Day: June 29, 2020

How much does your boss need to know about you?

As more people start to return to their workplaces, many employers are introducing new ways to check up on their staff, from thermal scanners to wristbands.

For workers at any of Ford’s sites worldwide, there are two new steps to the morning routine. First, answer three health questions, on your mobile phone, confirming you aren’t a risk to your co-workers. Then, getting scanned at the entrance to your workplace to check you aren’t running a temperature.

It’s not just Ford, these measures are now typical for many firms as employees return. Amazon, Walmart and dozens of others – including the BBC – have introduced thermal scanners. The move is broadly welcomed by workforces, as keen as their bosses to ensure the virus is contained.

“We’ve not had anyone say no,” says Ford’s John Gardiner. “Knowing the risks, people understand we’re doing as much as we can to protect their health

Read More

Sales of canoes, kayaks, other outdoor gear rebound during the coronavirus pandemic

MILWAUKEE – On a Thursday morning in mid-March, Darren Bush was poised to open Canoecopia, the largest event of its kind in the world. Bush, the owner of Rutabaga Paddlesports in Monona, Wisconsin, was nervous about the emerging threat of COVID-19, but safer-at-home had not been implemented. 

Vendors from across North America were setting up 250,000 square feet of canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and other outdoor gear for the three-day trade show scheduled to begin the next day, Friday the 13th, at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.  

Months of work had gone into the planning. About 20,000 people were expected to attend.

Then, Bush got word that Gov. Tony Evers was having a news conference where he declared a public health emergency. 

Bush went home.

On that Thursday, he needed to step away from the pressure of organizing Canoecopia, where scores of small-business owners and salespeople counted on his decisions.

Read More

Cubs say 2 staffers test positive for COVID-19

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

Chicago Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer says two staff members have COVID-19 and were experiencing mild symptoms.

Hoyer would not reveal their names. He says one was tested because ”a friend of a friend had it and he’d been in contact with that person,” and the other was ”out of an abundance of caution.”

Hoyer says no players have tested positive or opted out of this season because of concerns about the coronavirus, nor have any coaches.

The New York Jets are offering fans refunds or payment deferrals on season tickets this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The team began emailing season ticket holders Monday to alert them about their options. The Jets also are deferring season ticket payments for July, as they have done each of the last three months.

Jets season

Read More

‘Do we still want to move?’ Homebuyers rush back in droves despite pandemic

Dr. Rishi Manchanda toured empty homes in Los Angeles, California. By appointment only. In gloves and masks, and six feet from the real estate agent. But even in a pandemic, Manchanda and his family were still ready to buy a home.

“Nobody knew what was coming and the housing experts we talked to were uncertain about the market,” Manchanda said. “So, it came down to a simple question: ‘Do we still want to move?’”

Read more: Coronavirus: Here’s what to do if you can’t pay your mortgage

For Manchanda and many other buyers, the answer remains yes. He’s part of the wave of homebuyers who are flooding the market after the coronavirus and state lockdowns halted the economy in April, interrupting the busiest home-buying season of the year.

Now they’re back — in spite of outbreaks and an unsteady economy — and they face old and new foes: a persistent

Read More

Jacksonville, the host of GOP convention, mandating masks; Broadway closed until 2021;

The city scheduled to host the GOP convention is mandating masks and Broadway stages will remain dark through 2020 amid a national boom in coronavirus cases. However, the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert remains “cautiously optimistic” that a vaccine could be widely available by year’s end.

Also, a drug company’s steep price for remdesivir, a drug that has proved to shorten recovery times for severe COVID-19 patients by about 31%, is drawing criticism.

Jacksonville, Florida, on Monday joined the growing ranks of cities requiring face coverings to help curb spread of the virus. It’s not clear how long the order will remain in place. The Republican convention is scheduled for Aug. 24-27 at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville and President Donald Trump has famously refused to wear a mask in public.

