Presented by Plan B One Step
So how about 2020? It goes without saying that this year did not go as planned for any of us, from our travel plans, to our careers, to our personal lives. Nothing but mess, all around. I think I can speak for everyone when I say I’m very ready for 2020 to be over, and hopeful that the new year will be just a little less depressing.
Obviously, the calendar flipping from December to January isn’t going to magically change anything, and I realized long ago that New Years Resolutions are kind of a scam (sorry, but it’s true). But that doesn’t mean we can’t take a look back at this disaster of a year and take some positive lessons forward into 2021. I’m trying to be positive here — I’m manifesting “I’ve Got This” energy — so let’s just do our best to figure out what we’ve learned from this sh*tshow of a year.
Don’t Book Vacations Too Far In Advance
With the way this year has gone, I’ll be wary of booking anything too far in advance for the next few years. When it comes to planning trips, there are obviously financial and logistical benefits to making arrangements earlier rather than later, but it’s a good idea to balance your Type A tendencies with the reality that anything could happen. If you were one of those people who had to cancel six different trips this year, you should probably slow your roll. You don’t need to wait until the last minute to score a flight or hotel, but you also don’t need to plan your trip down to the minute six months before you depart. If something goes wrong, you don’t want to be on the phone all day with various companies begging for your deposits back.
Always Keep Extra Toilet Paper In Your Closet
Growing up, my parents always kept a closet fully stocked with household items — extra toilet paper, boxes of tissues, cleaning supplies, paper towels — whatever you could think of, there was almost always an extra month’s worth on hand. Somehow, that way of thinking wasn’t passed down to me, which led to some genuine moments of panic this spring when I had to pray that my toilet paper order would arrive before I completely ran out. It wasn’t a fun feeling, and I have finally learned my lesson. Now, I buy the big packs of toilet paper, and I actually pay attention to when I’m on the last roll.
Have 3 Meals You Actually Know How To Cook
If you’re one of those people who can just throw a bunch of random ingredients together and make a delicious dinner with no plan, this has really been your year to shine. For the rest of us, being forced to figure out every meal for several months with little to no useful cooking knowledge has been a struggle. It can be fun to try new things or get creative in the kitchen sometimes, but going forward, it’s important to have some meals that you can throw together, even if you’re not really in the mood to cook. Learn how to make a perfect omelette (for breakfast or dinner), or finally use the family sauce recipe that your mom sent you back in March. Your bank account will thank you, because those endless delivery charges definitely aren’t helping you stick to your budget.
It’s Really Okay To Cancel Plans
Obviously, it sucks when big plans like trips and weddings don’t happen, and it’s not fun when you don’t get to see your friends for months. But this bizarre year has also made us appreciate quiet nights at home and relaxing weekends alone, and I’m excited to take that energy into next year. Hopefully we can go back to enjoying fun things like parties, concerts, and — if you can even imagine — normal dating, but there’s nothing wrong with balancing your introverted and extroverted sides. Obviously, you should still be considerate and give as much notice as possible if you need to cancel, but you don’t need to feel lame because you want to get eight hours of sleep on a Saturday night.
Always Be Prepared With Plan B One-Step ® Emergency Contraception
If this year has taught us anything, it’s that we need to be as flexible as possible. Some things are impossible to see coming, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to be prepared for whatever life throws at us. That’s why it’s important to know about Plan B emergency contraception. If you have unprotected sex and need to take emergency contraception, for whatever reason — like the condom broke, or maybe you missed a pill — you can rest assured knowing that Plan B is the #1 ob/gyn recommended emergency contraception brand. It helps prevent pregnancy before it starts when taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex or birth control failure. And, the sooner you take it, the better it works. It works by helping to prevent pregnancy before it starts by temporarily delaying ovulation (no egg + no fertilization = no pregnancy). Taking Plan B won’t affect your future fertility. You can get it at all major retail stores (like Target, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart) — just look in the family planning aisle. No prescription, ID, or age requirement. With Plan B’s “I’ve Got This” attitude, a few recipes, and a lot of extra toilet paper, we can make 2021 a great year (or at least better than 2020, right?).
There can be no discussion of the year 2020 without the mention of the name George Floyd, the 46-year-old black man who was brutally murdered at the hands of Derek Chauvin and three other police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota this past May. And while George Floyd did not ask to be martyred, his brutal and untimely death awakened the world, and was undoubtedly the inciting incident for what many are calling the civil rights movement of 2020. Although it’s tough to say definitively if the uprisings we’ve seen this year can be compared to the civil rights movement of the 1960s (as that movement tenaciously lasted for more than 10 years), it is fair to say that the Black Lives Matter movement is certainly moving in that direction. And if, in fact, we are headed down that historic route, it would absolutely be because of the bold, radical, unapologetic voices guiding us, leading us down the path to revolution.
It is no secret that black women and femmes have played a central role in the current Black Lives Matter movement—after all, it was a 17-year-old Black woman, Darnella Frazier, who bravely filmed George Floyd’s death, providing the world with the concrete video footage that made the misconduct surrounding his murder indisputable. But Black women and femmes have always had a unique perspective into structural injustice, probably because they have always been at the receiving end of most of it. Black women’s rights and interests routinely take a back seat to those of white women and cis black men. As such, you may have heard (whether directly from the source, Malcolm X, or indirectly from a pretty good source, Beyoncé) that “the most disrespected person in America is the black woman.” And perhaps it is because of this regular disrespect that Black women and femmes have sought to reclaim agency and use their voices to speak.
Over the past few months, Black women and femmes from all industries have been using their social media platforms to mobilize and educate the masses, creating a revolution for the digital age. They are leading the anti-racism conversation by saying what many people don’t have the courage to say; pushing the boundary and not accepting performative or shallow attempts at change; ensuring that the revolution will be televised (via Instagram), and that it will be inclusive and intersectional. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are some of the Black women and femmes that I follow who regularly challenge me to learn and do better—I highly recommend you consider following them as well.
Sonya Renee Taylor, IG (@sonyareneetaylor)
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The viral video of Haley challenging her racist parents has gone viral for Folks inspired by her desire to stand up to her parents and advocate for Black people. However, Haley missed the mark and my hunch is most white folks do. STOP arguing with your white family about Black people. START talking about the sickness that is whiteness and how you and them have ingested it. White people talk about people of color so that they don’t have to deal with themselves and the culture and systems whiteness has created inside them. White people it is time to talk about WHITENESS and not about Black folks. #indefenseofblacklives #whitesupremacymustfall #whitestalkaboutwhiteness #healyourwhiteness #blacklivesmatter
If you are like me, you first encountered Sonya Renee Taylor back in June after a video of hers went viral. The video was in response to another viral video on Tik Tok, which featured a well-intentioned yet slightly misguided teen attempting to have “the anti-racism talk” with her family. While most of the internet was applauding Haley for having any semblance of a talk with her family at all, Sonya Renee Taylor’s response video challenged us all to think more critically about what exactly it was that Haley and her family were debating: “Haley was arguing with her parents about whether or not Black people were worthy of life. The fact that that is a conversation is the problem.” Taylor was able to shift the conversation from the localized issue of Black lives simply mattering (a conversation that really shouldn’t be a conversation at all) to the more comprehensive, structural issue: “the delusions of white supremacy.” And that, in a nutshell, is Sonya Renee Taylor’s enthrall—she has the wonderfully unique ability to shed light on matters that challenge and defy the obvious perspective. In addition to her keen insights concerning racism, blackness, and white supremacy, she also commits to spreading discourse surrounding gender, fatphobia, and radical self love. So if you are looking to learn, be challenged, and pick up some lessons on how to love yourself radically and without apology, you must dive into the work of Sonya Renee Taylor and follow her on Instagram.
