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Co-parenting hits separated families hard during coronavirus: “It feels like we’re missing huge life events.”

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A week before anyone knew that they would have to spend the next month in quarantine, Henry Gabriel got into his dream school.

“I got in!” he yelled from his bedroom door. At the time, he was staying with his mom, Dawn, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They celebrated together and made a FaceTime call to his dad, Scott, to share the news.

When he left to visit his dad toward the end of March, Dawn thought she’d see him again in a couple of days. But then her twins got sick, and it wasn’t safe, and now she couldn’t be with her son for an extended period of time in his last year at home.

For many separated adults, co-parenting in the midst of COVID-19 means redrawing territories and boundaries, trashing schedules and putting away hard-won compromises for new, more painful ones. It means not seeing your kids until the CDC gives the OK.

Scott and Dawn have been separated for 14 years. Ever since, they’ve shared time with Henry one week on and one week off. 

In the coming weeks, Henry was supposed to be competing in a robotics competition, graduating high school and packing his things for college. In the midst of a quarantine, things still aren’t so certain.

“It feels like we’re missing huge life events,” Dawn said during a phone call.

Dawn knew it was the best to keep everyone safe. She has 10-year-old twins in the house who have already been sick. One of the twins was so sick that Dawn took her to get tested for COVID-19, but doctors said her symptoms weren’t severe enough. All she can do is wait to have her family back together and in good health.

Not all parents agree on what to do during a quarantine, said family Law Attorney Nicole Sodoma, managing principle of Sodoma Law in Charolette, North Carolina. She has gotten multiple calls from parents who can’t come to an agreement. 

“There’s a reason people aren’t living in intact families,” she said. “There was a reason they got divorced. There was a reason they’re not living together anymore. It was probably because they didn’t trust each other, it might have been an abuse issue, it might have been mental health concerns—none of those things have gone away just because we’ve got a pandemic.”

One of the main issues is disagreements about the severity of COVID-19. While one parent might be more lenient about letting their child do what they normally do, the other might want to limit the exposure.

Coronavirus updates:WHO official walks back comments on asymptomatic spread; UN won’t meet in NYC

A good way to mediate these conversations, Sodoma said, is through a physician. Having a medical professional to give the quarantine order can avoid conflict.

“There are some things that are not going to be within your control,” she said. “You have to reset your expectations in order to make the best decisions.”

Across the nation, parents are adjusting to the first wave of reopening, which can present even more challenges to co-parents. A trip to the reopened beaches might seem okay to one parent, but irresponsible to another. According to Sodoma, some parents aren’t ready to leave quarantine.

“If one family member is allowing the children to do things that aren’t in quarantine, how much at risk is the whole family of testing positive,” said Sodoma. 

Sodoma advises families to over-communicate. She said it’s important to approach difficult decisions involving the pandemic with an understanding that the situation is unprecedented to everyone else as well.

More:A nation mourns those lost to coronavirus

Jeff Williams, 51, lives in Portland, Oregon and co-parents his 17-year-old daughter with his ex wife. Williams and his ex agreed early on in their separation that they would make all big decisions together before they happened in order to be prepared. Doing this, Williams said, would prevent any arguments that could arise from disagreements on big life decisions and plans. 

In these agreements, they discussed visitations, suppers, vacations, schooling choices and college tuition. They had the details set in stone, but nowhere in those discussions saw a pandemic coming.

William’s ex is in Seattle, so the concern about being able to cross state lines was rising. Williams said being able to have the bigger things pinned down earlier on in their separation was what helped them get through quarantine. Instead of arguing over graduation, school or vacations, they were able to focus on getting through COVID-19. 

For some families, the pandemic has derailed jobs, school and financial stability. From April to May, the unemployment rate dropped 1.4 percentage points to 13.3%

Megan Perez, 46, worked four different jobs in Rogers, Arkansas before the pandemic hit. As COVID-19 kept getting worse, he lost those jobs and moved in with his parents in April. 

“I found myself in a position where I had to choose between food and rent,” said Perez. 

While moving in with his parents wasn’t in his prior plans, he said he’s lucky to have food, transportation and air-conditioning. His son is seven years old and he shares custody with his ex wife. He said he’s lucky that their relationship was amicable enough to work out issues that could have been a bigger problem sooner in their separation.

Megan Perez and his son.

Perez said that they agreed that everyone would follow the same protocols. They would be isolating themselves as a family in order to keep everyone safe.

He said that even though they agreed on the quarantine, his son would still miss his friends and his regular activities. His son was in a taekwondo class that went virtual. It was okay at first, but as it went on, he started to miss the more physical parts of the class. He missed interacting with other kids his age. 

