Business Coronavirus

Atlanta entrepreneur creates fashion masks for coronavirus

Due to shortages of masks, my daughter has stepped up to create homemade masks for health care workers and regular everyday people trying to protect themselves and others from the coronavirus.

She specializes in creating fashions for women and has done work for celebrities, gospel music divas, reality TV stars, and R&B songstresses. She’s the go-to gal for Carnival costumes and prom dresses. She’s also won the top award for costume creation for high school plays in the entire state of Georgia.

Yesterday, we were having a FaceTime moment and she was wearing one of her latest creations – The Mask.

Never to be outdone, she has a line up of men and women’s masks that are high fashion.

They are built real filter material, washable, and very fashionable.
She cobbled together other family members to help in the production and can knock out about 25 mask a day if they can all get along all day (inside joke).

There’s already a demand for these masks at $19.95. If you want one, get in line. They are still trying to catch up to fill pre-orders.
Don’t you just love creative people?

The link to learn more and make an order:

Community News Coronavirus

The poor gets the short end of coronavirus relief bill

The U.S. government will be sending money to a lot of Americans in the next few weeks.

Those payments are expected to be $1,200 for individuals, or $2,400 for those who are married and file income taxes jointly. It also includes $500 per child.

What you received is based on your adjusted gross income in your latest tax returns. If you earn more than $75,000 as an individual, $112,500 as the head of household or $150,000 if you are married and filing jointly, the amount of those checks starts to get reduced.

Coronavirus Opinion

‘Black News Channel’ doing better with coronavirus coverage

Since I started subscribing to the new Black New Channel, I was curious where the rest of you get your news. I’m glad I procrastinated on doing this post because news watching has gone to a whole other level since the coronavirus landed.

I thought I’d do a piece on the new Black News Channel and see if I’m the only person watching. I figure I probably am the only one watching. I’ll get to my thoughts on the channel later.
According to Axios, a new survey from TV analysis company Magid finds 51% are increasing their consumption of news amid the coronavirus outbreak, with 49% checking on the news multiple times a day. Is that you?

Business Community News Coronavirus Politics

Laid off City workers applying for unemployment should be fully compensated

As the folks in Washington D.C. continue to squabble over the final details of the stimulus package, it appears they’re going to boost unemployment compensation to make everyone earning under $60,000 whole.
It goes something like this…

The deal also includes a massive expansion of unemployment insurance. Schumer called the agreement “unemployment compensation on steroids,” and said the maximum unemployment benefit will be increased by $600 per week to ensure “that laid-off workers, on average, will receive their full pay for four months.”

Expect to see a lot of people across all industries laid off real soon.
I imagine the unemployment office (PA CareerLink) is closed so all applications for unemployment will either have to be done by phone or online. If you’ve ever tried to reach them by phone during normal times, it’s a challenge. I hope the online experience is ready for a lot of traffic.

Community News Coronavirus Opinion Politics Technology

Chester City Council Meeting via Facebook Live

Due to the coronoavirus and the need to shut down City Hall from the public, today’s City Council meeting was held in an empty chamber and broadcasted on Facebook Live. With the number of people who viewed it, this seems to be an effective way of reaching far more people than can sit in chambers and see a city council meeting in person.
It lasted about 15-minutes and they agreed to keep the State of Emergency Declaration going; demolish Pulaski School to make way for a recreation center; and approved something with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
No one emailed or called in any public comments.
I imagine they’re recording on a Smartphone which gives a decent image, but it’s hard to hear what they’re saying most of the time. Speaking louder would help or get one of those mics you can plug into the phone to pick up sound a lot better.
These mics are well under $100. Here’s what they look like.
iphone mic

Community News Coronavirus Politics

Chester City to layoff employees due to coronavirus?

I hope it’s only a rumor, but several City of Chester departments are slated for layoffs effective March 30 with their last paychecks being issued on April 3. This comes as a result of conference call to the department personnel earlier today.
Yet, according to earlier today…

  • U.S. Senate leaders agreed to the massive $2 trillion economic stimulus package on Wednesday morning, following five days of negotiations and two failed votes.
  • …the funding is for state and local governments
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, says the bill will include $150 billion in aid for states and local governments.
  • That money will go to “states and localities who are so hard pressed because of all the new expenses that COVID-19 puts upon them, and because they’re not getting the resources they usually get,” Schumer said.

Are all of elected officials failing to help Chester City? Let’s take a roll call and see if any of them respond:

  • Delaware County Council
  • State Rep Kirkland
  • State Senator Killion
  • US Senator Casey
  • US Congresswoman Scanlon

How about a tax anticipation note with Harrah’s money as collateral?
Any HUD money out there?
Where’s the Delaware County Economic Development Oversite Board when you need them?
I shouldn’t assume. Maybe the City of Chester haven’t made the calls to these folks yet and all this is premature. If not, maybe these folks might want to call the City of Chester and let them know what they can do if they’d like to shed embarrassment for allowing layoffs in Chester with money available to avoid exactly this type of thing.
The last thing we need are more people in Chester out of work right about now. If there’s money available from the government earmarked to help government, let’s figure out why Chester isn’t getting any of it.
Is the Chester-Upland School District laying off next?
READ: Laid off City Workers to be fully compensated

Community News Coronavirus Crime Opinion Politics

Advocates for the incarcerated want the same thing regardless of race

There are a lot of Black people incarcerated across America making up about half the jail and prison population while representing only 13% of the United States population. Any talk about how to manage the incarcerated during the coronavirus pandemic obviously involves close to as many white inmates as it does Black and Brown inmates.
In today’s Delaware County Daily Times, Kaabeer Weissman, co-founder of DelcoCPR, advocates for the release of prisoners held at the Delaware County prison. Her ask is almost identical to what the Congressional Black Caucus proposed in a letter to Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer last week in hopes that Black people’s issues are considered in the next package of federal resources for individuals, families, businesses, and communities.

