set to become a rarer commodity

Airlines who are making plans to start flying again, are creating new innovations such as “Grab & Go” food bags which are handed out to passengers before they get on the plane, and COVID-19 swab tests before checking in.

Source: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/london-after-lockdown-swabs-airports-coronavirus-a4428326.html

A regional start for international travel

Australia and New Zealand – two countries with smaller covid-19 outbreaks – are considering re-opening their borders to each other first. Regional travel zones like this are being considered in other parts of the world, including the three west coast US states and ‘tourism corridors’ in the EU.

Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-30/australia-new-zealand-ponder-mutual-reopen-once-virus-contained

Politics returns as the lockdowns ease

In Spain, separatist politicians in Catalonia have begun to criticise the central government, arguing that an independent Catalonia would have had fewer deaths from Covid-19.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-spain-catalonia/catalan-separatists-use-coronavirus-crisis-to-argue-for-independence-idUSKBN22B2AW 

Egg cups sell out as lockdown creates time for breakfasts at home

Prior to Coronavirus, many people would eat breakfast at work or on-the-go, but lockdown has changed this behaviour. Now millions are working from home, retailers like John Lewis have found egg-cups selling out as people find time for lengthier breakfasts at home.

Source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/04/28/egg-cups-selling-people-eating-boiled-eggs-home-brits-finally/

#CouldUseABeer

In a signal of corporate altruism, CoorsLight’s new campaign offers support to people struggling with the stress of a global pandemic by offering free beer. Their tagline taps into the common epithet that sometimes we all #CouldUseABeer.

Source: https://www.chicagobusiness.com/consumer-products/if-history-has-taught-us-anything-its-sometimes-we-could-all-just-use-beer

Hotel and home cleaning brands combine

Hotel giants Hilton Marriott and Accor have launched new advertising campaigns centred on cleanliness and hygiene. Hilton has launched a partnership with disinfectant brand Lysol and the healthcare company Mayo Clinic aimed at creating and promoting a cleaner hotel environment.

Source: https://loyaltylobby.com/2020/04/27/hilton-cleanstay-with-lysol-coming-in-june-2020/?omhide=true

Thai Airways reward frequent fliers for staying at home

Thai Airways have launched a campaign to reward their frequent fliers with air miles, not for travelling but for staying at home. By downloading the “Stay Home Mile Exchange” app, customers will earn miles in real time when staying within 100m of their home address.

Source: https://www.thedrum.com/news/2020/04/27/thai-airways-rewards-members-airmiles-staying-home

Chile presses ahead with “Immunity Passports”

The Chilean government has proposed to implement an “immunity” passport/ID to identify those who have recovered from COVID-19. It is continuing with the plan despite concerns from the World Health Organisation that there is currently insufficient evidence to say that people are immune after they’ve recovered from the disease.

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-52436330

Travis Scott concert on Fortnite

Rapper Travis Scott gave a virtual concert on Fortnite and it was streamed by 12 million people! It was a fully animated concert and Travis even used the opportunity to reveal a new song.

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-52410647

Denny’s has Joined Multiple Game Platforms to Engage + Provide Discounts

Denny’s is now moonlighting as a gamer on PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. The diner brand is giving codes and discounts to the people it connects with in gaming, and is seeing some fan engagement with posts on social media.

Source: https://www.mobilemarketer.com/news/dennys-gets-into-gaming-with-presence-on-multiplayer-platforms/576590/

AIDS Healthcare Foundation Providing Free Pizza to Patients

Realising that well being goes beyond the traditional notions of “healthy,” AHF has partnered with Domino’s to provide patients and clients with 1 free large pizza per week – no need to tip the driver.

Source: https://ahf.org/dominos

Robots enable contactless room service in hotels

A Hong Kong hotel chain has introduced AI-enabled robots to serve guests with food and drinks during quarantine. In the future, it is planned that their use will extend to provide other forms of assistance in the hotel.

