Trending November 2023 # Ready To See The World? Here Are The Best Travel Gadgets To Get # Suggested December 2023 # Top 16 Popular

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Adam Molina / Android Authority

Travel is coming back into the global picture, at least once we all get our vaccinations. If you’ve already scheduled your next trip, you might be looking for a few accessories to top off your luggage. Here are a few of the best travel gadgets you can get right now. From headphones and gaming systems to cables and storage, we’ve done our best to cover just about everything you could want.

The best travel gadgets

Editor’s note: We will update our list of the best travel gadgets as new products launch.

Amazon Basics Luggage

Even if you’re visiting a location for only a few days, durable luggage is vital. You certainly won’t fit all the clothing, toiletries, small possessions, and souvenirs you buy into a simple backpack. To that end, we recommend the Amazon Basics Luggage three-pack.

It’s not that we aren’t fans of smart luggage around here. The problem is that airlines aren’t big fans of smart luggage due to their batteries. For example, Delta Airlines forces you to remove the batteries in all instances. That means carry-on and checked smart luggage can’t have batteries in them before you board the plane. We have a list of options if you still want smart luggage, though.

Sony WH-1000XM4

Adam Molina / Android Authority

There are plenty of fabulous headphones out there, but the Sony WH-1000XM4 remains our top pair of over-the-ear noise-cancelling headphones when it comes to travel gadgets. The touch-sensitive earcups let you skip and pause your music, change the volume, and bring up your phone’s personal assistant.

More: The best Bluetooth headphones you can find right now

More importantly, the Sony WH-1000XM4 sounds great and exhibited the best noise-cancelling in the business in our testing. This means you can easily block out sound in airplanes or other noisy travel places. And you can hear what’s around you if you cup your hand over the right earcup. The headphones also use Sony’s own LDAC Bluetooth codec for improved data streaming rates. Even the microphone quality was impressive and flat.

Nintendo Switch Lite

The Nintendo Switch OLED is currently the best the company offers, but it’s not exactly the most portable system. Also, the price tag puts it out of range for those whose wallets don’t stretch that far or those with several Nintendo fans at home. Enter the Nintendo Switch Lite.

The weight difference between it and the regular Switches isn’t much on paper, but you’ll notice it in real life. Plus, the smaller size means you can stuff the Switch Lite in places you couldn’t fit the regular bigger devices. You get access to the Switch’s impressive catalog of games, including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Doom, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The Amazon Kindle Oasis is objectively better, but the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is the best e-reader for most people. Thanks to its 6.8-inch display and diminutive design, it’s also extremely travel-friendly.

Ravpower Pioneer 65W 4-Port GaN Tech USB-C Desktop Charger

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

If you’re going to take all of these devices when you travel, you’re going to need a powerful wall charger to keep them all energized. Even the largest power banks run out of battery eventually. That’s where the Ravpower Pioneer 65W 4-Port GaN Tech USB-C Desktop Charger comes in — fully loaded with two smart USB-A ports and two Power Delivery USB-C options.

Otterbox Fast Charge Qi Wireless Power Bank

You can’t always plug into the wall when traveling. Sometimes you’ll be hard-pressed even to find an outlet! That’s when a good portable battery comes in handy, and the Otterbox Qi Wireless Power Bank is one of our favorites.

Also: The best portable chargers

This unit comes with a 15,000mAh battery, which isn’t amazing, but it’s a pretty sizeable capacity. What makes this option special is its other features. For starters, it comes with 10W wireless charging, which will make it easier to charge your devices anywhere. Both the USB-A and USB-C ports also support 18W charging. Like other Otterbox products, this power bank is also rugged, can survive a fall, and is waterproof.

Alternatives: The best Bluetooth trackers you can find

Tile trackers are among the best travel gadgets because they work with both Apple and Android devices. Other worthy options are exclusive to their manufacturers, such as Apple AirTags and Samsung SmartTags.

Peak Design Everyday Sling

If you’re bringing several devices with you, that means you’re bringing cables. Even if you don’t have many cables, you might have other small accessories, such as pens, a notepad, or chargers. The Peak Design Everyday Sling is a great accessory if you want to remain organized.

Featuring a 10-liter capacity, the Everyday Sling isn’t lacking in storage. You can store pens and SD cards in elastic accessory loops near the top, while the large pockets are perfect for smaller laptops, chargers, game consoles, and even some drones. There’s even an external zip pocket with a cable pass-through for simpler charging.

Amazon Basics Double Braided Nylon cable

You have to have a charging cable you can trust when you’re on the go. If you’re on a plane, you probably don’t want too much extra length that can get tangled either. This Amazon Basics USB-C cable offers a combination of portability and durability without breaking the bank. Available in one-foot and three-foot lengths, it’s a handy option just about anywhere.

Also read: The best USB-C cables

The total length of the cable is double braided and available in red, gold, silver, and dark gray. No matter which color you pick, the Amazon Basics USB-C cable should last a while, and it delivers a power output of up to 5V and 10Gbps data transfer. It can also charge up to 60W.

Epicka Universal Travel Adapter

One of the most crucial travel gadgets is an adapter to ensure that your devices never run out of charge. This international travel adapter should do the trick with an all-in-one design covering 150 countries. The adapter opens so you can choose from US, European, Australian, and British-type prongs, while the input port features a unique universal design.

You can also plug four USB-A cables and one USB-C option to save space. The convenient design stores all of your adapter connections with compact sliding controls. Epicka doesn’t recommend using high-voltage appliances like coffee makers or hairdryers, but as long as you stay below 6.3A, you should be good to go.

Omoton portable laptop stand

Even on vacation, you might find that you need to whip out your laptop and get a bit of work done. Whether you’re a travel blogger or you need to send one last work email, a portable stand can be one of the most convenient travel gadgets. Omoton has a convenient folding option that adjusts to six comfortable heights.

See also: The best laptop stands you can buy

Another perk that comes with a laptop stand is improved heat dissipation. After all, when your laptop is lifted, it offers more space for the fans to do their thing. The Omoton portable stand is just 1.75 inches wide and 9.4 inches long when folded.

Do you prefer Android?: These are the best Android tablets still available

Of course, you get a gorgeous and solidly-built design. Performance is excellent, thanks to the A15 Bionic chipset. The screen is lovely, and general specs are high-end.

Do you need more help taking care of your travel plans and activities? Check out our list of the best travel apps you can use when away from home.

You're reading Ready To See The World? Here Are The Best Travel Gadgets To Get

The New Era Of Personalized Marketing Is Here. Are You Ready To Adapt?

Personalization stats for 2023 and 2023 show that brands can stay competitive only through a personalized approach to every customer

Today more than ever before, customers are critical of the experiences they get. They want brands to treat them as personalities both online and offline. They no longer accept average offerings and consider customer service as a part of the product they purchase. The Salesforce State of Marketing research showed that in 2023 84% of customers required a personalized approach.

Download our Individual Member Resource – Website and e-commerce personalization guide

This guide is aimed at marketing managers involved with making the business case for personalization, looking to plan a personalization implementation or extend their use of personalization.