Noname, Twitter (@noname)
if we believe black lives matter, we must also believe capitalism needs to be destroyed. as long as that system is in place and maintained by powerful elites, black people will die forever.
— 🌱 (@noname) July 26, 2020
Admittedly, it sort of feels weird telling you to follow Noname, because her whole thing is that we should divest from structural systems, celebrity culture being one of them. With that being said… you should follow Noname. Noname has been making music and uplifting POC interests and voices for years now, but she gained mainstream traction this past year. She’s been a dominant voice in the digital Black liberation conversation, regularly challenging her audience to read, learn, and think for themselves. What’s most compelling about Noname’s Twitter presence is she uses it as a means to not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk. You can find her calling out imperialism, the industrial prison complex, and the patriarchy; but, you can also find her calling herself out, owning past mistakes and gaps of knowledge she had before she learned better. As she poignantly points out, “growth is an embarrassing yet necessary part of the process.”
Perhaps Noname’s biggest digital moment occurred this past June, when rapper J. Cole thought it would be constructive to derail from the movement and drop a tremendously odd single, accusing Noname of using a “queen tone” and thinking “ better than” him and other rappers in her efforts to speak up against structural oppression on Twitter. Noname’s eloquent retort came in the form of a 1 minute and 10 second song, the thesis essentially being: “he really ’bout to write about me when the world is in smokes?” With concision and flair, Noname defended herself while effortlessly redirecting the conversation back to the serious issues at hand. Noname uses her Twitter presence in a similar way, calling out problematic mainstream pop culture while consistently shedding light on critical societal issues. So if you want to be a part of her “new vanguard,” follow Noname on Twitter and consider joining her book club.
Ericka Hart, IG (@ihartericka)
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“In our culture privacy is often confused with secrecy. Open, honest, truth-telling individuals value privacy. We all need spaces where we can be alone with thoughts and feelings – where we can experience healthy psychological autonomy and can choose to share when we want to. Keeping secrets is usually about power, about hiding and concealing information.” -bell hooks ⠀ I have been so weary with this new wave of positing that “call outs” are harmful. In my classrooms, I have always contested with this logic – when you make a suggestion that things shouldn’t be called out- who are you protecting? I don’t know about y’all, but I come from a world that loves a secret. bell hooks in All About Love talks about our desire to keep secrets can be linked to slavery- an institution built on a lie, human traffickers lied, enslaved people had to lie to stay safe, institutions lie about what really happened, white washed history lies. ⠀ It’s revolutionary for secrets to be told. To call a thing a thing, rather than bury it in activism or Broadway. I have been apart of many organizing spaces/non profits etc that claimed radical and love, but resisted transparency. These two things can’t exist at the same time. ⠀ We don’t have a call out culture, we have an abuse protection culture. And that is the essence of white supremacy. ⠀ Thank you @jewel_thegem and @thechubbygoddess for the realest most healing IG live I’ve ever watched. Please go follow them and PAY THEM.
I wish I could say that I’ve had the pleasure of following and engaging with Ericka Hart’s content long before this year, but alas, I, too, fell victim to bandwagon culture, and only discovered this dope account this past May. A self-proclaimed “racial/social/gender justice disruptor,” “sex educator,” and “breast cancer survivor,” Ericka Hart uses their social media platform to cover tons of ground on the journey to liberation and is, by far, one of the most engaging accounts I follow. Ericka Hart’s social media presence is unique in that their dialogue concerning social justice is dynamic—not only do they foster conversations that discuss plain truths about race and Blackness, but they also add unique depth to the discussion by examining matters of colorism and ableism. However, what specifically drew me to Ericka Hart’s account was their advocacy for the protection and uplifting of Black lives that exist beyond the scope of cis Black men. They were a dominant voice in May insisting that we not only demand justice for George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, but for Breonna Taylor, a Black woman, Tony McDade, a Black trans man, and countless other Black women and trans folks that have been murdered at the hands of injustice. I, myself, am constantly challenged by Ericka Hart, as they constantly provide the reminder that the revolution cannot be complete or effective if it does not seek to liberate all Black lives. Ericka Hart’s Instagram presence is also a healthy one to follow because they also use it as a platform to celebrate Black joy and Black love—regularly posting content with their partner, Ebony. It’s a radical reminder that the Black story is not one of plight but one of joy and abundance. So do yourself a favor and follow Ericka Hart.
Ziwe, IG (@ziwef)
One of the most powerful adages that has come out of the last couple of months is “the revolution has many lanes.” And I think it’s safe to say that the lane of the revolution that’s “activism through humor” has been monopolized by writer and comedian, Ziwe Fumudoh. Hosting a weekly show on Instagram Live, Ziwe attracts crowds in the thousands as they eagerly watch as she talks with notable people—predominantly white people—about race in America and skillfully baits them into an incorrect, often cringeworthy answer. What’s most fascinating about Ziwe’s show is that her practice of “baiting” really isn’t baiting at all—she just asks questions and simply waits for answers. Without fail, and despite days of preparation and sometimes even tangible notecards, guests will always say the wrong thing—revealing that even the most well-prepared, well-intentioned white people have some kind of implicit bias that they need to reckon with. Previous guests have included infamous white women like Caroline Calloway, Alison Roman, and Alyssa Milano, but Ziwe has also interviewed people of other races, like Jeremy O. Harris, forcing him to discuss his use of Black women’s bodies on stage in his seminal work, Slave Play. At the end of every interview, Ziwe asks her guest what the audience has been wondering the whole time: why the hell did you agree to come on this show? And the guest’s answer is almost always the same: part of doing the work is being made to feel uncomfortable and humbling yourself in order to learn. And that’s the Ziwe influence—she’s created a public platform for those willing to be challenged and learn, while allowing her audience to heal through community and catharsis as they watch the process take place. If you’re not familiar with Ziwe, please join us in the year 2020 and give her a follow!
