Servers Under The Sun Sat, 08 Jan 2022 18:46:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Servers Under The Sun 32 32 Carstairs fire station project ahead of schedule Sat, 08 Jan 2022 17:00:00 +0000

CAR STAIRS – Construction of the new Carstairs Fire Hall is ahead of schedule and on budget, with a grand opening now possible in March, said Carl McDonnell, the city’s executive director.

Mountain View County and the Town of Carstairs are jointly funding the construction of the new $ 4 million building which is under construction just east of Highway 2A in the city.

Eagle Builders LP was awarded the contract on the basis of a tender for $ 4,088,627.

An agreement sets the county’s stake in the new hall at 47 percent and the town of Carstairs at 53 percent.

In an interview last week, McDonnell said the project is progressing well.

“They’re about three weeks ahead of schedule,” McDonnell said. “Everything is going very well and it is in the budget. There were no issues, issues or delays.

So far, there has been only a small addition to the project, he said.

“There has only been one change order so far,” he said. “It was the installation of a sink in one of the mechanical rooms. “

A possible delay in the project could involve the weather in the next few moments, he said.

“A challenge, because they’re ahead of schedule, could be the paving,” he said. “It will depend on the weather in March.”

When that happens, the move to the new fire station will allow firefighters’ personnel and equipment to remain on duty without disruption, he said.

“They will stay on duty all the time,” he said. “What we’re going to do is move the office equipment, table and chairs, etc., to the new room. Our operational staff will assist in this. The trucks will be moved when we are ready.

The existing hall will be reallocated for other municipal uses, he said.

“There is work that we want to do in the current hall when the trucks are out of the way,” he said. “We’re going to paint the bay area and other work there.”

Alberta Health Services will continue to be based in the current fire hall, he said.

“Their ambulance will stay there,” he said.

When asked if the new hall needed to receive government approval or certification before it was used, he replied, “No, just the usual commissioning of the hall with system testing and that sort of thing.” things. It should be pretty straightforward.

A grand opening of the new venue was tentatively scheduled to take place on April 30, but could now take place earlier, he said.

“We haven’t set a date yet, but we’re probably looking at a time period in March or early April,” he said.

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Kendrapara administrator extends support for man who lost both kidneys Sat, 08 Jan 2022 09:28:39 +0000

Kendrapara: The Kendrapara District Administration came to the aid of Anil Kumar Pati, a 35-year-old man from Raghudeipur village in the district’s Derabish block, who lost both kidneys.

Anil is the only winning member of a family of four, including his widowed mother, wife and 7-year-old daughter. However, the family experienced various difficulties after both kidneys failed.

Doctors advised him to have a kidney transplant. However, after learning that the kidney transplant would cost around Rs 10 lakh, his family members urged people to support them.

Kendrapara collector Amrit Ruturaj said Anil will get the best possible treatment. His treatment will be free if he is the holder of the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) card or the ration card.

A medical team will be sent for his diagnosis. If necessary, he will be sent to SCB Medical College & Hospital in Cuttack and receive free treatment from the state government, he added.

If a person wants to give financial help to Anil, they can send the amount to their bank account number as shown below.

Anil Kumar Pati,
National Bank of Punjab,
Air conditioning: 322500170024415
IFSC: PUNB0322500

Amrit Ruturaj, collector, Kendrapara

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Teleworkers and the DEI impact of the Zoom ceiling Fri, 07 Jan 2022 21:24:00 +0000

The virtual workplace might not get you anywhere, but sadly neither will the discrimination many remote workers face.

According to Upwork, there will be approximately 36 million remote workers in the United States over the next three years, and women and minorities in particular are at risk of falling into the “zoom cap,” a term for potential barriers to the career that remote work is. to create.

“The Zoom ceiling is akin to the glass ceiling in that it prevents people from reaching higher levels of leadership,” says Dr. Elora Voyles, industrial organization psychologist and human resources scientist at the company. of Tinypulse workforce management software. “And women and minorities are more likely to choose remote jobs, which creates more invisible barriers in their career progression.”

