coronavirus

The Mental Health Implications of COVID-19

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to enormous repercussions for people around the world.

There are so many worries and fears that people have. There are health concerns, and then there are the financial consequences that have come with economic shutdowns.

There are also the people on the front lines of the pandemic, including first responders and medical professionals who are grappling with an unknown virus.

According to Darras Law, while we are learning more about coronavirus and the treatments seem to be getting better, and deaths appear to be declining, the mental health effects might last far beyond 2020 for many people.

From job loss to isolation, it’s important to be aware of your own mental health and to check in with the people you love.

Everyone Reacts to Stress Differently

Source:bangkokhospital.com

You may feel like you’re much more stressed than others around you about coronavirus or its effects. That’s normal, and people react to stress differently.

People also have different levels of fear in different situations. What may seem incredibly overwhelming for one person may not be as anxiety-producing for someone else.

Some of the people who may have the strongest reactions to the stress of COVID-19 include:

  • People who are considered high-risk to develop severe illness if they contract COVID-19, such as older people or people with certain underlying health conditions.
  • Children and teens.
  • Health care providers and other frontline workers.
  • Essential workers.
  • People with existing mental health concerns.
  • Individuals with a substance use disorder.
  • Someone who’s lost their job or experienced major employment changes.
  • People who live alone and are socially isolated.

If you have a pre-existing mental health condition or a substance use disorder, you may be especially vulnerable to the effects of stress such as what’s stemming from the crisis situation created by coronavirus. It’s important that you’re aware of your risk factors so you can take steps to care for yourself.

What’s Normal and What’s Not?

Again, stress is a normal reaction to certain things in life, and of course, a pandemic would qualify as a stressful situation. It’s imperative that you do give yourself some understanding if you’re experiencing stress but you also have to be able to recognize when things you’re experiencing or feeling might go beyond what’s considered “normal.”

If you have ongoing feelings of sadness or helplessness that aren’t situational and don’t go away, it could be a red flag. If you’re experiencing symptoms like problems concentrating, body aches, or changes in appetite, and these symptoms last for several days in a row, it may go beyond stress. Also if your symptoms are causing problems in your functionality in your daily life, it may not be considered just normal stress.

Managing Your Mental Health During COVID-19

Source:healthblog.uofmhealth.org

If you’re struggling during COVID-19, there are things you can do to take care of yourself and perhaps help your mental health.

Self-care is important for everyone right now.

Make sure that you have a good sleep routine and schedule and that you get plenty of sleep each night.

Regularly exercise because movement can help boost your mood and reduce anxiety. If you can find an activity you can safely and comfortably do outside, even better. Getting sunlight is good for your mental health and it’s also an important part of your physical health because it provides vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency may be linked to worse COVID outcomes.

Don’t give into the temptation to cope with stress by eating unhealthy foods, such as refined sugar and packaged items.

Be careful about your consumption of alcohol because it can make mental health symptoms worse.

Also, aim to limit your screen time. Whether it’s a TV, your phone, or a computer, too much time in front of a screen is going to breed more anxiety and also keep you from engaging in more healthy activities.

If you can turn off the news, you’re likely going to see some big improvements in your mental health just from taking that one step. Constant news about COVID-19 and other things going on in the world right now is incredibly stressful. Social media can expose you to conflict and false information as well.

Know what your triggers are and actively work to avoid them.

For example, if you’re constantly refreshing the COVID death counter on your computer, then you’re triggering yourself over and over again.

Keep a journal for a week where you write down the situations that make you feel most anxious or depressed. After that week is up, look over them and start to identify those patterns that could be your triggers.

Work on training your brain to avoid them and break the loop.

We don’t even realize that sometimes we become addicted to bad news or things that trigger us.

We then put ourselves into a negative emotional spiral. If you can be more mindful and create a replacement for yourself when you find that you want to engage in these triggering behaviors, it can help your mental health.

Source:mymcmedia.org

Get Help If You Need It

By recognizing red flags and warning signs, you may be positioned to get help for yourself if you need it. It’s important to be proactive about seeking help when it comes to your mental health because otherwise the condition can worsen.

There are many options available to you.

One option is to seek support from the people in your life.

You might also reach out to someone who’s part of your faith community.

If your employer has an assistance program, they can provide you with a referral to a mental health profession.

There are organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Health and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration that can put you in contact with service providers and programs.

You can also talk to your primary care doctor and talk about what your options could be.

What’s most important through all of this is that you realize you aren’t alone. Be compassionate with yourself, and do what you need to do to stay mentally healthy.