Rachel Cargle, IG (@rachel.cargle)
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A quick mid week sermon. • If your only goal is to “break the glass ceiling” consider who all those shards of glass will be falling on if you’re not bringing the most marginalized women with you. • Listen to me closely: if your feminism simply means “getting even” with white men it’s not ever going to be an intersectional, inclusive and justice based movement. • Drop a comment or emoji below and let me know you HEAR me. I need you to hear me. • #feminism #womanism #glassceiling #womensrights #womanhistory #womenshistorymonth #quarantine #dogsofinstagram #catsofinstagram #pnwonderland #howdarling #teachersofinstagram #boymom #taylorswift
If there is any account that I am 90% certain you’ve encountered over the past few months, it’s Rachel Cargle’s—and it should be Rachel Cargle’s, as she uses her platform predominantly as a means for education and activism. Upon scrolling through her IG feed, one of the first things of note is that her academic and mobilization efforts far precede this year’s events. Cargle has been guiding the conversation on race and womanhood in support of the revolution for years, even though many of us have only come around recently to receive her words. She regularly promotes the work of “unlearning” through learning, and curates monthly reading lists and lectures via her online platform The Great Unlearn (a patreon you should subscribe to!).
But what sets Rachel Cargle apart from other activists is that a central part of her work is providing tools and resources for her audience to ensure that learning doesn’t stop at required reading, but is further translated into action. For example, when much of the world was posting open letters to their schools, universities, and workplaces to expose them for unjust practices and racist ideals, Rachel Cargle took to her Instagram account to take it one step further: providing her audience with a template for how they, too, can hold the institutions in their lives accountable for structural injustice. In addition to these accountability templates, she also curated a 30-day Do the Work challenge and posted tangible ways to decolonize your bookshelf, continuing the idea that activism must be combined with action in order to really effect change and mobilize a revolution. So if you’re looking to become a student in the masterclass on effective activism, follow Rachel Cargle on Instagram.
A prevailing question on the minds and lips of many this past year has been: “How long will this movement last?” “Is this movement just a moment?” But it’s been three months since the murder of George Floyd, and the movement is still prospering. While the momentum has, naturally, oscillated, its heartbeat is still strong. Why? Because we have leaders: Black women and femmes, the new generation of activists—our new vanguard—who have committed themselves to the endurance of this movement. While it may be easy at times to be defeatist and feel overcome and overwhelmed by how far we have to go, optimism lies in the comfort that we are being led in this revolution by some of the brightest, most talented minds out there. And we can access all of them through the proximity of our smartphones. We simply have no choice but to stan these women and femmes (and send them some coin to pay them for their labor).
Images: Angelo Moleele / Unsplash; sonyareneetaylor, ihartericka, ziwef, Rachel.cargle / Instagram; Noname / Twitter
During a peaceful march on Tuesday evening in New York City, an unmarked Kia minivan pulled up alongside protesters before random men in NYPD T-shirts, khaki shorts, and sneakers jumped out to grab 18-year-old Nikki Stone, dragging her into the van.
The protestors went mad, charging the white van, trying to rescue the girl. One bystander yelling, “What the f— is wrong with you pigs?”
Video of the incident went viral, racking up over a million views.
nypd is out here KIDNAPPING protesters off of the street pic.twitter.com/LCCBj0Ipp8
— Natalie (@Naddleez) July 28, 2020
AOC went off. The New York congresswoman tweeted, “Our civil liberties are on brink. This is not a drill. There is no excuse for snatching women off the street and throwing them into unmarked vans.”
She’s right: Unmarked cars, clandestine arrests, nameless officers—oh, my! 2020 has taken a hard left (or right), and it’s all very sketchy.
Who Had Clandestine Cops On Their 2020 Dystopia Bingo Card?
Clandestine state law dogs and federal tactical teams have been targeting protesters in major cities, seizing people and using force without identification or markings. Portland has taken center stage, as videos of shadow officers striking, grabbing, and gassing citizens have gained national attention.
These covert acts by law enforcement raise a host of issues that impact your constitutional rights—primarily the Fourth Amendment.
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and state constitutions says you have the right not to be searched or seized by law enforcement unless they have probable cause to believe you committed a crime. This requires more than a hunch or suspicion. Probable cause is about having articulable facts.
Basically, the Fourth Amendment means five-O needs concrete info to justify ransacking your stuff or hauling you away in handcuffs. Boundaries aren’t just the cornerstone of mature relationships, but also a functioning democracy. (Quote me on that.)
This has been the law for centuries. But even though the agents know the law, they may not always abide by it. Law enforcement is usually backed by the powers that be, so they rarely suffer any consequences for violating your rights.
In his spirited testimony on Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee, Attorney General William P. Barr (the nation’s top cop) agreed that your Fourth Amendment rights must be protected—but he also made clear that he’s not backing down from sending agents into cities to aggressively police protesters.
You may be seeing more law enforcement soon. In fact, since sending agents into Kansas City and Portland in early July, the Trump Administration announced last week that it was dispatching officers into other major cities, claiming that federal troops are necessary to combat “a shocking explosion of shootings, killings, murders and heinous crimes of violence.”
Sounds scary, right? Fortunately, criminologists confirm that we shouldn’t be sounding the alarm, as crime isn’t a big issue.
Across the board, crime rates are lower than they were last year. This recent spike in crime is a product of governors lifting the pandemic’s stay-at-home orders—basically inviting people to return to their typical shenanigans, which unfortunately includes crime.
Don’t let the fear-mongering get you. Even though crime isn’t something you should necessarily be concerned about right now, it is imperative to protect your constitutional rights by continuing to protest.
“A lot of people got scared off of joining the march after cops grabbed protestors, but that’s exactly when people should gear up and join in,” says a 30-year-old writer who attended Tuesday’s march in Manhattan. The avid social justice warrior, who prefers to remain unnamed, noted, “You have to operate from a cautious optimism: prepare for the worst but hope for the best.”
Stone likely hoped for the best upon being seized Tuesday by the unmarked officers. After spending the night in police custody, Stone was told that the NYPD arrested her for allegedly destroying surveillance equipment. We’ll have to see how those charges play out in court.
In the meantime, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio indicates that he doesn’t want what happened in Portland to happen in his city, adding, “I think it was the wrong time and the wrong place to effectuate that arrest” of Ms. Stone.
Whether or not you’re at the wrong place at the wrong time, know your rights and continue to unapologetically exercise them. No one needs the final stretch of 2020 to end with dystopia.
Images: Spencer Platt/Getty Images; Naddleez/Twitter
If you didn’t already think time was a social construct, the last six months have probably changed your mind. The movie you said you watched last weekend? That was two months ago. And the tweet you thought you saw last week? It was posted today. Since we’re all online literally all day and have nothing better to do than run a new meme into the ground hours after it’s created, new trends come and go faster than ever before. While the banana bread and sourdough baking phase is probably seared so permanently into your memory that you’ll be telling your grandkids about it when they ask about 2020, there are probably a few trends and moments that have already been erased.
The Carrot Challenge
Approximately two days into quarantine, everyone was apparently already so bored that they resorted to an Instagram challenge where they tagged their friends to draw a carrot on their story. It is truly remarkable to look back at this moment in time and realize how naïve we were that we could have possibly thought that was the worst it was going to get.
