How small towns are responding to the global pandemic

<span class="caption">Patrons eat outside at a small cafe in West Reading, Pennsylvania, as the community begins to reopen.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images">Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images</a></span>
Patrons eat outside at a small cafe in West Reading, Pennsylvania, as the community begins to reopen. Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Before the global pandemic hit, small towns across America were dealing with struggling economies, aging roads and bridges, and declining populations.

The coronavirus added new challenges, like additional demand for limited hospital beds for an aging population, many of whom have chronic health conditions.

Fortunately, as I’ve seen in my work at the Small Town Center at Mississippi State University, small towns have the advantage of being more nimble and responsive to crisis than cities, largely because they have fewer regulations and more opportunities to be creative about problem-solving.

The pandemic has increased local leaders’ attention to their residents’ health – not just in terms of doctors and hospitals but also identifying new ways to help people get fitter, spend more time outdoors,

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meet the entrepreneurs profiting in a pandemic

Oli Loveday - Geoff Pugh
Oli Loveday – Geoff Pugh

Few people have emerged from the coronavirus crisis unscathed. There are now 8.9 million workers who have been furloughed by their employers and millions more freelancers and small business owners whose income has been vastly reduced.

Rather than trying to soldier on until the crisis has passed, some entrepreneurs have used the economic shock caused by Covid-19 as an opportunity to revamp their businesses or start a new one. 

A report published by the Federation of Small Businesses, a trade body, found that 8pc of small companies have launched new products during the pandemic while 5pc have expanded the services they offer. 

Many more have started a new business entirely. Oliver Loveday, 39, was working as a freelancer in the travel industry and was left without any income when the country went into lockdown.

“I was doing Kilimanjaro walks, school trips, the Three Peaks,” he

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How Madison Beer Practices Self-Care In The Pandemic

Welcome to Refinery29’s Feel Good Diaries, where we chronicle the physical and mental wellness routines of women today, their costs, and whether or not these self-care rituals actually make you feel good. Have your own Feel Good Diary about how you’re coping around the COVID-19 outbreak? We’d love to hear how you’re prioritizing your mental and physical health at this time. Submit your entry here!

Today: Singer/songwriter Madison Beer uses journaling, daily walks, and cut-throat family game nights to protect her mental health while in quarantine. 

Age: 21
Location: Long Island, NY
Occupation: Singer, songwriter, producer, video director

7 a.m. — I’m back in Long Island where I’ll be self-isolating with family for the rest of the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve been living on my own in LA for the past three years, so it feels strange not waking up in my own bed. I know I made … Read More