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Here’s the latest scoop on all-things COVID-19 😁

By August 2, 2021 No Comments

Nation’s largest employers begin requiring COVID vaccinations

Life for the unvaccinated is getting more difficult as bosses increasingly make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory, and banks are leading the charge along with the nation’s largest employer: the Federal government.

For a few glorious weeks, Wall Street employees who were vaccinated against Covid-19 could ditch their masks at the office.

That appears to be ending after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended this week that even fully vaccinated people should wear masks indoors in areas with significant transmission rates.

Citigroup told employees late Wednesday in a memo that they will now be required to wear masks in U.S. corporate offices, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. 

Other Wall Street firms including Morgan Stanley are closely monitoring the situation, said another person with knowledge. Rumor has it that Morgan Stanley even requires clients to be vaxxed before coming into the office.

  • Google, Facebook, Uber and Lyft will require vaccination for returning U.S. employees.

  • Netflix casts and crew for U.S. productions must be vaccinated, Deadline reports.

  • The Washington Post will require vaccination as “a condition of employment” starting Sept. 13.

President Joe Biden on Thursday announced sweeping new pandemic requirements aimed at boosting vaccination rates for millions of federal workers and contractors as he lamented the “American tragedy” of rising-yet-preventable deaths among the unvaccinated.

Federal workers will be required to sign forms attesting they’ve been vaccinated against the coronavirus or else comply with new rules on mandatory masking, weekly testing, distancing and more.

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COVID-19 hit our state economies hard, even without high death rates. Why?

The initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the U.S. economy was widespread and affected people across all age groups and all states despite the fact that the virus’s initial mortality impact targeted mostly older people in just a few states according to independent research by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Right now the government is trying to find the correlation between the two seemingly independent events. One the one hand, most of the actual COVID deaths occurred in a handful of states.But even in states where the death rate was NOT high, the economies still struggled. 

During April 2020, the first full month of the pandemic, the United States experienced an additional 2.4 deaths per 10,000 individuals beyond predictions based on historical mortality trends. This was a 33% increase in all-cause national mortality — deaths caused directly or indirectly by the coronavirus.

Deaths caused directly or indirectly by COVID during the first full month of the pandemic were highly geographically concentrated.

About half of all national excess deaths were in just two states: New York and New Jersey.

But the economic impact pattern was completely different because it was more geographically widespread.

Every state, except for Wyoming, experienced a statistically significant decline in the employment-to-population ratio during that time.

The two states with the largest initial declines in employment — Nevada and Michigan — only accounted for about 7% of the national employment displacement. 

It doesn’t add up. Senior researchers at the Census are scratching their heads over the data and we’ll report back once they’ve figured it out.

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Concern over foreclosure spike after COVID help ends is wildly overestimated

As forbearance periods come to an end and homeowners resume making their mortgage payments, one mortgage and foreclosure expert said concerns over foreclosure increases have been “wildly overestimated.” 

Today's housing market provides numerous financial relief opportunities for homeowners who are struggling to make their monthly payments.

“Demographics (millennials reaching prime homebuying age in very large numbers), low interest rates and pandemic-driven trends (migration from urban renter to suburban homeowner) will continue to drive demand, but it will likely slow down a bit until price appreciation slows down, and perhaps even corrects a bit in some of the higher-priced markets,” RealtyTrac Executive Vice President Rick Sharga said in an interview with FOX Business.

But as homeowners exit forbearance, Sharga notes, it will not lead to a significant uptick in foreclosure activity and won't have a major impact on the overall housing market.

“While some borrowers will not be able to recover from the financial distress COVID inflicted on them and will face the choice of selling their home or losing it to foreclosure, there won't be enough of those properties to fix the supply/demand imbalance in the market, and they shouldn't need to be sold at so much of a discount that they'll impact prices in any given market,” he said. 

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