Access the

Behind the vague concept of personalization stand efforts of multiple departments and considerable investments. So how do you approach personalization the right way? How much to invest and in what particular areas? Salesforce consultants suggest the key components of successful personalization in 2023.

1. Bet more on personalization to win

How much personalization investment is enough? Is something better than nothing?

These figures show that personalization is no longer a buzzword; it is a winning strategy that brings results to leaders and can leave competitors with more generic approaches behind. A reasonable question is:

Unfortunately, not this time. Let’s look at the leaders again to understand why.

Monetate’s report revealed that companies that allocated more than 10% of their marketing budget to personalization efforts got a higher ROI. In particular, personalization made up 21% of marketing budgets of 86% of the companies getting twice the ROI or greater.

2. Don’t underestimate a documented strategy

Personalization starts to pay off when you invest enough efforts in it. Although a quarter of the marketing budget is a big chunk, the results prove to be worth it.

To make sure your investment brings the needed results, you have to tie the efforts to business goals. A documented strategy will help you take better-coordinated actions and monitor returns. According to Monetate’s research, 77% of those companies that exceeded their revenue expectations in 2023 had a documented strategy. At the same time, the companies that didn’t have one were more prone to miss annual revenue goals.

Which metrics to track?

This failure to miss revenue expectations encouraged a third of businesses to prepare a documented strategy for the next year. To avoid such mishaps, it is better to start putting down personalization action plans from day one.

The stats show that companies with the highest return on personalization (three times) tend to focus on the objectives related to building durable relationships, such as on customer loyalty and lifetime customer value. At the same time, the organizations that have a low ROI (one times or less) prefer short-term goals, such as higher conversion rates and average order value, or lower bounce rate.

3. Customers share their data everywhere − Collect it!

Shoppers’ demand for better-personalized services stimulates marketing leaders to seek new sources of customer data that are publicly available and tell about prospects’ unique needs and personalities. It is no surprise that the average number of utilized customer data sources is expected to reach 15 in 2023 (compared to 12 in 2023).

What type of data is the most helpful in the leaders’ view?

This high-level understanding of every customer is the key to building long-term loyalty and enticing customers to buy more. The only reason for the low adoption of such data is the lack of sufficient processes and technology.

Unfortunately, common sense and motivational phrases (and even financial rewards tied to KPIs) can’t make salespeople put together customer information from various sources for every customer. Perhaps, only the most experienced team members can manage this task, and still, their time is limited while the customer base keeps growing (hopefully). This brings us to the next personalization success factor.

4. Use technology to put together customer data

Why do companies (albeit few) investing in personalization fail to get results? Businesses equip their sales, marketing, and service departments with the tools needed to track interactions with the brand, social and web activity, transactions, etc. Yet, in 47% of companies, this information is stored in four or more different systems, which are owned by different departments. As a result, their team doesn’t have a unified view of their customer base.

No matter how well the teams work, they can’t obtain customer data if it’s locked in other systems and, consequently, might annoy shoppers with excessive requests for information or irrelevant offers. Customers perceive a company as a whole and want brands to treat them consistently. This lack of centralized customer data is a great impediment to successful omnichannel personalization.

There are two ways to overcome the problem:

Integrate customer-oriented tools with each other to let data flow between systems and departments. This way, every team gets complete customer profiles in the systems they work with (like CRM for salespeople). Integration is not an easy task and requires the help of developers experienced in dealing with different types of software. Still, this is a logical choice for companies that already have several tools (perhaps, even custom-built ones) and want to leverage their capabilities.

Opt for a multifunctional platform solution that can put customer service specialists, marketers, and salespeople into one technological environment, and simplify access to customer data. In this case, platform tools would be integrated with each other out-of-the-box. In addition, all departments could use software with similar UIs, which considerably simplifies communication in customer cases. This is the best option for businesses that plan to migrate to more robust tools.

Any of these options will let teams look at customers holistically. However, data-rich profiles don’t pave the way to exceptional service automatically unless you can get valuable insights almost instantly.

5. Adopt smart technologies

In 2023, 23.2% of businesses invested in machine learning, and 48.5% were planning to do so within the following year (Salesforce). AI is gaining popularity for its ability to drive actionable insights from vast amounts of data.

Marketers use machine learning for a few purposes:

To offer customers the most relevant products in real time

To improve customer segmentation and journey predictions

To automate social and messenger integrations

To create dynamic landing pages

To enhance the online and offline experiences

Staff can use the insights delivered by AI to approach every single customer like a close friend. For example, ALDO Group equipped their in-store sales assistants with mobile devices. The moment a customer enters the store, salespeople know what to offer and how.

Still, AI is not the only intelligent technology that is gaining momentum. In 2023, marketers were successfully experimenting with IoT (44%), voice-activated personal assistants, like Alexa and Siri (32%), and virtual or augmented reality (29%).

These smart tools help brands deliver outstanding services and quickly win customers that are hungry for innovations. Take Sephora as an example. Their online virtual assistant perfectly recognizes face parts and allows customers to upload their personal photos to virtually try on different makeup.

6. Discover new ways of personalization

Personalization is actually a broad term. Don’t limit your opportunities by sticking to the basics only.

Let’s consider email personalization. Evergage asked companies how they tweaked emails to individual customers. The majority of respondents (76%) used customers’ or companies’ names in the subject line and the header. About 50% of companies tailored messages and provided recommendations by audience segment, or personalized email messages at send time. Less than 25% of respondents reached the granular level to tweak message content per customer or personalize messages at open time.

All these actions fall under personalization, but customers won’t feel the human touch from a mere name change in the subject line. The more seriously a company takes personalization, the more happy customers they get.

Yet email customization is not the only way to apply content personalization. Market leaders definitely go beyond this and try to deliver unique experiences at every step of their buyers’ journey.

Today, less than 30% of companies succeed in personalizing product pages, blogs, search results, navigation, and pricing (Evergage). However, the growing adoption of intelligent technologies is likely to change the situation in the near future.


Customers’ expectations of personalized services are getting ever more sophisticated. To make shoppers happy, brands have to adopt new technologies that allow for humanlike communication in real time.

The Best Grilling Gadgets You Can Get In 2023

I don’t know about you, but I like to grill regardless of the weather. For me, that means every season is grilling season. And when I am grilling, I love to make use of some fun gadgets to make the task easier and more fun. Here are some of the best grilling gadgets on the market for 2023.

1. Smart Grill or Smoker

We’re not all master grillers or smokers, which means sometimes we need a little help. Some of us might need a lot of help. If this sounds like you, then it might be worth checking out a smart grill or smoker.

These bad boys are designed to take the hard work out of grilling and smoking. For example, the Smart Grill by Lynx will connect to your smartphone, let you choose from a long list of recipes, then tell you exactly where to put your food on the grill.

Or, if you prefer to smoke, check out the Traeger Timberline pellet smoker or the Char-Broil Electric digital smoker. Both allow you to set up timers, control the temperature, and check the progress of your food via your smartphone.

2. Meat Thermometer

I like to smoke and grill, which means that sometimes I need to know the temperature of the meat I’m cooking. This tells me if the food is ready or if it needs to stay on the grill a little longer. Before finding a smart meat thermometer, I would use an old-school option, which required removing the cover of my grill every time I wanted to check it.