Nashville, Tennessee, is requiring masks as of Monday. San Francisco Mayor London Breed halted its plans for 

Read More

Billions of dollars in aid for small businesses go unclaimed

NEW YORK (AP) — Billions of dollars offered by Congress as a lifeline to small businesses struggling to survive the pandemic are about to be left on the table when a key government program stops accepting applications for loans.

Business owners and advocacy groups complain that the money in the Paycheck Protection Program was not fully put to work because the program created obstacles that stopped countless small businesses from applying. For those that did seek loans, the ever-changing application process proved to be an exercise in futility.

“It was a flawed structure to begin with,” said John Arensmeyer, CEO of Small Business Majority, an advocacy group. “It favored established businesses. It was set up to give money to people with strong banking relationships.”

The program’s shortcomings also made it more difficult for minority businesses to get loans, according to a report from the Center for Responsible Lending, a research

Read More

What does Miami distillery make when bars are closed? (Hint: Don’t drink it.)

Toast Distillers’ signature product was premium vodka. But when unemployment increased and medical supplies became scarce nationwide, Toast switched formulas to solve both problems.

The company hired 15 new employees as it shifted production from spirits to hand sanitizer, said founder and CEO Dieuveny “DJ” Jean Louis. The “EZ Hand Sanitizer” is created in a partnership with the Cosmetic Corporation of America, Inc. and Veritas Farms, Inc.., which sells its products in Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid.

“When the whole pandemic happened, we saw a window of opportunity,” he said.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic Toast distillers began using their alcohol distilling facility to produce hand sanitizer. It is mostly for sale but they have donated as well.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic Toast distillers began using their alcohol distilling facility to produce hand sanitizer. It is mostly for sale but they have donated as well.

Toast Distillers now employs about 30 people. Louis said he has not had to apply for any government aid because of a public demand for the new product. Toast Distillers came together

Read More

How Black Creators Kept Us Going During Quarantine Season

Anxiety around the coronavirus is common for everyone right now, but with news that Black people are four times more likely to die from the virus than their white counterparts, there is a collective weariness among the Black community. The innovative and responsive creative output of Black creators has been a respite from the heaviness that rests on each of us as COVID-19 not only impacts our lives, but the lives of those we deeply love and care for. 

Each and every night, social media sites such as Instagram Live felt like using a Sky Box for the first time: inundated with choice. Feeds were alight with pink glowing circles as people launched game shows, hosted talks, played music, led workout sessions and instructed bake-a-longs. There is no doubt that Black content creators pushed boundaries during lockdown season and gave us small pockets of joy during such an uncertain time. 

Read More

Parents and kids hate online learning, but they could face more of it

In his suburban New Jersey home-turned-classroom this spring, parent Don Seaman quickly found himself in the role of household vice principal.

While his wife holed up in the bedroom to work each day, Seaman, a media and marketing professional, worked from the family room where he could supervise his children’s virtual learning. A similar scene played out in millions of American homes after schools shuttered and moved classes online to contain the coronavirus.

Now that the year’s over, Seaman has strong feelings about the experience: Despite the best efforts of teachers, virtual learning didn’t work. At least not uniformly, if his three children in elementary, middle and high school are any indication.

“The older kids were saying ‘This is hell,'” Seaman said. “My kids feel isolated, and they can’t keep up, and they’re struggling with it.”

But like it or not, remote instruction and virtual learning are likely to continue

Read More

This critical link could help bridge America’s racial wealth gap

The racial wealth gap — the disparity in median wealth between the different races — is a persistent struggle, and it appears to be worsening, especially between White and Black Americans.

According to a recent study by McKinsey & Co., Black Americans can expect to earn up to $1 million less than White Americans over their lifetime. The median White family had more than 10 times the wealth of the median Black family in 2016, according to the Federal Reserve’s most recent Survey of Consumer Finances. White families had the highest level of median wealth, at $171,000, while Black families median wealth was $17,600 and Latino families was $20,700.

White workers, on average, are paid more than Black and Latinx workers at almost every education level, according to a 2018 report by the Economic Policy Institute. Whites with an advanced degree received an hourly wage of $44.46, while Latinx earned

Read More