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I've been reading a lot of news but although I get the broad picture I'm feeling really out of the loop when it comes to details. It's public knowledge that bars and restaurants are limited, schools and government offices are closed or reduced but what about everybody else? What is happening where you live? And how are you coping with that?

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I'm in upper SC, and my brother and I share a home. But, he is still going to work -- works at an electrical supply company, but only 4 hours a day, 4 days a week. He has a "pass" to get him wherever. But more important, he's also a first responder...any emergency, and off he goes.....he's scared s&!t-less, as I am.. But we're coping. He brings home outside news. As for me and my bills, everyone I deal with except the power company, has forgiven two months payment on all. We're blessed, in the sense of being well, as is extended family, and so far, we have all we need. But tomorrow is another day, and all of the world is praying hard for this madness to end. Only GOD, in all his wisdom, knows the "why" of this, and the reason of it. But yes, some of us are still going to work. May GOD bless each of us...stay safe, take care...
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Pam, you said you have FMLA. Use it!! I’m an essential worker also and I have FMLA. I also use it. We also have FFCRA, Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
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Pam, could you take a week or so of FMLA? Even every other day for a bit? I used to work M, W, F, and it was so easy.... If you don't get a break, you may very well break down.
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Pam I wish I could say something to make this all better for you and all the people in your shoes, but I can't.

All I can say is Thank you Pam for your hard work and your sacrifice. I will keep you in my prayers and thoughts. The world needs people like you.

But remember to take care of yourself because there is only one of you.

Lots of hugs!!!😇🙏
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((HUGS)) to you pamz. We have recently been discussing what will happen if even a small percentage of our "thin white line" refuses to go to work, I mean you can place all the emergency orders you like but realistically you can't compel people to work.
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Thanks a million times over, Pam! Your services are so needed. We love and appreciate you. 💗

We need more people like you in this world. I am an allergy/asthma patient so I get it! It’s no fun fighting to breathe.

Yes, I have a nebulizer and my inhaler but it is stressful not being able to breathe and frightening when the asthma attacks are so severe that I have to go to the hospital.

The last attack, they called my priest in to pray. People do die with respitory issues. I almost died. I stayed in the hospital for several days on a breathing machine.

So, I truly appreciate your sacrifice. Stay safe, take care and I will keep you in my prayers. I promise.
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I am front line essential staff at a major inner city hospital, I am almost 62, with some health issues. I am a respiratory therapist, and as some of you may know that puts me in the front of this as I run the ventilators,help with intubations, do the extubations,, all airway things that are major with this disease. I suction the lungs that are shutting down,, and this disease is airbourne and droplet ( according to who you listen to,, we are not sure, our information changes daily) We are being called daily to ask if we can pick up extra shifts ( our staffing needs have been increasing daily) I ache everywhere, I can't sleep when I have to work the next day due to anxiety , I have had a horrible headache from stress for the last week. My allergy symptoms mimic this disease, so I have to say sorry for every cough and sneeze. I have to wear a surgical mask until it breaks,, for days,, same with the one N95 I was able to get,, who knows what I will do when it breaks? My 89 YO frail mom lives with me,, she is terrified I will bring it home, and so am I . Soon we will be unable to refuse the "call ins " to work extra shifts, and really at this point 3 12 hour shifts in a row are killing my hips and knees. I have FMLA for myself, and for care for my Mom, but I am afraid to use it. And I don't want to leave my coworkers and patients down. This is hard,,
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Bridger,

I am a native of New Orleans. I was born and raised here. I am immensely grateful for your husband’s kindness. We are considered a ‘hot spot.’ Yes, we had over a million people celebrating Mardi Gras. We rely on tourism. Many locals participate in Mardi Gras. visitors come from all over the country and some from Asia and Europe.

Our city has endured many sufferings throughout history. This coronavirus has triggered many of us to relive the trauma of Hurricane Katrina which happened in 2005.

We had many people step up like your husband and help us out during Hurricane Katrina, college students, churches from all over the country, doctors, nurses, professionals and ordinary people, all very special people indeed. Some even stayed and made New Orleans their home afterwards.

