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COVID-19

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Joe Villasana’s $641 vanished into the ether of the live entertainment industry.
He splurged for a ticket to see Rage Against the Machine at the 12,000-seat Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas, but the band’s reunion tour has since been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Villasana pleaded for a refund from two Ticketmaster representatives, but they thwarted his efforts. Instead, the pair ingrained in him their company’s new policy: “Ticketmaster cannot issue a refund until the concert is canceled.”

The coronavirus swept the country, forcing me and almost everyone everywhere into quarantine – with shelter-at-home orders, remote learning for kindergarten-through-college classes and entire industries and small businesses shut down. I’m a creature of habit, but I’m adapting. Still, this change is different – scary, even – with health risks, uncertainty, rising death tolls and limited social contact with the outside world. 

But life in lockdown has had one silver lining for the Taku family. It has forced my family – all six of us – to eat dinner together at the dining room table almost every night. 

In recent weeks the live entertainment industry has gone dark, including Mendelson’s own tour to support If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…, but she refuses to let that stop her from performing. She flips on her “party lights,” crystalline specks that electrify the gray curtain backdrop in her Brooklyn home, and arms herself with her keyboard, acoustic guitar and harmonica.

Mandated stay-at-home orders, paired with the removal of rims from outdoor basketball courts, and closures of gyms and facilities across the country along with NCAA bans on virtual workouts, have left everyone from NBA stars like Milwaukee Bucks reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo to college and high school players without a place to hone their skills and work on their bodies — which could have a drastic impact on their performance.