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Another semester is coming to a close, and this marks the end of the academic year for the globalEDGE team.  This semester has brought with it significant and unique challenges that have forced our team, and people around the world, to adapt to a new lifestyle and embrace change as we never have before.  Through it all, we hope you were able to benefit from our perseverance and continue to glean useful knowledge from our blog posts and website resources.

With that, the globalEDGE blog will be taking a break from its regular schedule throughout the summer.  Until we return with exciting ideas and information in September, we hope our readers stay safe and we thank you for your interaction and viewership throughout the year. 

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The United States is stagnant, with a limited number of individuals able to work and minute numbers leaving their homes.  Due to COVID-19, industries are taking a hit.  However, for the automotive industry, things are beginning to look up. In China, factories are attempting to restart their operations but with precautions. The automakers are checking employees for virus telltale fever, barring visitors, as well as having employees stay home if they have been in Wuhan, the city at the center of the outbreak. Employees who can sufficiently work from home are still suggested to do so.

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The coronavirus pandemic has brought about changes in lifestyle for populations around the globe.  People are staying home and avoiding travel, whether by choice or due to government restrictions. International travel, in particular, has stopped in its tracks.  As of March 31, the United States is under a Global Level 4 Health Advisory, with the state department recommending all citizens avoid international travel. Inevitably, travel-related industries have felt the impact of these changes.  Let’s look at how airlines and other hospitality businesses have been affected by the coronavirus.

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As the spring semester begins to wind down at universities across the country, albeit via remote online-learning, colleges are already bracing for the worst this upcoming fall.  While it is the expectation that students should be able to return for in-person classes, it is difficult to make that confirmation given the nature of the coronavirus, as many in the public have speculated that it will be difficult to start-up in-person classes on-time given future waves of the virus.  A select number of schools, including Boston University, have already discussed suspending in-person classes through the end of 2020.  In the event that online learning is continued, there will be a long list of academic and economical ramifications that come, which could not only indefinitely change the way higher education is operated, but also impact the communities surrounding them.

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The most important thing to do in times of isolation is to still have some kind of connection. People are searching out their friends and family through video chat to check in and push towards having connections. Whether it’s FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, or another one of the hundreds of different video calling platforms, everyone seems to have a personal favorite. Video chatting is now becoming an essential part of society. And because of this, the video conferencing market is seeing an increase in consumption.

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The coronavirus outbreak has spread into countries all across the globe. Despite international efforts to engage in social distancing, the number of people with the virus has continued to rise. The coronavirus, which is most dangerous to the elderly, has now has infected over one and a half million people globally. It has been the cause of a massive shutdown of businesses, as well as a massive drop in the stock market.

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The world population grows at a staggering rate each decade, and it is only continuing to increase. Currently, our world population is at 7 billion, but by 2050 it is estimated that the population will reach 9 billion. In order to fit the needs of the rapidly growing population, there needs to be a major increase in food production—approximately by 70%. This raises the question of how? How can the population be fed healthy, wholesome diets without harming the environment? Different countries and regions are trying to come up with solutions to fit the needs of the growing population.

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As the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic continues to captivate the world in a time freeze like experience, the changes that workplaces have had to effect have been prominent and extreme.  Because of the quick spread and serious health consequences of this pandemic, many companies have opted to shift all nonessential employees to a work from home mandate.  Through such an action, millions of workers across all industries across the globe now find themselves working from the confines of their respective homes rather than traveling into the office during the week.  Here are two benefits and two drawbacks that are being seen as a result of the new work from home experience:

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As the coronavirus sweeps across our globe, leaving millions indoors, we are beginning to see a positive change in the environment.  China is striving to halt the spread of COVID-19, fewer cars are driving, hardly any factories are running, and, in turn, skies are clearing up. China is known for its heavy smog that drapes over its major cities. Marshall Burke, an assistant professor at Stanford's Department of Earth System Science, said the better air quality could have saved between 50,000 and 75,000 people from dying prematurely: "The reductions in air pollution in China caused by this economic disruption likely saved twenty times more lives in China than have currently been lost due to infection with the virus in that country."

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As the infamous COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, it is also changing billions of lives. Simple activities such as going shopping at the mall or going out to eat at your favorite restaurant have become merely a dream, as millions of people are forced to follow social distancing mandates. Countries like Italy and China have been on lockdown for months, while other countries like Spain and the United States only started their lockdown and social distancing orders a few weeks ago. No matter what county you’re from, odds are you have been affected by this pandemic in one way or another. Yet, now experts are beginning to wonder what the world will look like after the pandemic fades out, and if some of the coronavirus preventions may stay in place.

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