With a smart thermometer, I don’t have that problem. I place it where I want it, then use the appropriate iOS or Android app to track the progress of my meat. Now, instead of wasting precious heat lifting the lid off the grill every hour, I can just take a peek at my smartphone and make any necessary adjustments.

I personally like the Meater thermometer, but the Weber iGrill and Inkbird smart meat thermometers are solid options as well.

3. Propane Tracker

Another handy gadget you can use when grilling is a smart propane tracker. The Propane Scale by Flame King offers a device that measures the weight of the propane left in the tank and communicates that information to your smartphone.

That means you don’t have to worry about having enough propane each time you grill. It’s frustrating to discover that you’ve run out of gas while in the middle of cooking your meal. Having a smart propane tracker allows you to check your smartphone and know immediately whether or not you need to run to the store for a new tank.

4. Grillbot

Last on our list is a device I don’t own, but would really like to have. The Grillbot has been labeled as a Roomba for your grill. This little gadget takes care of cleaning your grill so you don’t have to mess with it.

Just put it on your grill, and watch the Grillbot go to work. Brushes on the corners of the device spin, brushing away all the grease and grime on your grill. You can set it to run for 10, 20, or 30 minutes at a time.

The device is rechargeable and the brushes are removable. After each cleaning, just plug the Grillbot in, take off the brushes, and throw them in the dishwasher. That’s it. You never have to worry about cleaning your grill by hand again.

Get to Grilling!

Image credit: chúng tôi chúng tôi chúng tôi and Meat preparing on grill by DepositPhotos

Justin Caldwell

Justin obtained his MBA at Baker University. He loves learning and writing about smart home technology and has a passion for its application. Justin brings a wealth of writing experience to the team and enjoys discovering new and creative ways to implement smart home technologies into his own home.

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Here Are The 10 Best Htcu11 Screen Protectors

Best Samsung Galaxy S8 screen protectors

Best Chinese Android phones

If you go online and search for screen protectors for your HTCU11, you’ll find a lot of different options. This means that making a decision on which one to get can be quite hard and time-consuming. To make the process a bit easier for you, we’ll show you our picks for best HTCU11 screen protectors.

Supershieldz HTCU11 screen protector

Supershieldz’s screen protector covers the entire front part of the device and has cutouts on the top and bottom for the camera, sensors, and the home button. Made from tempered glass, its 0.3 mm thick and has a hardness rating of 9H. It features both hydrophobic and oleophobic coatings for protection against sweat and oil residue from fingerprints, so you won’t have to wipe it down numerous times per day.

The screen protector has rounded edges for better comfort and is highly transparent with a light transmittance of 99.99 percent. The manufacturer promises you won’t see that annoying rainbow effect and that the product won’t leave any residue when or if you decide to remove it.

The current price on Amazon is $7.99, which gets you two screen protectors that are covered by Supershieldz’s lifetime replacement warranty. When it comes to glass HTCU11 screen protectors, you’ll find this one is both high-quality and super affordable.

Skinomi TechSkin HTCU11 screen protector

This screen protector offers full coverage, is optically transparent, and case-friendly. It’s made of a thermoplastic urethane designed to absorb impact and is flexible to make sure the screen protector also covers the slightly curved edges of the display.

The Skinomi TechSkin is resistant against scratches, punctures, UV light, and will not yellow. The manufacturer promises an easy, error-proof, as well as bubble-free installation with the help of a liquid solution that allows you to adjust the screen protector while you’re placing it on top of the display.

Made in the USA, it comes with a lifetime warranty, which means that if it wears off, you’ll get a  new one from the company. The box only contains three things which are the screen protector, a microfiber cloth, and an installation solution. To get it, you’ll have to dish out $7.85.

Antsplustech HTCU11 screen protector

Antsplustech’s screen protector for the HTCU11 is made from an ultra-tough, optically clear, military-grade, and yellow-resistant material that’s also flexible. What this means is that it fits on the display perfectly, as it can also cover the curved corners up front.

With a hardness rating of 9H, it ensures that it won’t get scratched easily, while the 99 percent light penetration ratio preserves the original viewing quality. And thanks to the oleophobic coating, you won’t have to wipe down the product every 5 minutes.

It has 2.5D rounded edges and will maintain the original touch sensitivity of the display. The retail box will set you back $6.99 on Amazon and includes two screen protectors, which should keep your device safe from harm for quite some time.

Omoton HTCU11 screen protector

This tempered glass screen protector has a hardness rating of 9H and will prevent any scratches that would otherwise occur in a close encounter with keys and other sharp objects. Each product undergoes more than 4.5 hours of temper treatment, making it five times stronger than regular glass.

The 99.99 percent transparency preserves the original screen brightness, while the thickness of only 0.26 mm maintains the display’s original response sensitivity. It has both a hydrophobic as well as an oleophobic coating, which keeps smudges and fingerprints to a minimum. The screen protector uses the Epoxy Resin glue made in Japan to stick to the display, which won’t leave any residue when removed.

In addition to two screen protectors, the box also includes two wet wipes, a microfiber cloth, dust removal and guide stickers, installation instructions, and a bubble removal card. One more thing worth pointing out is that if you buy two Omoton screen protectors, you get a five percent discount on your purchase.

Biuzko HTCU11 screen protector

Biuzko’s screen protector also has a 9H hardness rating, making it highly durable and resistant to scratches. The oleophobic coating prevents excessive fingerprints as well as oil stains and makes the product easy to clean at the same time.

It’s extremely simple to install, as all you have to do is place it on the smartphone’s screen and it will automatically “suck itself down on the phone.” In case you see a bubble or the product doesn’t stick properly to a certain section of the screen, you can quickly fix that just by peeling off the protector and then installing it again.

The product is case-friendly and comes with a lifetime warranty. Amazon is offering it for $7.81 at the moment, which gets you two screen protectors as well as wet and dry wipes, two dust removal stickers, and a cleaning cloth.

TopACE HTCU11 screen protector

This is an edge to edge screen protector that’s completely transparent, but can also be yours in the black or white color option (only upper and bottom parts) to go along with the color of your device. It features a light transmittance of 99.9 percent for an optimal and natural viewing experience and a surface hardness of 9H to protect the screen from scratches.

Made from tempered glass, it’s designed to absorb impact and if broken, it will crack into small pieces held together within the film. These small pieces aren’t particularly sharp, which minimizes the chance of possible injuries.

The screen protector has an oleophobic coating that reduces fingerprints and is 3 mm thick. The retail box includes one screen protector as well as wet/dry wipes and dust removal stickers. To get it, you’ll have to dish out $8.99.

Mangix HTCU11 screen protector

The last screen protector is made by Mangix and is a great option for those on a budget. It’s the cheapest item on this list, as it only costs $4.99. For that amount of money, you get two screen protectors manufactured from Japanese AGC glass that have a 9H hardness rating and can, therefore, really take a beating.

In case the screen protector does crack, all the small pieces will still be held together, reducing the chances of you getting hurt. The product is case-friendly and has a light transmittance of 99 percent, meaning it won’t lower the brightness of the display by much.