For co-parents, thorough discussions and planning can get a family through a pandemic, but interactions their children have with others their age is something they can’t always provide.

Joanna Cooper, 48, lives in Durham, North Carolina with her seven-year-old son. She said that there’s only so much playing she can do to entertain him. They were playing a game in the yard when she realized that she couldn’t provide the type of connection that her son has with kids his age. 

“It’s nice to see his imagination at work but this is the kind of imaginative play that really other kids are good for and that’s where he needs that community,” said Cooper.

When the pandemic hit, she and her co-parent had to balance their custody schedule in order to make switching over easier. She made sure that the more difficult conversations always stayed calm.

“There was a little worry here and there that we wouldn’t agree about something, so I’ve had to be diplomatic about how I approach certain things,” said Cooper.

Earlier on in the pandemic, her ex husband let her son have a social-distanced playdate. Cooper was skeptical that her son would be able to stay a safe distance from his friend. The plans weren’t run by her and she thought that was something they should have talked about.

“I’ve learned if I can hold off on my initial frustrated reaction and just give it some space and present it as a topic of discussion more than a criticism that that’s more useful,” she said.

She said that the conversations can be difficult, but they need to be at the forefront of the relationship in order to create the safest environment for children and loved ones. 

Source: http://rssfeeds.usatoday.com/~/627269092/0/usatoday-newstopstories~Coparenting-hits-separated-families-hard-during-coronavirus-It-feels-like-were-missing-huge-life-events/

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Security and Sustainability Forum-With Hazel Henderson and Claudine Schneider. 10/22/2020

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Steering Societies Beyond GDP to the SDGs

With Hazel Henderson and Claudine Schneider

October 22, 2020

1:15 pm to 2:15 pm EDT

The next webinar in the SSF series, with ecological economist and futurist Hazel Henderson, will address how the UN SDGs can and should replace GDP as the basis for valuing society leading to an economy based on planet protection and human wellbeing. Claudine Schneider is Hazel’s guest.

GDP accounts for all the public expenditures as “debt” while ignoring the value of the assets they created. If GDP were to be corrected by including the missing asset account, these debt-to-GDP ratios would be cut by up to 50% — with a few keystrokes! Learn why money isn’t what you think it is and why that matters to life on Earth in the next two webinars with Hazel and guests.

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Claudine Schneider is a former Republican U.S. representative from Rhode Island. She was the first, and to date only, woman elected to Congress from Rhode Island. She is founder of Republicans for Integrity, which describes itself as a network of “Republican former Members of Congress who feel compelled to remind Republican voters about the fundamentals of our party and to provide the facts about incumbents’ voting records.”

October 22nd webinar with Claudine Schneider and Hazel

Sincerely,

Ed.

Edward Saltzberg, PhD

Executive Director

Security and Sustainability Forum

www.ssfonline.org

[email protected]

Sincerely,

Ed.

Edward Saltzberg, PhD

Executive Director

Security and Sustainability Forum

www.ssfonline.org

Source: https://www.ethicalmarkets.com/63564-2/

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The Briefing: RVShare raises over $100M, Google disputes charges, and more

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Here’s what you need to know today in startup and venture news, updated by the Crunchbase News staff throughout the day to keep you in the know.

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RVShare raises over $100M for RV rentals

RVShare, an online marketplace for RV rentals, reportedly raised over $100 million in a financing led by private equity firms KKR and Tritium Partners.

Akron, Ohio-based RVShare has seen sharp growth in demand amid the pandemic, as more would-be travelers seek socially distanced options for hitting the road. Founded in 2013, the company matches RV owners with prospective renters, filtering by location, price and vehicle types.

Previously, RVShare had raised $50 million in known funding, per Crunchbase data, from Tritium Partners. The company is one of several players in the RV rental space, and competes alongside Outdoorsy, a peer-to-peer RV marketplace that has raised $75 million in venture funding.

