Coronavirus Updates: Headspace Makes App Free to Unemployed; Cali's Economic Fallout Eclipses Great Recession
Here are the latest headlines regarding how the novel coronavirus is impacting the Los Angeles startup and tech communities. Sign up for our newsletter and follow dot.LA on Twitter for the latest updates.
- Newsom: Employment fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has exceeded the Great Recession
- Headspace makes meditation app free for the nation's 23 million unemployed
Newsom: Employment fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has exceeded the Great Recession
Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that the employment fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has exceeded the economic crisis that brought on the Great Recession. Some 4.6 million Californians have filed jobless claims, and has forced the stater to borrow billions of dollars from the federal government to cover claims. "These unemployment numbers are jaw dropping," Newsom said at a press conference. "We are at a time that is simply unprecedented."
Newsom said the state will need $43.8 billion to cover unemployment claims in the new year, a 650% increase over what was originally predicted. The federal government controls a trust that helps states cover jobless benefits during a recession. The governor said the state's unemployment rate is expected to peak at more than 24.5% this year. But, the rate for the whole year will hover at about 18% -- still significantly higher than the 12.3% peak during the height of the economic crisis.
Headspace makes meditation app free for the nation's 23 million unemployedShutterstock
Headspace, the Santa Monica-based meditation and wellness app, is giving the nation's unemployed workers a free year to help them during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Labor Department reported that jobless claims were up by another 2.98 million last week, bringing the total unemployment claims number to a massive 22.83 million people.
"The current state of unemployment in America has become an alarming crisis," the company said in its pitch to get people to sign up. "To help those affected, we're offering a full year of Headspace Plus for free. Discover meditation and mindfulness tools to help you feel less stressed, more resilient, and kinder to yourself." The company was previously working with the City of Los Angeles in offering residents a free trial. Headspace requires that people list their last employer and date of separation, but it was not known how the company would verify that information. There are more than 1,200 hours of meditation content on the app.
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Minutes into filling out my absentee ballot last week, I was momentarily distracted by my dog Seamus. A moment later, I realized in horror that I was filling in the wrong bubble — accidentally voting "no" on a ballot measure that I meant to vote "yes" on.
It was only a few ink marks, but it was noticeable enough. Trying to fix my mistake, I darkly and fully filled in the correct circle and then, as if testifying to an error on a check, put my initials next to the one I wanted.
Then I worried. As a reporter who has previously covered election security for years, I went on a mini-quest trying to understand how a small mistake can have larger repercussions.
As Los Angeles County's 5.6 million registered voters all receive ballots at home for the first time, I knew my experience could not be unique. But I wondered, would my vote count? Or would my entire ballot now be discarded?
My distractingly sweet dog, Seamus.
Photo by Tami Abdollah
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