The manufacturer claims that it’s super thin and won’t interfere with the touch sensitivity of the screen, and that it can be reapplied if a spot or a bubble appears after the installation is completed. Those of you interested can get it on Amazon via the button below.

Dark Sky Is Officially Dead: Here Are The Best Alternatives

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Dark Sky shut down its doors on Android a couple of years ago after Apple purchased the app. The company then removed it from the Apple App Store back in September of 2023. As of January 1st, 2023, Dark Sky is shut down for good. That means the API goes down, the app will cease to function, and it’ll no longer be available anywhere. It’s a sad day since we quite liked Dark Sky when it was on Android. Now, it’s time to shop for alternatives. Here are the best Dark Sky alternatives you can get on iOS and Android.

To douse your hopes a little bit, it’s important to note that there is no weather app quite like Dark Sky. It’s probably why Apple bought the app, because it was truly unique in its space.

For iOS users, Apple’s stock weather app has many Dark Sky features. This is why Apple bought the service. If you want the closest possible experience to Dark Sky, your best bet is to use the stock Apple weather app. Unfortunately, it’s not available for Android.

The best Dark Sky alternatives

Pricing (Android): Free / $1.99

Pricing (iOS): Free / $1.99 per month / $9.99 per year

Platforms: iOS (App Store) and Android (Google Play)

What we like:

Covers all of the bases with hourly and daily forecasts, a radar, hyperlocal weather, and more.

The Android version is pay-once and reasonably inexpensive.

Clean, simple UI that works quite well.

Extras like air quality, sun and moon tracking, and more are fun.

What we don’t like:

The iOS version is more expensive.

Radar can sometimes jam up on you.

Ads on the free version can be annoying sometimes.


Pricing: Free / $1.99 per month / $19.99 per year

Platforms: iOS (App Store) and Android (Google Play)

What we like:

AccuWeather is a big name in weather, and many other apps use AccuWeather to source weather information.

Above average radar, even if it’s still not comparable to Dark Sky.

The MinuteCast feature is an okay competitor to Dark Sky’s up-to-the-minute forecasting capabilities.

What we don’t like:

The app is consistently updated, and not every UI update is a positive one.

The widgets could be better.

It switched from a single payment to a subscription plan, which is never a popular move.

Pricing (Android): Free / $0.99 per month / $3.99 per year

Pricing (iOS): Free / $4.99 per month / $19.99 per year

Platforms: iOS (App Store) and Android (Google Play)

What we like:

A sassy app that adds a bit of comedy to the weather experience.

Ritzy features like a 70-year weather history and strong customization features help set it apart from the rest.

The iOS version is current with support for things like Dynamic Island and Apple Watch support.

Some of the more reliable current, hourly, and daily forecasts of any app on the list.

What we don’t like:

The Android version does not garner attention from the developer like the iOS version does.

Some of the features, like the achievements and recording your own weather videos, are a little gimmicky.

Carrot Weather is a tale of two experiences. The iOS app is easily among the best weather apps on the whole platform. It’s updated regularly, has excellent accuracy, tons of customization, and integrates well with modern Apple things like Dynamic Island and the Apple Watch. We recommend it wholeheartedly, and it’s one of the more popular Dark Sky alternatives. You can even set the weather aggregator to Apple Weather, which is what Dark Sky got integrated into. It’s almost kind of like having Dark Sky again.

The Android version, on the other hand, hasn’t been updated in a couple of years, doesn’t have the modern features of its iOS bunkmate, and it’s not one we recommend. The developer has stated that the iOS version makes more money, and so that’s where the attention goes. That’s fair. However, we hope they give the Android version some love again someday because we’d love to recommend it there too.

Pricing: Free (optional donation)

Platforms: iOS (TestFlight) and Android (Google Play)

What we like:

It’s free and open-source. There’s even a FOSS variant on F-Droid for Android users.

Includes the basic stuff like real-time temperature, air quality metrics, 15-day forecast, and more.

The app also includes global weather data and weather alerts.

A very clean UI that is easy to read.

What we don’t like:

It may be a bit too simple for some folks.

Does not include a radar.

The iOS version is still in TestFlight.

Pricing: Free / $2.99 per month / $29.99 per year (may vary slightly by platform)

Platforms: iOS (App Store) and Android (Google Play)

What we like:

Excellent radar with plenty of layers to customize how you want.

Compatible with Wear OS and Apple Watch.

Capable of sending storm alerts and other warnings.

Surprisingly accurate.

What we don’t like:

Regular weather functions, like forecasts or current conditions, aren’t as robust as some other apps.

Some of the really cool stuff, like hurricane tracking, is in the premium version only.

MyRadar is one of the truly excellent radar apps on iOS or Android. It’s not quite as flashy as Dark Sky’s, but it’s very nearly as reliable. The map has pleasingly smooth animations, tons of layers to apply, and it’s among the most accurate radars on the list. There are some other decent features as well, although they require a premium subscription. We really like it as a hurricane tracker as well, and it’s one of our favorites in that category.

The only downsides of the app include a slight learning curve, and it’s not like most other weather apps on the list. In fact, many people pair this with a second, more traditional weather app for stuff like long-term forecasts. Still, this is one of my personal favorite weather apps, and it’s what I switched to after Dark Sky left Android.

Pricing: Free / $14.99 per month / $9.99 – $99.99 per year

Platforms: iOS (App Store) and Android (Google Play)

What we like:

NEXRAD Level 3 radar, which is a rarity in this space.

A variety of built-in alerts, including tornado,k flash flood, and marine warnings.

One of the truly excellent weather radars on either iOS or Android.

Competes very well with MyRadar.

What we don’t like:

Like MyRadar, you’ll likely want to pair this with something more traditional for forecasts.

Somewhat unorthodox subscription options.

There is a slight learning curve.

Radarscope competes with MyRadar for the best radar app on iOS or Android. Much like MyRadar, this app is almost exclusively a weather radar app. That means you won’t get things like forecasts and other stuff. Instead, you get a seriously powerful set of features and one of the most reliable radars on mobile.

It has some power user features like NEXRAD Level Three radar data, which is the top of the food chain for consumer-level products. It’s very reliable the vast majority of the time, and there are even other radar options if you want to see more. The only downside is the subscription cost. You can pay $9.99 per year for basic access, or $14.99 per month, which includes things like 30 days’ worth of radar data, hail size data, and other perks. It’s pricy, but definitely worth it if you’re into this kind of stuff.

Today Weather

Pricing: Free / $0.99 per month / $3.99 per year

Platforms: iOS (App Store) and Android (Google Play)

What we like:

Simple, customizable UI and widgets make for a weather app you actually like using.

Multiple weather sources, including AccuWeather, OpenWeatherMap, Foreca, and others.

It’s usually accurate, although that may vary based on which weather source you use.

The radar is not as good as the best, but it’s still better than average.

What we don’t like:

Minor quirks on both platforms may not please everybody.

While everything about the app is good, nothing about the app is exceptional except the looks.

Pricing: Free / $3.99 per year

Platforms: iOS (App Store) and Android (Google Play)

What we like:

The 3D radar looks and acts like the Dark Sky radar, which may please some people.