7 Challenges Faced by Students During COVID-19

The novel coronavirus has created a plethora of challenges for people worldwide, but a major victim of the lockdowns are the students and learners at all levels. As of March 28, 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic is reported to be causing more than 1.6 billion children and youth to be out of school in 161 countries. This is close to 80% of the world’s enrolled students. Here, in this article, we discuss 7 challenges being faced by students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Time and Workload Management

Source:udemy.com

Everyone has to agree to this. Due to the coronavirus lockdown, schedule management and timing of activities has become the task of students themselves. With the introduction of self-paced programs, the onus is now on the student to plan out his/her study and leisure time. Such a plan may be possible for self-motivated individuals, but for those who need regular nudging from parents, it has created a huge problem of procrastination and ignorance.

2. Access to Information and Communication Equipment

Modern day learning is highly reliant on information and communication technology hardware. Such needs of a personal device have created a huge problem for households having shared devices. Moreover, due to the lockdown, even purchasing new equipment has become an uphill task. This results in the online model of education being non-democratic, thus exacerbating inequality. It makes education the sole right of the ‘haves’ over the ‘have nots’. Online education becomes inaccessible to the masses in developing countries, making education an unlevelled playing field. While the rich countries are able to cope up well, the conditions in undeveloped and underdeveloped nations are of mixed type.

Align with this, high-speed internet is still not available even in the most developed parts of the world, leave alone developing nations. With the advent of classes on Zoom, Skype, Teams, Webex etc. high-speed internet is a must for video conferencing. For the rural or developing world which is dependent mostly on mobile data, lack of connectivity has resulted in access to poor quality of videos.

3. Resource Overload Curse

That exists for real. What might seem as a ‘resource’ could simply lead some for more confusion. Although the internet has lots of content which might seem a boon for an avid learner, but with every resource in excess, comes a resource curse – the wastage. Knowledge never goes waste, time does. A quick glance through a book or a classroom lecture on a topic, say, the American War of Independence for a Class 8th student would give him sufficient details for his exam preparation. However, a Google search for the same will flood him with truckloads of information which he may not be able to digest. Instead, he ends up spending too much time on a topic, researching and reading about it beyond the scope of syllabus, thus, compromising on other topics that are part of his curriculum.

With online learning comes the complex world of social media, advertisements, marketing, e-commerce and all the distractions associated with them. A student can easily get distracted. So, a student reading a Wiki page may suddenly wander onto Facebook or Instagram. Such distractions can be detrimental for learning and can result in wastage of time and energy.

4. Lack of Interest Due to Non-Engaging Content

This is one factor that deeply impacts students. Being virtually present in an online classroom and being physically present in the traditional classroom has its own differences. A teacher can engage a student much more effectively in a traditional classroom. Whereas, in an online classroom, the student might lack interaction and attention from the teacher. Online classrooms become more of a monologue, with the content not meeting the needs of the students requiring more engaging and insightful study. Individual’s problems and their understanding can be catered to in a more holistic way through an offline model.
Testbook, an India based ed-tech startup, recently came up with a new concept of ‘live coaching’ in both web and mobile application formats. This concept ensures that a student gets a personal coach to interact with, gain conceptual clarity, solve doubts and to stay motivated and engaged.

5. Lack of Assessments Leading to Poor Learning Outcomes

No education is complete without tests and assessments. Online learning may lack a transparent, competitive and fair means of testing and assessment. The model more often depends on the integrity of students for their tests and assignments.

6. Online vs Traditional Model Debate

Source:myeducorner.com

Technology has wrapped itself all around our lives. But for online education vs. traditional ways of learning, technology boon is still a topic of debate. For a student taking online classes at home, he’d surely have a hold on abundant study material from all over the Internet. But, at the same time, the student misses on interaction with other students and does not receive direct attention from the teacher. Motivation is a major factor at play in online learning.

7. Dommed Dreams of Abroad Education

Source:globalnexus.com.au

Due to lockdown, many international universities have imposed restrictions on having students at their campus. All the enrolled students are completing their courses online. Many universities are not providing new admissions to international students. This has raised serious concerns amongst abroad-education aspirants in terms of ROI, placements and their future on the whole. Also, there is a big doubt on how effective an online course would be as compared to a fulltime on campus course. Such dilemmas are stressing out students.

The challenges faced by students in the COVID-19 crisis must be taken as an opportunity to upgrade the current education system. Bridging the gap between monotonous non-interactive, e-learning experiences and regular classroom experience, is the need of the hour in order to ensure effective and quality education digitally. Proper training must be provided to the teachers so that they are skilled enough to use the digital teaching tools efficiently and deliver high quality content. Alongside this, the digital infrastructure must be upgraded to accommodate online learning.