As we fell in love with them, they too fell in love with us. We are not ‘anywhere USA.’ We are a unique city with a unique spirit. We will all get through this together if we are willing to work together.

Of course you want your husband safe at home. We want everyone to be safe too. I am proud of your husband for stepping forward and making a difference in this world. Talk is cheap. Anyone can talk. Your husband is a man of action. So, I thank him and I also thank you for loving and supporting him.

Take care. I will pray for the safety of your husband. I pray daily and send warm wishes to everyone.
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My husband was transferred from small hospital In WV to a large hospital in New Orleans. I want him home not in some hot spot. They asked for volunteers, got none and moved staff doctors from small hospitals. He and everyone else who could turned in their retirement and are leaving tomorrow. I hope he makes it home with no virus. They had their parades and parties. I don’t want my husband to be a victim .
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I've been taking a mental inventory of all the people in my life and as far as I know all but one - oops, make that two - are still going to work at least part time or are working from home. The jobs I see being eliminated are all in the hands on service and entertainment industries as well as smaller boutique clothing stores. So no to child care, housecleaning, hair and nail salons, chiropractors & massage therapy, no to theatre, golf, movies etc. Oh yeah mustn't forget, some manufacturing is also taking a break but others are considered essential services...
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It seems in some workplaces, it's not being taken as seriously as it should be, for whatever the reasons.

I just suggested to her, to call 211. It's a United Way service, ... it's purpose is to help folks, who need direction where/who to call, .. for things that are widely varied, ... if one needs help . healthcare, food, housing, gov't services, etc etc. They .. can .. and do . provide phone #'s ... it could be that they can provide her with a phone # for a hotline .. as to her state's handling of these issues . and employer/employee Covid issues .. there may be a hotline for such things and she needs to find it.

Feel bad for her.

She's a real germaphobe even when things aren't as critical as this, and seemingly someone who catches every sore throat and cold, . stomach bug that even dares look in her direction .. and so .. as I said, she began coughing a week or more ago . and the sore throat, . and aches and so forth, but no fever. Could all be allergy season related . who knows.

But .. has been out of work, with doc orders, .. going on her 2nd week now .. and .. so her boss tells her, .. when her symptoms subside, as is the doc note she got via telephonic visit .. she can return to work. But it's worrisome to her, . as she is customer interfacing. And ... one would like to think they can maybe talk . .via Plexiglas ... perhaps .. or maybe with a mask .. but nope. Not in that setting.
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Dorker, yes, auto repair is an essential service. But doesn't her state have new regs on distance requirements at work?

Is there a state-wide information line she can call to check. At least here in NY, there are regs about that, not so sure about how they are being observed. The Amazon workers are up in arms about this very issue.

Is COVID-19 not being taken seriously yet?
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Wish I knew how to advise my sister in law. She works in an auto dealership. She's the person you bring your car to, if it needs repair, and so you interface with her, to list your complaints as to your vehicle and whatever is wrong with it, .. and up until week before last, she was even required to get into the car, to test drive it, customer sitting inches from her, as the car is then driven for a synopsis of what's going on, to turn it in for service.

This worried her immensely . she's a germophobe. That did change last week, when she was out sick all week, with a cough, muscle aches, .. no fever, ...

She doesn't think she caught Covid-19 but doesn't know, as she doesn't fit the bill for testing.

She is worried sick about going back to work, exposure to customers who have been God only knows where, and around God only knows who .. and catching this virus.

At least the auto dealership did change their protocol .. that the worker no longer has to sit in the car with it's owner and go for test drives.

She's bent out of shape with her employer, as there are 3 of them that do the specific duty she does .. and their desks are all right next to one another, .. no social distancing there, ... not at all. She says that the 3 of them that do this job . are inches from one another, and no allowance for wearing a face-mask .. as that will "Scare" customers.

Doesn't sound right to me, but what do I know.