Competes with Radarscope and MyRadar as one of the best weather radars on mobile.

What we don’t like:

Like its competitors, it’s a great radar, but not a great general weather app.

The sheer number of settings can be a little overwhelming initially, especially if you don’t know a lot about weather models.

Ventusky is probably your best Dark Sky alternative if you want to keep that wonderful 3D world map that Dark Sky had. This app does it, and it does it just as well as Dark Sky did. The app includes dozens of weather models as well, so you can choose which complex mathematical formula you want to predict your weather.

The app has some other things going for it. It’s cheaper than Radarscope and MyRadar while being just as reliable, if not more so in some cases. The UI is clean and smooth. Really, aside from needing a companion weather app for the usual stuff like forecasts, this one is a slam dunk. It’s definitely worthy of consideration for a Dark Sky replacement.

Pricing: Free / $0.99 per month / $9.99 per year

Platforms: iOS (App Store) and Android (Google Play)

What we like:

Long list of features, including some flashy extras like lightning maps, International radar support, and weather cameras you can tap into.

It also includes the basics, like current weather, forecasts, air quality, pollen counts, etc.

A simple UI that does well to show you all of the above listed features without feeling too cramped.

Reasonably good weather radar.

What we don’t like:

It can be a little over-the-top with notifications.

More recent editions seem to be a little buggy.

Pricing: Free / $2.99 per month / Up to $29.99 per year

Platforms: iOS (App Store) and Android (Google Play)

What we like:

There are 51 different layers on its weather radar.

Direct access to 55,000 webcams that are viewing weather conditions.

Several different weather models to choose from, including big shots like GFS by NOAA.

Worldwide access with over 40 supported languages.

What we don’t like:

As with all the other radar apps, you’ll need a regular weather app for the basic stuff like forecasts.

The more granular options and support require a subscription.

You Answered: Are You Ready To Start Living With The Virus?

You Answered: Are You Ready to Start Living with the Virus?

Photo by Cydney Scott

Community Voices

You Answered: Are You Ready to Start Living with the Virus? Hundreds of responses poured in, expressing anxiety, worry, and hesitation, as well as elation, relief, and exhaustion

We posed a question to the Boston University community: As coronavirus mask mandates loosen or go away entirely (BU’s mask policy loosens March 7), and vaccination rates seem to have plateaued, are you ready to move forward and live with the virus in our midst? We hoped to hear lots of opinions. If you are ready, what does that mean for you? If you’re not ready yet, what’s holding you back?

You didn’t disappoint. Within hours, hundreds of responses came in from students, faculty, staff, and alums, as if we had poked a hole in a giant rain cloud overhead, unleashing a downpour of sentiments. “Yes. Back to business as usual.” Others? “Absolutely not. People are still dying from this are simply not ready yet.”

Scroll below to see what your classmates, colleagues, and friends are feeling. And remember—this is a complicated question with no easy answer. We’ve removed names, but identified people by their community status. 

Yes! The virus is already living with us. It will continue to evolve and diversify, influenced by our immunity (infection- or vaccine-induced) and our ecology (transmission control measures), but remain near-impossible to predict. Living with the virus means that I acknowledge that both viral illness and transmission control have inherent benefits and harms, and that my personal impact on the global state of the virus is minimal. Living with the virus means that we should direct policies at reducing inequality (the main predictor of disease morbidity and mortality) and away from simple transmission control. Living with the virus means that we recognize the much greater existential threats to humanity are climate change and biodiversity loss, and should be met with much greater collective and policy effort than control of SARS-CoV-2. —ENG sophomore

Covid restrictions are making me lose my mind. As a college campus with a vaccine requirement, it’s time we start weighing mental health consequences with health risks. Please. — COM freshman

I would have said no but after having contracted the Omicron variant and understanding the symptoms I am ready to live with it. Initially it was the fear of the unknown—what’s the virus like? Does it result in long-lasting effects? I think the benefits to transitioning from pandemic to endemic and having a society that lives with it and returns to normality outweigh the costs. — IS&T developer

Society is made up of many different people, and the disabled, immunocompromised, and chronically ill members of society can’t just decide to “start living with COVID” because COVID can still kill them. And to our the burden of safety on those individuals is ableist to the extreme as it privileges the abled. Disabled individuals have already expressed feeling forgotten by society as the pandemic continues, and things like dropping vaccine and mask mandates show that still to be the case. I, like many disabled individuals (who make up 1/4 of the world’s population, not a small number), am sick of being forgotten. — CAS junior

I have been ready to start living with the virus since April of 2023, and indeed, that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve spent the last two years waiting for the rest of the world to catch up with me. Exercising, boosting my immune system, and yes, catching COVID. Three miserable days. Not fun, but I’ll take it over living in fear. — CAS assistant director

I’ve already stopped taking precautions and live my life the way it used to be, traveling, visiting friends, going to parties. The pandemic is no longer seen as a threat anymore. — CAS freshman

I don’t think we have a choice. The virus is here and we are here. We should, however, be vaccinated and boosted. We should also wear face masks as long as experts think they will help and where they think masks will help. — LAW lecturer

If you are asking whether I am ready to go back to doing all things the way they have been done before the pandemic, then the answer is no. The vaccine mandate and frequent testing, together with indoor masking when not alone, create a sense of safety. I could see combining any two of those three, especially while fast spreading variants like Omicron are around. I would not be comfortable with just one or none of these measures in place, because none of us live exclusively within a BU bubble and have countless other contacts in our daily lives. I am concerned about my own health as well as being the one who transmits the virus to someone else who could face a severe or deadly outcome. Same reason why I either drink OR drive, not both. — GMS assistant profesor

  Yes and no. With more than 2,000 people in the U.S. still dying daily and another 100,000+ new infections (both stats as of 2/24) it’s hard to move on. That rate is still more than those who die of heart disease or any other leading cause of death. But hopefully those rates along with hospitalization, etc. will continue to drop. I feel BU is one of the safest places to be given all the precautions including testing. For now I’ll continue to get tested regularly and wear a mask indoors. That said I just bought tickets to the McCartney concert at Fenway Park so hope springs eternal.