3 Reasons Why Bitcoin Price Could Crash in 2020

Three weeks ago, Bitcoin climbed to over $12,000 only to crash in a matter of minutes for $1,500. Investors got chills from such a huge plunge in a short time, and many are now questioning whether or not Bitcoin is able to maintain its value, or if the crash is inevitable. While the coin was taking a dive, 72,000 people decided to quickly sell their Bitcoins which brought down market capitalization from $214 billion to $208 billion. This may not seem like a big deal to ordinary folks who have no investments in digital currency, but in the currency exchange market circles, this is all investors talk about. Bitcoin seems to be justifying the suspicions that followed it from the first day, and now many are in doubt whether to keep the coins or cut their losses and run.

Source:forbes.com

Safer alternatives

This is a second hit for Bitcoin since the beginning of the pandemic back in March when it crashed to a value of a little over $4,000 for 1BTC. The currency is still standing and despite everything, is looking good with the little change for the past couple of weeks, but the traders are not so convinced. Many are questioning their decision to buy coins instead of gold which gained over 15% in value in the past few months.

Speculators are already rumoring that Bitcoin should be converted into more stable assets, with gold topping their choices. However, there have been some good predictions about Bitcoin circulating, like PayPal offering payments to its users in BTC, and Bloomberg suggesting that the coin could hit a $14,000 mark by the end of the year. Still, others seem to be scared of to further invest in an unstable currency and are looking for other sources and potential stakes.

In the last couple of years, investors have been at odds whether to keep Bitcoin or sell and invest in something else, namely gold. The price of gold spiked recently, mostly due to the banks stocking up on the assets, and being cautious since Federal Reserve started printing a lot of money to minimize the pandemic crisis. Will the gold manage to keep the trend of rising or is it just a temporary thing, only time will tell. In the meantime, speculators are buzzing about the weakened American dollar pointing out that it’s the best time to make gold reserves.

Source:express.co.uk

Domino effect

Major banks are suggesting that the market is about to crash which can pull down cryptocurrencies among other markets. One of the main reasons why Bitcoin is maintaining stability and value to some degree is the demand from Chinese investors through Tether. Tether is a US dollar-backed coin that was highly controversial since the creators claimed that every coin is backed by $1. In 2019 this all blew up and the Tether developers admitted that the coin actually was backed up by US dollar and loans. This “loan” part made it unstable and undesirable among investors. So, back to the Bitcoin. Currently, its value is closely dependent on the demand, if any, from the Chinese traders. If they decide at any point to move their investments into hedge funds, Bitcoin might lose the legs it’s standing on, and go down with the rest of the companies on the market.

Billionaires and some millionaires on the Wall St are wary of further investments until the markets are stable again. Many companies are struggling to remain liquid while the pandemic is still in effect. Big players on the New York stock exchange were not favoring Bitcoin even before the coronavirus crisis started saying that the currency that is backed by thin air is doomed. Today, investors are backing out of deals that they otherwise would not, and investing in cryptocurrencies right now is not even an issue. Truth be told, major investors are not thinking about investing in anything right now, but rather are just looking for ways to strengthen their hedge.

International Monetary Fund issued a statement saying that no one can predict with a decent amount of certainty how exactly pandemic is going to influence the markets. Uncertainty is not a friend to the investors and traders, and they tend to stay away from spending on fluctuating investments like Bitcoin. Pandemic completely disrupted trading, and no one can predict how it’s going to behave in the months to come. Because of this high net worth investors are laying low, trying to save their investments, and not making new ones. This could bring a market to a standstill and eventually crashing. When Federal Reserve started injecting more money into the economy to cover for all stimulus checks to boost consumerism and revive job markets, it sent the signal to banks and investment funds that the markets are in dire straits. This made investors put the hold on all investments and hold on to see new developments.

Influence of the stock markets

Source:investopedia.com

In the past year, every time Bitcoin came close to breaking an all-time high of $10,500 it suddenly dropped for a few thousand. This is a vicious cycle that keeps repeating itself. Even though Bitcoin is not backed by any asset, and is not controlled by any government, the stock markets do impact its value. Bitcoin is all about being not influenced by the movements of the traditional markets, but somehow it gets dragged under every time stock exchanges go under. So, we can determine that Bitcoin is not tied up to anything, but it is affected by the value swings of the stocks.

Will Bitcoin crash along with stock exchange? No one knows for sure. If you decide to invest in the current environment you should be more careful than usual. Stock exchanges around the world are struggling to keep moving, but the reality is that the major economies are on their knees. Maybe Bitcoin will survive one more crisis as it did before in the past, although many predict that it will be pulled down along with other stocks. In any case, do your research and get more information at https://infinitytrader.app/ before you make any moves that can cost you dearly.

