Category Archives: Coronavirus threat

Essential workers keep the world going ’round – even in pandemic

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Essential workers without PPE – Photo by Remy Gieling on Unsplash

This strange time in history has me reading and listening to the news more than I ever have. Saw something this morning that got me wondering; Latino workers in essential jobs tend to suffer more infectious outbreaks of COVID-19. So where are these “essential jobs” and what do we know about them?

The Economic Policy Institute conducts extensive studies and recently compiled their 2019 data into tables of demographics about the 55+million workers deemed essential in our country. Those people going to work every day during the COVID pandemic…taking care of our needs despite the danger to themselves and their families. The industries that employ 60+% of essential workers are:

  • Health care – 30.2% of all essential workers
  • Agriculture and food – 20.6%
  • Industrial, commercial, residential facilities and services – 12.3%

All the rest of the industries deemed essential are in single-digit percentages of that 55+ million workers. If you’ve got the time to review, these tables reveal some fascinating facts.

News sources report that many  of these essential workers don’t have adequate access to effective PPE (personal protective equipment like masks and gloves) and are not able to keep proper distancing while working in close quarters. Unsurprisingly, then, they get infected in greater numbers with the coronavirus.

Imagine a world without enough people to work these jobs…with limited access to the services these workers provide.

Say thank you to these folks when you see them they do their thing: Treat your sciatica. Repair your vehicle. Cook your meal. Drop off your package. Fill your tooth. Deliver your food. PIck up your garbage. Take your temperature. Do your laundry. Drive you home.

And if you have any ability to affect such things, stand up for their right to be protected during this pandemic. Thank you, people.

P.S. Oh, and check out the wages table. The average gap between male and female pay in many industries looks to be ~$2 to $4/hour. Yep, really.

 

 

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Virtual everything? Dress up your meetings with free backgrounds

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We already had dozens of brick-and-mortar closings around the city  with the advent and increasingly widespread use of the Internet. I was particularly sad to see the iconic Michigan Avenue location of Crate & Barrel close down recently and give way to a 4-story Starbucks – also now closed down in our #coronaviruslockdown. I told a few cab drivers – before this craziness – I guess the only thing we can’t get online these days is a hot cup of coffee…

But thank God so many of us did adapt to the use of new technologies, from blogs to smartphones to Google search. Seems it may be how we all learned so quickly about the seriousness of this threat to public health and began to avoid going out and exposing ourselves and others. Yes, radio and television are still at work, but it’s just as  likely we heard about the danger online, in emails, and maybe on our smart home devices if we set them up to play news for us.

Even more importantly, many of us already knew how to use FaceTime (if we have iPhones) and Duo if we have Android. We already knew how to “see” each other via technology. And now  many of use are becoming seasoned users of conference/meeting software like GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts and Zoom.

Treat your fellow meeting folks to a gorgeous background

In the spirit of sharing and adding some joy to our newly boxed-in lives, here’s a way to make your Zoom presence even more appreciated by your fellow participants. Here are results from a Google search for FREE Zoom backgrounds you can use to dress up your meetings.

And if you love Chicago, 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck (875 N. Michigan Avenue) now offers beautiful backdrops to give your friends/coworkers something to admire other than your home office.

From twinkling city lights at sunset to stunning lakefront and skyline scenes only found in Chicago, it’s easy and free to swap out “inside” views for aspirational views of gorgeous panoramic views found only at 360 CHICAGO and TILT from its 94th floor perch.

360Chicago background for Zoom

It’s easy and free. Simply visit https://360chicago.com/zoom-backgrounds/ to download free images…visit often to download the rotating options. Follow on social @360chicago and #360Chicago on all social networks.

And here, too, are some lovely decorator backgrounds from the good folks at Williams-Sonoma. https://blog.williams-sonoma.com/work-from-home-in-high-style-with-zoom-backgrounds/

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Thank you to those who continue to serve in these perilous times

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Coronavirus looks like it’s going to be around for quite a while. Thank you to the scientists who are working assiduously to find a vaccine and/or a viable treatment. Thank you to the brave people who continue to work in critical industries – health, food, utilities and so on – despite the threat. May they remain healthy and their work bear fruit soon.

We are all of us being called upon now to meet challenges unheard-of in the lifetimes of any of us alive today. We can try to support the industries most threatened – restaurants, theaters, etc. – to the best of our abilities (e.g., here’s a link to donate to help the 130 now-out-of-work staffers at Carnivale Restaurant).  We can live in our newly curtailed worlds – thank God for the Internet – and we need not let fear take us over.

Indo Pacific barrier reef

Nothing is or ever will be the same. To help you find solace and peacefulness as you re-imagine your life, here’s a link to your own personal fish tank – the Georgia Aquarium’s live cam feed of the Indo-Pacific barrier reef.

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