—STH assistant dean

I will be ready when there are almost no deaths from COVID-19. — SAR senior

I think a majority of the people who are going to say they are ready to live with the virus are the same people who have been too selfish to put in the work to stop the spread. This virus isn’t like the flu or a common cold. There are otherwise healthy people who are dying, even with the vaccine, and I think it is unfair to decide to begin “living” with the virus when there is a part of the population who can’t just “live” with the virus. It’s selfish to exclude immunocompromised people from society because you are tired of wearing masks and taking covid-19 tests. — Questrom senior

Thanks to the vaccine, it *is* possible to rejoin public life, and we should, for our mental and civic health. In 2023, right-wingers pretended Covid was no worse than the regular flu, and they were dead wrong. Now, the virus largely* only sickens and kills the unvaccinated-by-choice. Sadly, only so much can be done about those people. (*I have an autoimmune disorder, so I get some of the lingering fear. And no, kids under age 5 aren’t vaxxed yet, but that’s coming.) Yes, we should be prepared to mask up in certain circumstances. Certainly, anyone should feel free to wear an N95 or KN95 mask at any time without judgment. And we should *all* take common-sense measures, like staying home when sick, keeping kids home when they’re sick — even employers seem to understand that now. But it is not realistic to mask and avoid crowds forever. — ENG editor

I was ready to live with the virus in April of 2023 once we figured out the virus largely affects senior citizens and people with several comorbidities. College-aged students have never been at severe risk from COVID, and BU’s policies regarding quarantine protocol, green badges, vaccine, booster, and mask mandates have been an absolute travesty. BU has fear mongered their students into STILL believing that they need to wear masks, OUTSIDE. I’ve walked past several incoming tour guide groups this week and every single person is wearing masks including the BU student employee leading it. Would you like to send me the science that supports this nonsense? — BU Senior

Absolutely not. People are still dying from this and it still impacts disabled & BIPOC communities disproportionately. We still have a collective responsibility to protect each other. — SSW junior

Although the virus is here to stay, we are not yet in a position to relax mask mandates. Most of our BU community has been vaccinated and boosted, but that is not the case in the rest of the world. As long as those in other countries are unable to access the vaccine, we will continue to see new variants arise. Rather than relaxing masking mandates, we should be working hard to improve vaccination rates worldwide. BU should continue its mask mandate at least through the end of the semester. — CAS lecturer

Yes!! Free the teeth!!! — Questrom senior

I personally feel that we’re acting prematurely on these steps to return to pre-pandemic behavior, although I can understand why: we’re burnt out in the face of another war and a burning planet. Many would say we’re even traumatized by it all. But many studies show that 1/4 to a 1/3 of people that contract COVID will end up with indefinite symptoms of “long COVID,” making this pandemic a mass disabling event. When this country isn’t ready to handle a massive cut in their labor force, then, it only makes sense to maintain COVID safety measures until this disease reaches endemic status. This way, we’re more likely to reduce long-term economic fallout. — COM sophomore

Not if by “living with the virus” you mean removing mask mandates and vaccine requirements that protect the most vulnerable members of our community (children under 5, the immunocompromised, etc). Even as a young, healthy, vaccinated person, COVID is not the same as the flu. The pandemic is not over. If we pretend it is, then we only have ourselves to blame when cases surge again. — ENG junior

No, I’m not ready to start living with it, I’m ready to live adjacent to it as I have been and will continue to do so. Masks provide no additional purpose when students are sitting in an enclosed classroom for hours at a time and socializing, maskless, outside of class. All students are required to be vaccinated and boosted, and a large portion have had the virus. We do not have a mask mandate for influenza or the common cold, which has become akin to COVID-19. At one point we must consider the majority over the minority, immunocompromised individuals have the ability to protect themselves against the virus, and at one point society will have to return to normal (within appropriate boundaries). For these reasons it is imperative that we remove the mask mandate, while still requiring vaccines and testing. — LAW first year

Yes. There is a reason we get routine vaccinations for other diseases—we live with those viruses. COVID is a new one. It was shocking to us because we watched the pandemic and its corresponding restrictions unfold in real time, but taking a look at other pandemics in history, similar things have happened before (take the Influenza pandemic over a century ago and the more-recent H1N1 (Swine Flu) outbreak—did we not have safety precautions then and routine preventative measures now?) and those were also shocking when they first happened. We are living in history, and not everyone needs to know the original George Santayana quote about history repeating itself to understand that there is a lot to be learned and not repeated from this. What matters is that we have learned from this experience and now know how to move forward.

— GRS senior

I think I am. I’m not expecting things to go back to the pre-pandemic normal, but I am hoping that we learn some practices from this that make us more sensitive to public health. The main thing that means for me is: continued testing (at BU at least), mostly continued masking unless I’m with people I know, but reopening most spaces. Testing will probably peter out after a while as well, but I’d be happy if it just became the norm in America that you wear a mask whenever you’re feeling sick. That sort of post-pandemic world might be a world with fewer visible faces, but it will also be a world with fewer sick people, which is a trade I’m totally willing to make. — CAS sophomore

I’m only ready to start “living with the virus” if it means we are all actively participating in mitigation efforts and acting like the virus still exists. For many people, “living with the virus” feels like a carefree lifestyle where they might get COVID, might not, but they don’t care! For me, I’m still worried and I still have people in my life who could become very sick, so I’m not ready to live with reckless abandon right now. — MED research specialist II

I am ready for the mask mandate to be lifted: I know fewer and fewer people by the week that are testing positive, and if the virus is becoming manageable, I think we should treat it as we treat other viruses. There is an inherent risk of getting sick by just going about your day, and given that hospitalizations have gone down so much, I think that we need to accept that risk as a new part of our lives. — CFA sophomore

Going to some public places. Standing closer, even hugging, trusted friends. Not incessantly disinfecting my area whenever someone comes in to sit or uses my desk. Not wearing gloves when handling student IDs. But continuing to wear a mask everywhere but when I eat or at home. —  Residential Safety/Senior Security Assistant

Yes but if another variant comes up, I’ll put my mask back on. I am still wearing them inside public places but will look forward to taking it off. I will discriminate where and when I wear them as mandates lift. — Research coordinator, Slone Epidemiology Center

It feels a bit premature to me. The current variant does not seem to represent a significant death threat to vaccinated individuals, but I think it is a mistake to assume that this is the last variant – and that future variants will be less of a threat. Last I looked, the death rate is still high. (Boston reported 133 new confirmed deaths yesterday, 2/23 according to the Boston Globe). I also think about my yet-to-be-vaccinated 4-year-old grandson, and don’t want to bring the disease to him. I realize we are all tired and frustrated with the disease – and that it has caused a lot of stress, anxiety, and mental health challenges across our community. But I still feel that we should move cautiously so we don’t find ourselves facing yet another surge from a new variant. — Questrom lecturer

Yes. As scary as it is, I think our hospitals are more equipped with pharmaceutical interventions and understand how to treat COVID-19, and there is now a vaccine that people can receive to take additional steps to protect themselves. Masks are still able to be used for another layer of protection, but I don’t think that mandates are appropriate anymore at this stage of the virus. — SPH junior

Absolutely not. There are immunocompromised people on our campus and in our community that would be severely impacted by the loosening of COVID protections. There is still much unknown about this virus and it feels imprudent to lift restrictions. Living with COVID, for me, would mean a higher level of vaccination globally, consistent messaging from the federal government about the risks of COVID, and robust treatments for immunocompromised people. I recognize the difficulty COVID protections place on individuals, but this is the time to think collectively and protect our most vulnerable community members. — Assistant director, Office of Financial Assistance

No—I think lifting of mask mandates is premature. What does “living with the virus” mean to me? We live with viruses all the time, but those are viruses that are seasonal and do not cause significant long-term effects on our bodies. That’s not the case with COVID-19 yet. So to say this for this virus means that people are allowing their impatience with mildly annoying avoidance strategies (like mask mandates and testing) get the better of them. We are a stupid species. — CAS senior lecturer