How to Manage Your Money When Going through a Crisis

The coronavirus pandemic is far from over in the U.S., but already, it has left millions struggling as they lost their jobs due to repeated lockdowns. When times are rough, it is difficult to think straight and to add to our worries by trying to change our spending habits, on top of everything. But it’s important to adapt so you can survive through the crisis, so here are financial movements you should do or shouldn’t.

Entertainment in the COVID-19 Days

Source:scotsman.com

Who would have thought entertainment could be so important in our lives? Of course, we all like to go out, watch a movie, catch a play or head to a restaurant and go dancing afterwards. But if you were told that you weren’t going out on a given night, you wouldn’t have felt like you were missing out. However, the lockdown has created something new inside each of us, which has become as crucial to our survival as much as the money coming in: Being entertained.

When you can go outside your house, you rapidly lose track of what life is. Without working hours to be kept, the days rapidly mix one within the other. Entertainment becomes a way to either forget the confinement and refresh your head or for couples and family, a moment to share which brings normality to an uneasy situation. That is why Netflix was probably the most important company during the crisis, with millions of viewers around the world, evading to other worlds.

But you also need your time alone with entertainment and nothing is as helpful as music to soothe your soul. That is why Tidal, a music streaming app, was one of the most used during the lockdown as well. With over 60 million tracks and 250,000 videos, it provided a way out to be enjoyed alone or even with the other members of the family for an evening of dancing. Thanks to couponbox.com, you can obtain a reduction on the cost of the membership at Tidal but also on many different items like restaurants, a night at the hotel and clothes. That way, when you feel the urgent need to order out or do a little shopping, you can still save some money while doing so. Which brings us back to: How can you save money during these difficult times?

Defining what is necessary and what isn’t

Source:ft.com

This is probably the most difficult question you will face during this crisis. Why? Because needs can differ greatly from one person to another. That is, of course, until you need to reduce your spending to the bear minimum. Let’s hope this whole situation will resolve itself before any of us gets to that point.

However, there is no doubt that some habits will have to be changed for everyone facing difficult times on the horizon, after having been laid off temporarily or permanently for others. The problem is that we don’t know when companies will start hiring again, so it is better to save as much as we can in the meantime.

When defining what is necessary for you, make a list of all the extras you pay during a week (don’t write down monthly bills like electricity, loan or rent and other utility bill. Gas for the car, which would normally be one of the necessary spendings, may not be right now, if you don’t have to go to work. Once you have made the list, which should include things like cinema, restaurants, Netflix, golf, a day at the spa, etc., then you will have to start looking into what you are ok to live without.

Reduce Costs, Including Bills Whenever Possible

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There are things you should permit yourself to do in crisis which you should never do otherwise. One of them is lower your payment on your credit card. It is essential for a healthy lifestyle to be able to pay your credit card balance in full every month. If you don’t, that clearly means you are spending too much and there will come a time where you won’t be able to get out of this debt. But in a period of crisis, that is one of the bills you can cut by simply paying the minimum amount. However, be aware that you are doing so and that this situation is only temporary, or else you will find yourself in trouble. Then, go through your budget and try to find other bills on which you can temporarily pay less or simply stop for the duration of the crisis.

Reduce Your Savings Input

The best-balanced families usually have an amount of money they consider as savings for each pay check that comes in. That helps you build an emergency fund for times… just like the ones you are currently living. Don’t try to be mightier than you can be about savings. Of course you won’t be able to add to your savings (since you won’t be receiving pay checks anymore) but don’t stop yourself from using that money, because you believe it is not meant to be spent. It is exactly what it is meant to do: protect you in times of difficulties. Of course, manage it wisely so that you don’t find yourself spending it all. The fact that you have it doesn’t mean that you can continue your normal life as if you were employed.

Lower Your Pride and Get help from your Community When it Is Offered

Source:business2community.com

Community help is not always for other people then you. Hardship can happen to anyone, and you should not let your pride get in the way of accepting the help which is so graciously offered. Not all communities have this chance, so if you are part of one that provides it, accept it. To learn about the help which exists around you, call 2-1-1 or go to 211.org. The services they offer can be quite varied, from food banks, to meals for students and seniors and even psychological health for those who are suffering mentally from the pressure they are being put through.

There is also some relief that is being brought by the Federal government such as the postponement of federal student loan payments as well as coronavirus-specific unemployment programs. If you don’t take the time to learn about them, you may be spending money you shouldn’t have to or are not receiving some to which you are entitled.

