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The "Re-Opening" the Economy Thread


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11 minutes ago, Warhead36 said:

No surprise. The cards are a little too easy simple/basic and thus easy to forge. There's no real seal or digital certification or anything else like that on it. They'll need to digitize it and make it so people can show their vaccine cards on their smartphones or something like that. 

 

Vaccine passports would solve many of these problems. 

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4 hours ago, Warhead36 said:

No surprise. The cards are a little too easy simple/basic and thus easy to forge. There's no real seal or digital certification or anything else like that on it. They'll need to digitize it and make it so people can show their vaccine cards on their smartphones or something like that. 

 
Which would require creating a database of vaccinations, months after people got vaccinated, without any central records. 

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1 hour ago, Larry said:

 
Which would require creating a database of vaccinations, months after people got vaccinated, without any central records. 

Yeah they really should have done that from the get go, but unfortunately because of the moron we had in the White House we didn't even have a vaccine plan. It really should have been more centralized/federalized so we could track it easier. It looks like it'll probably have to come down to the states who will then feed that info to the feds.

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Drive to repeal law Whitmer used in pandemic clears hurdle

 

A group trying to repeal an emergency powers law that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used for months to issue coronavirus restrictions cleared a key hurdle Monday when the Michigan elections bureau said it collected enough petitions.

 

Unlock Michigan, which has ties to Republicans, submitted an estimated 460,358 valid signatures, more than the roughly 340,000 needed, according to a staff report. If the bipartisan Board of State Canvassers agrees with the recommendation to certify the initiative at a Thursday meeting, the GOP-led Legislature will likely pass the measure rather than let it go to a public vote in 2022. The Democratic governor could not veto it.

 

The 1945 law underpinned Whitmer’s far-reaching COVID-19 orders for nearly seven months. Republican lawmakers sued, and a divided Michigan Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in October. But her opponents say the law should be permanently taken off the books because a future court could rule differently.

 

Democrats won control of the high court in the November election.

 

Since the court decision, the governor has turned to the state health department to keep intact a mask requirement and to tighten and ease capacity restrictions and gathering limits through a public health law whose origins date to the 1918 flu pandemic.

 

Michigan, which is facing a third surge of infections, on Monday reported a record number of hospitalized adults with confirmed COVID-19 cases. The seven-day rate remained highest in the U.S.

 

A separate emergency powers law, from 1976, remains in place. It lets a governor declare an emergency but, unlike with the 1945 law, it and related orders cannot go longer than 28 days without legislative approval.

 

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On 5/21/2020 at 8:26 PM, China said:

After Coronavirus, Office Workers Might Face Unexpected Health Threats

 

When you finally return to work after the lockdown, coronavirus might not be the only illness you need to worry about contracting at the office.

 

Office buildings once filled with employees emptied out in many cities and states as shelter-in-place orders were issued. These structures, normally in constant use, have been closed off and shut down, and health risks might be accumulating in unseen ways.

 

“The buildings aren’t designed to be left alone for months,” said Andrew Whelton, an associate professor of civil, environmental and ecological engineering at Purdue University.

Dr. Whelton, other researchers and public health authorities have issued warnings about the plumbing in these buildings, where water may have gone stagnant in the pipes or even in individual taps and toilets. As lockdowns are lifted, bacteria that build up internally may cause health problems for returning workers if the problem is not properly addressed by facilities managers. Employees and guests at hotels, gyms and other kinds of buildings may also be at risk.

 

The biggest worry is Legionella pneumophila. The bacteria can cause Legionnaires’ disease, a respiratory condition. It leads to death in about one in 10 cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine estimates that over 52,000 Americans suffer from the disease each year.

 

A single small outbreak can sicken many people. During the water crisis that started in Flint, Mich., in 2014 after the city changed its water source and officials failed to inform the public of water quality problems, many people became sick. The crisis was linked to the deaths of 12 people from Legionnaires’ disease.

 

Even if only a small portion of buildings have problems, with so many reopening at once, the researchers fear there will be more outbreaks than usual.

 

“Not every building will have issues but based on what we know, enough of them probably will,” Dr. Proctor said.

 

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Almost a year later and voila:

 

Recent guests of Macon hotel advised about possible Legionnaires' disease exposure

 

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), working with the Macon County Health Department, is advising recent guests of the Comfort Inn & Suites in Macon of a potential health concern resulting from the use of the pool and/or hot tub, or from being in the room where the pool and hot tub are located.