This feels like something from an entirely different time, back when there was still hope (aka mid March). Thanks to one of the first TikTok trends to pop up in quarantine, people everywhere were using the 20 minutes that they’d usually spend commuting to the office to whisk coffee into a froth. Given that I haven’t heard anything about this in a few months, it seems like people have now realized that time is better spent sleeping in.
this quarantine is really testing the limits of what photos make the cut for a throwback post on instagram
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) May 8, 2020
Another long-forgotten trend is the “Until Tomorrow” era, a time when you couldn’t open Instagram without seeing a feed full of embarrassing photos, bad selfies, and baby pictures (that would be taken down the next day to avoid total humiliation). Personally I think taking your photo down is a weak move, since true Instagram baddies have had embarrassing photos up since 2010 and never took them down no matter how bad (and over-filtered) they were.
“First Photo” Challenge
As I’m sure all the other single people quarantining alone would agree, this challenge felt like a personal attack. Seriously, couples posting their first pics together? Like, did I ask for every other Insta story to remind me that I’ll be riding out a pandemic alone and getting dressed up for FaceTime dates for the foreseeable future?
Remember that week (or was it a month? Who knows) where you got a notification every five minutes that someone was going live on Instagram? Including the girls from high school “running their own businesses” showing you how to use their essential oils? My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who accidentally joined someone’s live where there were only two other people watching. Leaving one of those is almost as uncomfortable as the split second of eye-contact you make with your boss every time you exit a Zoom meeting.
“See 10, do 10?” Yeah, I’m good thanks. I haven’t done a push-up since I was forced to for the fitness test in elementary school, and I won’t be picking those back up because someone tagged me in an Instagram story.
The memory of Tiger King feels like a fever dream. Like, we were really so desperate for entertainment at that point that we just ate that sh*t up and said “NEXT, PLEASE.” It’s kind of incredible that we got desensitized to the absurdity of every single event that happened in that series so quickly. But given how f*cked up everything has become since then, it was good preparation for coping with the rest of the year.
Zoom Happy Hours
if you're still scheduling 14 zoom happy hours every weekend you can chill, we all just want to sleep
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) April 24, 2020
Realizing that having a Zoom happy hour every night of the week does not make up for real-life interaction was a breakthrough that took longer than it should have. Playing drinking games at home is fun when you have somewhere to go afterward, not when you’ll just be sitting in your childhood bedroom, totally wasted, after you shut your laptop.
The “One New Thing A Day” Phase
I’ve been thinking a lot about the people who started quarantine by saying “I’ll be making one new cocktail a day!” or “Every day I’m going to make one new piece of art!” Where’d they go? Last I heard from them it was day 14 I think. Are they okay?
Instagram challenges and TikTok trends will come and go, but you know what will never go out of style? Wearing a f*cking mask.
Images: Mollie Sivaram / Unsplash; bigkidproblems / Instagram; betchesluvthis / Twitter
As coronavirus cases climb in the United States, American passports appear to be losing their value. But America is GREAT AGAIN, haven’t you heard? Thanks, Donny! As if a raging pandemic, lack of accessible healthcare, and systemic racism weren’t enough, you can say au revoir to your European summer holiday, as well as vacations in a bunch of other places around the globe. Great. As the European Union prepares to reopen, U.S. travelers did not make the 15-country safe list and have officially been blocked from entering. So, where else can Americans travel right now? And better yet, should they travel or cancel trips this summer?
“You Can’t Sit With Us”—The EU, Probably
When the EU closed its borders in March, it was no small decision. The same goes for continuing the ban for Americans, considering the fact that 15 million U.S. travelers visit Europe each year, and the industry creates jobs for 26 million people. Clearly, the bloc’s economy will take a substantial hit as the travel industry’s normally bustling summer season comes and (likely) goes without its usual international visitors. The decision was based on epidemiology as opposed to the economy, with the New York Times reporting that the EU “sought to balance health concerns with politics, diplomacy and the desperate need for tourism revenue.”
Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Japan are on the list of approved countries, and that list will be reviewed every two weeks. However, it seems that the U.S. will have to make a serious reduction in new cases in order to be reconsidered, so we won’t be holding our breath. Unlike Americans, travelers from the approved country list will be permitted access to all EU member states, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. So if you had hoped for some thirst-trap pics for your grid in Iceland’s Blue Lagoon this summer, you’ll have to keep your posting closer to home.
There’s good news for some Americans, as the ban pertains to your residency rather than your passport. This means if you’re an American living in one of the approved countries and can prove your residency there, you may be able to enter. Congrats—it’s like a get out of jail free card!
Cruel Summer—The Countries Americans Can’t Visit
In addition to the EU, there are also a number of other countries not allowing Americans in. Canada’s
regulation hottie Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently announced the continuation of its border closure with the U.S. until August 21, with the possibility of another extension. Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and China’s borders also remain closed to all international arrivals.
honestly it’s surprising that the Bahamas are just now banning Americans when Fyre Festival was like three years ago
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) July 20, 2020
As of July 22, the Bahamas has once again closed its borders to the U.S. due to the recent rise in cases stateside. However, if you’re bougie enough to have a private plane or yacht, you can keep planning your vacation as long as you can provide a negative COVID test… but you may get roasted by the internet for being a covidiot if you do.
Countries Open To American Travelers
Dreaming of the beach? You might be in luck, as a number of Caribbean countries are open to visitors. Belize, Barbados, and Jamaica are all open to international travel, as well as St. Barts, St. Lucia, and Antigua. However, each country or territory has its own COVID restrictions upon entry. Some include providing a negative COVID-19 test no more than a week old, or temperature and health checks upon arrival.
Mexico is also an option, even though the land border between the country and the U.S. remains closed. You can still arrive in certain areas by plane, but keep in mind that states are opening in varying degrees, so not everywhere in the country is ready for visitors.
Despite the ban, Europe is not completely off-limits to Americans this summer; the open countries just might not be the places you have at the top of your bucket list. Albania and Serbia are European countries not yet in the EU that are currently allowing international travelers, so start your research on their tourist destinations if you really want to book a trip. Apparently Serbia has a killer wine region—who knew? Additionally, Croatia has decided to issue its own travel requirements outside of the EU’s restrictions, allowing for non-EU citizens to visit, but requiring proof of pre-booked accommodations. Meanwhile, in the UK (no longer an EU member, as you may recall), international travel is permitted; however, all American arrivals must quarantine for 14 days upon entry.
“Just Because You Ameri-can Doesn’t Mean You Ameri-should”
I hate to be the Debbie Downer here, but even though some countries are open doesn’t mean you should be booking the first flight out. The CDC and the U.S. State Department still have travel advisories that warn against non-essential travel. You know what sucks more than wearing a mask during your staycation? Being on a ventilator.