Read more: Menstrual equity: what it is and why it can help with attraction and retention strategies

According to Tinypulse, male HR managers view returning to the office 12.5% ​​more favorably than female HR managers, a value that has more than doubled in a few months, from 5.9%. The Future Forum found that 87% of Asian employees and 81% of black employees wanted a hybrid job, compared to 75% of white employees.

Although women struggled with the move to estrangement, it was beneficial for some who were able to balance caregiving responsibilities and work. And minorities have also benefited from the remoteness of the physical workplace, says Dr Voyles.

“Minorities choose remote work because it is a way to avoid the micro-attacks to which they might normally be subjected in the workplace,” explains Dr Voyles. “In person it’s a little easier for someone to comment out of color than in a Zoom setting.”

Read more: This CEO’s speech impediment led him to rethink virtual recruiting

While Future Forum noted that black workers were 26% more likely to feel treated fairly compared to the 2020 results, virtual harassment can take place regardless. But while remote working can put a certain distance from potential ignorance, it can also mask professional achievements, says Dr Voyles.

“Managers don’t have a complete view of the impact of remote workers in terms of performance and contributions,” she says. “There aren’t a lot of opportunities for casual conversation or even mentoring. Managers may mistakenly believe that remote workers are not as dedicated. “

Dr Voyles suggests recognizing the inequality between in-person and remote workers by putting in place clear policies regarding communication and performance expectations. This means frequent one-on-one meetings with managers, consistent feedback, and checks across teams.

Read more: Does everyone in your business get a fair image? This is what it means to democratize talent

This also extends to equality within these meetings: Hybrid teams should all enter meetings from their computers, whether in the office or not, to avoid sidebar conversations and less engagement. virtual. In addition, employers will need to revise their performance appraisal methods to assess remote workers equally.

More importantly, leaders must articulate policies that increase flexibility for all workers, to prevent unfair assumptions from being perpetuated, says Dr Voyles.

“A lot of people who work in person may think remote workers are less engaged or don’t do things with the family,” she says. “It is important to allow everyone this flexibility so that there is not this negative connotation with remote working. “

Remote work is here to stay, and to foster equality it may be to change the way management and employees view work. Flexibility should be seen as the norm and not as a weakness for those who check in from home.

“The Zoom cap is something that a lot of people relate to, and it’s very real,” says Dr. Voyles. “It is going to have an impact on career opportunities if human resources and business leaders are not proactive in ensuring that these opportunities are equal and fair.”

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Citigroup to lay off unvaccinated office workers in late January, report says Fri, 07 Jan 2022 17:40:16 +0000

Top line

Citigroup has said it will lay off employees who did not receive a Covid-19 vaccine at the end of the month, according to a memo sent to staff on Friday and got by Bloomberg, after becoming one of the first major financial institutions to tell staff that vaccinations would be a condition of employment.


Unvaccinated Citigroup office workers will be placed on unpaid leave on January 14 and their employment will be terminated at the end of the month, the company would have said in a message to staff.

Some employees will be eligible for year-end bonuses, but in order to receive the payments, they must agree not to sue the company, Bloomberg reports.

A Citigroup spokesperson told Bloomberg that more than 90% of the company is vaccinated.

Sara Wechter, Head of Human Resources at Citigroup, announcement in October, the company would require employees to be fully immunized as a condition of employment, citing President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors and the health and safety of his employees.

Citigroup did not immediately return a request for comment from Forbes.

Chief critic

Some Citigroup employees criticized the company when it announced and outlined the policy last year. Ben Shittu, member of Citigroup’s HR technology team based in Dublin, Ireland, job a YouTube video in November because he felt “obligated” to respond and blasted the warrant. “For those of you who are extremely worried or feel like you have been abandoned by your managers, I would like you to know that you are not alone,” said Shittu. Post on LinkedIn on the mandate, which received nearly 700 comments. Some of the comments criticized Citigroup for failing to “stand up for its employees” and ask why employees who work from home need to be vaccinated, while others thanked Citigroup for keeping its employees and their families safe.