Source: https://www.wikitrend.org/asian-hotels-are-leading-way-service-robotics

Tom Tom’s tracking Beijing traffic

Satellite imaging data from Beijing dampens optimism around a ‘return to normal’ in China, which was hit first by Coronavirus. The satellite data clearly shows that despite lockdown lifting, weekends remain quiet, and – beyond commuting – movement is relatively limited.01

Source: https://www.tomtom.com/en_gb/traffic-index/beijing-traffic/

New from Secret Cinema: Secret Sofa

Secret Cinema, who typically create immersive events around movie screenings, have teamed up with Haagen Dazs ice cream to offer an at-home version. Viewers are given clues about the film they will see and instructions on the music, food and drinks which might accompany it. This allows people to create their own immersive experience while staying at home.

Source: https://www.secretcinema.org/secret-sofa

The end of cheap air travel?

The International Air Transport Association has said that many airlines will need to increase their prices by 50% or face going bust if coronavirus physical distancing measures are introduced on flights.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/apr/21/physical-distancing-will-end-era-of-cheap-air-travel-industry-warns?CMP=share_btn_tw

Milan uses lockdown to plan more cycle routes

The Italian city of Milan is using the pause in traffic under lockdown to push forward ambitions plans to turn road space in the city over to cyclists and pedestrians. It joins other cities including New York and Paris in utilising low traffic levels to introduce significant car traffic reductions

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/21/milan-seeks-to-prevent-post-crisis-return-of-traffic-pollution

Would a greener world protect us against pandemics?

Many scientists have predicted a pandemic for years, due to both our ultra-connected world, but also our eating habits. There is a connection between pandemic risk and factory farming; packing tens of thousands of genetically uniform animals into close quarters increases the risk of disease, which could jump species boundaries. Swine flu and bird flu evolved on chicken/pig factory farms. This has led some to argue that a recovery from the Coronavirus should entail more humane farming standards.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/20/factory-farms-pandemic-risk-covid-animal-human-health

Australia forces Facebook and Google to pay for their news content

The Australian Government has introduced a new law which will compel social media networks to pay Australian media companies for sharing their content online. The Treasurer said that it was fair that these platforms pay media companies for the content they use to drive users to their websites.

Source: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12325948

Fundraising “Quarantine Wine”

Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are raising money for those who are in need as the effect of coronavirus by selling wine.

Source: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/20/entertainment/ashton-kutcher-mila-kunis-wine-trnd/index.html

Ramadan essential food box from Morrisons

After successfully launching their Meat & Vegetable essential food box, Morrisons are now launching their Ramadan essential food boxes.

Source: https://metro.co.uk/2020/04/20/morrisons-launches-ramadan-essentials-food-box-12581214/

One World: Together at Home raises $127m to fight covid-19

Organised between The World Health Organisation and Lady Gaga, this eight-hour virtual concert featured stars including The Rolling Stones and Billie Eilish. While a two-hour section was free-to-air, six hours were open for corporate sponsorship, which raised the bulk of the money

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/apr/20/one-world-together-at-home-concert-lady-gaga-raises-127m-coronavirus-relief

Automated Virtual Assistant Launches to Provide Financial Advice During COVID

Morneau Shepell, provider of total well-being, mental health and digital mental health services in Canada, launched AvaFinance™ to provide personalised recommendations to navigate the financial challenges of COVID-19

Source: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/morneau-shepell-launches-avafinance-support-155800780.html?guccounter=1

Richard Branson wants government loan to protect future of Virgin Atlantic

To protect his challenged airline, Richard Branson has asked the government to step in and intervene with a loan to see Virgin Atlantic through this challenging time. Other airlines, including EasyJet and Delta, have received state money – in the form of a loan for EasyJet and a grant for US-based Delta.