 

DHSS has determined that two individuals diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease this month had used the hot tub and/or pool at the hotel during the last full week in March. It is unknown whether the hotel was the source of the bacteria that caused the two people to become sick. Testing of the hot tub indicated the presence of Legionella bacteria. All other test results were negative. People can get Legionnaires' disease, a serious type of pneumonia, by breathing in small water droplets containing Legionella bacteria. In general, people do not spread Legionnaires' disease to other people.

 

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South Florida McDonald's offers $50 just for people to come in for an interview

 

This is a pretty easy way to earn $50.

 

As restaurants across the country are reportedly facing staffing issues, one fast-food franchise owner in Florida has come up with a unique solution to entice people to come in for interviews. Despite adding a particular benefit to the interview session, the restaurant is still reportedly having trouble finding staff.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Federal judge overturns national eviction ban

 

Federal Judge Dabney Friedrich struck down on Wednesday the national eviction moratorium, potentially leaving millions of Americans at risk of losing their homes two months earlier than expected.

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has banned most evictions across the country since September. The protection was slated to expire at the end of January, but President Joe Biden has extended it, first until April, and later through June.

 

Some 1 in 5 renters across the U.S. are struggling to keep up with their payments amid the coronavirus pandemic, and states are scrambling to disburse more than $45 billion in rental assistance allocated by Congress.

 

A spokesman for the Department of Justice said it planned to appeal the ruling. It also seeks a stay of the decision, meaning the ban would remain in effect throughout the court battle.

 

Speaking at her daily briefing, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said the Biden administration recognized the importance of the eviction moratorium for Americans who've fallen behind on rent during the pandemic.

 

"A recent study estimates that there were 1.55 million fewer evictions filed during 2020 than would be expected due to the eviction moratorium, so it clearly has had a huge benefit," Psaki said.

 

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Posted (edited)

There's a discussion in another thread discussing the $300 PUA but I thought I'd put my reply here since it's more 'economy' related:

 

I don't think the extra $300 is impacting a persons decision to find work. Sure, some are but I would guess <10% of the total are not looking for work.

If someone was making $30k pre-covid they're probably getting 50-60% of that in UI ~$340/week + $300PUA = $640/wk. Working gets them $577/wk at $30k. The max UI you can get in VA is $378/wk. That plus $300/PUA is $678 which is $35k/yr. 

 

I think there's been a mass exodus in the restaurant business. People left it & there are very few people getting into it. The restaurants aren't busy enough to make decent money right now. Retail places aren't paying enough to attract people plus that industry is supported by a lot of part-time people working 2nd jobs. Retailers are just starting to get busy as bans are lifted. I think more people will return to retail work as spending goes up & kids return to school full-time. But there are fewer places to work as a lot of the retailers went out of business. 

 

One of our hangouts lost 2 of their full-time bartenders 2 weeks ago - 1 left to go back to baking & the other left for a bar manager job at a country club. Yeah, our hangout is struggling to find experienced bartenders. And their business has picked up significantly the past 6-7 weeks. 0

 

Starting May 30th, people on UI in VA will need to record the people they interviewed with during the week (I think they need to have at least 2). These are the same rules as pre-Covid. I saw some other states are discontinuing the PUA money which they think will cause a mass flow of unemployed to fill the open jobs. I'm betting it won't impact anything in those states & VA. Here's the current VA numbers:

 

image.thumb.png.194a38b2fd6b93e543de4956f30616cc.png

 

https://www.vec.virginia.gov/UI-press-release

 

Edit: Added the link

Edited by EmirOfShmo
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I also suspect that Covid has likely caused disruptions in a lot of markets, that may be permanent. 
 

Shutdowns caused a huge spike in Amazon and similar shopping. Some of that market isn't going to come back to in-person.
 

Same thing with streaming, and movies.
 

I could see restaurants and bars maybe coming back to pre-Covid levels. I'm not certain. But maybe. 

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21 minutes ago, Larry said:

 

I could see restaurants and bars maybe coming back to pre-Covid levels. I'm not certain. But maybe. 

I suspect both will return to pre-COVID levels, with a spike above pre-COVID levels when we are 100% open for business.

 

I know the one thing I took for granted that I miss the most is going out to a restaurant, being served hot food and enjoying the company of others in the process.

 

Takeout is getting old.  The food rarely makes it home in takeout containers anywhere remotely as good.

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Eating at Waffle House for dinner and they blocked off half the restaurant. Only one waitress and one cook. 
 

It probably is time to end benefits. 

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42 minutes ago, Rdskns2000 said:

Eating at Waffle House for dinner and they blocked off half the restaurant. Only one waitress and one cook. 
 