As much as you’re eager to take new travel Instagrams, we are still amidst a pandemic, and there are still a lot of risks associated with travel. Air travel may increase your exposure to the virus due to difficulties with social distancing and being near people indoors for an extended period of time. If you do decide to fly, take the common-sense precautions we’ve been talking about for the last five months: wash your hands regularly, wear a mask, cover your face when you cough or sneeze, and stay six feet apart when possible.
Travelers should also consider the practical risks, like obtaining health insurance. Some travel health insurance becomes void when there is a government travel advisory, so be sure to always check to see that you will be covered in case you get sick or injured during a vacation.
Many countries are not as lax as the U.S., with nations like Canada and New Zealand still keeping their borders completely closed to visitors even though they have drastically fewer cases and deaths than the U.S. The countries are also enforcing mandatory 14-day quarantine to anyone who enters the country. Additionally, countries like Australia have issued a complete ban on overseas travel, and any exemptions must be approved by the government. Given that the success of flattening the curve in these countries has far outweighed the efforts (or lack thereof) of American officials, it might be wise to take a page from their book.
Party In The USA, Because You Won’t Be Going Anywhere Else
Yes, 2020 has indeed been a horror show, with the U.S. as its main character. For now, let’s hope that next year gets a whole lot better and we can resume our partying in Mykonos in 2021. On the bright side, where other than America can we see a Karen go postal in a Trader Joe’s because her CoNsTiTuTiOnAL rIGhTs are being violated? Plus, there’s still an election that could go horribly wrong! Seriously, just so much to look forward to this year.
Do everyone a favor and find a friend with a beach or lake house, and just stay the fuck home/in said vacation house and drink margaritas until Florida feels like Florence. Good luck.
Images: Anna Shvets / Pexels
After 95694845 days of quarantine (I lost count), our collective #QuarantineClub efforts have not been in vain. And now I’m actually seeing other humans IRL (yay!) out and about. We’re getting our lives back in this so-called “new normal” and cautiously doing all right in Phase 3 with non-essential businesses opening up. Parts of New York are allegedly even entering Phase 4, but that seems too good to be true.
The light at the end of the tunnel seems to be within our reach, but remember—it’s a marathon, not a sprint. All things considered, we can keep up our momentum so long as a few bad apples don’t f*ck over the entire cart. Unfortunately, parts of the U.S. are experiencing just that—sheer amounts of stupidity (i.e. COVID-19 parties… seriously, WTF Alabama??).
Extreme cases aside, I understand that at this point, you’re saying to yourself “omg, I’m so over COVID-19. O-VeR. IT.” And I get it. 2020 is canceled. The pandemic was not exactly what we wanted for summer. But think about how the frontline workers must feel? My close friend Mira MacLeod, a Registered Nurse who works in the COVID-19 ward of a major Toronto hospital (which was also the same converted facility used to treat the first SARS patients) said, “hell (lol) I’M OVeR IT. If anyone has COVID fatigue, it’s me, girl.”
So for her sake and for every one of these caregiving heroes, when it comes to our collective health, reckless behavior is inexcusable. In fact, it’s NOT okay when you decide to be a d*ck by not wearing a mask in a shared public space and jeopardize the lives of others. Additionally, I honestly feel like the warm weather must be frying off some of the common sense in some people’s brains. I guess when you throw sunny skies and balmy weather into the mix, it’s like everyone suddenly forgot that there’s still a deadly pandemic in our presence which, may I remind you, still has the power to come back to bite us again (like it did to South Korea and their second wave) and force us back into our homes.
Do the people begging for stuff to reopen not realize that means having to wear a bra on a regular basis?
— The Salty Mamas (@saltymamas) May 17, 2020
In light of people filling up their social calendars once again and taking to the city streets, the Department of Health released some guidelines on how we can all be safe when gathering together and dining out. However, what these documents neglect to state or inform us about is how the heck these rules will be consistently enforced. Mayor Bill de Blasio is essentially telling us all of this is based on “trust” and calling people out when you see them breaking the rules. Basically like “if you see something, say something.” While that’s definitely one way of approaching it, despite reporting the situation, the damage will have already been done.
Dr. Sidney Chiu, an emergency doctor at North York General Hospital, reminds us that we must each do our part and continue to take initiatives in safeguarding our community. Furthermore, we made it this far in flattening the curve—let’s not f*ck it up folks! Here are useful guidelines to keep in mind:
When In Doubt, Wear A Mask
MacLeod says that if you want to be safe, you should wear a mask indoors—even if the business doesn’t state that it’s mandatory. “You should be wearing one in confined spaces like at the grocery store, on the transit system, or at a retail store—places where you’re touching a lot of things.” You should be wearing disposable rubber and/or plastic gloves for this as well (think clothing items, transit railing, etc).
Wear A Mask When Walking On The Sidewalk
MacLeod says her major pet peeve is when people don’t walk around each other on the sidewalk: “It irks me that some just don’t care and/or take liberties. They walk by you in close proximity, and this is particularly troublesome when there are small children nearby.” As a mom of two kids, this is especially triggering for her. So she advises that when you see someone approaching, go around them, if you can. Remember, social distancing means you should be six feet apart, which is further than you think.
There Is Still NO Vaccine
“Just based on how I’m seeing some people behave, I think many believe that the pandemic has mostly passed—and that’s certainly not the situation. The reality is that although we’ve passed the first wave, we are constantly at risk of new cases,” MacLeod says. She adds that precautionary measures should be as routine as checking for your wallet, phone and keys before leaving the house. “A mask, disposable gloves, hand sanitizer (making sure that it contains 60-95 percent alcohol), and disinfecting wipes should all be a part of your ‘toolkit,’” which means that these items should be considered part of your “new normal” for the foreseeable future. If you’re forgetful, a good strategy is to set up a daily pop-up alert on your phone to remind yourself of these essential items. Or consider keeping it all in a stylish bag near your door.
No Hugging Or Shaking Hands
“This is tough, understandably, because we are by nature, social creatures,” explains Dr. Chiu. He adds that “in lieu of physical touching, air hugs/air high fives, or toe tapping is better than exposing any part of your body to someone else. You just don’t want to run the risk.” As a friendly reminder, he says that COVID-19 is spread through droplets and/or physical contact. “Just think that when you’re embracing someone and that close face-to-face, any number of things could happen: coughing, sneezing—even talking and breathing could aid in transmission.” He adds that what could then theoretically occur is that even though it appears that “nothing happened” during the hug, since you effectively touched that person, you could then absentmindedly touch your mouth, nose and eyes, thereby spreading the virus.
Just Because They “Look Healthy” Doesn’t Mean They Are
“We always assume there are obvious visual cues to someone being ill. However this is certainly not the case when someone is asymptomatic and can transmit the virus to you,” says Dr. Chiu, who adds that these individuals may not even be aware they have COVID-19. “So for your sake, it’s better to err on the side of caution and to wear a mask whatever the social situation may be.” Another scary and not-so-fun fact from him: “the chance of a test detecting COVID-19 is very low if you are asymptomatic, and it is unlikely to be helpful in determining if you have COVID-19 if you have zero symptoms.”