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/richard-branson-virgin-atlantic-government-loan-bailout-coronavirus-a9474216.html

Sainsbury’s Volunteer Shopping Card for Those Shopping on Behalf of Others

Customers visit a web page and select how much they’d like to spend on their weekly shop. The E-Gift Card is then emailed directly to the person shopping on their behalf, which can be redeemed at checkout in store.

Source: https://www.about.sainsburys.co.uk/news/latest-news/2020/20-04-2020-sainsburys-announces-volunteer-shopping-card-to-help-feed-the-nation

Opera Ballet dancers practising at home

A Paris Opera ballet film aimed at supporting people to stay at home shows all the dancers practising during lockdown.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/BalletdelOperadeParis/videos/541788006364814/

South Koreans go “revenge shopping”

Responding to the first weekend of loosened lockdown measures, South Koreans hit the shops. Visits and spending at large malls and department stores rose sharply as a result of what the Koreans are calling “bobok sobi”, or “Revenge Shopping”.

Source: https://www.dw.com/en/south-koreans-go-revenge-shopping/av-53323463

Supermarket opens with no physical shoppers

A supermarket in Auckland, New Zealand, has recently opened its first shop dedicated to online orders only. The store is designed to take pressure off other stores which remain open to the public and are also seeing a surge in online orders.

Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/121023546/supermarket-without-customers-opens-in-auckland

Emirates uses pre-flight blood testing to screen passengers for COVID-19

Pre-flight blood tests to screen for COVID-19 were introduced by Emirates, and will be used on select flights to check for the virus among passengers.

Source: https://simpleflying.com/emirates-coronavirus-blood-test/

Remote control tourism in the Faroe Islands

As a signal of the extent to which digitisation can save jobs, as well as removing them, travel-starved people can hire a remote digital companion to show them around the Faroe Islands. Through using an app, people will be able to control where their guide goes, creating a form of hybrid, gamified digital tourism.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2020/apr/15/remote-control-person-guide-you-round-the-faroe-islands

Searches for holidays in Spain in January 2021 up by 2000%

Pent-up appetite for foreign holidays is visible online, with Conde Nast Traveller magazine noting that searches for holidays in 2021 have soared during lockdown.

Source: https://www.cntraveller.com/article/future-travel 

Food ordering via Instagram

ChowNow and Instagram have teamed up to help local and independent businesses by adding food ordering buttons onto Instagram. With the new function they are hoping restaurants can survive in these difficult times.

Source: https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/04/15/2016613/0/en/Instagram-and-ChowNow-Team-Up-to-Power-Commission-Free-Food-Orders-on-Instagram-App.html 

Open Table helps US Shoppers

The app Open Table – typically used to secure table reservations in restaurants – has responded to lockdown by changing its focus. In the US, shoppers can now book supermarket shopping slots using their app.

Source: https://www.contagious.com/news-and-views/open-table-offers-supermarket-booking-amid-coronavirus-pandemic

Food map showing where New Yorkers can get free food

A non-profit has redesigned the New York City “FoodHelp” map for Spanish families in New York. The map, which was developed for the COVID-19 crisis, shows all free food locations – such as kitchens, food banks, and school meal pick-up locations – across New York City in Spanish.

Source: https://zarithpineda.carto.com/builder/fa13401d-75bf-469e-b4a3-00f8bcfc9bc4/embed

“The road to a Vaccine” by Johnson and Johnson

US healthcare firm Johnson and Johnson is publishing an eight episode educational video series highlighting the role of science in combating the covid-19 pandemic. The episodes feature interviews with scientist, researchers and healthcare workers involved in the effort and covers topics including the work required in vaccine development and the reasons different ethnic groups in the US are experiencing different health outcomes.

Source: https://www.jnj.com/latest-news/the-road-to-covid-19-vaccine-live-video-series

“Western States Pact” agreed as states consider the next stage in response to COVID-19

California, Oregon and Washington are reportedly considering a regional response to the relaxing stay-at-home orders introduced in March, aiming to restart normality and boost their economies.

Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/west-coast-reopening-coronavirus-stay-at-home-california-2020-4?r=US&IR=T

Heinz opens first UK online shop to help feed the nation – selling beans, hoops and soups

Food manufacturer Heinz is to allow consumers to order directly from their website to help people avoid visiting supermarkets during lockdown.

Source: https://www.heart.co.uk/lifestyle/food-drink/heinz-launch-online-shop-to-feed-nation/

A soluble stamp encourages children to wash their hands properly

Encouraging children to wash their hands at all can be difficult – let alone for the recommended duration of time. A Japanese company have developed a fun stamp that can be printed onto children’s hands and washed off, offering a playful visual sign of when to stop.

 

Source: https://www.japantrends.com/otetepon-push-stamp-washing-hands-children/

App for those who are missing office life

An app called #SoundBored has created a soundscape of typical office noises for those who are missing their colleagues. The range includes typing, yelling, sneezing, and even the pleasant sounds of people eating their lunch to bring the office ambience into the home.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/tldr/2020/4/9/21215801/i-miss-the-office-sounds-white-noise

A traditional Chinese medicine treatment for covid-19 uses bear bile

The Chinese National Health Commission has promoted a treatment for covid-19 which includes bear bile in its ingredients. As the novel coronavirus is highly likely to have emerged from Chinese “wet markets”, where living wild animals are kept for food and medicine, its cause is being reinterpreted as its cure.

Source: https://eia-international.org/news/unbelievable-chinese-govt-recommends-injections-containing-bear-bile-to-treat-coronavirus/

Businesses and charities call for a green recovery

As the UK government begins to lift lockdown, more than 60 businesses and charities have signed an open letter to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, calling on him to ensure that the recovery prioritises the environment as well as the economy.

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52580291 

Shoppers buy more processed food

Heinz and the Campbell Soup Company have seen increased sales due to demand for store-cupboard staples with long shelf-lives. Not only has the Coronavirus caused food-insecurity, but processed food also holds a comfort factor and can evoke nostalgia.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/07/business/coronavirus-processed-foods.html

McDonalds Brazil redesigns its logo to incorporate elements of social distancing

McDonalds Brazil has separated the two golden arches of its logo to make their brand reflect the social distancing required under the coronavirus lockdown

Source: https://www.creativereview.co.uk/mcdonalds-social-distancing/

Robots join the fight against coronavirus in Italy

“Tommy” the robot is helping healthcare staff in an Italian hospital monitor patients with Covid-19. The robots are able to monitor data from equipment on a ward and alert staff when attention is required – freeing doctors to deal with more serious cases and reducing direct contact.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-italy-robots/tommy-the-robot-nurse-helps-keep-italy-doctors-safe-from-coronavirus-idUSKBN21J67Y

Japanese students attend graduation ceremonies through robots

The Business Breakthrough University in Tokyo held a remote graduation ceremony, with students using robots to “attend” while remaining at home. The “Newme”robots were dressed in graduation caps and gowns for the ceremony and carried tablets which displayed their student’s webcam.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-japan-remote-gradu/robots-replace-japanese-students-at-graduation-amid-coronavirus-idUSKBN21P0XI?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=Social

WhatsApp imposes new limit on forwarding to fight false Covid-19 claims

The Facebook-owned chat app has announced new limit on message forwarding  to slow the dissemination of fake news. If a user receives a frequently forwarded message – one which has been forwarded more than five times – under the new restrictions, they will only be able to send it on to a single chat at a time.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/apr/07/whatsapp-to-impose-new-limit-on-forwarding-to-fight-fake-news

Deliveroo Partners with Charity to Provide Seder Kits

Deliveroo and Jewish charity Chabad Lubavitch teamed up to provide “Seder-to-Go” kits in the UK and Ireland, allowing people who are isolating to still be able to celebrate Passover.

