Weekly Update – January 27th 2022

It is being reported that the rapidly spreading Omicron variant is causing worker shortages across the entire economy as employees are out sick or quarantining. At Delta Airlines, 8,000 employees contracted COVID-19 recently, contributing to more than 2,200 cancelled flights. Grocery stores and many other businesses are cutting back on their product lines. A shortage of truck drivers means shipments are delayed, so store shelves are empty. Children are taking public buses…  Read more

Weekly Update – January 20th 2022

Yet again, some people are seeing bare shelves in grocery stores. Our just-in-time supply chain depends on synchrony in all links to keep shelves stocked, but a combination of factors is disrupting the timing. The fast-spreading omicron variant means grocery store workers are calling in sick, as are workers at food producers. Besides workers who are temporarily out sick, grocery stores are dealing with a labor shortage, as people quit over the…  Read more

Weekly Update – December 23 2021, Best Wishes for a Happy Holiday Season

Even if you’re fully vaccinated and have your COVID-19 boosters up to date, there is a possibility you’ll still get a breakthrough case of COVID-19. Vox has a list of things you can do now to prepare: get a booster and a flu shot figure out how you can most easily get tested, including possibly purchasing an at-home test kit continue wearing your mask, and consider upgrading to a more…  Read more

Weekly Update – December 9th 2021

What happens to the people who don’t quit or retire during the “Great Resignation?” Those left behind may be picking up additional responsibilities, earning bonuses,  while putting in those extra hours. Over time, managers begin to see the extra hours and work that their team puts in as the norm.  This may also lead to burnout and the loss of knowledge from the workplace as people with specific skill sets are not…  Read more

Weekly Update – December 2 2021; Happy Holidays

Over the weekend, several countries reported their first cases of the new Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus. While little is known about the new variant, genetic sequencing indicates it has at least 30 mutations on the spike protein, which it uses to bind to human cells, so it could be even more easily spread than the Delta variant. In response to the uncertainty, Israel has banned all foreigners from entry, while…  Read more

Weekly Update – November 18th 2021

Just a few weeks ago, it appeared that the Delta variant was on the wane in the US. However, cases are climbing, in pockets of the Midwest, Southwest, and Northeast, and just ahead of the holiday travel season. Minnesota is experiencing its highest average daily case counts since April, at 3,500 per day, overwhelming some hospitals. In response, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has enlisted the National Guard to staff temporary sites…  Read more

Weekly Update – October 28th 2021

On November 8, the U.S. will open borders to foreign travelers, marking a new and exciting stage in the pandemic. The Delta variant surge seems to be easing, vaccinations and boosters are available to more people, and mask mandates are being dropped. Case counts appear to be decreasing, and hospitalizations are declining in most parts of the country. However, worker shortages – particularly in restaurants – persist as a reminder that…  Read more

Weekly Update – October 7th 2021

What does it cost to be hospitalized for COVID-19? A study by The Wall Street Journal found the cost can vary by tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the hospital and the insurance policy. While most insurers waived out-of-pocket costs for patients for most of the pandemic, many patients are now receiving bills for hospital stays, which can depend on rates negotiated between hospitals and insurers. For example, at one…  Read more

Weekly Update – September 23rd 2021

Even before the pandemic, some restaurant owners were challenging the model of paying servers only $2.13 an hour and depending on tips from customers to make them whole. Today, as restaurants and bars struggle to find enough workers to stay open, a few are making further changes to their business model. Some are raising wages and offering sign-on bonuses. Others are adding service charges to every bill, and others are simply…  Read more

Weekly Update – September 16th 2021

The recent announcement by the Biden administration of a plan that mandates COVID vaccinations or weekly testing has drawn both phrase and critizim from the business community.   Some business leaders applaud the plan as a way to keep the surge in COVID cases from hurting the economy, although smaller employers may find the mandate difficult to enforce. Expanding testing may not be possible unless capacity is also significantly increased. Some business leaders…  Read more

Weekly Update – August 26th 2021

The FDA has now granted Pfizer and BioNTech full approval of their COVID-19 vaccine for persons aged 16 and up. This means this vaccine has met the agency’s standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality. This approval was based on close examination of six-months of follow-up which revealed no additional long-term safety concerns. This approval may now spur major companies to require employees to be vaccinated. Based on clinical studies, this vaccine…  Read more

Weekly Update – August 12th 2021

What sets the Delta variant apart from other strains of the COVID-19 coronavirus is the amount of virus produced by those infected, a measure called viral load. One recent study found that people with the Delta variant had viral loads up to 1,260 times as high as the original strain. Higher viral loads make the Delta variant more transmissible and can also make infected people sicker. However, the CDC has also…  Read more

Weekly Update – August 5th 2021

The Delta variant is more contagious than other virus variants, which is changing the public-health advice on preventing its spread. With the previous strains, a rule of thumb was that it took 15 minutes of close contact with an infected person to become infected. With the Delta variant, infection may happen in less than five minutes, and possibly with only fleeting contact, such as in an elevator. Recent studies show the…  Read more

Weekly Update – July 22nd 2021

Three weeks ago, new COVID-19 cases were averaging about 11,300 new cases a day, but that rate has now doubled to 23,000 cases per day. According to the CDC, nearly all recent COVID-19 cases and deaths have been among unvaccinated people. The more contagious Delta variant is now the dominant strain in the US, and appears to be more severe. A Scottish study found that the hospitalization rate is about…  Read more

Weekly Update – July 15th 2021

In the wake of the pandemic, many families may find themselves with medical debt from COVID-related hospitalizations. This article from Acorns has four steps to take to reduce damage to credit scores from medical debt. First, review the bill to make sure it’s accurate. See if you can set up a payment plan with the provider. Try to negotiate with the provider to accept rates that are closer to Medicare…  Read more

A Season of Takeaways

Originally published in the June 2021 Nassau/Suffolk Chapter of NCCPAP Newsletter.   I wanted to share my recently published article as I feel so strongly about the message being more far reaching than my immediate accounting community. Message from the Educational Foundation President A Season of Takeaways By Andrea Parness It has been a while since we included our MAP meeting Take-A-Ways in our quarterly newsletters. The great content always made…  Read more

Weekly Update – July 1st 2021

As the pandemic recedes and businesses reopen, millions are quitting their jobs rather than return to their pre-pandemic routine. Some are seeking out positions where they can be fully remote, while others, particularly in the leisure and hospitality sector, are seeking better work-life balance, higher pay, or a less stressful work environment. The lengthy experiment with remote work has changed what people think about where and how they want to…  Read more

Weekly Update – June 24th 2021

Is there a perfect number of hours to work each day? Research shows that five hours seems to be the maximum that people can focus and be creative. The constraint of a shorter workday can also increase productivity as people are forced to find ways to get their work done in less time. While a shorter workday gives people more time for other pursuits, it also has several downsides. People have…  Read more

Weekly Update – June 9th 2021

As we create our new normal, we look to the summer with warm weather allowing us to meet outside and even begin doing those things we love, like  attending graduations, hosting and attending Bar-B-Ques, hiking, biking, going to the park to play sports or just get out & toss a frisbee around. I’ve shared the story of my daughter who is foster failure, when she “broke down” and adopted her…  Read more

Weekly Update – June 2nd 2021

How will the COVID-19 pandemic end? Scientists who study global pandemics of the past observe that previous pandemics have subsided over time, generally in 18 months or so. The virus itself seems to become less deadly, and becomes more of an endemic seasonal illness. At the same time, our immune systems become better able to fight them off. At least that has been the pattern in the past. It is…  Read more

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