Key context

Biden signed an executive order in September requiring federal contractors to ensure their employees are vaccinated against the coronavirus, prompting legal action. Eight states filed a lawsuit to block the federal contractor’s tenure after it was announced, and a Georgia federal judge suspended the tenure nationwide in December. In his decision, U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of Georgia, R. Stanley Baker, wrote that the contractors could face an “extreme economic burden” if the order took effect, and asked whether the warrant fell within the executive powers of Biden. Biden’s three vaccine mandates have been the subject of legal proceedings, and cases over the president’s tenure for healthcare workers and large employers were argued in the Supreme Court on Friday.

Further reading

Citigroup Tackles Vaccine Blockages Without Jab, Without Warrant (Bloomberg)

Citigroup to U.S. personnel: get vaccinated or you’re fired (CNN)

Judge temporarily blocks Biden Covid vaccine mandate for federal contractors nationwide (Forbes)

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City Council Expected to Provide $ 300,000 in “Seed Capital” for Shockoe Bottom Slavery Museum Project | Richmond Free Press Thu, 06 Jan 2022 23:00:00 +0000

Richmond is about to donate $ 300,000 in yet another attempt to create a national slavery museum.

Mayor Levar M. Stoney, with the support of a majority of the city council, offered to provide the necessary funds to establish a foundation to support the development of the museum. The foundation’s leadership would likely include former members of the city’s now defunct Slave Trail Commission, including Richmond delegate Delores L. McQuinn and the Revs. Benjamin P. Campbell and Sylvester T. Turner.

The mayor, who expects city council to approve the funding at its next meeting on Monday, Jan. 10, described the $ 300,000 as “seed money” to get the foundation back on its feet with the aim of create the museum near the site of infamous Lumpkin’s Prison, next to Main Street station in Shockoe Bottom.

In particular, the foundation would be responsible for raising the 200 to 220 million dollars planned necessary to complete and fill the museum.

The city and state have already set aside around $ 40 million to support development of projects involving the history of slavery, but the rest is expected to come from private sources, city officials said.

The proposal is a second attempt to create a Virginia center for education on slavery and enslaved people. Former Virginia Governor L. Douglas Wilder failed to establish a $ 100 million slavery museum in Fredericksburg. This effort ended in 2011.

Despite claims that Richmond would be the first museum of its kind, at least six existing museums have significant exhibits focusing on slavery. The largest is the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington. Others are the Old Slave Mart in Charleston, SC, and the Lest We Forget Museum of Slavery in Philadelphia.

Others include the Center for Reconciliation in Providence, RI, the Whitney Plantation Museum in Edgard, La., And the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, as well as the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati.

Some of the strongest supporters of the development of a memorial park for the more than 300,000 enslaved people who were bought and sold in the Richmond slave markets are not enthusiastic about the museum.

Phil Wilayto and Ana Edwards, who for more than 17 years led the charge of preserving and protecting the history of Shockoe Bottom as the country’s second largest slave market, fear that the focus on an extremely expensive museum did not collect all the money to develop a 9-acre memorial to the slaves they pushed for.

Mr Wilayto believes that the renovated, but now largely unused, train shed at the Main Street station could more easily and cheaply become the home of the museum and leave resources for the development of the memorial campus.

City Hall appears to be struggling to move forward to create the Slave African Heritage Campus, which the mayor in 2020 said was being stepped up. In September 2020, city council approved the mayor’s plan to provide $ 1.7 million to begin development of this project, which is to include the museum and areas of Lumpkin Prison west of the railroad tracks. .

The campus is also to include the African Burial Ground north of Broad Street which was the country’s first municipal cemetery for free and enslaved people, and several blocks east of the railroad tracks between Broad, 17th and 17th Streets. Franklin which nestle the historic, but largely vacant Farmers’ Market.

So far, none of the $ 1.7 million has been spent, according to Sharon Ebert, the city’s deputy executive director for economic and community development. The city also did not acquire the private property included in a city-operated parking lot located between the train tracks on Broad and 17th Streets, a key part of the expanded campus, Ms Ebert said in an email response. to a free press request.

The city has also “not contacted or made any advance on the purchase” of the old Loving’s Produce distribution building, she said, although it has been listed as a potential site for new parking for the Loving’s Produce. heritage campus and neighboring businesses.

According to Ms. Ebert, the city’s next step in creating the campus would be to spend up to $ 2.7 million to pay a company to design the heritage campus. A request for proposals is due out in the coming months to kick off the process, she said.