Invest In Anti-Technology For Your Sunnies
Dr. Chiu says that “I’ve heard some people complain about their sun/glasses getting fogged up due to the mask wearing.” To remedy this, he says to do the following: “mold your mask to the bridge of your nose, tighten the mask, or simply invest in some anti-fog spray or wipes which will do the trick nicely (and you should be prepping all of this before you leave your home).” This is an overlooked issue but an important one, and he explains that “you want to minimize the amount of time touching your face. If your glasses are fogged/smudged, etc and you’re constantly readjusting them, you’re increasing your chances of exposure.”
Invest In An Automatic Soap Dispenser
When returning home, immediately wash your hands with hot soapy water before doing anything else (the CDC advises you do this within 20 seconds of entering your home.). To avoid contamination, MacLeod advises people to get one of those automated hand soap dispensers.” Additionally, she says that bar soaps are a big no-no because bacteria and germs CAN survive on them (ewwww).
And in terms of venturing out in the world à la Oh, The Places You’ll Go Post-Pandemic (!), here are a few tips and best practices to be mindful of in the following social scenarios:
If available to you, always opt to use the restaurant’s QR code, which allows you to see the menu on your smartphone rather than touching paper. An exception to this is if you have a visual impairment and require a hard copy.
Wearing a mask while dining in a patio/restaurant space isn’t required (cuz um, how else can you eat that food if your mouth is covered?!); however, you should absolutely wear one when walking to your table and using well-ventilated washroom facilities (which are 99% of the time located inside of a confined restaurant space).
Another food-related issue is regarding pick-up and take-out: you just grab the order and go. Don’t linger and/or congregate on the sidewalks.
The CDC recommends that if you’re welcoming people into your home for, say, a BBQ cookout (specifically an outdoor space like the backyard) to consider keeping a guestbook of attendees for contact tracing needs. Disposable but recycle-friendly cutlery, plates, and cups should be used in lieu of the silverware you have at home.
Both Dr. Chiu and MacLeod say that if you can, visit these spaces on a weekday when it’s less crowded. “Because it’s an outdoor setting, it’s technically safer than, say, a shopping mall because these types of places are conducive to offering more room and fresh air.” For any communal seating (such as park benches and beach chairs), use hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes prior to use.
Individual Appointments (Including, But Not Limited To, Dental And Medical Offices, Nail Salons, And Hair Salons)
Ensure that it’s not a walk-in situation, and whenever possible, book your appointment in advance. If you’re feeling uncertain, ask what sorts of protocols the business or service has implemented, such as adequate HEPA filters/ventilation, PPEs, and plexiglass barriers to minimize the risk of exposure. When you do arrive for your appointment, wait outside and arrange for the staff to text or give you a call when they’re ready for you. Lastly, if you know you have to fill out any documentation, bring your own pen—don’t use the communal ones supplied at the office/salon.
With all the news and Karen-shaming, I’d like to think that the majority of us are better than that. However, we’re all human and can still be prone to slipping up once in a while. So I recommend screenshotting this handy color-coded infographic to act as your “pocket guide” if you are ever uncertain about venturing into a specific social situation. It’s nice that we can FINALLY see our loved ones IRL again, so let’s not take any of it for granted and remember to be considerate of each other by adhering to these practical and safe protocols.
Images: Gustavo Fring / Pexels; Giphy (2); Twitter / @saltymamas
Because I have no faith in committing to bettering myself for an entire year, New Year’s resolutions aren’t really my thing, but for those of you who vowed to improve your lives by like, going to the gym and ~traveling,~ you’re probably excited for the first official weekend of 2020. This horoscope is for you guys. If you need some guidance on how to start the new decade, look no further. According to yearly-horoscope.com, “2020 will be a year when all the zodiac signs will be able to take advantage of a new beginning, both in their personal life and financially.” Lol, could this be a little less specific? Can’t wait for what’s to come!
Aries likes to be number one at everything they do, so you guys are def fans of making New Year’s resolutions, because doing so just gives you an opportunity to meet a goal. Overachievers like you may be annoying as hell to those around you, but you don’t give a f*ck because you’re here to win. This weekend, you’ll spend your days making spreadsheets of your five-year plan and spend your nights telling people about them. You’ll want to get your life on track this weekend so you know what to expect for the year ahead, but don’t spend too much time on this because, if our government has taught us anything, it’s that all plans fall apart rather quickly. Use this opportunity to be a little more adventurous, ya know? Explore a new neighborhood at the very least.
From both the internet and my Taurus friends, I’ve learned that Tauruses “enjoy relaxing in serene, bucolic environments surrounded by soft sounds, soothing aromas, and succulent flavors.” Wow, deep. Anyway, even though Tauruses are described like literal babies, they’re nothing if not down for whatever, so take a seat and let your friends do the planning this weekend. Expensive dinner? Sure. Stay in with a bottle of Pinot? Sounds delicious. Go out until 5am? Fine, whatever. Take this time to mute your group chat until someone puts forth a time and place, then just meet everyone there. You do you, Taurus.
Geminis are impulsive, nosy, and intelligent creatures who like to know everything about what everyone’s doing. You check everyone’s Instagram stories not because you love them, but rather, because you want to know where everyone is so you can make an educated decision on where you’ll be posted up. Geminis can’t be tied down, so maybe don’t meet up with the guy who spent your whole first date telling you how much you’d love his parents. Stick with Mr. Right Now this weekend, because starting a new decade in a will-we-won’t-we war just doesn’t sound like your cup of tea.
Anyone under this sign may claim to be psychic, because Cancers are famous for being able to pick up on various energies. OMG, it’s like they have a fifth sense! I mean, picking up on energies is a fancy way of saying you can read a room, so congratulations on not completely lacking empathy. You’ve been going hard all damn year, so take this weekend to chill with friends. Nothing crazy or expensive. Maybe invite your friends over for a potluck dinner where all you have to provide is the table and your friends bring everything else.
Leos are known for being theatrical, and they think of themselves as kings and queens. Honestly, I was born into the wrong sign, I think. Anyway, Leos are happy to be the loudest in the room and love to have all eyes on them. If you’re a Leo, this weekend take your quieter, more subdued friends out on the town where you can drink and dance until you can’t no more. This is your time to start the new year with a f*cking bang, so throw on a blue wig and go to an underground salsa club, or slip into your finest and end up at a 5-star hotel bar, the night is yours to own.
I am a Virgo and I proudly fit into the little box presented to me: Virgos have a deep-rooted presence in the material world. Yeah, sounds about right. Obviously, there are a lot of more down-to-earth qualities Virgos possess, but none that relate to this weekend specifically. Go shopping this weekend. You just got paid, so spend that hard-earned cheddar on that pair of boots you’ve wanted since last summer, then take them for a little walk around your favorite bar. If you’re really feeling yourself then be bold and invite the guy you’ve been seeing for a little while. It’s time for him to finally meet your friends already.