The “Tools phase” of the pandemic has begun. We have the tools: Vaccinate, Boost, Test & Mask when required, or when the risk level is too high. I live in the city of Newton and have a child in the high school. She has missed 0 instructional days, because the school is 95% student vaccinated and teachers 100%. She had a full varsity swim season, with no meets canceled. No outbreaks on her team. I’m living my life and my family is too, but with caution and good care. We need to start to build back our muscle memory as it relates to compassion for others. Perhaps if we begin to live our lives more fully, that will show the unvaccinated that lives are being lived, and they may consider – finally – vaccinating for the good of the community. — Wheelock adjunct professor

No, I was boosted and became severely ill with COVID in January. No one should have to go through an illness that intense. We should continue to do things to protect one another like distance and wear masks. — GRS junior

Yes. There has been an overreaction to this “pandemic” and people need to be allowed to live their lives. The general public should not be mandated to cater to the terrified few. Accommodations should be extended to those individuals, not the other way around. We’ve lived with the flu forever. Why can’t we do that with this too? Mandates and masking is not a proportional response, especially when greater than 60% of current hospitalizations are from vaccinated individuals. Vaccine or not (just like the flu) people will still get it and it has a <.01% death rated. — ENG junior

I am ready to be on campus without masks. But living with Covid means hybrid work and being ready to mask up when the next wave comes. — GSDM HP & HSR, Instructor

Ready? We are living with the virus. At this point, everyone that is going to be vaccinated is vaccinated. We need to trust the science and move on. — Scene shop manager

I am not a pessimist but I think relaxing the wearing of masks during the winter season is risky. We should continue with the fight now that we seem to be having an upper hand over the pandemic. Notwithstanding my views, I respect the scientists, they know best whatever they say goes for me. — CAS senior

  I teach at BU and have a child less than 5 years old. For me this question is already something I am living. I will not be doing anything different. I will still mask and distance for him and for all vulnerable individuals like him (children, compromised etc). No eating out, no crowds. I wish I could change the hearts of many to feel that it is worth keeping up masking and other measures to protect parents like me and in turn my children. My own behavior will reflect the care for others.

— CAS research assistant professor

Haven’t we already been living with the virus? We’ve had the virus twice, it’s indistinguishable from a head cold. As a family we’ve moved on long ago. Very ready for BU to institutionally move on and stop testing, remove mask mandates and stop forcing isolation. — CAS assistant professor

Because the vaccine is generally accessible to the BU population, and because the mildness is extremely higher with the vaccine, it doesn’t make sense to keep disrupting life because of what feels like a common cold. — COM junior

I think the whole concept of “living with the virus” is utterly abhorrent. Not only are disabled and immunocompromised people not able to choose to “live with the virus”, but no children under the age of 5 are vaccinated, and children have consistently been shown to be at risk for severe COVID cases. All of these people deserve to participate in society to the same extent as everyone else, and their ability to do so is directly predicated on the measures the rest of us take to limit the risk of transmission in public spaces. Furthermore, even fully vaccinated and boosted people can go on to develop severe lifelong disabilities, so “living with the virus” means choosing to condemn people to a life of disability in a country that even before the pandemic actively made it difficult for disabled people to do just about anything. — GRS sophomore

Yes, I am ready to start living with this virus because the alternative- forever living in fear of it – is not okay. I will wear a mask in situations that feel it is warranted (large gatherings, around my elderly relatives). I plan to continue with other precautions depending on the situation, but I would like to be the one making the decisions rather then following blanket mandates. Most importantly, I would like to see our students have some normalcy again. I hope for them that the mask mandate will be lifted and weekly testing discontinued. — Kilachand Honors College administrative assistant

We have been living with the virus. I don’t think that means it’s time to cast aside all safety precautions and just let it be the worries and problems of the at-risk population. Everyone talks about getting “back to normal” but that will never happen again. We need to find a more empathetic future where everyone can live safely and happily. If mask mandates go down in Boston I personally will have to choose between my job and my health. I work in foodservice and its already so hard to deal with the stress of possible exposure from those who are more careless, if mask mandates go away that risk will increase even more. I can only hope that once I graduate I can get a less public-facing job and have some level of protection, especially if the world is deciding to “move on.” — CAS senior

I am ready to start living with the virus. To me, this means continued caution when feeling ill (calling out of work/school, wearing a mask in public) and continued support by employers/schools for engaging in these safety measures (because people cannot practice pro-health behaviors without a system that supports them in doing so). Additional accommodations for such pro-health behaviors (virtual/remote learning and meeting) should continue for all students/employees who wish to engage in spread-slowing safety precautions, regardless of the illness they may have. Such responsibility on behalf of the system and the individual should allow for the removal of all public mask mandates, vaccine mandates, or other policies that are not/have not been in place for other common illnesses. — SSW senior

No. It means that older, disabled, compromised immune staff become second class members of the university, the way they are second class members of society. The idea that we risk the lives of those who are most impacted by Covid so that the people least impacted by Covid can go back to “normal” is ableist and classist. — COM part-time faculty

I am cautiously ready to “start” living as I trust science and medicine. However I think it will take some time before I feel even remotely comfortable in a packed/full space – whether that’s public transportation, in a classroom or in the grocery store. I do think that workplaces and schools should still offer a hybrid option because there are a lot of situations that families have where health risks pose a huge concern (like my parents!). We’ve proven we can be effective at remote and hybrid learning so why can’t that be our new norm if it accommodates everyone at their own need? — BUSM senior faculty

I don’t think anyone can sanely live with the virus. I know I’m prepared to wear my mask to keep myself and those around me safe but as of now I can barely remember what it was like pre-pandemic. I get anxious when people come too close to me and sitting next to a stranger feels strange. Oftentimes seeing someone without a mask makes me upset. However, people are not doing what they need to do to help fight this pandemic and at the end of the day I am willing to stay inside, wear my mask, and do whatever I can do so that our younger generation do not have to live like this. — SAR freshman

Yes, but I will still wear a mask indoors during the winter season in certain settings. This will help protect me from respiratory pathogens. — Pathology professor

I think I will forever wear a mask in public because I have multiple comorbidities for COVID. But I’m still not as afraid for myself as I am for my friends and acquaintances who are immunocompromised. Society has shown with the push to normal that it really doesn’t care about disabled people or other vulnerable communities. Especially when those who refuse to get vaccinated claim it’s okay b/c it’s their choice, but they’re really taking the lives of disabled people into their hands. Disabled people are talking publically all over the internet about how they feel their lives don’t matter. Add to that the fact that long COVID is a disabling event and now there’s going to be SO many more people in this group that society has proven it doesn’t care about or want to protect. — Alumnus

Absolutely. There is no such thing as ZERO RISK. Actions such as getting booster shots, along with taking additional precautions if/when there may be future surges helps mitigate risks. But during periods where COVID presents lower risk, I’m willing to accept the risk if it means no mandates of any kind. — Alumnus