Funding would come from the $ 1.7 million, plus an additional $ 1 million that city council is also expected to approve at its next meeting.

The decision appears to have been made without any consultation with Mr. Wilayto, Ms. Edwards or any other advocate or organization. They created the vision for the campus and persisted for over a decade to gain the support of the mayor and council.

“We are committed to creating a Shockoe Heritage Campus,” said Mayor Stoney, dismissing the concerns. This includes the entire campus as well as the museum, he said.

“A heritage and interpretive center or museum will give us the opportunity to create a space that will serve as a site of conscious remembrance, reflection, education and atonement,” he said.

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Vice-Chancellor of San Mateo accused of embezzlement Thu, 06 Jan 2022 08:05:15 +0000

The Vice Chancellor of the San Mateo Community College District in California has been accused of embezzling taxpayer money, The news of Mercury reported Wednesday. The charges are the result of an ongoing corruption investigation by senior district officials.

Jose Nuñez has pleaded not guilty to 15 felony counts, including allegations that he illegally used district computers and working hours to support a political ally and a government-wide bail measure. State which would have granted 2 billion dollars for investment projects in community colleges. Nuñez was also accused of embezzling government funds and failing to report donor gifts.

Nuñez has been placed on administrative leave. Ron Galatolo, district chancellor, was fired in February following a two-year criminal investigation, although no charges have been filed against him.

“Although the facts of the case are still limited, the university district has put Mr. Nuñez on administrative leave to allow the judicial process to run its course,” said a spokesperson for the district. The news of Mercury. “The College District has an unwavering commitment to integrity, transparency and accountability and supports the district attorney’s goal of ensuring that these standards are met by all public servants.”

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Alamo Town Installment Loans. Installment loans in San Antonio, Texas Wed, 05 Jan 2022 23:37:56 +0000 Alamo Town <a class="wpil_keyword_link " href="" title="Installment Loans" data-wpil-keyword-link="linked">Installment Loans</a>. Installment loans in San Antonio, Texas

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A dozen reasons to be happy, despite everything Wed, 05 Jan 2022 23:36:35 +0000

Judging by the headlines, there is nothing to be happy about. We are in the midst of a seemingly endless pandemic, mental health is deteriorating, political polarization is historically high, the planet is heating up, and soaring inflation is dominating economic news.

But take a step back and the picture becomes less gloomy. In many ways, life in the United States is improving. This is in part because the growth of the economy and stock prices in the United States, driven by the technology sector, is and will continue to be much stronger than in most other advanced economies. The pie gets bigger.

In addition, a tight labor market and faster wage growth benefit workers, especially in manual and in-person service jobs. The pie is more evenly distributed. And the shift to remote work is allowing millions of Americans to spend less time traveling and living in bigger, better homes.

These trends are expected to continue for years to come. Here are 12 reasons why life in the United States is improving:

The United States is growing faster than most other advanced economies thanks to its technology sector

1. The technological engine. Since 2017, the US economy has grown significantly faster than most other advanced economies, especially those in Europe. Higher labor productivity and rapid growth of the technology sector have boosted this. One of the main comparative advantages of the United States is in technology, which happens to be one of the fastest growing sectors in the world economy.

2. Gains in technology company stocks and stock prices. Owners, shareholders, and workers of tech companies disproportionately benefit from these gains. Over the past five years, the financial assets of U.S. households have grown by more than 50%, largely due to the growth of technology companies. US stock indices have risen much faster in recent years than those of most other countries. Some of the gains will extend beyond the owners of the shares. Tech workers and businesses spend a large portion of their income on goods and services in the communities in which they live and operate, which will generate jobs and income for all workers.

3. Technological growth will not stop. The pandemic has dramatically accelerated the shift to online activity and the digital transformation of businesses and consumers, which would otherwise have taken years. This leads to faster growth in global technology demand. This helps the United States dominate specific technology industries that have grown rapidly in recent years, such as online shopping and payments, cloud services, cybersecurity, commercial software, social media, online advertising and on-demand entertainment content. . There is no sign it will slow down anytime soon.