Funding news

  • BrightFarms closes on $100M: Indoor farming company BrightFarms said it secured more than $100 million in debt and new equity capital to support expansion plans. The Series E round of funding was led by Cox Enterprises, which now owns a majority stake in the company, and includes a follow-on investment from growth equity firm Catalyst Investors.
  • Anyscale inks $40MAnyscale, the Berkeley-based company behind the Ray open source project for building applications, announced $40 million in an oversubscribed Series B funding round. Existing investor NEA led the round and was joined by Andreessen Horowitz, Intel Capital and Foundation Capital. The new funding brings Anyscale’s total funding to more than $60 million.
  • Klar deposits $15M: Mexican fintech Klar closed on $15 million in Series A funding, led by Prosus Ventures, with participation from new investor International Finance Corporation and existing investors Quona Capital, Mouro Capital and Acrew. The round brings total funding raised to approximately $72 million since the company was founded in 2019. The funds are intended to grow Klar’s engineering capabilities in both its Berlin and Mexico hubs.
  • O(1) Labs rakes in $10.9M: O(1) Labs, the team behind the cryptocurrency Mina, announced $10.9 million in a strategic investment round. Co-leading the round are Bixin Ventures and Three Arrows Capital with participation from SNZ, HashKey Capital, Signum Capital, NGC Ventures, Fenbushi Capital and IOSG Ventures.
  • Blustream bags $3M: After-sale customer engagement company Blustream said it raised $3 million in seed funding for product usage data and digital transformation efforts for physical goods companies via the Blustream Product Experience Platform. York IE led the round of funding for the Worcester, Massachusetts-based company with additional support from existing investors.Pillar secures another $1.5M: Pillar, a startup that helps families protect and care for their loved ones, raised $1.5 million in a seed extension to close at $7 million, The round was led by Kleiner Perkins.

Other news

  • Google rejects DOJ antitrust arguments: In the wake of a widely anticipated U.S. Justice Department antitrust suit against Google, the search giant disputed the charges in a statement, maintaining that: “People use Google because they choose to, not because they’re forced to, or because they can’t find alternatives.”
  • Facebook said to test Nextdoor rival: Facebook is reportedly testing a service similar to popular neighborhood-focused social Nextdoor. Called Neighborhoods, the feature reportedly suggests local neighborhood groups to join on Facebook.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

Venture investors and leaders in the fintech space can visualize a future where such startups will move toward again rebundling services.

Root Inc., the parent company of Root Insurance, launched its initial public offering and is looking at a valuation of as much as $6.34 billion.

Clover Health posted rising revenues and a narrower loss in its most recent financial results, published in advance of a planned public market debut.

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/briefing-10-21-20/

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Crunchbase

Syte Sees $30M Series C For Product Discovery

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Online shopping has become the norm for most people in 2020, even coaxing traditional retail brands to up their presence to stay competitive. However, now that shoppers can’t see and touch products like they used to, e-commerce discovery has become a crucial element for customer acquisition and retention.

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Enter Syte, an Israel-based company that touts creating the world’s first product discovery platform that utilizes the senses, such as visual, text and voice, and then leverages visual artificial intelligence and next-generation personalization to create individualized and memorable customer experiences, Syte co-founder and CEO Ofer Fryman told Crunchbase News.

To execute on this, the company raised $30 million in Series C funding and an additional $10 million in debt. Viola Ventures led the round and was joined by LG Technology Ventures, La Maison, MizMaa Ventures and Kreos Capital, as well as existing investors Magma, Naver Corporation, Commerce Ventures, Storm Ventures, Axess Ventures, Remagine Media Ventures and KDS Media Fund.

This brings the company’s total fundraising to $71 million since its inception in 2015. That includes a $21.5 million Series B, also led by Viola, in 2019, according to Crunchbase data.

Fryman intends for the new funding to be put to work on product enhancements and geographic expansion. Syte already has an established customer base in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and will now focus expansion in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific.

Meanwhile, Syte has grown 22 percent quarter over quarter, as well as experienced a 38 percent expansion of its customer base since the beginning of 2020.

“Since we crossed $1 million annual recurring revenue, we have been tripling revenue while also becoming more efficient,” Fryman said. “We can accelerate growth as well as build an amazing technology and solution for a business that needs it right now. We plan to grow further, and even though our SaaS metrics are excellent right now, our goal is to improve them.”

Anshul Agarwal, managing director at LG Technology Ventures, said Syte was an attractive investment due in part to its unique technology.

“They have a deep-learning system and have created a new category, product discovery that will enable online shopping in a way we never had the ability to do before,” Agarwal said. “The product market fit was also unique. We believe in the strong execution by the team and the rapid growth in SaaS. We looked at many different companies, and the SaaS metrics that Syte showed are the strongest we’ve seen in a while.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

Venture investors and leaders in the fintech space can visualize a future where such startups will move toward again rebundling services.

Root Inc., the parent company of Root Insurance, launched its initial public offering and is looking at a valuation of as much as $6.34 billion.

Clover Health posted rising revenues and a narrower loss in its most recent financial results, published in advance of a planned public market debut.

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/syte-sees-30m-series-c-for-product-discovery/

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