Source: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/06/uk/deliveroo-chabad-lubavitch-seder-scli-intl-gbr/index.html

COVID-19 prompts the creation of more bike lanes and footpaths in cities

Socially distanced public transport systems and the need for people to safely exercise has led some cities to temporarily create new bike and footpath spaces.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/11/world-cities-turn-their-streets-over-to-walkers-and-cyclists

Sainsbury’s brings back bicycle deliveries

Sainsbury’s has relaunched its one-hour bicycle delivery service in central London to support its existing team in serving customers in lockdown.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/apr/02/sainsburys-revives-bicycle-deliveries-london

Technology is ‘winning’ during the COVID-19 pandemic

The winners in the COVID-19 pandemic are technology firms, as friends, families and colleagues try to digitally replicate face-to-face communications and socialising.

Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-iAZJAgUUn/?igshid=17qeuwzthhbss

Coronavirus infects 5G conspiracy theories in the UK

Existing conspiracy theories in the UK about threats to health from the rollout of 5G internet have evolved to include the claim that the technology spreads Coronavirus. The UK communications regulator has warned broadcasters who repeat these baseless theories on air will be sanctioned.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/apr/02/uk-media-outlets-told-not-to-promote-baseless-5g-coronavirus-theories

Britons are revisiting traditional recipes amid lockdown

Unable to leave their homes, Britons are retreating to family meal times – eating well and enjoying nostalgic family recipes. Adding a 21st-century twist, many are giving the recipes a vegetarian makeover.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/food/2020/apr/03/anna-jones-simple-staple-recipes-for-lockdown

Dutch Design Studio Develops Model for Food Market During Social Distancing

Dutch studio Shift Architecture Urbanism has developed a model for a shared street food market where people can buy fresh produce without coming into contact with one another.

Source: https://www.dezeen.com/2020/04/03/shift-architecture-urbanism-designs-social-distancing-into-the-food-market/?li_source=LI&li_medium=rhs_block_2

Independent Shops and Producers are now delivering In London

Independent Shops and Producers are now delivering In London. From ethical butchers to dairy and a whole range of fruit and vegetables, a long list of independently run food producers and suppliers are delivering their fresh and crafted goods direct to the doorstep during the lockdown.

Source: https://thenudge.com/staying-in/independent-shops-producers-delivering-in-london/

Nike puffer jacket sofa encourages virtual social distancing

The Air Max Day Sofa “digitally upcycles” Nike puffer jackets, and allows people to use a custom Instagram Augmented Reality filter to help people to socialise, whilst also socially distancing online.

Source: https://www.dezeen.com/2020/04/02/crosby-studios-virtual-sofa-green-nike-jackets/

Look after plants whilst in lockdown

One of the silver linings of the pandemic has been a renewed interest in nature, gardening and the outdoors. However, many British garden centres suffered in lockdown as not all had an online presence. Upon hearing that the plants in these nurseries may die, Plantsavers was created. As the logistics of lockdown mean that customers aren’t able to choose exact plants, the website offers random selection boxes sourced from closed nurseries. The customer benefits in three ways: first, the boxes are better value than buying the plants individually, second they are able to support struggling businesses, and thirdly Plantsavers donates money from each sale to a NHS charity.

Source: https://plantsavers.co.uk/

Healthy Snacks whilst working from home

Snack company “Nature Box” has teamed up with corporate businesses in USA and Canada to set up snack home delivery to help engage companies with their remote teams and show support to their employees.

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/remote-office-snack-from-home-program-sells-out-first-week-301033575.html 

Outrage growing at English Premier League soccer clubs

Outrage is growing at English Premier League soccer clubs who have been furloughing support staff but continue to pay their players hundreds of thousands of Pounds a week

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52120578

 

Napolina launches frozen pasta

Responding to consumer interest in stockpiling and long life foods, Italian firm Napolina has launched a range of frozen pastas to help people create meals within minutes and make cooking at home easier.

