Big life events keep happening, even in a pandemic

Big life events keep happening, even in a pandemic

Editor's Note: This is a preview of USA TODAY's newsletter Staying Apart, Together, a guide to help us all cope with a world changed by coronavirus. If you would like it in your inbox on Tuesdays and Saturdays, subscribe here.

At the beginning of the pandemic it felt like everything froze.

On the one hand, it did. Events like weddings were postponed, workers were furloughed, highways were empty . Our individual lives froze too. Your lease is up? Let's extend it just in case. Thinking of changing careers? Now is not a good time. Getting a dog? Well, OK, everyone got a dog.

But as it became increasingly clear that the pandemic wasn't ending anytime soon, many of us had to figure out how to move forward with big life changes, since we can't pause our progress forever. For me and my husband, that meant making the decision to move even though it will be hard to organize and keep social distance. For other friends and family, it means carrying on with virtual weddings, maternity leave amid job insecurity, home renovations done by themselves and retirements without parties. In my apartment community at the beginning of June I noticed a flurry of move-out activity. People were waiting, but they can't wait anymore.

Wearing latex gloves to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, bride Elma Diyani, right, and groom Octavianus Kristianto exchange rings during their wedding ceremony at the local Religious Affairs Office in Pamulang, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia, June 19, 2020.

If big life events are happening for you, I wish you the best of luck. It's not easy, but I hope at least some of the positive life milestones can still bring you joy.

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Today's work from home tips

Many companies that have been able to operate with their employees working from home have extended remote work into the fall (or made it indefinite), and so if you've been thinking about investing in your home office set up, it seems worth it at this point.

Especially for those of us who spend a long time in video meetings, there are ways to make the experience better for yourself and your career. Our USA TODAY Tech staffers are up on what you need to make it easier and better to video chat, from lighting and cameras to the body language mistakes you might be making that are derailing your virtual presentations.

A woman sits on a white couch holding a mug and talking to another woman through a laptop video chat.

This summer's beach (at home) reads

There is no rule that easy, fun fiction has to be read only if you're lucky enough to have safe access to a beach this summer. I personally have sunbathedon a stack of towels in the grass next to our apartment's patio. It confused our dog, but it worked.

Regardless of how your summer is shaping up, there are still great new books that will help take some of your worries away. The USA TODAY Books Team rounded up the 20 biggest debuts of the season. My pick is"The Heir Affair," by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (out July 7).

From the hilarious writers of celebrity fashion site Go Fug Yourself comes the follow-up to their winning “The Royal We.” After marrying the heir to the throne, Rebecca "Bex" Porter adjusts to life in the British royal family and must survive her own scandal.

See the full list here.

Today's listen

If you'd like to feel inspired, we have a new podcast that launched this morning from USA TODAY Sports called Changing the Game. Award-winning sports journalist Nancy Armour interviews icons, Olympians, and trailblazers in this eight-part series exploring how women have revolutionized sports, and the ripple effects they have on society as a whole. First guest is gymnast Laurie Hernandez, a member of Team USA's "Final Five" that took home gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics. You can listen here.

Today's reads

News you can cruise (or not): The industry's sailing suspension has been extended until September 15. Want to honor Pride Month before it's over next week? We rounded up 5 ways you can be an ally to the Black LGBTQ+ community.In another edition of our celebrity quarantine diaries, we spoke to Kevin Bacon about working during the pandemic. Weirdly enough, now might be a good time to buy a used car. Let us explain. There has been a lot of coverage about how sports might return amid the pandemic, even at the college level. But what about the marching bands?

Today's pet

Meet a member of the USA TODAY pet family: Sadie.

Her human is USA TODAY Best-Selling Books List editor Mary Cadden, who writes: "Sadie is a very spoiled and very playful 13-year old chug (that is a pug/chihuahua mix.) She enjoys napping, playing outside and barking at nothing in particular. She makes self-quarantining with her mama a delight."

That's all for this Tuesday. Stay safe, stay well, and the newsletter will be back in your inboxes, with my editor Alison Maxwell at the helm again, this Saturday morning. If you'd like your pet featured, have a coping tip or a question about the newsletter, email me at And feel free to fill out our survey to help shape the direction of this newsletter. We want to offer whatever will help you the most.

All my very best,

Kelly Lawler


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