Out-of-Work Elephants, Escape to Antarctica, and a Social Distancing Picnic Blanket

A roundup of stories we’re reading about Covid-19 today

Yasmin Tayag
Medium Coronavirus Blog
2 min readMay 8, 2020

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  • Thailand’s elephant camps and sanctuaries, which are popular with tourists, have let over 100 elephants return to their natural habitats because their owners can no longer afford to feed them, reports AP. The elephants are making the 95-mile journey back to their native forests of northern Thailand on foot, with handlers and owners trying to keep pace alongside them.
  • Once a fading bastion of a nostalgic past, the drive-in movie theater has made a notable comeback during the pandemic, reasserting its place in American life. Attendance at drive-ins is surging under lockdown because, as one attendee told Vulture, “You can’t be in the house all day. You’ve got to do something.”
  • The only place in the world that doesn’t have a single case of Covid-19 is Antarctica, known mostly for its populations of penguins and glaciers. But there are about 5,000 researchers riding out the pandemic on its icy expanses, reports CNN, and the experience has been bizarre. “It’s like being on the moon and looking down,” said one researcher. “We can see what’s going on, but it’s a long way away.”
  • As the United States enters both the summer months and its “trial and error” period of reopening society, people may soon attempt picnicking, albeit cautiously. Lest you worry your distance-estimating skills are still not up to snuff for public socializing, Fast Company reports you can buy (or sew) your own social distancing picnic blanket, which does all the measuring for you.

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Yasmin Tayag
Medium Coronavirus Blog

Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog. Senior editor at Future Human by OneZero. Previously: science at Inverse, genetics at NYU.