COVID-19 Weekly Update – January 13th 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic may have an economic impact far beyond last year and the next 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 that…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – January 7th 2021 and Welcome to 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 Weekly Update – December 23rd 2020

Hoping that you are busy, making holiday plans, while scanning the news about the COVID-19 Relief Bill 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…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – December 16th 2020

To say that 2020 has been a wild ride is an understatement. This article in the Wall Street Journal takes a look at surveys, economic data, and research papers to get an idea of what’s changed and what might be coming our way. The pandemic forced many of us to work from home, and that trend may be here to stay. But the increase in productivity came at a cost:…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – December 9th 2020

States that depend heavily on tourism have suffered greatly during the pandemic, and a few are taking creative steps to diversify their economies by attracting new remote workers. For example, Hawaii’s new “Movers and Shakas” program offers free roundtrip airfare to remote workers willing to spend at least 30 days working in that state and to contribute in some way to the local community. Tulsa is offering grants of $10,000…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – December 2nd 2020

After months of only bad news about the spread of COVID-19, recent announcements of successful trials of three different vaccines bring a sense of optimism that the return to “normal” is on the way. Pfizer was first, and chartered flights bringing the vaccine to the U.S. from Belgium began on November 27. By mid-December, people may begin receiving that vaccine. A vaccine by Moderna has also completed trials and that…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – November 25th 2020 & Wishing You a Safe Happy Thanksgiving

One of the positive side effects of the pandemic has been reduced traffic on interstate highways. A group of amateur race car drivers decided to take advantage of the empty roads to revive the “Cannonball Run,” a highly illegal endurance race from Manhattan to Los Angeles. The object of this race is to make the run faster than anyone else. Teams plan for months, fine-tuning routes to consider traffic light…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – November 18th 2020

A common criticism of the various safety precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is that none of them is 100% perfect. But, as this article in the Wall Street Journal explains, maybe a “Swiss cheese model” made up of various imperfect layers will be enough to keep us safe. Even the best vaccines aren’t perfect, and it may be as long as a year before one is widely available…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – November 11th 2020 – Remembering Our Veterans!

To all veterans of all branches, we thank you for your sacrifice, your bravery, and the example you set for us all. In short, thank you for your service! To all those who have served, and those who continue to serve… Happy Veterans Day! The pandemic hasn’t hit everyone equally economically, as this article in the Wall Street Journal explains. Manufacturing has largely recovered, but occupations that require face-to-face interaction, such…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – November 4th 2020

When the novel coronavirus hit last winter, doctors were unsure of the most effective treatments. But as the pandemic has continued, doctors are learning, as the fatality rate continues to drop, the best way to survive COVID-19 seems to be to delay catching it, as this article in The Atlantic describes. According to a study cited in the article, the fatality rate in New York City was 25.6% back in…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – October 28th 2020

All around the world, pandemic fatigue is setting in, as the need for social contact outweighs the commitment to following restrictive rules. Unfortunately, this is coinciding with a surge in infection rates in the U.S. and Europe. Asian countries, on the other hand, are managing to return to mostly normal. New infections in China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong, combined, have been around 1,000 per day, while here…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – October 21st 2020

Lately, economists have been talking about a “K-shaped” recovery from the current recession. As this article in The Conversation explains, this kind of recovery happens when different parts of the economy recover at different rates. White-collar workers who can more easily work remotely may have an easier and faster path to recovery than blue-collar and service workers who must be physically present to do their jobs. Moving forward is the…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – September 30th 2020

With our normal routines turned upside down, people have found as many ways to cope with the pandemic as there are neighborhoods. I love the section of the New York Times showing a series of postcard vignettes of neighbors coming together to connect and help each other, check it out. In Los Angeles, a family picks citrus fruit from trees in their neighborhood, sharing the bounty with the owners of the trees…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – August 26th 2020

In the past, automation and technological advances created more jobs than it disrupted, and innovation has greatly improved our lives. However, as this article in the Wall Street Journal reports, economists caution that the COVID-19 pandemic may have accelerated the changes that have already been happening for the last several decades which may be creating a divide between skilled and low-skilled workers. “For many professionals, technology has been a lifeline…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – August 19th 2020

Until scientists develop an effective and safe vaccine, and that vaccine is administered to millions of people, our best means of protection from COVID-19 is herd immunity. Recent models hint that the protective effects of a population that has already been infected by the COVID-19 virus may exist at much lower percentages than previously thought. Instead of requiring that 70 to 80 percent of a population be immune, that threshold…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – August 5th 2020

It’s no surprise to most Americans that the U.S. economy has suffered greatly from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. But what may surprise you is the extent of the decline: a record 32.9% contraction during the second quarter of 2020, the biggest drop since 1947. The virus is still spreading across much of the country, and for 19 straight weeks, more than 1 million people have submitted new claims…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – July 29th 2020

Perhaps the most challenging part of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic is that many infected people never show symptoms or have such mild symptoms it’s easy to chalk that out-of-sorts feeling to a poor night of sleeping. Some estimate that as many as 40% of those infected never exhibit symptoms, and these people could be shedding nearly as much contagious virus as those with full-blown symptoms. This high rate of…  Read more

Should I Accept my SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Offer?

“I got an Offer for an SBA Loan Now What Should I Do?” A few weeks ago I clicked on the email from disastercustomerservice@sba.gov and was a bit surprised that they were inviting me to set up my portal so I could continue my SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application. I said to myself “I got an Offer for an SBA Loan Now What Should I Do?” Then I said…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – July 8 2020

One of the baffling aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic is the fact that we don’t yet know precisely how deadly this virus is. Estimates of the fatality rate range from a low of 0.64%, estimated by analysis of data by Australian researchers, to a high of 16% in Belgium. Many infections are asymptomatic or mild, which means there may be 10 unrecorded cases for each documented infection. What we do…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – July 1, 2020

In the six months since the coronavirus began spreading around the world, doctors have learned many lessons. For example, placing patients on their stomachs seems to alleviate pressure on the lungs, and prevention is crucial. However, some unknowns remain, such as long-term effects of COVID-19 infections and how long it will take patients to recover. A big surprise to medical professionals was how widely asymptomatic carriers could spread the virus.…  Read more

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