Workers get a bigger slice of the pie, especially lower paid workers

4. Tight labor market drives wage growth. The share of workers’ compensation in GDP has increased in recent years, driven by the tightening labor market in the United States and faster wage growth. Basically, the baby boomers were retiring and the associated stagnation in the number of working-age people. That number itself declined in 2020 and 2021 – for the first time in U.S. history – and with more baby boomers reaching retirement age, it is not likely to change in the next decade.

5. Rapid wage growth will continue. Labor shortages in the United States in the second half of 2021 were the most severe in decades. The reduction in labor supply due to the pandemic has been behind much of the squeeze. Most of the impact of the pandemic will likely be gone in a year or two, but labor shortages will persist for the rest of the decade. Job growth, especially in in-person service industries, is likely to be strong in 2022. By 2023, the unemployment rate is likely to reach 3%, the lowest in about 70 years. History shows that once unemployment begins to fall, it will continue to do so until a few months before the next recession. Therefore, the unemployment rate is expected to remain historically low over the next 5-10 years and a tight labor market will push higher wages.

6. It is a labor market. Higher wages aren’t the only way tight labor markets are helping workers. First, the risk of being made redundant is lower. Second, workers are more likely to move on to better jobs. Third, social benefits, other non-monetary job characteristics, and overall job satisfaction tend to improve in tight labor markets.

Wage inequalities and poverty are declining

seven. Non-university salaries are growing faster. Workers without a university degree have experienced tighter labor markets than those who have since 2016. The discourse on slowing the growth of the working-age population masks two opposing educational trends: the number of working-age people bachelor’s degree holders increase by around 2% per year. while the number of unlicensed people willing to take on manual jobs is declining. This is likely to support the labor shortage and rapid wage growth among manual workers over the next decade. Strong wage growth for manual workers has led to declining wage inequalities and poverty rates over the past seven years – and will likely continue to do so for the rest of the decade.

8. Manual workers can’t work remotely – and will be better paid. Because blue collar jobs cannot be distant, they will become relatively less attractive. This means that the number of workers entering these occupations is likely to decline and may cause employers to offer higher wages to fill the positions.

9. Focus more on equity. American businesses are more focused on equal opportunity, with business leaders indicating a desire to diversify further. Indeed, US CEOs told the Conference Board in late 2020 that recruiting a more diverse workforce and creating a more inclusive culture would be among the top human capital management issues of 2021. This focus can reduce racial wage gaps. The difference between what white and black workers earn started out big and only grew up in the 2010s, despite efforts to reduce it. But that trend reversed between 2019 and 2021. Conference Board research shows that more black workers are finding well-paying jobs, a possible result of social protests and the growing commitment of American companies to racial equity. .

Teleworking improves quality of life

ten. Less trips and bigger houses. At some point in their lives, many workers have had to decide whether to live in smaller houses close to their work in city centers, in part to reduce commuting time, or to live in larger houses. larger more distant. Now they can do both.

11. Well-paid jobs more geographically distributed. In the decade or two before the pandemic, growth in the highest paying jobs occurred in a handful of coastal cities. As remote working expands, companies are expanding their businesses and hiring well-paying employees elsewhere. This will lead to a more even geographic distribution of income and wealth in the United States.

Jobs are improving

12. The number of good jobs is increasing. New entrants to the labor market tend to be more educated than their predecessors and are likely to have more than satisfying careers. Between 2000 and 2021, the share of executives and executives in total employment rose from 34 to 43%. The long-term shift from manual services and routine clerical jobs to more satisfying professional jobs is expected to continue, further increasing overall job satisfaction.

COVID-19 spreading faster than ever, it’s hard to see half the glass full. But history can judge the 2015-2030 period as one of a significant improvement in the quality of life for most Americans, especially compared to other advanced economies. Maybe there is something to be happy about after all.

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I want the office to reopen because I miss the real clothes – Sourcing Journal Wed, 05 Jan 2022 13:55:30 +0000

You remember the opening montage of “The Devil Wears Prada”, when all the “clackers” are dressed to work in luxury lingerie and hosiery, sample size runway looks, heels? of designers and accessories galore? And they strut out of their posh Manhattan apartments with perfect makeup and waxed hair and hail taxis to take them to their low-paying fashion writing jobs?

