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TBC Weekly Newsletter September 21, 2020

CDC Walks Back Updated Testing Guidelines https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2020/08/27/cdc-walks-back-surprise-coronavirus-asymptomatic-testing-guidelines/5645630002/  The CDC has walked back controversial testing guidelines that were revealed to not have been written by the agency.    The White House Blocked Initiative to Provide Americans With Masks https://www.businessinsider.com/white-house-blocked-usps-from-sending-face-masks-to-all-households-2020-9  The White House blocked the USPS from distributing 5 reusable face masks to every US household in […]

COVID IN COLLEGE

With fall comes the start of a new semester for college students; football games, tailgates, lecture halls, and student housing. Any other year these places and events are met with anticipation, but this year they bring the possibility of infection.   Just weeks into the new semester colleges have produced 88K cases of Coronavirus. As […]

TBC Weekly Newsletter September 14th, 2020

Devos Reroutes Funds to Private Schools https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/09/11/911869208/devos-loses-latest-fight-over-rerouting-aid-to-private-school-students Amidst a global pandemic when public schools need the funding most, DeVos tried to reroute funds to private schools, but was ultimately shut down.   Permanent Job Loss Signals Slow Recovery https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-09-04/jobs-report-permanent-losses-pose-trouble-for-economic-recovery Despite declining unemployment rates, permanent job losses signal a slow economic recovery to come.   Congress […]

The Truth About The Unemployment Expansion

As record numbers of people filed for unemployment and the country began to slowly shut down, congress passed the CARES Act, a bipartisan bill to provide relief to the American people. Included in the bill was a $600 a week unemployment expansion that also allowed workers typically not eligible to collect unemployment to receive benefits. […]

TBC Weekly Newsletter September 7, 2020

PPP Corruption https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2020/09/03/report-alleges-more-than-1-billion-in-bad-ppp-loans-as-feds-make-another-arrest/#5d0430da783a  A new report alleges more than $1 billion in Paycheck Protection Program fraud.   Long Term Effects for Children Affected by COVID-19 https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-09-post-covid-syndrome-severely-children-hearts.amp Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), believed to be linked to COVID-19, damages the heart to such an extent that some children will need lifelong monitoring and interventions.   […]

TBC Weekly Newsletter August 31, 2020

*DISINFORMATION ALERT: Early yesterday morning, President Trump retweeted a post from a QAnon-related twitter account that took CDC data out of context to make a false claim regarding the COVID-19 death toll.   Here is what the data really means. As of August 22: 9,210 Americans who had no exacerbating or underlying conditions died of […]

Disinformation and Its Consequences

Information and facts are what help us make informed decisions during any crisis, including COVID19, but what happens when the facts are muddled by false information and conspiracy theories?   There are consequences – life or death consequences. A new study by The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene found that from January until […]

States Need Funding

States have been begging the federal government for additional funding to combat COVID-19 and support critical infrastructure during this unprecedented recession. Although the HEROES Act included funding for the beleaguered states, the HEALS Act has no such mandate and Republicans have continuously voiced their opposition to additional aid for states. Mitch McConnell went so far […]

The Tale of Two Economies

While the stock market has bounced back, economists are increasingly concerned about shifting unemployment trends. As evictions continue and there is still no consensus on a second stimulus package, unemployment is solidifying–indicating change from mostly temporary layoffs to permanent termination which then means a much longer road to recovery.     It’s almost like the US […]

TBC Weekly Newsletter August 24, 2020

An Unemployment Tsunami https://www.axios.com/newsletters/axios-markets-12675eed-329f-41b4-978d-4120b6580c12.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_axiosmarkets&stream=business Unemployment trends are transitioning from temporary layoffs to permanent ones, signaling a long road to recovery without a comprehensive second stimulus package. USPS and Small Business https://spectrumnews1.com/ca/la-west/business/2020/08/21/small-businesses–usps-changes-need-to-be-rolled-back–not-just-suspended# Changes in the postal service negatively impact small businesses that have been hit especially hard during COVID19. Children More Contagious Than Adults https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/08/20/covid-study-kids-mild-no-symptoms-more-contagious-than-adults/3392088001/ Children […]

Herd Immunity: Is It Possible And How Close Are We?

It’s been a confusing back and forth since the pandemic began.  Is herd immunity achievable and if so, is it an ethical option?  What does attaining herd immunity mean and what are its implications?  Can we reach herd immunity without a vaccine?  Can people be reinfected? How long do antibodies last?   While there is […]

We Must Save the USPS

In 2006 a law passed by Congress with bipartisan support that forced the United States Postal Service to prefund their employees retirement health benefits 75 years in advance and ever since this unnecessary and counterproductive legislation, it has been especially vulnerable. Now with the pandemic and lack of government funding, it is in a crisis.  […]

TBC Weekly Newsletter August 17, 2020

COVID Disinformation https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/covid-19-disinformation Disinformation during a pandemic has deadly consequences.  The inundation and spread of false narratives has made it difficult to tell fact from fiction.  What is the end goal of disinformation and how can you spot it? Read the full article to find out.   Senate Breaks Without Relief Deal https://khn.org/morning-breakout/relief-bill-out-of-reach-both-sides-point-fingers-senate-leaves-town/  The senate […]

