Business Update – July 21 2021

Three weeks ago, new COVID-19 cases were averaging about 11,300 new cases a day, but that rate has now doubled to 23,000 cases per day. According to the CDC, nearly all recent COVID-19 cases and deaths have been among unvaccinated people. The more contagious Delta variant is now the dominant strain in the US, and appears to be more severe. A Scottish study found that the hospitalization rate is about…  Read more

Business Update – July 14 2021

In the wake of the pandemic, many families may find themselves with medical debt from COVID-related hospitalizations. This article from Acorns has four steps to take to reduce damage to credit scores from medical debt. First, review the bill to make sure it’s accurate. See if you can set up a payment plan with the provider. Try to negotiate with the provider to accept rates that are closer to Medicare…  Read more

Business Update – June 30 2021

As the pandemic recedes and businesses reopen, millions are quitting their jobs rather than return to their pre-pandemic routine. Some are seeking out positions where they can be fully remote, while others, particularly in the leisure and hospitality sector, are seeking better work-life balance, higher pay, or a less stressful work environment. The lengthy experiment with remote work has changed what people think about where and how they want to…  Read more

Business Update – June 2 2021

How will the COVID-19 pandemic end? Scientists who study global pandemics of the past observe that previous pandemics have subsided over time, generally in 18 months or so. The virus itself seems to become less deadly, and becomes more of an endemic seasonal illness. At the same time, our immune systems become better able to fight them off. At least that has been the pattern in the past. It is…  Read more

Business Update – May 26 2021

A year ago, consumers were snapping up essentials like cleaning wipes and toilet paper in a panic-driven frenzy. Today, as economies around the world reopen, businesses are in a similar panic-driven frenzy to stock up. Supply lines have not yet recovered to pre-pandemic capacity, and recent events, including the Suez Canal blockage, a deep freeze in the southeast, and disruption of an East coast pipeline from hacking, are all combining…  Read more

Business Update – May 19 2021

For many people, large, life-shattering events can provide a break point for making dramatic life changes that improve life going forward. Arthur Brooks, writing for The Atlantic, suggests that the pandemic provides all of us with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do just that. To take advantage of this, Brooks suggests dividing a paper into four quadrants, with columns for things you like and things you dislike, and rows for pre-…  Read more

Business Update – May 5 2021

Fall’s visual attraction is colored leaves, while spring’s comparable pleasure comes from waterfalls, as this guide to waterfalls describes. In New Hampshire, Crawford Notch State Park is home to 10 waterfalls, ranging from 200’ Arethusa Falls to smaller Silver Cascade. In California, the most well-known is Yosemite Falls, while Rainbow Falls near Mammoth Lakes won’t be accessible until snowplows clear the roads around mid-June. Mount Rainier National Park in Washington…  Read more

COVID-19 Business Update – April 28 2021

A year into the pandemic, and we’d all like to see it behind us. But there are disquieting signs that the virus may part of our lives for longer than we want. The longer the virus can spread through a non-immunized population, the more chances it has to mutate into strains that are more contagious or more dangerous. Although vaccination rates are still far below what is needed to slow…  Read more

COVID-19 Business Update – April 21 2021

As the pandemic wears on, many people have been reporting a sense of “brain fog.” Memory problems and an inability to think clearly or to concentrate in meetings may be the brain’s response to the stress of the pandemic, our isolation, and the sameness of our days, according to neuroscientists interviewed by The Guardian. Our brains are wired to respond to novel situations, but the repetitive nature of working from…  Read more

COVID-19 Business Update – April 14 2021

We’ve been spending more of our time staring at electronic screens all day, and rumors abound about the possible negative consequences of that, as this piece in Lifehacker explains. Eyestrain is real, but the blue light from our screens won’t damage eyes. Simply holding your device a bit further from your eyes may reduce just as much blue light as expensive blue-light-blocking glasses. Practicing the 20-20-20 rule may help alleviate…  Read more