Source: http://www.napolina.com/pasta/frozen-pasta

AirBnB launches digital experiences

Firms in the “experience economy” are particularly hard-hit by social distancing measures around the world. The holiday rental platform AirBnB has launched a new digital experience service, which aims to transport you to another country for an authentic experience from the comfort of your own home.

Source: https://www.airbnb.ca/s/experiences/online

Sound map shows effect of lockdown in the world and urban environments

The Cities and Memories website has collected field recordings from around the world for the past five years and this week launched a new campaign to build a global crowd sourced sound map, which shows how our aural lives are shifting as lockdown affects the world and urban environments evolve.

Source: https://citiesandmemory.com/sound-map/

Keeping the LGBTQ community connected amidst COVID-19 outbreak

Miami based Hotel Gaythering, described as the ‘gayest hotel in Miami Beach’, is helping the LGBTQ community remain connected amidst COVID-19 outbreak. The hotel is now live streaming its bingo, happy hour, drag queen karaoke, and trivia nights on its social channels each week.

Source: https://www.gaythering.com/?utm_campaign=Sophie%20IotD&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=85515569&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-97rs4beuqRcz1KWAg0oyAkov_46D-_ctJeoAxayuqKQuGlwug8mQldQhP6AvhWoFZwC5muC7anF8WpJMXYzpesqE8bJA&_hsmi=85515569

 

U.S. Universities accepting Duolingo English Test

With the suspension of traditional English proficiency tests in countries most affected by the coronavirus, a wave of US institutions are now accepting the results of the Duolingo English Test, either as stand-alone proof or as a supplement to other measures of English-language proficiency.

Source: https://thepienews.com/news/us-more-heis-accepting-the-duolingo-english-test-amid-uncertainty/

 

Burger King France advertises recipe for making a Whopper at home

Burger King France advertises recipe for making a Whopper at home. The burger chain is letting people in France know the secret to making a Whopper at home, through an easy tutorial on twitter.

Source: https://www.thedrum.com/news/2020/03/30/ads-we-burger-king-france-advertises-recipe-making-whopper-home?utm_campaign=Newsletter_Daily_US&utm_source=pardot&utm_medium=email 

Zoom introduces new virtual background feature

As more people are using video conferencing software due to having to work from home, Zoom have introduced a series of playful backgrounds they allow people to pretend they are anywhere else.

Source: https://mashable.com/article/zoom-background-change-coronavirus-meetings/?europe=true

Fitness games running out of stock

Ring Fit Adventure, a popular fitness video game for Nintendo Switch, is selling out in stores and being sold for twice its recommended retail price – as people prepare for long stints at home.

Source: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ellievhall/nintendo-ring-fit-adventure-selling-out

Do-not-touch-your-face Machine Learning website

Launch of donottouchyourface.com, a website tool created by US-based developers that helps users follow the advice of medical experts to not touch their face during the coronavirus outbreak through Machine Learning.

Source: https://donottouchyourface.com/

Pokémon Go from home

Niantic have announced that they are putting their resources into developing features for Pokémon Go that are compatible with staying indoors. The company announced that, in the midst of the challenge that COVID-19 represents, they are “putting focus on expanding features and experiences in our games that can be enjoyed in an individual setting.”

Source: https://mashable.com/article/pokemon-go-feature-changes-coronavirus/?europe=true

Zoom Video stock spikes by more than 100% since January

The share price of Zoom, the US remote conferencing service, has doubled since the end of January, rising from $70 a share at the end of January to over $141 by 26 March. As more countries are forced into lockdown, firms which help to bring us together – for work or play –  are thriving.

Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/zoom-stock-price-surged-coronavirus-pandemic-video-work-from-home-2020-3-1029023594

General Mills call for appropriate response from brands

General Mills boosts marketing spending and pushes for appropriate messages during COVID-19. With U.S. shoppers scooping up on products during Covid-19 outbreak, General Mills declined to raise its sales forecast for its current fiscal year, knowing the situation can change rapidly.