She was out sick all last week, and same this week. Her doc (telephonic visit) has advised she can return to work 48 hours after her symptoms subside, .. coughing . a lot.

Too many gray areas in this whole thing. I guess auto dealers and repair thereof, are considered "essential".
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Thanks polarbear for sharing!! It is very informative and will help everyone.
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(2 of 2 cont.) Copy and paste from my Credit Union's email message. Sorry it's long, but I thought I shared some good news:

Payroll Protection Program (SBA Administered)

To encourage businesses to avoid layoffs, companies in business prior to February 15, 2020, and with fewer than 500 employees, may apply for forgivable loans to cover up to 8-weeks of wages, benefits, rent, utilities and certain other expenses. These loans are limited to 2 times average monthly payroll over the prior 12-months plus 25% and are capped at $10 million. Loan terms are for two years and the interest rate is set by the SBA at 0.50%. The first payment is deferred for six months.

Loans are forgivable to borrowers that keep employees on payroll for at least six months from the date of the loan. Loan proceeds must be used to cover wages, benefits, mortgage interest, rent or utilities with no more than 25% used for non-payroll related costs. If during this six-month period the borrower reduces wages by more than 25% or decreases full-time headcount, the forgivable portion of the loan will be reduced pro-rata for the reduction in payroll. Nonprofits can also apply under the same terms and conditions. 

KCU is an active SBA Lender and will be making these loans for new and existing members. We encourage you to apply quickly as demand will be high and funds available under this program are capped at $349 billion.

Tax Credits for Retaining Employees

In addition to the benefits outlined above, businesses that keep idled workers on their payrolls are eligible for a tax credit, so long as the businesses meet certain criteria. This will be paid as a tax refund equal to one-half of the amount spent on wages, up to $5,000 per worker.
 
I know this is a lot to absorb, but we believe the CARES Act will provide meaningful support to many of our members and to our communities during these difficult times. We want to ensure you are well-informed and have access to the benefits available to you. We appreciate the trust you’ve placed in KCU to see you through this crisis. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your Credit Union for help navigating this legislation and for any additional assistance you may need.
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(1 of 2 posts) Copy and paste from my Credit Union's email message. Sorry it's long, but I thought I shared some good news:

Important information on the $2 trillion stimulus
 
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed a $2 trillion stimulus package called the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). It is the largest single injection of federal funding into the economy in history and includes a number of provisions to help both individuals and small businesses.

This is a massive piece of legislation, and there is still much about the implementation that remains undefined. Nevertheless, as your financial partner, we want to summarize the ways this legislation may benefit you.

Whether you’re currently employed, under-employed, have been laid off or own a small business, you may be eligible for benefits under the CARES Act. We’ll continue to provide updates as the federal government releases additional information.


Benefits for Individuals

One-time Rebates

All U.S. residents with adjusted gross income (AGI) up to $75,000 ($150,000 for joint filers) will receive a one-time “rebate” payment of $1,200 ($2,400 for joint filers). They are also eligible to receive an additional $500 per child, age 16 or under. Those earning more than $75,000 per year ($150,000 for joint filers and $112,500 for head of household filers) are not eligible for the $500 per child and will receive reduced rebate payments. The rebates are completely phased out for individuals earning more than $99,000 ($198,000 joint and $136,500 head of household).

The Treasury Department states they expect most people to receive payment by April 17 if they typically use direct deposit for their tax refunds. Treasury has not yet indicated when paper checks will be delivered for people who do not use direct deposit.

Increased Unemployment Benefits

Beginning March 27 and continuing until July 31, 2020, individuals receiving unemployment benefits are eligible for an extra $600 per week in addition to existing state unemployment benefits. The Act also extends state unemployment benefits for an additional 13-weeks.

Mortgage Payment Deferrals

As we shared last week, homeowners may receive up to a 180-day payment grace period on federally guaranteed mortgage loans and are protected from foreclosures for 60-days. Please note that Kinecta is offering payment deferrals on all loans not just mortgages.