Find a high savings rate

Now, is the perfect time for you to be proactive in looking for a better saving rate. It is easy to open a high-yield saving account today, in an online bank, which can get you more than the 0.06% average currently being given out (on average). Some even go above 1%. This is the simplest way you will find to earn more money from the one you already have and do so in a matter of minutes.

Conclusion

No matter what you do, keep a tab on how much money you are taking out of your saving accounts. The last thing you want is to find yourself having to rebuild it all once the crisis is gone. Yes, it is there to protect you and to enable you to survive such a crisis, but the more remains on your bank account and the easiest it will be to rebuild it when you go back to work.

Top Tips for Starting an Online Business

It’s been a tough few months for the world, with the Coronavirus pandemic leading to many staff furloughed and leaving many companies no choice but to close their doors forever.

But for many, Coronavirus and the period of lockdown has been a catalyst for business creativity and innovation. With more free time than usual, individuals everywhere have been able to work on their “side-hustles” and turn passions into profit. This period of uncertainty has given rise to a whole new generation of entrepreneurs, with the sale of baked goods, arts and crafts, and home-made hand sanitizers, just a few examples of lockdown businesses that have bloomed in their multitude.

The pandemic has also been a real eye-opener for owners of traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. The realization of having to adapt their digital and online strategies has been key for survival. For such business owners, the lockdown has been a time of working on new websites, boosting their social media presence and digging deep into researching their online audiences in order to find out how best to reach them.

And so, one thing we know for certain coming out of lockdown, is that a strong online presence is essential for any business.

If you, too, are armed with a business idea and feeling like you’re ready to dive into the sea of entrepreneurism, take a look at these simple yet winning tips to get you off to a flying start.

Get to know your audience

Source:ovidbell.com

Really knowing your audience is an essential stage in targeting your efforts. If you want to make sales, you have to figure out who your primary target audience is, what they want, what they care about, and what they don’t care about. This will be vital information to drive your marketing.

A good first step is to ask yourself, “who should I be marketing to, and how will I reach them?”. This will involve identifying the age, gender, location, socioeconomic status, and other demographic and psychographic traits of the consumer who would be most interested in purchasing your product or service.

Deep research around these points will enable you to optimize your marketing efforts to engage and convert your target audience. For example, knowing what kind of content your audience likes should influence the design and creation of your own website content.

Create compelling content

Source:searchenginejournal.com

An important ingredient in both attracting and keeping your target audience engaged is the creation of regular, high-quality content.

If you’re selling products online, you need to ensure you’re using professional photography and clear descriptions so potential customers can easily find what they’re looking for.

You should plan and create content with your target audience always in mind. You can write engaging blogs that provide valuable information to your audience and answers any questions they may have and create eye-catching social media graphics on free tools such as canva.com. With 85 percent of people watching video content daily, you may wish to capitalize on this trend by producing a promotional video of your products or services.

Create a strong social media presence

Source:oodlesmarketing.com

Social media is an essential tool in growing a strong online presence – so much so that some entrepreneurs have even built an entire business on social media platforms.

It’s a great place to promote your products and services and build up a community of followers both organically and through targeted, paid advertising.

There are so many social media channels available today, from the more established platforms such as Facebook to newer but booming platforms such as TikTok. You’ll need to identify which platforms your audience prefers and create a strong strategy to ensure you’re truly engaging them. Take a look at these six tips for boosting your social media presence in 2020.

Create a user-friendly website

Source:perpetualtc.blogspot.com

In today’s market, you can’t really have a strong online presence without a business website.

Fortunately, it’s never been easier to create powerful and well-designed websites thanks to the wide variety of business website builders available at your fingertips. Be sure to read reviews and do your research in order to decide which one will best fit your needs.

You need to ensure your website is designed with your target audience in mind, from the colors, style, and placing of imagery, to the keywords used throughout your website copy. These are all necessary steps in order to optimize your site for Google and to convert website visitors to paying customers.

On top of this, it’s important to ensure your website has a strong and reliable eCommerce Payment Gateway in place (for more information, visit www.utpgroup.co.uk). This is necessary in order to take payments from customers around the world, enabling you to increase the reach of your business and geographic spread of your customer base.

Devise a digital marketing strategy

Source:technopros-sa.com

A digital marketing strategy is a plan of action that underpins all of the above points. It’s a holistic approach, using digital channels such as social media, email marketing, and more, to drive more traffic and convert more sales.

No matter your industry or company size, it’s one of the best ways to grow your business. Simply put, a strong digital marketing strategy consists of defining your goals and then strategizing how digital media tactics can help you achieve them.

Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 crisis, many businesses are thriving. If you have an online business idea and time on your side to work on it, now really is the time.

How Will US Manufacturing Industry Adjust After COVID?

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There is a stark divide among the opinions surrounding what will change after the Covid-19 pandemic that has swept the globe. Some have hope that normalcy is waiting just around the corner while others fear that our previously perceived normal may never return.

For now, most of the world has a shared agenda: slow or stop the spread of the coronavirus among the population in order to save lives. The effort is so important that governments have issued emergency protocols and even enforced surveillance technology to ensure that social distancing rules are followed.

Many remain in full or even partial lockdown within their homes or cities. States have even closed borders refusing to allow entry in hopes that this will slow the spread of coronavirus. Suddenly, our worlds have changed around us and forced millions to re-think their daily lives from how they work to how they shop for things essentials.

We know from history that the short-term actions taken in response to any global or even local crisis tend to have a lasting effect on our society. Our “new normal” is actually quite literally our new normal because our view of normal has been forever altered. Manufacturers who embrace and take action based on this new normal will be the ones who come out on top in the end.

Covid-19 The Short-Term Actions on Manufacturers

Source:efficioconsulting.com

As mentioned above, the short-term actions embraced during the pandemic (in homes, public, and even in places of employment) are going to have long-term effects. Before we can truly understand those effects though, we need to first take a look at the short-term actions taken to control the spread of the virus.

In fact, Covid-19 has affected manufacturers in quite a few unexpected ways. The demand for certain products has soared as people purchased them in panic. Simultaneously, the ability to make more of these products (supply) plummets because fewer workers are available and allowed into the facility at the same time.

While some manufacturers are experiencing a boost in demand for products, others are experiencing devastating drops in demand for their goods and services. Regardless of the product, every manufacturer is now facing unprecedented challenges across the board in regards to continuing daily operations in manufacturing.

Now, manufacturers have to wrestle with new and not-so-exciting changes that have come about because of the short-term efforts to slow the spread of Coronavirus around the world. Social distancing, for example, is a pressure that manufacturers have to struggle with.

Consider for a moment that in manufacturing, six feet of distance might create a new problem regarding employee safety. Further, between 40 and 50% of manufacturing employees will not be allowed to perform their on-site functions. Of course, some of these employees may be able to work from home, especially if they have an office job, but the majority of the work undertaken in a factory is simply not suited to remote locations.

Source:mckinsey.com

The Long-Term Issues

While many of the trends that will emerge after the Covid-19 pandemic begins to subside had actually started long ago, these trends will certainly be sped up a bit by the emergence of the pandemic. Many will say that US manufacturing will never be the same again. Some companies, such as become.co, are offering solutions for some of the problems that emerge as a result of Covid-19.

Some of the trends that will begin to emerge are:

  • Re-emergence of Domestic Manufacturing

The U.S. relies heavily on supplies imported from other countries. However, during this time of isolation, we are seeing a significant difficulty in sourcing some of those goods which cause a problem for our supply lines. While it is certainly less expensive to purchase these goods elsewhere, being unable to find them is a serious issue.

Because of this, we will likely see a significant uptick in U.S. manufactured goods that we have not seen in quite some time. Considering that many of these goods are necessary for the survival and sustainability of the U.S. citizens, the government is certain to provide a significant amount of support to fill this need within the border of the country.

  • Supply Chains will be Decoupled

The chain of supply has been critically affected in the U.S. manufacturing sector. In fact, companies that relied on suppliers who are located in South Asia are experiencing a critical shock in their ability to receive continuous and reliable supplies.

This issue has brought awareness to the need for a reliable and diverse group of suppliers who exist across the globe rather than in one small area. On the other hand, suppliers will benefit from a more diverse base of clients as well in the event of another catastrophic event.

  • Investment in Digital Technologies

We can clearly see that companies were going to continue investing in enhanced technology for a variety of reasons. However, the pandemic has made companies highly aware of their technological deficits during a time of isolation and uncertainty.

If nothing else, one of the long-term effects is that companies will continue to invest in products that increase productivity and profit. These products, more often than not, involve complex software that companies can use to make complicated mathematical predictions.

  • Working From Home

Source:youmatter.world

Manufacturing requires quite a few employees to be present during a working shift. In fact, most plants require multiple employees to run machines and even need maintenance workers constantly on the clock in order to make sure machines are functioning properly. There is simply no way for manufacturing companies to move entirely to remote work.

However, much like in any other business, there are a number of jobs that can be completed in a remote location. Office jobs, management, human resources, etc. Many of these jobs will be moved to remote positions, another technology shift that was likely to eventually happen either way.