Source: https://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/general-mills-boosts-marketing-spending-pushes-appropriate-messages-during-covid-19/2245051

The RHS report a rise in people growing their own vegetables

Food insecurity and a desire to return to nature have sparked a rise in people growing their own herbs and vegetables.

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-52009161

Drones being used to crack down COVID-19 in China

China’s Central Government instructed authorities to employ drones in an ongoing effort to contain the outbreak of the coronavirus that originated in Wuhan.

Source: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/10/asia/china-security-police-wuhan-virus-intl-hnk/index.html

U.K. Brewery making hand sanitizer

Amid the rising need for hand sanitizer, BrewDog decided to use its distillery to make Punk Sanitizer. On Twitter, James Watt, ‘captain’ at the brewer, clarified that the company will not be selling the sanitizer, just giving it out to those who need it.

Source: https://www.thedrum.com/creative-works/project/brewdog-brewgel-punk-sanitizer

Boris Johnson bans gatherings of more than two people

Boris Johnson has banned gatherings of more than two people, and asked Police to enforce this rule.
Some are breaking it – Police break up barbecue as people see coronavirus lockdown as excuse for a party.

Source: https://metro.co.uk/2020/03/24/police-break-barbecue-people-see-coronavirus-lockdown-excuse-party-12451396/

Movement call citizens to #StayTheFuckHome

#StayTheFuckHome campaign/movement to call citizens into action stating that resolving this is not only the governments’ burden.

Their website states “it is not only the government’s burden to bear. It is time for us, as citizens of this earth, to take action now and do our part in fighting COVID-19.”

Source: https://staythefuckhome.com/

LEON giving NHS staff 50% discount

LEON is another fast-food chain to support NHS workers.  It has increased the discount that NHS staff members can secure on food, and started delivering to hospitals.

Source: https://www.thisisoxfordshire.co.uk/news/18321755.leon-giving-nhs-staff-50-discount/

Spring break is still on for slap-happy students

Crowds of US university students flocked to Florida for their spring break, defying recommendations from the federal government and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over the coronavirus outbreak

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-us-canada-51955362/us-students-party-on-spring-break-despite-coronavirus

Fake news about Dolphins in Venice

Stories of dolphins and fish swimming in the newly ‘unpolluted waters’ of Venice have been deemed as fake news.  Waters are actually running clear because boats are not swirling up silt, and the dolphin photo being taken in a different part of Italy.

Source: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2020/03/coronavirus-pandemic-fake-animal-viral-social-media-posts/

Plastic bag bans delayed in areas of America

In response to hygiene concerns following the Coronavirus, Maine and New York State have delayed their plastic bag bans. Not only is plastic a hygienic option, but the ban would add another pressure to shops already struggling with decreasing footfall, social distancing, and increased safety measures.

Source: https://www.environmentalleader.com/2020/03/states-delay-plastic-bag-bans/

Stocking up on guns

“One store owner told BuzzFeed News sales of tactical gear have increased 100% since the outbreak started.”

Source: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanhatesthis/its-not-just-food-and-hand-sanitizer-panicked-coronavirus

UK privacy activists raise fears over social distancing tracking

Privacy campaigners have spoken out over a UK government plan to track social distancing measures.  The plan entails mobile phone operators sharing anonymised data with the government to assess whether or not people are following advice to avoid pubs, bars and restaurants.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/20/uk-privacy-activists-raise-fears-social-distancing-tracking-coronavirus

Selling loo roll

Some people are profiteering from the crisis by buying items like toilet roll or hand sanitizer and selling them on online marketplaces at trumped up prices.

“The Guardian found one UK-based seller who had pocketed £1,000 from selling packs of Andrex toilet roll at £50 each – more than double the retail price – on eBay since Saturday morning.”

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/mar/16/ebay-urged-to-clamp-down-on-coronavirus-profiteering