Restrictions on Credit Reporting

Deferred payments will not impact your credit score. Financial institutions must report loans as “current” for 120 days after the emergency declaration is lifted if a borrower has received a payment deferral or loan modification. Borrowers must still fulfill any other requirements included in the modification agreement such as maintaining insurance, paying taxes, etc.

 
Benefits for Self-Employed & Independent Contractors

Tax Deferrals

Self-employed individuals may defer the 6.2% Social Security tax on wages if they can show at least a 50% decrease in net earnings compared to the same quarter last year. The tax must be paid in two years: half by Dec. 31, 2021, and the other half by Dec. 31, 2022.

Changes to Unemployment Benefits

Self-employed people, including gig workers, freelancers and independent contractors, may be eligible for state unemployment benefits as well as the additional $600 weekly benefit provided by the federal government. Benefit amounts are calculated based on prior earnings.

Payroll Protection Program (SBA Administered)

Sole proprietors and independent contractors are eligible to participate in the Payroll Protection Program as outlined below.

 
Benefits for Businesses

Tax Deferrals

Employers may defer the 6.2% Social Security tax on wages if they can show at least a 50% decrease in net profits from the same quarter last year. The deferred tax must be paid over the following two years: half by Dec. 31, 2021, and the other half by Dec. 31, 2022.

(continue on next post...)
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Bridger,

Please tell your husband that we all say thank you very much for his work. Where would we be without the very hard working doctors and nurses during this crisis? I hope when this situation calms down that he will get rest and be able to spend time with family and friends.
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Wish someone had thought early on to isolate the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, instead of the whole world! I'd have to stay home, but so many people could still have a life, and there would still be a decent economy when it was over.....
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Everyone in my family is working full time, plus overtime. My husband is a physician. I work 8am-5pm in his office, plus some at home. My husband averages 16 hours a day. Our sons both have a full time and a part-time job. B out 55 hours a week. Plus I have both of my elderly parents to help.
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I work for the employment commission in my state. Most of the employees go to work every day. We have been swamped with new claims by internet and by phone. The calls have been as high as 40,000. Online claims 16,000 in one night. Volunteer employees in other departments working on Saturdays to help input new claims. We practice distancing. No gatherings. Eating at desk. Can't go in other's cubicle, use hand sanitizer, wipes, I even use gloves because of a skin issue. Wash hands a lot. Been working 6 day a week all of March. So not out doing much else. I live alone so don't worry about bringing in to someone else. Obsess over little things like do I feel I am getting sick? But so far so good. Feel like a big need to help others who have no income. Most people in my office and this agency building are over 50 years old.
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My son-in-law is a UPS driver. They’ve asked drivers over age 50 to stay home so the remaining drivers have the additional routes, plus the additional influx of packages being ordered online. Long days.
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Bloomberg just reported that China's Mobile Carriers lose 21 MILLION users in the last 3 months. At the same time last year, the number of users increased. Meanwhile, the communist Chinese government reported a total of 3,277 deaths from the coronavirus from 81,171 infections.

How can anyone reconcile those two numbers: the number of deaths and huge drop in the number of cell phone users? The difference is a big fat lie from the communist Chinese government.
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Not really applicable as to whether we're going to work, but file under a funny of .. "First World Problems" .. and "others" not working . or skeleton crew.

So last night, I noticed, my smartphone had no internet connection for some odd reason . I hadn't done anything ... why is this happening? So, some google searching . troubleshooting steps . did what I could do, no dice, not solved.

I go ahead and sign on online, to my carrier's site . to see if I can solve it via chat session online, .. as calling their 1-800# .. I knew better, the hold time will be f-o-r-e-v-e-r.

So .. yes, find the chat feature for tech support for my phone's carrier, and there I'm notified via message that due to Covid 19 and reduced work force, the hold time may be lengthy . asked to click on chat if I'd like to proceed, I did so.

An hour and 15 mins later, yes .. 1 hour and 15 mins .. that long, a tech pops up on the chat line . takes me through several steps . and nope . no dice, doesn't solve it. Nope. So she's gonna have to now escalate me to another level of tech support, okay ..