COVID-19 Business Update – April 7 2021

Rapid vaccine rollout across the U.S. is helping the economy here recover months ahead of European economies, as a Reuters study of data across many platforms shows. Bookings on OpenTable show that the U.S. is gradually returning to nearly normal, while those in Europe are still flatlining. Air travel is increasing, and commercial activity is also improving, especially as stimulus payments hit bank accounts. THE AMERICAN RECOVERY PLAN ACT (ARPA)…  Read more

COVID-19 Business Update – March 31 2021

The state of Florida pursued an open, non-restrictive approach to the pandemic, which appears to have been vindicated by recent stories in the media. However, as Derek Thompson of The Atlantic found when he began investigating the veracity of claims, results are neither as cataclysmic nor as positive as either side claims. While it is true that COVID-19 cases are falling in the state, they are likewise falling across the…  Read more

COVID-19 Business Update – March 24 2021

The greatest benefit of unpleasant experiences is the lessons we learn from them. A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, and we have certainly had plenty of experiences to learn from. The New York Times asked scientists, public health experts, and health advocates about the lessons we should learn for the next pandemic. One interesting lesson is that health care providers who had a nimble approach to keeping people healthy, including…  Read more

COVID-19 Business Update – March 17 2021

Eventually, epidemiologists hope that the coronavirus will become a seasonal pathogen, not much worse than the flu. But the path to that state is not a straight line, as this article in Stat describes, breaking the continued pandemic into short-, middle- and long-term phases. With vaccines steadily reaching more people, most agree that we are at least approaching the end of the “crisis” phase. Over the short-term, we may see…  Read more

COVID-19 Business Update – March 10 2021

When will the pandemic be over? That’s the question that Alexis Madrigal of The Atlantic asked prominent public health experts. While “the end of the pandemic” means “when transmission of COVID-19 ceases” to most non-scientists, that threshold likely won’t be met anytime soon, if ever. One threshold is less than 5,000 new cases and less than 100 COVID deaths per day. By that standard, we have a long way to…  Read more

COVID-19 Business Update – 27 January 2021

For many of us, it was our networks that helped us get through the last year. That was one of the lessons that Ivan Meisner, founder of BNI, learned from 2020. He also learned the value of limiting exposure to bad news by picking up what he needed to know from news apps. One business owner struggled with the stress of working from home while overseeing remote schooling for his…  Read more

COVID-19 Business Update – 20 January 2021

Vaccines for the coronavirus are now being administered around the country, but that may not mean an end to wearing a mask. This article from Kaiser Health News lists five reasons to keep wearing a mask, even after receiving the vaccine. The top two reasons are that no vaccine is 100% effective and that vaccines don’t provide immediate protection. According to one of the experts cited the best way to…  Read more

COVID-19 Business Update – 13 January 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic may have an economic impact far beyond last year and the two or three. A recent report by the World Bank projects global economic growth to slow to 1.9% per year from 2020-2029. Prior to the pandemic, growth was projected to be 2.1%, down from 2.5% over the previous decade. Investments in infrastructure, diversifying economies and supporting the employment of women may help to mitigate or reverse…  Read more

COVID-19 Business Update – 6 January 2021

Happy New Year! Without computer, telecommunication, and cloud technologies, working from home during the pandemic would not have been possible. Looking back at 2020, Gene Marks a contributor at Forbes, put together a list of the 13 tech stories from 2020 that stand out for small business. For example, a Microsoft engineer who exploited a loophole to steal more than $10 million from the company’s online store underlines the need…  Read more

COVID-19 Business Update – 23 December 2020

Because we know you’re busy, we’re keeping this issue extra short. Just in time for Christmas, Jupiter and Saturn appear in close alignment this week, forming what some have called a ‘Christmas Star.’ The last time this happened was in the spring of 1226, when Notre Dame cathedral was under construction. Their closest connection will be on the Winter’s Solstice, when they will look like a double planet. To see…  Read more

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