Food Insecurity

Food insecurity, once a rising concern linked to climate change, is now front and center for Americans during the pandemic.  With record levels of unemployment, supply chain disruption and rising grocery store costs, more and more Americans are forced to rely on food banks to feed their families.   Justin Block ,the managing director for […]

The Economy: A Bleak Forecast

Not to state the obvious but the economy is not doing well. If, when we first found out that COVID-19 was in our borders, we had done as experts recommended and had a comprehensive and aggressive testing and contact tracing program with federal direction and guidance, the economy would perhaps have fallen and then rebounded […]

Back To School Update

We’ve only just begun August and already schools that have elected to reopen for in-person classes are reporting COVID-19 cases.    In the Gwinnett County Public School system in Georgia, 260 employees either tested positive for COVID-19 or are quarantined due to exposure.  Corinth Highschool in Mississippi is reporting 5 confirmed cases and requiring children […]

THE USPS IN CRISIS

The USPS is in dire straits as we near a contentious election this November that will require vote-by-mail in order to be safe during a pandemic.  Trump and his administration have been systematically attacking both vote-by-mail and the USPS.   USPS has been targeted long before this by the GOP.  In 2005, Congress passed a […]

The HEALS Act And Cutting Unemployment Expansion

Republicans have finally presented the outlines of a second stimulus package called the HEALS Act.  It includes more money for a second stimulus check but leaves out an eviction moratorium extension which expired on the 25th of July or rental assistance of any kind. It also cuts the unemployment expansion of $600/wk that many American […]

Will A Vaccine Be Enough?

There are currently over 165 vaccines in development all over the world and 27 have moved on to human trials. With a lack of national consensus of pretty much any measure that could be taken to curb the virus–lock downs, mask mandates, comprehensive testing and contact tracing–and no possibility of natural herd immunity, public health […]

Masks Are What Will Save Us

Once a huge source of controversy, there is a growing national consensus on the effectiveness and necessity of masks.  Republicans and democrats alike are now imploring the public to mask up. Even President Trump has changed his tune, just recently coming out with a strong endorsement and calling wearing a mask ‘patriotic.’  Public health experts […]

BACK TO SCHOOL

Besty Devos, the US Secretary of Education, is ignoring the advice of health and science experts as she pushed to reopen schools this fall.  She’s even trying to cut federal funding from schools that don’t resume in-person classes.   If the virus rages unchecked and the pandemic continues to get worse, what good to the […]

Herd Immunity: Can It Save Us?

Herd immunity has been touted as a strategy to deal with COVID-19, preferably through a vaccine, but also naturally as a last resort if the virus continues to spread unmitigated.  What does this mean and will herd immunity be enough to keep us safe?   What is herd immunity?   Herd immunity refers to when […]

The COVID-19 Death Rate: Why It Hasn’t Caught Up To Us Yet

Politicians in the United States are continuing to congratulate themselves as the death rate of COVID-19 is still significantly lower than it was in the spring, despite recent surges in new cases across the country.  We should remember, even when we are around 800 deaths a day, that it is a horrible and preventable tragedy.  […]

A Crisis Within A Crisis: How COVID-19 Is Making The Opioid Epidemic Worse

COVID-19 has pushed many national emergencies into the background. One of the major issues that has taken a backseat in the midst of pandemic chaos is the opioid epidemic. While it doesn’t have the same fear inducing numbers as the pandemic, in 2018, 47,600 people died from opioid related overdoses.  With the coronavirus dominating our […]

The Second Wave: What It Means And When It Will Hit

Are we in a second wave? As COVID cases began to rise across the country in the last month, both in places that hadn’t previously had outbreaks as well as in places that had managed to flatten the curve before attempting to reopen, media outlets and politicians heralded the continued spread of the virus as […]

Childcare On The Brink Of Collapse

Perhaps more than anything else, the pandemic has revealed America’s weak spots; cracks in our societal infrastructure that have been ready to crumble for quite some time.  One of these exploited fissures that is now strained to the point of breaking is childcare.  Even before COVID-19 decimated the economy and public health system, childcare was […]

Contact Tracing And The Fight Against COVID-19: How We Failed

By this time, most Americans have a general idea of what contact tracing is and its role in curtailing the spread of the virus. In simplest terms, it’s when a healthcare worker reaches out to you to inform you that you have been in contact with someone infected with COVID-19.  They advise potentially infected people […]

White House COVID-19 Safety Protocol

Question: What steps does the White House take to ensure COVID-19 doesn’t come near the president? Answer: Daily COVID-19 tests for the President and staff Daily temperature checks Regular deep cleaning Social distancing protocol Testing of all guests Voluntary face coverings encouraged What you can do at home: What can you learn from this and how […]

Imminent Evictions

A huge fall out of the coronavirus and lack of government intervention is the avalanche of evictions heading our way.  This renter’s crisis has already begun as states reopen and eviction moratorium and mortgage freezes are lifted.  There are roughly 110 million Americans in rental units and even before the pandemic ground the economy to […]