Well, another . no I'm not kidding . another 1 1/2 hours on hold for that next level of support, it occurs to me when the chat feed, which had previously been popping up with message "we're sorry for the lengthy wait, a representative will be with you shortly" .. and it stopped, that feed. I thought *Uh oh . they've closed for the night* .. went to look for their hours for online support, yep closes at 11:00 PM. It was after 11. No help.

I looked on the site, ... *well I'll just book an appt and go into a service ctr . .and have them look at it, found that . clicked on the link, to receive a message, "We're sorry .. due to Covid-19 our sites have been temporarily closed, you are encouraged to try and resolve your issues online at "XXX.com" ..

SIGH

Went to bed, pondering what am I gonna do, I can't spend another 3 hours tomorrow on hold .. waiting for tech suppt to resolve this.

FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS ....

People are losing their jobs .. and the economy teetering on the brink of collapse, .. and I can't get the internet on my phone. WOW! Spoiled.

Fortunately, when I got up this morning . whatever was wrong w/it had solved itself and it was fine.

But there ya go . our new normal ... one can no longer call somewhere and "assume" there will be a human in that setting to assist, not in this day and age . where site are closed and people not at work.
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CW I have just placed an urgent email order for a rather fetching Chantilly lace bra and briefs. The urgency is related to supporting a local family business that I don't want to see go bust (no pun intended). We all have to do our bit!

I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised if people in haulage/delivery/logistics generally get deployed in food and other essential supply chains; so it's as well to keep Nephews primed and in the loop, I suppose?
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I've been reading how people are filling their extra time browsing through amazon placing orders for all kinds of non essentials, which of course means it IS like christmas for those poor people working at the warehouse or driving for a courier service.
As far as I can see almost nothing has changed with our Premier's shut down except the local jeweller (owner/operator) has closed- nephews are both considered essential (furniture delivery... really? Just because the CEO managed to whisper in the right ear that somebody might desperately need a new fridge or freezer? 😠)
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Elaine, our posties are being run off their feet! What with everyone staying home and ordering everything online, and the government writing stern letters to one and a half million older citizens, to them it must feel like Christmas come early. I.e. double overtime!

So I'm very surprised to read that you've seen a reduction - have you checked that yourself?
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My (and hub's) branding business is B-to-B in medtech so we are so far insulated from the worst of the economic impact. We have a few employees, one with advanced COPD (she carries an oxygen machine) so we closed the office and are now working from home 100%. At 61 I'm learning new tech such as Zoom, Slack, etc. for video conferencing. With my grandson in our home 50% of the time and my 90+ yo mom (who lives next door) just "popping in" without understanding we're actually working, it's been a challenge -- but nothing like some what many are experiencing. I'm so grateful to still be able to support my employees. We've survived through 3 recessions and have had to lay off people in the past (so awful to decide and do, gut-wrenching!). My heart is broken for all the businesses who probably won't be able to withstand the shut-down. Family businesses. Legacy businesses. Worthy businesses. Ugh...so awful and yet no good answers or solutions at this point. At the end of the day, this is still America and anyone can rise up from the ashes. I wish everyone peace in the moment and as you move into the future. xoxo
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I worry for my uncle's family. He's been out of work for a couple of months due to health reasons. His wife has to work extra shifts to make ends meet. Now, she can't work at all due to her job not being considered essential.
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I work for the post office. One of the essential workers. The house panel warns the corona virus could destroy the postal service by June according to Republican Carolyn Maloney. The postal service has seen a dramatic reduction in mail. The postal service will not survive the summer without help from congress and the White House. I meant Democrat Carolyn Maloney.
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Polarbear, in California all children are still given 2 meals a day, by the school system, you just drive up to a school and they hand them out. You can walk up too. My parents are in NV and I don’t know about the entire state but in their town, the schools are feeding kids as well. Since its a small town the meals are delivered by the school bus drivers. So that’s good. But I too worry about the folks who can’t work and have no income coming in.
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