I am not ready to start living with the virus. I am not ready to return to “normal”. I am not ready to give up on public health measures. This pandemic has taken an enormous toll on my mental, physical, and emotional health. It has put a strain on my relationships and has increased the stress of being in school, which was already unhealthily high. We are all tired of the pandemic, but I strongly believe we cannot and should not give up. Wearing a mask may be uncomfortable, yes, but it is a key preventative measure. Regular testing may be inconvenient, but it’s worth it. I don’t know my classmates’ lives and they don’t know mine, yet our lives depend on one another. A classmate’s weekend activities could result in my being infected with COVID, and vice versa. Regular testing and mask wearing is a must. No if, ands, or buts about it. — SPH freshman

“Living with the virus” sounds like we should be ready to consider it as no big deal. Most of the focus seems to be on the mildness of symptoms at the time of infection and the ease of spreading it. But a disease that leaves some people fighting to recover normal function for weeks, months, or indefinitely is not something we should just accept. Until we know how to predict who is most at risk of long COVID and can treat those symptoms, I don’t think this is a disease we should regard on the same level as the common cold. Of course, if a disease that has killed over 966,000 Americans couldn’t get us all on the same page then there’s little hope that we’ll band together to avoid a long-term affliction with such a wide range of effects and severity. — ENG junior

No. School settings are cramped and stuffy and I would not feel comfortable in them without masks and testing. “Living with the virus” is a frustrating phrase originally peddled by the same folks peddling medical misinformation that has prolonged this pandemic. Regardless, to the extent we choose to “live with the virus,” we must continue with basic, non-disruptive mitigation measures like masking and regular testing. Proceeding without these things is not “living with the virus” but pretending that the virus doesn’t exist, and will put students at risk. Disabled or immunocompromised students will be especially at risk considering the abysmal response they have received from the university and the hardships they have endured trying and failing to achieve reasonable accommodations from the institution which only seems concerned with money.  — LAW second year

I have a toddler who cannot yet be vaccinated. The existence of this group of humans, and the large number of families with young children, has been repeatedly ignored by people talking about Covid-19 and how things are “normal” because of vaccination. The idea of mask mandates disappearing is rather troubling. Every time I think about doing something simple, like bringing my toddler to the grocery store, I have to do so many mental calculations about his safety. Mask mandates disappearing makes things that much harder. If we had not had mask mandates in BU classrooms this year, I really don’t know if I would have chosen to teach.  — Part-time instructor and research assistant, Wheelock

No, not really. For most healthy, abled people, the virus won’t be a big deal if they’re vaxxed, but it’s pretty ableist to assume we can relax our protocols and act like the virus isn’t still among us just because *most* people don’t suffer that much from getting the virus. It’s still an issue for a lot of people and it’s a huge issue for people who are chronically ill. It’s our duty to continue to stay vigilant to protect our community. — CFA freshman

Yes. Masks are still a hindrance and many states have seen success without them. — ENG freshman

It is time to move on. Everyone who has wanted to get vaccinated and boosted has (BU has mandated it). Continuing to test people with no symptoms is also a waste. It is time to move on. One can get any other sickness or get hit by a car or the T on the way to class. We do not need to still be forcing people to live like it’s April 2023 at this point in time. — Questrom senior

“Living with the virus” is a vague phrase that has come to mean “drop all public health preventive measures.” No, I am not ready to drop all public health preventive measures. Widespread transmission of SARS-CoV-2 will continue to result in death, illness, and disability, for everyone and particularly for the socially and medically vulnerable. Widespread transmission and infection also provide opportunities for the virus to mutate in unpredictable ways. There is no evidence that widespread transmission of SARS-CoV-2 will result in long-term immunity or less-virulent strains of the virus. The responsible path forward at BU is to continue regular testing, use of high-quality masks, vaccine mandates, support for sick and caregiving community members to stay home, and opportunities for hybrid participation. — SPH sophomore

ABSOLUTELY – no masks, no testing, no restrictions, no guidelines. — Questrom junior

Yes, we can move forward but mask mandates still need to be up. Masks should still be required in crowded public places and on public transportation. — MET junior

I am ready to start living with the virus in the sense that I want to be doing all the fun things I can do as a senior in Boston without the guilt or fear of doing something wrong. I think we are seeing many things begin to loosen and operate in pre-pandemic ways. While I am fortunate enough to be healthy, I understand that everyone is not. Even though someone like me would not be scared of getting it, I also understand that not everyone has this situation. So while I personally am ready, I certainly understand the many reasons not to because we must still look out for each other. — CAS senior

Yes. We are all boosted. No masks mandated. Just if you personally want to. Symptomatic testing only. — Staff, Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation.

While I do trust human ingenuity and technology, I believe that COVID-19 will always be smarter than us. Just like the flu virus, it will likely circumvent complete vaccination for years to come due to mutations in its genome. I believe we should begin to embrace this new normal. While we should continue to protect vulnerable individuals, we can’t live with masks on our faces forever. — CAS freshman

Yes, absolutely. I think that we should learn from New York and remove mask mandates. It would mean I get to live a more natural life, with things being back to normal again. Not having to wear a mask would make a huge difference when I go to the gym. It would also make a huge difference in being able to see the full appearance of people. — Questrom junior

It is long overdue that we embraced the Covid-19 virus as just another virus in our midst. In my mind, the risk for me ended once I got vaccinated in Spring 2023. I feel absolutely no need to wear a mask on this campus or anywhere else in the City of Boston, and haven’t for a long time now. Boston University should immediately drop its indoor mask mandate. Those who wish to, or need to, wear a mask should continue to do so without judgment. This is long overdue for a community of 95%+ vaccinated individuals. To this day, I do not recognize many of the students in my department. I have never seen the faces of many of our student employees! Release us and allow us to take confidence in the vaccinations and in one another. — CAS financial administrator

Realizing that the willingly unvaccinated are never going to change their minds (unless they are hospitalized), and that they make up enough of the US population to prevent herd immunity, then we must learn to live with Covid. We have no choice, as it has been forced upon us. Let’s hope that as the Omicron variant continues to decline, that a more deadly variant doesn’t rise up. We were lucky that Omicron was less deadly. Imagine if it was super contagious. — IS&T, senior automation administrator

I’m tired of watching people who barely cooperated with the most basic of measures in the first place attempt to strong arm the entire group into giving up altogether. I’ve patiently waited, gotten my vaccine doses and booster shot, observed all of the guidelines, and tried to model good behavior to my friends and family as they revealed themselves to be believers in magical thinking rather than the scientific method. The pandemic is not over, but we missed our opportunity to stop it before it became endemic. At this point, I’d prefer not to automatically know that someone disregards my safety and well-being through a casual glance at their face. — Desktop support specialist

No. My wife is immunocompromised (and I have conditions that put me at higher risk for severe illness). We don’t know if she’s protected at all, despite getting four vaccine shots. To us, relaxing now may be no different than relaxing before vaccines were in place. I get wanting to return to normal, but it essentially says “oh well, guess it’s time to see if this is something you’ll survive or not. We’re tired of protecting you, so good luck, hope you don’t die.” — Staff, College of Arts and Sciences

We kind of already are! Though long covid and lung scarring still scare me, and I’ll be keeping my guard up. — Associate director, ENG career development office

Unfortunately, yes. When people refused to wear masks or get vaccinated I began to resign myself to this reality. However, I hope that one day we can live without COVID-19. — GRS junior

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