Ugh, I yearn for this experience. I wish him like a star-eyed college boy with big city dreams and growing debt – or at least some semblance of that. The difference now is that I’m decades older, and although I have this fashion writing job it plays out on Zoom and Slack and unanswered emails because 22 months later, we are still in a pandemic.

While I can’t say I’ve ever been linked to clackers – Annie’s waistcoat and bagel are more my speed – both deliver the same energy. It’s that sense of transformation that happens when you get up in the morning, pick an outfit that makes you feel like the best version of yourself, and step out into the world.

This is one of the more minor inconveniences and difficulties caused by the pandemic, but remote working did away with a ritual that until 2020 didn’t really realize how much I enjoyed and on which I counted to conquer the day. Ahead of the vacation, my employer announced that it would postpone the mandatory “back to office” date set before Omicron dominated the daily headlines. It was the appropriate decision to make as New York City sees new daily records of confirmed Covid cases (and hospitalizations here just surpassed 10,000 for the first time in 20 months!), And it reflects the way whose company has protected its employees and their families throughout the pandemic.

But behind the screen, I felt discreetly deflated and alone in my disappointment. The new dresses, tops and tights that I happily acquired in anticipation of my return to work would continue to pile up on my overflowing bedroom chair.

Of course, commuting can be strenuous, especially in New York City where subway crime is gradually reaching pre-pandemic levels. I also save money by telecommuting because I don’t buy $ 6 cafes or let myself be tempted by the stores I go to, but I admit that I love working in an office. . I wish I could join the choir of voices proclaiming how “WFH” made time for new hobbies, exercise routines and rest, but it turns out I thrive in the curious world of theater. office, including making a concerted effort to dress the role each day.

I work for a fashion media company after all. It is more than likely that everyone who works here appreciates the fashion and style even after they are done with the day. Maybe they even feed on it, like me.

It’s not like the stereotypical posh, label-obsessed desks depicted in the movies, but the clothes people wear to work have the power to reveal glimmers of their personality – information that isn’t as easy to glean. from a distance. Veterans can be identified by their classic, timeless style and unique accessories collected over the years. You can spot millennials who have been influenced by brands and aesthetics born on Instagram, while recent college graduates have an enviable youthful knack for mixing used yarns with streetwear or whatever they like.

Everett Collection

Although attendance is not mandatory, the office has reopened for employees wishing to enter, and more recently they have been encouraged to re-acclimatize to the environment, like a bagged goldfish adjusting to the temperature of the l water in a new bowl. I jumped at the chance to return to work, commuting to the office almost every day since September 2020.

A group of “regulars” formed from different brands and departments, forming bonds around a common taste for traditional work settings and responsibilities, such as photoshoots and attending events, which we force them to leave our homes. As a result, the office now feels like our territory; individual offices and cabins our own plots of land. The new arrivals, who almost always wander in bewilderment telling everyone they haven’t returned since March 2020, are viewed with caution and suspicion.

But this desolate land of few occupants has a laid-back Summer Friday-like vibe compared to the pre-pandemic office, which doesn’t require dry-cleaned clothes or even ironing, for that matter. There just weren’t enough people in attendance to appreciate a pair of sparkly heels or a feather-trimmed blouse, much to my disappointment.

I often wonder if the same people who are now “regulars” were also the kids who were looking forward to the first day of school. I know I was, carefully planning my outfits in advance to the point of having socks tucked into shoes and a week of clothes laid out. It’s the same experience today as it was back then. Like most kids, I was craving a summer vacation, but after laying down in T-shirts and shorts, I was ready to step back into matching clothes, preferably with buttons and buttons. zippers.

Granted, I took advantage of the perks of working remotely, including working in my pajamas, which quickly lost its appeal in the first couple of weeks. I did, however, have invaluable time with my family and our pets as we all crouched down at my parents’ house in Florida during the darkest days of 2020. These moments are made even more precious as our good- beloved 18 year old chihuahua brought us all came home before he crossed the rainbow bridge a year ago. As an adult I had the opportunity to create new rituals with my family – things I haven’t had the chance to do since I was a kid – like watching vampire shows with my brother. (if you’re not watching “What we do in the shadows” you’re missing out), walks with my mom on a nearby trail, and our daily midday coffee break.

