Staying Apart, Together: Remember to pause and take care of yourself this week

Kelly Lawler

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

If I can give you one piece of advice today, it's to take a moment to pause and take a deep breath.

It's been a tumultuous past two weeks as protests against racism and police brutality have rocked the nation after the death of George Floyd. We were already in the middle of an unprecedented time because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has drastically changed everyday life across the globe over the past few months. 

Even as we work to make change and to keep social distance, we have to remember to stop and take care of ourselves. Burnout is a real possibility, as we are overwhelmed by the news, our own emotional response to it and the rapid rate of current events. Taking breaks, taking stock of our lives, those are important steps in the fight against a pandemic and in the fight against systemic inequality. (I'm sending you this story on virtual therapy again, for anyone who needs it). 

I'm here to help you all, to cope with the pandemic, the death of Floyd and anything else you need. Today I want to offer you good news, distractions and some thoughtful reads. Stay well this week. 

Social distancing

Today's really good news

Quarantine is working. It really is. 

A new study says that the U.S. lockdown measures prevented 60 million coronavirus infections. Take a moment to absorb that. 

Researchers found the USA may have been able to avoid an additional 4.8 million confirmed coronavirus cases, which translates to about 60 million more infections, as a result of statewide lockdowns and mandated social distancing restrictions, according to the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature.

Staying home, sacrificing visits with family and friends, milestones like graduations and weddings – it hasn't been easy. Coronavirus is such an invisible enemy that seeing progress, seeing victory is nearly impossible. The fight is happening in hospitals sure, but also in all of our homes as we work remotely, attempt homeschooling and stay in on the weekends. We're all doing good work, and I'm so proud of us. 

Read our full story on the study here

Today's excellent distraction

Please enjoy this trailer for "Bill & Ted Face the Music," the third installment in the Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter film series. The trailer is guaranteed to make you smile. Not bogus at all. 

If you prefer a more literary entertainment, a lot of my friends are enjoying "Hunger Games" prequel "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes" as a really engrossing distraction right now. If you are interested in reading, but it's been a while since you read the original books or watched the movies, the great Carly Mallenbaum has this primer for you. 

Daughters Thea (Samara Weaving, from left) and Billie (Brigette Lundy-Paine) help their dads Ted (Keanu Reeves) and Bill (Alex Winter) write a song to save the universe in "Bill & Ted Face the Music."

Today's reads

Yes, these adorable face masks are for sale.

Today's pet

Has any dog ever had a bigger smile than Sadie the Lady? 


Says her owner, Jeaneen Clayton in Santa Cruz, California, "She’s been with our family for about seven years. She brings light to all of our lives and is a great companion, especially to help us cope during these difficult times!" 

That smile could definitely light up a room