It is my personal belief that all Libras change their names to something like Juliana and become yoga instructors, because Libras are obsessed with balance and harmony. Right on, I guess? So start the year on a good note and find your center. Whether that means hot yoga, vegan pizza, and an early night, or a romantic dinner date with your SO, do you. You won’t be persuaded to join your friends for an all-night banger, so maybe just put your phone on do not disturb until the weekend is up. That seems like something Libras would do anyway.
Scorpios are as passionate as they are emotional, so maybe do yourself a favor and take it easy this weekend. By going out, you’re just setting yourself up to get in a fight with your boyfriend and regret the whole thing the next day. Instead of going out, keep it casual and invite everyone over for wine and cheese. I mean, everyone likes wine and cheese, right? What could go wrong?
You guys don’t do anything unless you’ll learn something from it. You’d make my dad so proud! You’re pretty much up for anything, so if the crew wants to go out, join them! When you drunkenly text your ex 87 times, you’ll learn a valuable lesson that will keep you on an upward trajectory. You generally don’t regret anything (like, anything) because you’re always on an educational path that is leading you in the right direction. So if you want to crush the last of the bottle, do it!
Capricorn is represented by the sea goat, a mythological creature with the body of a goat and tail of a fish. Wow, swipe right! The significance of the sexy dual-creature situation is that Capricorns are good at navigating physical and emotional realms, which makes you an ideal friend in situations like “What should we do tonight?” You’re the decision-maker and your friends are grateful for you. This weekend, see how you feel before setting the plan in motion. If you want to go out, do it. If you’d rather stay in, your peeps are down. The weekend is your oyster.
You guys are assertive and independent, so if your friends are all tired from their NYE parties, but you want to go out, you’ll do it. Grab a small group of your friends and head to your favorite bar to see where the night takes you. It may even take you to uncharted territory, but since you’re such an explorer, you’re okay with that. Maybe you’ll even meet someone who strikes your fancy along the way. Sold!
Generally, Pisces have a little trouble distinguishing between reality and fantasy, but you don’t really care. Managing expectations is not something at which you’re particularly skilled, but if fantasizing that the sh*tty college bar your friends dragged you to will end with your long-time boyfriend finally proposing, more power to you. You see the best in everything, so you tend to be happy to do whatever the crew wants to do. Just go with the flow and wear something cute, because you never know what’s going to happen!
Images: Giphy (12)
If 2019 was the year of everybody and their mother getting back into astrology, 2020 will be the year of blaming astrology for even more of our problems. And to get this out of the way now, Mercury will be in retrograde this year from February 17th-March 10th, June 19th-July 12th, and October 14th-November 3rd. Plan accordingly. Here’s everything else you need to expect for your sign in this new astrological year in love, money, and health. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Better make sure that passport is up-to-date, because this is gonna be a huge travel year for you, Aries. You’re going to have multiple opportunities to explore this big blue dot of ours (aka hook up with people from different continents), so if you haven’t already set a 2020 Duolingo goal, get on it. This year is all about travel, study, and expanded horizons for you. Basically, it’s your Eat, Pray, Love year, but with more alcohol.
Love: Despite the fact that all the travel will be making it easy to acquire hoes in different area codes, you’re going to be way more focused on actual relationships than one-night stands. Update your dating app bios accordingly.
Money: This is the year you actually get serious about finances. You’ll be downloading budgeting apps. You’ll be opening investment accounts. You’ll be calling your rich uncle and asking him what the f*ck a 401(k) is.
Health: Hate to break it to you, but this isn’t the year for intense fitness goals. You’re gonna be wayyy too focused on cool sh*t that’s happening in your career to also be hitting the gym at 6am every day. Set modest, attainable goals to maintain your health and wellness, but don’t expect to be a fitness influencer this time next year.
“Auuuummmm” – you in 2020. This will be a year that brings peace, calm, and serenity to your batsh*t crazy life. So yes, you will actually use your meditation app subscription and yes, you should start a fund specifically for buying crystals. You’re literally reading a horoscope right now, so you’re already halfway there.
Love: Can’t sugarcoat it, this could be a tough year for your love life, Taurus. But relationships that make it through will be the ones that were actually worth fighting for, like Allie and Noah in The Notebook.
Money: Can we say “financially stable”? Because that’s what you’ll be in 2020. Hard to believe you started the last decade with no credit card and $100 in savings, and now you’re flying on high on points and accruing interest on your five-year CD. We simply love to see it.
Health: This year you’ll be developing even better health and wellness practices, which will come in handy particularly when you’re feeling stuck at work. Nothing like a good sweat sesh to help finally build the motivation you need to send a single email.
Who even are you, Gemini? This is the year you find out. 2020 will be all about figure out what the f*ck you want out of life, whether it be a house and a family, or a yacht and a sugar daddy named Paolo. No judgment.
Love: Don’t freak out, but this year your love life could actually be good, Gemini. Hard to believe I know, but in 2020 relationships of all kinds will just come more easily to you, particularly with people a little older than yourself. Can somebody say daddy?
Money: Still getting a monthly allowance from mom and dad? 2020 is the year that ends. This is a year of financial independence for Geminis. You can still stay on the family phone plan, tho.
Health: Keep an eye on those stress levels as you begin to advance in your career. Getting a project in before the deadline is cool and all, but you also have to remember to sleep and eat food. It’s kind of a vital part of remaining alive.
Cancers are already amazing friends, but this year you’re going to be an ahhh-maaaaazing friend. As Cher Horowitz one said, “‘tis a far far better thing doing stuff for other people.” You’ll be truly embodying that spirit in 2020 by being there for people when they need you. Just don’t forget to be a friend to yourself too.
Love: Boundaries, Cancer. Boundaries. This is the year you learn them. Hopefully not the hard way. On the bright side, this will also be a year of fun, flirtation, and general sexiness for Cancers, so at least you’ll have like, a million backup plans for when the boundary conversation goes sideways.
Money: You’re going to be able to bank some serious cash this year, but only if you up the focus and discipline by like, 1000%. You’ll be surprised how quickly cutting down on the Seamless in 2020 will lead to a three-week island vacay in 2021.
Health: This summer will bring a major glow-up, and the winter will bring you the motivation to actually get it done. Just don’t be one of those people who stories their entire workout and updates on their #fitnessgoals every day. That’s what a journal is for.
This year could pose a lot of challenges for your sign, Leo, but you’ll come out of it stronger than ever. Like when Simba watched his dad die and had to live in the woods for a few years before becoming King of the Jungle. Juuuust like that.
Love: Keep an eye out for people who kill your vibe but still find ways to get into your life (and your bed) anyway. In 2020 we’re not wasting any time on people we don’t like outside the hours of 1-5am. And remember, if you’re too embarrassed to tell your friends you’re still hooking up with him, he’s not the one.
Money: Proceed with caution, Leo! This year will bring a lot of financial opportunities, but you’re going to be wary of the liars and the scammers you meet along the way. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. And remember friends, any company that mentions “multi-level marketing” is just a pyramid scheme. Skip it.