By working remotely, I finally had the opportunity to help with home projects that I normally never have time for on my typical blitz visits. I was also in a better position to help with expenses when my dad was unemployed like millions of other Americans in 2020.

I am painfully aware of how lucky and privileged I am to not only be allowed to work remotely and earn a salary for a job I am passionate about (in media, however), but also to do so without the loss. and the grief of millions of people. lived because of covid. I am sometimes paralyzed by luck, anxiously waiting for the other shoe to fall. It doesn’t suit me that some of us, just by a twist of fate, find moments of pleasure in a situation that has turned the lives of so many around the world upside down.

I don’t think I’m the only one who felt an indescribable emotional cocktail of relief, guilt, gratitude and hope when I received my first and second shots, and now a booster. Relief that fewer people would die, guilt for the nearly 5.5 million people worldwide who have already done so, gratitude for the vaccines, and hope for a return to normalcy – just basic, ho-hum normalcy. . Because it’s not really about fashion or peacock envy in the office. It’s about missing out on the nuances and everyday routines, like dressing for work, that make life normal, or at least normal.

The office will finally reopen. And when that does, I’m sure I’ll miss being able to mute some colleagues. There are bound to be days when I wish I could cocoon myself in bed with my laptop, my phone and nothing more. But this is not life and the pandemic did not happen so that we can sit faceless and speechless and increasingly detached behind a screen for more than 8 hours a day. Getting up and getting dressed for work is just the first step towards a good seat on the subway, the baristas at Starbucks remembering my order, making plans after work and that wonderful feeling of contentment when you finally get home. at home after a long day at work and can relax in your pajamas.

For some, it took a global pandemic to take stock of what we have and find joy in the small moments and simple pleasures that make up one day.

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Health officials plan larger testing sites in Montgomery County Tue, 04 Jan 2022 22:43:45 +0000

Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention

Montgomery County health officials are looking to expand coronavirus testing in the coming weeks via mass testing sites across the county, as the omicron variant of the virus increases the number of cases.

County council member Will Jawando said in a meeting on Tuesday that officials should consider not only expanding mass testing to the Germantown campus of Montgomery College, but also to other sites in the county.

James Bridgers, the acting county health officer, said health officials are also considering Service consolidation centers – where food and other resources are offered to the community – to get up for testing.

Mark Hodge, the acting senior administrator of school health services at the county health and social services department, told county council that with luck there are three hub sites that could host testing soon.

In an interview, Hodge did not indicate the three locations where testing could take place, as health officials need to confirm that the locations can handle large-scale testing, he said. He told Tuesday’s meeting that small facilities, such as a small church, would likely not be able to perform tests.

The hubs act as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for food distribution and general social services for county residents in various parts of the county, he said.

Hodge said several factors determine whether a hub site can be used, including:

  • Enough space to serve people, while allowing them to be physically distanced
  • Sufficient parking
  • Sufficient ventilation
  • Accessibility for pedestrians or other forms of transport

Hodge said the main challenge is recruiting staff to run test sites at the hubs. When schools were closed, school nurses, health technicians and others could perform tests throughout the county, but they are no longer available.

The county, however, has partnerships with healthcare providers who can help fill that void, provided they have staff, Hodge said.

“From my perspective, we can put them in place pretty quickly, we have the contractors to staff them, we have the buildings at the hubs to do it,” Hodge said.

The locations could be open in about a week, he said.

Test sites could expand outside of the first three hub locations, if there are enough staff, he said. The cost hasn’t been the issue, but rather the number of people who can run and run a test site, Hodge added.

Deputy CEO Earl Stoddard said in Tuesday’s meeting that county officials will also increase test availability by distributing rapid take-out tests to county-wide community locations, such as libraries or similar facilities.

Previously, health officials had said a lack of supply of take-home rapid tests prevented the county from trying the approach, which Washington, DC and other jurisdictions have used. Montgomery County hopes to receive nearly 200,000 of these tests by Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, which will be distributed to public schools and community gathering places.

The county hopes to receive hundreds of thousands of additional tests, beyond the initial group of nearly 200,000, in the coming week, officials said on Tuesday.

Steve Bohnel can be contacted at

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