Weekly Update – March 3rd 2022

One of the side effects of the pandemic has been the expansion of online grocery shopping and speedy delivery. But in large cities, many online grocery purchases are fulfilled by businesses that have taken over retail storefronts to become “ghost stores” or “dark stores.” These are small scale fulfillment centers that serve only ecommerce customers, with most orders being delivered by bike. These dark stores have the potential to reshape urban neighborhoods,…  Read more

Weekly Update – February 17th 2022

It feels like prices are increasing faster than the inflation index shows; we are experiencing “sticker shock” daily as we shop for personal and business needs.  Some businesses increase their prices in ways that may not seem so obvious; have you noticed those ice cream containers are shrinking or that services are reduced?  The Labor Department’s consumer-price index measures how much consumers pay for goods and services and includes some of…  Read more

Weekly Update – February 3rd 2022

It is being reported that a new strain of the Omicron variant has emerged just as the Omicron surge appears to be peaking in the U.S. The new strain, called BA.2, is said to be more contagious than its sibling Omicron variant, BA.1, but is also less likely to cause severe disease compared with the Delta variant. The new variant is spreading quickly in Denmark, England, and Germany, and has also been…  Read more

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 – January 13th 2022

With the more contagious Omicron variant rapidly becoming the dominant strain, many experts are recommending upgrading from cloth to N95 masks. This article in Popular Science explains what to look for in a mask, how long they can be worn, how to safely reuse them, and when they should be discarded. Masks designated as KF94, N95, or in the FPP family are all subject to strict government oversight and quality control. However,…  Read more

Weekly Update – January 6th 2022; Welcome to a New Year

The rapid spread of the Omicron variant is impacting businesses large and small, keeping some staff members home or quarantined. Record levels of new infections in the US are forcing airlines to cancel flights, stores to close, and available workers to work longer hours or in different areas than normal. While new CDC guidance decreases the number of quarantine days from ten to five, the infectious nature of the new variant may…  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 16th 2021

We are in the early days of understanding the possible impact of the new Omicron variant; it can be difficult to parse fact from opinion. In The Atlantic, Derek Thompson looks at the studies and anecdotal evidence available at this point so we can develop an early if imperfect evaluation of the risks. Omicron is more transmissible and will spread faster than Delta. Omicron will cause more breakthrough infections. On the…  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

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