Final Thoughts

When there is a global crisis, society experiences shifts in the way they think about home, work, politics, and even family. These shifts are usually meant to be temporary, but often they wind up having lasting effects on our world.

What Is a Visa Type R?

Are you researching the different types of visas that you may be able to apply for in order to come to the United States? There are a variety of different paths that someone can take in order to get legal authorization to enter the country, remain for a set period of time, and perform specific tasks related to the nature of the visa. In some instances, this means that the bearer may be entitled to work, but in others, they may be only authorized to attend schooling or another specific duty.

Type R visas are awarded to religious workers that come to the United States. This type of visa falls into the category of non-immigrant visas. To qualify for it, you must establish that you meet the requirements that it calls for. The US embassy or consular office that receives your application will inform you if the USCIS has determined you are eligible to receive it.

Source:fl-ilc.com

As with all United States visa applications, the process is long and complicated. Fortunately, applying for a non-immigrant visa does come with less work than an immigrant visa, since you will not be requesting dispensation for a long-term stay in the country. For this visa, you will need to have the support and authorization of the religious organization that you work for in order to submit a final application.

Realistically, the best way to do this is to work with an immigration and visa lawyer in the United States who has been through this process. The good news is that there are law firms like the Florida Immigration Law Counsel who have years of experience helping all sorts of people apply for visas, asylum, green cards, and many other different tools that people can legally use in order to enter the United States. Be warned: you will quickly find this process to be overwhelming and exhausting when taking it on by yourself.

What Requirements Must You Meet To Qualify For a Type R Visa?

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The following is a list of the basic requirements you must meet in order to qualify for an R visa, but keep in mind that each person is specific and there will likely be additional questions that you will need to answer before determining for certain that you are choosing then right visa. Consult with your immigration lawyer to make sure none of them have changed or been added to at the precise moment when you apply, as American immigration policy is continuously changing:

  • You must be a member of a religious denomination and perform a religious occupation for them
  • You must be coming to the United States to work at least 20 hours a week
  • The religious organization you are a member of must be a bona fide non-profit organization in the United States
  • The religious organization you belong to must be an authorized group tax exemption holder or a non-profit affiliated with a religious denomination
  • You must have been a member of your religious organization for at least two years before filing the petition

How Is a Religious Occupation Defined?

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There are many different capacities in a religious organization that can qualify the participant as having a religious occupation. So many, in fact, that it is far easier for the United States government to list criteria instead of an extensive list of specific roles. The basic factors that must be present for you to initially be considered as having a religious occupation are as follows:

  • Be primarily related to a traditional religious function
  • Be defined as a religious occupation within your religious group
  • Be mostly related to carrying out the religious beliefs of the religious organization you belong to

As described above, the definition of duties doesn’t refer to any administrative positions, maintenance employees, or janitors. It also doesn’t apply to people that engage in fundraising activities or solicit donations, as this is often considered to be a volunteer position and not an occupation. Another group that would not qualify for this type of visa are those who engage in religious studies or training, although in this instance there may be an opportunity for a student visa. For more information check out fl-ilc.com,

What Process Must Be Followed To Receive an R Visa?

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Your employer in the United States must file a petition for a non-immigrant worker through form I-129. The petition must provide the necessary evidence to prove the points outlined above. If the religious organization that is petitioning you believes that one of the above requirements places an undue burden on the organization’s ability to practice their religion, they may seek an exemption under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Had An Impact On These Types Of Visas?

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As you may have guessed, the process for applying for and receiving a Type R American Visa has been significantly impacted. As of March 20, 2020, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) declared the immediate suspension of all of these petitions because of the limitations imposed by the Coronavirus. Hopefully, this will only be a temporary suspension and they may resume as all government agencies reopen.

The situation is changing quickly in terms of the Coronavirus shutdowns and limitations in the United States, so working closely with an attorney is likely the best way that you can make sure that you are up to date on the newest policies and limitations.

Are You Looking To Apply For a Visa Type R?

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The process required to secure a type R visa for you or a member of your religious organization carries definite difficulties that should not be tackled by someone with no legal experience. Having the support of a knowledgeable immigration lawyer will certainly lift some of the worries off your shoulders and point you towards the path you need to follow to get the R visa you desire.

As with all legal processes in the United States, prepare to deal with a lot of administrative work in order to ensure that your paperwork makes it through the bureaucracy and is returned in a timely manner (hopefully with approval). If the religious organization that you work with does not have a lawyer on retainer in order to help people like yourself with this process, we highly recommend finding someone to take your case today.