Health: Are you up to date on all your doctor’s appointments? All of them? Really? This is the year you get serious about your health and wellness, including actually scheduling your six-month dental cleaning…every six months. And they said it couldn’t be done.
Yass Virgo! You go (Glenn) Virgo! This is a year of empowerment, self-discovery, and just generally kicking ass for you, Virgo. You’ll be feeling momentum in all aspects of your life, but it’ll be important to stay grounded. You don’t want to be one of those people who gets verified on Insta and forgets all the little people.
Love: Your ideas about what you want in a relationship will change dramatically this year, so don’t be surprised if you see your usual “type” change too. For example, you might find yourself interested in someone who is gainfully employed, rather than just someone who is tall.
Money: You could actually benefit from taking some financial risks this year, Virgo. Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself or to go full boss bitch and start playing the stock market. Just don’t go full Wolf of Wall Street on us, k?
Health: With all the money moves you’ll be making this year, it’s no wonder it’ll be important to keep that stress and anxiety in check. Changes you make at the beginning of 2020 have the potential to grow into lifelong habits. So yeah, why not sign up for that 6am cycling class on Monday morning?
This will be a huge year for growing your relationships, Libra, whether they be romantic, personal, or professional. That’ll mean making some tough decisions about friendships you may have outgrown, and some much easier decisions about people you need to cut out of your life (Jessica).
Love: This year will be more about working on your existing relationships than forging new ones, so single Libras should look to people they already know to form a love connection. That doesn’t mean go buckwild and hit up all the exes on your Do Not Call list, but maybe that friend-of-a-friend you keep seeing at parties could grow into something more than just awkward eye contact.
Money: Stressors in other parts of your life are gonna make you want to splurge a little too much this year, so make sure you put some sh*t in place to hold yourself back. Remember: buying one bath bomb is self-care. Buying one hundred bath bombs is hoarder behavior.
Health: This is the year you get spiritual, Libra. Whatever that means to you. Maybe you’ll start going to church again (your mom will be so proud). Maybe you’ll invest in a good meditation app. Either way, you’re going to be focused on the health and wellness of your soul. I hear crystals can help with that.
2020 is all about major growth for you, Scorpio, so don’t be surprised if your life looks completely different one year from now. This will be a year of success in your professional life, so set those career goals and watch as you start meeting them. Who knows? There could be a Netflix series about your meteoric rise to stardom by 2021.
Love: Not to go all Emma Watson on you, but you might find yourself self-partnered this year. And that’s okay! There’s going to be so much going on in all the other aspects of your life you don’t have time to date. And before you ask, yes. That is exactly what the star of a rom-com says before meeting the love of her life in the unlikeliest of places.
Money: This will be a harvest year for you Scorpio, but don’t forget to save some of that extra cash for when you fall on hard times (aka anything that forces you to use the U.S. healthcare system). Set a savings plan for yourself ASAP, and then blow the rest of your money on whatever stupid sh*t your 2am Amazon scrolling provides.
Health: Your personal health and fitness will be on point this year, but you might be forced to step up to the plate and help with the health and wellness of someone else this year. I’m not saying become one of those people who tells your friends their brunch order is unhealthy (never be that person), but it can’t hurt to check in and make sure your Nana is taking her blood pressure medication.
You know that part in every Disney movie where the heroine sings a song about assuming her place in the world? That’s you in 2020, Sagittarius. For The First Time in Forever you’re figuring out when you want something to be Part of Your World, and when to just Let it Go. Just Around the Riverbend, you’re going to be seeing How Far ’ll Go and realize your goals are Almost There. When will your Reflection—okay you know what I’m going to stop now.
Love: This is the year to take chances on love. Swipe right with abandon! Give your number to the hot bartender! Go to a second location with a man you just met whose car smells like iodine! Okay, actually on second thought, that last one will get you murdered.
Money: Be careful with joint ventures this year, even with people you trust. It’s not that your cousin is trying to scam you, but investing in their CBD detergent company might not be the best use of your resources in the year to come.
Health: Are we leaving the phrase “self-care” in 2019? Not a f*cking chance. You’re going to be looking inward a lot this year and really focusing on bringing yourself inner peace and happiness. In short: you will be investing in a weighted blanket.
The anti-aging cream has been working, Capricorn, because this year is all about reconnecting with your inner child. Think back to when you were a kid. Is there anything you used to love to do that you could reincorporate back into your life? Think a sport, a hobby, an instrument, or even just re-reading Harry Potter.
Love: You’re cruising for a summer fling this year, which does mean you might find yourself feeling pissed off and unappreciated through the winter. Don’t worry. This phase will pass just in time for you to have someone to take surprise beach trips with.
Money: 2020 will be a year for building assets, not splurging on major life-changing purchases. The money you save now will be a nest egg for something super important down the line, so maybe hold off on the Botox for another year or so. Your forehead can handle it.
Health: Look, 2020 is not gonna be the year you become a fitness guru. It’s just not. That’s not to say you can’t maintain healthy habits, but you can chuck any lofty goals you had about getting a six-pack by March out the window.
This year is going to test your ability to stay calm, Aquarius, so invest in an essential oil diffuser now. Yeah, you might find yourself wanting to tear your hair out at times, but the strength you build getting through the bullsh*t will make you a better person later on. Not that you’ll be able to remember that when you’re pissed off.
Love: This will be a year of letting go of relationships that don’t serve you, which includes exes whose numbers you should have blocked like, 2 years ago. Use the extra space make room for all the new, non-f*ckboys that will be lining up to get a place on your contact list.
Money: You might feel slightly restless in your career this year, but you’ll see your hard work pay off in major ways if you just stick with it a little longer. The confidence you build at the workplace will help draw new opportunities your way. Can somebody say promotion?
Health: You’re going to be drawn to all things woo-woo this year, so maybe start setting aside a monthly budget for Reiki now. You may find yourself interested in alternative medicine and holistic practices, which is all fine and dandy, unless you start telling relatives not to vaccinate their kids.
This is a big year for you, Pisces! Your creativity is flowing and you’re ready to bust out of some of the toxic cycles and ruts that plagued you this past decade. Make sure to find a designated person who can help you work through some of the major changes you’ll go through this year. Most people call this a “therapist.”
Love: Before you can start any new relationships this year, you’re going to have to go back and really learn the lessons of years past. What do you like in a partner? What do you want to avoid? What are you willing to forgive just because they have a six-pack? All important questions you’ll have to answer before taking on a new relationship this year.
Money: Don’t be surprised if your career takes you somewhere you never expected to go this year, so follow new ventures and opportunities to wherever they may lead you. Remember, even Amazon started out as just an online bookstore.
Health: Making improvements to your diet and exercise routine will actually come easily to you this year, so don’t be afraid to set some ambitious health goals. That’s not to say you have to run a 5k tomorrow, but stepping your gym schedule up from 2 to 3 days a week wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Images: Matt Popovich / Unsplash; Giphy (12)