COVID19

Smaller crowds make up for COVID-19 protocols

Forty-four years after they honeymooned at the Magic Kingdom, Carol and Steve Show donned mouse ears with “44” emblazoned on the iconic headgear and posed for photos in front of Cinderella Castle.

The two were among the estimated 16,000 people who descended on Walt Disney World Saturday as the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom welcomed guests for the first time since COVID-19 forced the parks’ closure March 15. 

The parks opened even as the Sunshine State recorded a sharp increase in new infections. On Saturday, the Florida Department of Health reported 10,360 new cases, the 18th consecutive day that at least 5,000 new cases of the novel coronavirus have been announced ⁠and pushing total cases to 254,511.

And those making their way back to the “Place Where Dreams Come True” found a smaller, much more sanitized and COVID-19-conscious world.

Opening day at Disney World as it happened: Small crowds,

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Missing movie theaters in COVID-19 quarantine? Fill up the car and head to these drive-ins

The country is starting to open up after months of lockdown, yet social distancing and sanitary precautions are still important as ever. And although theater chains like AMC are gearing up to return in July, taking in a drive-in movie may sound appealing, especially for families.

Drive-in movie theaters have the advantages of in-person viewing while staying in the comfort, privacy and safety of your own vehicle. Social distancing is built-in, as cars are often parked six or more feet away from each other, and proper COVID-19 protocols make it easier to have fun yet stay safe.

We’ve put together a list of old and newly converted drive-ins across the country for you to check out. Scroll through to see if there’s one near you:

A user’s guide to drive-in movie theaters:  Staying safe and having fun

East Coast

Fingerlakes Drive-In, Auburn, New York

Fingerlakes Drive-In in Auburn, New York, promotes hand hygiene right at the entrance.
Fingerlakes Drive-In in Auburn, New York,
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Pandemic car buying: Consumer strategies for the age of COVID-19 and beyond

To buy a car, you need money. To have money, you need a job, unless you’re cruising on investments. So for many of the 40 million unemployed Americans — only the most recent, crushing count — happy talk about buying a car is bound to chafe. 

But while the pandemic is kneecapping new-car sales, which are expected to fall about 27 percent to just 12.5 million units in 2020, tens of millions of Americans will still buy a car this year. Used cars have generated 40 million to 45 million retail sales in recent years, dwarfing sales of new models. 

So whether it’s industry rah-rah or not, the pandemic has automakers and dealers pulling out all the stops to lure shoppers back. While it’s a buyer’s market, consumers need good advice to navigate it without tripping themselves up — including by falling for screaming “deals” that aren’t what they’re cracked

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COVID-19 is changing how we buy cars with online sales, home delivery and more transparent pricing

At some point, we’ve all felt like a chump in a car dealership showroom, waiting for the salesperson to emerge from a shrouded back office where they presumably spent the last 20 minutes pushing a hard-nosed manager to chip another $100 off the price of that car you’re haggling over.

After hours at the dealership, it feels like an endless game that you’re destined to lose.

But that exhausting and enigmatic car-buying process at bricks-and-mortar stores will be a relic of the past in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, industry experts predict. Mandated stay-home orders have forced car buyers and dealers to adopt a new ‘bricks and clicks’ model instead.

“I can order my groceries to my door, I can order new running shoes to my door … every part of our life right now is delivered,” said Jessica Stafford, general manager of Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book. “Our

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