The Status of the Next Stimulus Package

The situation in the US is dire across all fronts. From public health to the economy, hard working everyday Americans are suffering as COVID-19 spreads unchecked and cases reach new daily highs and workers and businesses desperate to support themselves place themselves in dangerous conditions to try to make ends meet.   The CARES Act […]

The Final Word on Masks

Since the pandemic began, masks have been a point of controversy.  Are they effective in limiting the spread of the virus? How effective? Can they be harmful? Who should be wearing them?  And what types of masks work best? Back and forth and over the background of the continuous spread of the virus, government officials, […]

The True Cause of COVID Spikes: Lack of Leadership

Across the US, COVID-19 rates are increasing, and hospitals and localities that were initially spared are now the new virus hot spots.  Arizona, the Carolinas, Texas and more than 20 other states that escaped the initial impact of the pandemic are now struggling to address the crisis.  In direct contrast to this public health threat, federal officials […]

How the CARES Act Failed the American People

On March 25th, the government passed the CARES Act, a bipartisan and historic stimulus package totaling roughly $2 trillion. So why has this package done so little to help real people? There are four main reasons… It went to wrong people.  Between tax cuts, corporate loopholes, using banks as intermediaries, much of the funding that should […]

Are Masks Harmful or Helpful? FACT CHECK

People are understandably frustrated by the need to wear masks. So, are masks helpful in slowing down the spread of COVID-19 and, two, can wearing a mask actually harm you, as some have claimed in rumors making the rounds online? The answers are simple.       YES, masks are helpful (even essential) in containing […]

Viral Mutations and the Race for a Vaccine

COVID-19, like most viruses, is mutating.  What does this mean for the direction of the virus and the development of a vaccine?    Although virus mutations have the reputation of always being a deadlier development, scientists say mutations within RNA viruses, like the coronaviruses, are normal and expected and can sometimes result in a weaker […]

LIABILITY FOR BUSINESS OWNERS AND EMPLOYERS

As states reopen amid the ongoing pandemic, employers and business owners are worried about their potential liability for the spread of the virus.     If an employee or customers contracts COVID-19, do they have grounds to sue?  This is not a theoretical worry, it is already happening, and as of yet, no real legal precedent […]

Vote by Mail: FACT CHECK

  There’s been a lot of confusion recently about vote-by-mail.  So, what’s the truth?   Vote-by-mail has been used by many states for many years.  There is no evidence of increased voter fraud in Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington and Utah, the states that already practice “all mail” elections.  These states institute best practices, such as […]

Hazard Pay

Frontline and essential workers have continued working through the public health crisis, many with no additional pay.  The “thank yous” and recognition they receive, serve only to mask the fact that they are forced to put themselves at significant risk or lose their jobs without the ability to file for unemployment.  Their predicament is thrown […]

Small Business Reopening Guidelines

So, your state has decided to reopen. As a small business owner, you need to know what regulations are in place and how to protect yourself, your employees and your customers. We’re going to go through the guidelines currently in place in your state and how to get started.  Check with your local government to […]

Hospital Fatality Reporting: FACT CHECK

A false and dangerous rumor has recently been making the rounds that could put more people’s lives at risk, with some rumor mongers accusing hospitals of inflating the numbers, claiming that the hospitals have some kind of profit motive for treating COVID patients.  Let’s talk about why this rumor is false and dangerous. Can hospitals […]

The Road Ahead

The more we find out about COVID-19, the more contagious it reveals itself to be, with its effects ranging from respiratory failure to strokes and its symptoms from headaches to loss of smell or taste and the possibility of mutations. There is increasing evidence that staying six feet apart is relevant only when outside in […]

What Reopening Means For Workers

Essential workers have been on the frontlines in the past months, risking exposure to the virus to continue providing essential services, often for low pay and without the option of staying home and receiving unemployment.  Their rights, or lack thereof, have been one of the main parts of a national discussion as COVID-19 has thrown […]

Antibody Tests: What You Need to Know

There’s been a lot of talk about antibody testing lately and its respective uses.  It’s been touted as a possible way to determine who can re-enter the workforce and as a way to more accurately trace how widespread exposure to the virus really is.  However, the accuracy of the tests and its use as a […]

Contact Tracing

What is contact tracing? Contract tracing is an infrastructure that allows COVID-19 cases to be tracked down and isolated, significantly mitigating the spread of the virus.  Tracers find active coronavirus cases, contact the positive individual and find out where they have been and who they have had contact with in the recent weeks.  The tracers […]

Covid-19 Scams and How to Avoid Them

Crises usually see a rise in scammers–people looking to take advantage of others’ fear and vulnerability. Keep reading to find out which scams are currently circulating and how to avoid them: GoFundMes and other charities have popped up asking for donations to a good cause.  Some of these are authentic but many are not.  Be […]

Want to Deliver Something to a Friend? How to Minimize the Risk for Both of You

Many states, or parts of states, are reopening.  Although certain governments seem to be loosening their stay at home mandates, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should go out.  There are many people who may prefer to stay at home, or who need to such as those of us who are at higher risk and need […]