Last month was the first March in 18 years without a single school shooting in America
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The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted just about every aspect of American life. But there have been a few unintentional positive consequences from the nationwide lockdown.

Air pollution in the U.S. has dropped significantly, giving us a glimpse at what a post-carbon world may look like. NASA revealed that NO₂ pollution over New York and other major metropolitan areas in northeastern USA was 30% lower in March 2020.

Americans are also adopting shelter dogs and cats like never before. Since coronavirus first landed in the U.S. there have been countless stories of shelters running out of pets.


There is also one massive unintended consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic: March 2020 was the first March since 2002 that there wasn't a school shooting in the United States.

Most schools in the U.S. were shut down in early March to stop the spread of the virus.

Benny Lin / Flickr

In March 2002, a 13-year-old student brought a gun to school along with a hit list, but was subdued by a school resource offer before he had the chance to pull the trigger.

According to Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization that tracks gun violence in the U.S., there were seven shootings on school campuses in March 2020. However, four were accidental discharges, one took place between adults on high school football field, and two occurred on college campuses, but involved no students.

It's a chilling fact that to have a school-shooting-free March in the U.S. every school in the nation has to be shut down.

According to a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, gun violence is the leading cause of death for children in the U.S. right after car crashes.

Everytown Research reports that there have been at least 33 incidents of gunfire on school grounds in 2020, resulting in ten deaths and 15 injuries. In 2019, there were at least 130 incidents of gunfire on school grounds, resulting in 32 deaths and 77 injuries.

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Gun sales have skyrocketed in the U.S. since the first cases of COVID-19 appeared in the U.S. The FBI conducted 3.7 million background checks in March 2020, the highest total since the instant background check program began in 1998.

Over 2 million guns were sold in March alone.

The figures are the largest since December 2015 when the Obama Administration raised the possibility of restricting assault rifles after a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.

The rise in gun sales raises fears of an increase in shootings down the road.

"When this pandemic ends and we emerge from this physical distancing reality, the guns will remain," said Guns Down America executive director Igor Volsky. "Will there be increased mass shootings, school shootings, shootings at home, at work, at concerts?"

The unintended consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have given us a vision of the future that we may not have had otherwise. A future where children aren't gunned down in school and our air is clean to breathe.

Hopefully, these realizations will result in a new path forward where we can all breathe a little more easily — especially our kids.

That first car is a rite of passage into adulthood. Specifically, the hard-earned lesson of expectations versus reality. Though some of us are blessed with Teslas at 17, most teenagers receive a car that’s been … let’s say previously loved. And that’s probably a good thing, considering nearly half of first-year drivers end up in wrecks. Might as well get the dings on the lemon, right?

Of course, wrecks aside, buying a used car might end up costing more in the long run after needing repairs, breaking down and just a general slew of unexpected surprises. But hey, at least we can all look back and laugh.

My first car, for example, was a hand-me-down Toyota of some sort from my mother. I don’t recall the specific model, but I definitely remember getting into a fender bender within the first week of having it. She had forgotten to get the brakes fixed … isn’t that a fun story?

Jimmy Fallon recently asked his “Tonight Show” audience on Twitter to share their own worst car experiences. Some of them make my brake fiasco look like cakewalk (or cakedrive, in this case). Either way, these responses might make us all feel a little less alone. Or at the very least, give us a chuckle.

Here are 22 responses with the most horsepower:

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Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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TikTok about '80s childhood is a total Gen X flashback.

As a Gen X parent, it's weird to try to describe my childhood to my kids. We're the generation that didn't grow up with the internet or cell phones, yet are raising kids who have never known a world without them. That difference alone is enough to make our 1980s childhoods feel like a completely different planet, but there are other differences too that often get overlooked.

How do you explain the transition from the brown and orange aesthetic of the '70s to the dusty rose and forest green carpeting of the '80s if you didn't experience it? When I tell my kids there were smoking sections in restaurants and airplanes and ashtrays everywhere, they look horrified (and rightfully so—what were we thinking?!). The fact that we went places with our friends with no quick way to get ahold of our parents? Unbelievable.

One day I described the process of listening to the radio, waiting for my favorite song to come on so I could record it on my tape recorder, and how mad I would get when the deejay talked through the intro of the song until the lyrics started. My Spotify-spoiled kids didn't even understand half of the words I said.

And '80s hair? With the feathered bangs and the terrible perms and the crunchy hair spray? What, why and how?

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