How Using Coupons For Online Shopping Help Save Money During This Crisis

The current pandemic has definitely changed life as you know it. From social distancing to self-quarantining, isolation has become the new norm and will continue to be required as long as there isn’t a cure or vaccine for the coronavirus.

One of the primary changes that you may have had to go through concerns about your shopping habits. While online shopping has been a practice for most consumers for quite some time now, you may fall into the category of people who prefer seeing the merchandise in-person before purchasing them. However, with COVID-19, you have to adjust and opt to shop online instead of risking your health, as well as everyone else’s well-being.

Fortunately, you can find lots of coupons to use when you buy necessities online. You can even enjoy massive discounts and deals on entertainment resources, such as magazine and mystery fashion boxes subscriptions, which are all here, to make the self-imposed isolation more bearable.

You can save money by using coupons for online shopping during this crisis by:

1. Purchasing More Items At A Fraction Of The Price

Taking advantage of coupons allows you to get more value for your money, literally, by enabling you to buy more items. With this, you can stay within your budget, but get more for the same amount that you would’ve spent on regular-priced items.

In this day and age, it’s crucial to be wise in spending money, especially with the economy getting a significant hit from the pandemic. Some businesses have already closed due to the current global healthcare problem, and the trend may continue if the issue isn’t resolved.

You must do all that you can to be frugal with your income. An excellent way to do that is to take advantage of coupons so that you can purchase more for your money.

2. Buying Necessities In Bulk

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One of the primary benefits of couponing is that you can stock up on necessities, like food, toiletries, and other life essentials. In today’s global crisis, you have to ensure that you have at least two weeks’ worth of supplies at home. It has become more crucial now to buy and store up provisions in case a new wave of coronavirus infections returns in the fall.

With coupons, you can buy food in bulk and keep them in your pantry. Just make sure that you store them properly, so you don’t end up throwing them away due to decay.

Here are some couponing strategies to help you save more money:

  • Check Newspapers

Even in this digital age, still, you must not disregard the significance of newspapers and other printed resources as a valuable source of coupons. If you’re still subscribed to a publication, take the time to sift through the pages for the best deals on necessities and items that you want. This is particularly ideal for finding deals among small businesses near you.

  • Use Mobile Apps

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Most brands are also taking advantage of today’s technology to develop exclusive mobile apps. You can easily install their software on your phone and be notified about their sales schedule, as well as other promos. Moreover, be mindful of times when you can use multiple coupons at once to make the most of the opportunity.

  • Master The Timing

Aside from collecting coupons, you can save more money by using them when there’s a sale. Just clarify with the store, however, if they accept promo codes during such an event. As mentioned above, some businesses allow the multiple uses of coupons even during sales since this can help them reel in the profits and boost their relationships with their customers.

  • Follow Brands On Social Media

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Another way to get the most bang for your buck is to subscribe to the social media profiles of your favorite brands. This makes it more convenient for you to be notified of sales and discounts. You can even set the notifications to prioritize highlights coming from these stores so that you’ll always be updated on their promos.

  • Stick To Your Budget

Most people fall into the trap of overspending when they’re using coupons. However, you should make wise purchasing decisions. The primary objective is to get more for the money that you spend. You need to have a budget so that you don’t spend more than your limit and end up acquiring debt.

3. Enjoying Free Shipping

A lot of consumers don’t think about the cost of shipping every time they order something online and have it delivered right at their doorstep. Fortunately, you can save on shipping fees with just a little bit of research and hard work.

When you think about it, shipping fees make your purchases more expensive since they’re additional charges to the total amount of your items. By using a coupon that allows you to save on shipping costs, you’re basically saving money, which you can use for essentials.

4. Trying New Products And Services

If you’ve ever wanted to try a new product or service, but are too scared of wasting money in case you don’t like it, you can try waiting for coupons on the merchandise that you’re eyeing. This way, you reduce the amount of regret you’ll feel when the item doesn’t meet your expectations.

Now is the perfect opportunity to try out new things since you have a lot of time due to the pandemic. Grab this chance and go test that new skincare product or food item that you’ve been wanting to try.

5. Avoiding Infection

Lastly, when you opt to shop online, not only do you save money by using coupons, you’ll also avoid having to throw away hundreds of dollars on medications and hospitalization if you risk venturing outside to buy your groceries and other necessities.

Conclusion

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Online shopping has been a boon for a lot of households in the current pandemic. You can even save more money when you use coupons for your purchases by allowing you to get more items for the same amount that you have budgeted. This way, you can buy necessities in bulk. Moreover, you can enjoy free shipping, try new products and services, as well as save money on hospitalization by avoiding getting infected.

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