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Back to Normal?

Posted by mcm0704 on April 27, 2020 |

I hope everyone had a good weekend. I certainly did. Saturday and Sunday I was able to see some of my kids in person. We didn’t touch. We stayed 3-6 feet apart. We didn’t hug. But we could chat and enjoy the pretty weather here in NE Texas out on my deck. It was so good to have those visits and they rejuvenated me.

When will the U.S. Economy get back to normal?

That’s a question uppermost in the minds of most people, especially those whose livelihoods have been severely impacted by the economic devastation wreaked by  the COVID19 Pandemic.

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, has a foundation that has been studying pandemics for years, and in an interview with CNN Business he said that the safety of being able to life restrictions depends on the ability to have widespread testing and tracking.

His comments come as several US states prepare to ease social distancing and stay-at-home restrictions this week, despite warnings from health researchers that no state should reopen before May 1. Meanwhile, the total number of reported coronavirus cases in the United States is nearing 1 million, and more than 54,000 Americans have died.

People are wary of going out and mingling. Well, some people are. But it is also important for retail and food service businesses to get back to business as soon as they can or go under. A few states have lifted some restrictions as of last Friday. Georgia opened gyms, barber shops, bowling alleys, salons, and tattoo parlors, with safety measures put in place, such as strict cleaning and disinfecting, employees wearing masks, and some social distancing. That can work for gyms and bowling alleys, but hard to maintain in salons and barbershops.

If you’re interested, CNN has a complete list of where states stand on reopening.

Kroger recently sent an update on what stores are doing to safeguard customers and employees, as well as introducing their guidelines for safe reopening.

Earlier this week, we published the first installment of Sharing What We’ve Learned: A Blueprint for Businesses, a resource guide to help other companies – both big and small – create their plans to reopen safely.

There’s a post on the BookBub Blog detailing how reading habits, and book buying  habits, have been changing because of the COVID19 pandemic. As someone who reads a lot, I wasn’t surprised to see book sales up. People are reading more and buying more books, but they aren’t visiting bookstores. Most sales are online and not just from Amazon.

There’s also been significant growth in online print sales from independent bookstores. Bookshop.org, a new online retailer that gives a portion of sales to local book shops, reported a dramatic increase in sales, in large part due to independent bookstores and others in the industry directing customers to the new platform as a way to continue driving sales despite closures.

It’s nice to know that there is an alternative to Amazon, as competition is good gor business, and I was pleased to see that my novel, Evelyn Evolving, is available at Bookshop, as are a few other titles.

The Bookbub report also indicted that ebooks and audio books are gaining traction.

Michael Tamblyn, CEO of Rakuten Kobo, told Publishers Weekly that the ebook and audiobook retailer is seeing a spike in new account sign-ups and purchases similar to what they’d see around the holidays.

Just for fun, here’s a link to a video of Brad Pitt introducing Saturday Night Live as Dr. Fauci

For more fun, here’s a couple of jokes from The Laugh Factory. Don’t forget, laughter is good medicine.

Every ten years, the monks in the monastery are allowed to break their vow of silence to speak two words. Ten years go by and it’s one monk’s first chance. He thinks for a second before saying, “Food bad.”

Ten years later, he says, “Bed hard.”

It’s the big day, a decade later. He gives the head monk a long stare and says, “I quit.”

“I’m not surprised,” the head monk says. “You’ve been complaining ever since you got here.”

Two old friends crossed paths after not seeing one another for almost a decade.
Utkarsh: “What are you doing these days?”
Sparsh: “PHD.”
Utkarsh: “Wow! You’re a doctor!”
Sparsh: “No, Pizza Home Delivery.”

That’s it for me for today folks. Whatever your week holds for you, be safe. Be well. Be happy. 

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