Adedayo Akala | Michigan Radio
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Adedayo Akala

Chicago's city life suited Anna Johnson, who lived downtown for about 10 years, working as a digital producer at an advertising agency. But when the pandemic dragged on beyond a few weeks and the glitzy city closed its doors, the independent life became too quiet.

"I started to feel really lonely in my apartment by myself, and I just kind of felt trapped," Johnson says.

She decided in June to move back in with her parents who live about two hours away from the city in Rockford, Ill. Johnson says the move has been good for her, mentally and also financially.

Jayme Henderson says her college's decision to cancel fall graduation over coronavirus concerns felt like "a slap in the face."

Henderson, a graduating senior at the University of Missouri in Columbia, remembers thinking about the campus activities that hadn't been cancelled: Football was still on, with fans still able to attend games in-person, and there were even some in-person classes. To make matters worse, the email cancelling fall commencement arrived the same day as another email detailing parking restrictions for big game day crowds.

The Salvation Army's bell ringers, a longtime fixture outside malls and stores around the U.S., are a staple holiday tradition. But this year, with the coronavirus pandemic raging and many stores closed, people won't be hearing as many of those bells ringing.

As coronavirus cases continue to spike and working from home seems permanent, many Americans are planning to set off to live in new places.