It probably is time to end benefits. 


Maybe the fact that some jobs exist isn't a good reason for cutting everybody off. Maybe something less binary. 
 

"If you get a job now, we'll continue your benefits for three weeks" might encourage people to go back. Maybe pay off some delinquencies. It keeps the government money flowing into the economy. And if there's only enough jobs for some, the rest are still covered. 

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1 hour ago, Rdskns2000 said:

Eating at Waffle House for dinner and they blocked off half the restaurant. Only one waitress and one cook. 
 

It probably is time to end benefits. 

Or raise minimum wage.

 

If you can't afford to pay your employees a fair and decent wage then you shouldn't be an employer.

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Washingtonian staffers protest CEO's 'public threat' to return to in-person work

 

Staffers at the Washingtonian, a monthly DC-based magazine, are protesting Friday in response to their CEO's opposition of remote work.

 

On Thursday, The Washington Post published an opinion piece by Washingtonian Media CEO Cathy Merrill with the headline, "As a CEO, I want my employees to understand the risks of not returning to work in the office."


Many journalists, including those at the Washingtonian, have been working remotely for the last year because of Covid-19 restrictions that forced newsrooms to close their doors along with other workplaces around the country.


In the piece, Merrill suggested that part of employees' job is to go to the office and participate in in-person activities such as "mentoring more junior people" and "celebrating someone's birthday." She went on to say managers have a "strong incentive" to change an employee's work status to "contractor" if they do not participate in "those extras."


"That would also mean not having to pay for health care, a 401(k) match and our share of FICA and Medicare taxes — benefits that in my company's case add up roughly to an extra 15 percent of compensation," Merrill wrote. "Not to mention the potential savings of reduced office space and extras such as bonuses and parking fees."


Merill finished her piece by saying that those who maintained personal relationships with their bosses would have more job security, because "the hardest people to let go are the ones you know."

 

The outrage that ensued prompted the CEO to walk back her remarks in a internal memo to staff Friday saying that "flexible with work schedules and time in the office" along with health and 401K benefits will not change. Merrill also said she is not going to switch full time workers to freelancer status, as she alluded to in her op-ed.
 

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Fed worker here.  We went to max telework and now our office seems to be pushing to see metrics at 50% in the office in June.  I have been a supervisor for the past 6 months.  

 

For the past 12+ months all we heard was, "you are doing a great job accomplishing the mission on max telework".   To a tee, all of my employees said that they felt happier on max telework, were more than willing to pick up the phone when I called on the border of quitting time, and we all have enjoyed the telework flexibility.  Sure, we have increased meetings and comms -- but those aren't going to let up; telework forced us to think and be more intentional and communicative.   We even have a daily call before we are all technically at work, but no one is complaining and its effective to talk daily plans.  

 

Things about being in the office like wasting time getting lunch (20 steps from your own personal fridge), finding conference space (we can get together in teams within 5 minutes), and the inefficiency of random chitchat and banter -- not to mention workplace background noise we will all endure when we come back, away from the closed door offices we all enjoyed from home.  Everyone had their own space and office in the comfort of home.  The once a year emails about people putting stuff they shouldn't in the toilets or doing worse to the bathrooms --- we didn't get that this year!  

 

I bet EEO and harassment claims are at an all time low.  My boss is asking me to come in twice a week and I already have directly told him my concerns.  "Happy cows produce more milk".  He seems cool, but who knows if he will get pressure to make his "numbers" look 50%.  But when I can, I will modify everyone's telework plans to 4 days or 5 for most employees rather than the contingency we are on.  

 

I am not against coming into the office for valid reasons, I had two face-to-face meetings just to interface with my group and I think every couple of weeks are good.  But to be in the office just to work from the office?  Comon man... when I see my cubicle I feel.... "Why do I need to work from here?" 

 

I honestly get that many supervisors were old-school and not like me as far as using MS Teams and adjusting folks are surprised that my team meets so often.  The one thing I don't like is the phone situation... using personal phones. 

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On 4/19/2021 at 4:04 PM, Larry said:

 
Which would require creating a database of vaccinations, months after people got vaccinated, without any central records. 

Sounds like the records are in a database.  Just need a good front end to access them.

 

While state and local immunization registries do store individual coronavirus vaccination data, officials said there’s no current system that would allow businesses, schools and other organizations to easily check the databases to see if a visitor was presenting a falsified paper card.”

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/04/19/daily-202-theres-boom-fake-coronavirus-vaccine-cards/

 

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