“The goal has to be to release as many people as possible as soon as possible,” said, Kabeera Weissman.
She called on police officers to file criminal complaints rather than making arrests when possible.

I get where she’s coming from, but if her intent is to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the prisons, letting criminals roam free, especially in poor communities, is the last thing that needs to happen.
If there’s ever a time a city like Chester needs more protection, it’s now. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and people are going to get more desperate as time passes. Many people in this community are already in poverty; working pay check to pay check if they are working at all; struggling to eat and feed their kids out of school; and may not qualify for a check from the government for one reason or another. There’s probably going to be relief for mortgage payers but I don’t hear anyone talking about providing relief for renters. You may not get evicted now but you still owe your rent.
I assume she isn’t advocating for the worst of our violent criminals going unchecked, but is that what the criminals are hearing when she says stuff like this? Should a police officer have to make a decision on the spot on what applies now as opposed to what applied last month when it comes to taking a criminal in? Is all these new policies going to be figured out in the next 20-minutes and rolled out across the board by tomorrow? If not, let’s spend our energy elsewhere.
As the funny lady on the YouTube video says, ‘Ain’t nobody got time for that.’
I’m am not a fan of GEO, but I have to side with them with this statement…

“These are unprecedented times when we all need to work together to combat COVID-19 (coronavirus). We have been working around the clock with state and local health officials to stop the spread of the virus and we are strictly adhering to all CDC guidelines. It is with hope that individuals and groups would be more focused on being part of the solution instead of political agendas in times of crisis.”

How prisoners live is not much different than how real people live in row homes, public housing, senior living centers, apartment complexes, high rises, or anywhere else people are stacked on top of or next to each other. What we learn from how prisons handle coronavirus can be applied many other places.
I’m all about prison accountability and watchdogging, and it surely should take place during this pandemic. We’ve got to trust they’re going to do what they can to protect their employees and the inmates. When it’s all over, we’ll look back and study the decisions they made, measure the results, and demand policy adjustments where needed.
Below is the Congressional Black Caucus’ ask to Congress regarding the incarcerated. It’s an interesting read…

Millions of currently incarcerated individuals are at risk of COVID-19 without the ability to take any steps to protect themselves. They are our responsibility and we must take actions to ensure their health and safety. Unlike the general population, correctional staff, personnel, and incarcerated persons cannot practice social distancing due to overcrowding and the restrictive nature of detention facilities. As a result of close confinement, the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak in these facilities remains high.

Measures must be immediately implemented to protect the lives of the men, women, and youth who are currently in custody and the newly arrested, as well as to protect the staff and personnel who are responsible for their care.

We must:

    • Release all juveniles who have committed a non-violent crime;
    • Ensure all incarcerated individuals and staff are tested for Coronavirus, including everyone in custody, those going into custody, and those who are scheduled for immediate release;
    • Prioritize releasing incarcerated individuals in prisons, jails, and detention centers through clemency, commutations and compassionate release;
    • Allow immediate temporary release to home confinement of individuals who are a low-risk threat to the community, but to whom COVID-19 is a high-risk threat, which should automatically include (1) pregnant women, (2) adults over the age of 55, and (3) those with serious medical conditions, but could extend to those who are near to completing their sentence, low risk offenders, and those who have not begun their sentence, unless they pose a risk of serious injury to a reasonably identifiable person;
    • Provide $4 billion for Second Chance Grants, with priority given to community based non- profit organizations, to ensure individuals released from custody have the resources needed to successfully reintegrate into their communities;
    • Limit transmission in Bureau of Prisons (BOP), State and local correctional facilities by immediately providing the resources necessary to implement CDC protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as functioning sinks with antibacterial soap, hand sanitizers, and unlimited paper towels, increasing laundry services for clothing and bedding, as well as instituting measures to protect individuals responsible for providing laundry and cleaning services;
    • Agree that solitary confinement is not medical care and establish a Medical Emergency Plan with designated housing areas, including the tracking all suspected cases of COVID- 19 and available hospital beds and necessary equipment, the hiring of medical professionals capable of responding to COVID-19 inside facilities, and the development of a plan to transfer those who need intensive care to hospitals;
    • Employ technology to preserve families and their visitation needs, including providing video conferencing and calls free of charge; and
    • Provide Paid Sick Leave for personnel who are unable to work as a result of exposure to COVID-19 and require the establishment of an emergency contingency plan for the effective operation of facilities.
Community News Coronavirus Submission

Faith Tabernacle serving lunch today

faith tab

Coronavirus Submission The Arts

5th grader creates Coronavirus public service announcement on YouTube

Jalen Starr is a fifth grade student at Swarthmore-Rutledge School who created an awesome Coronavirus video PSA.
Thanks to his teacher, Liz Corson, for sharing this with us.

Jalen is the son of Ron and Tyra Starr.
(My little recommendation is to add text or captions in future videos for the many people who watch these videos on mute or in high noise locations)

Coronavirus Health Politics

Should health workers get priority for protection against coronavirus?

That seems like such a stupid question but based on government’s delay in implement the Defense Production Act to secure medical equipment sorely needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic, you’d think we had a large bench full of doctors, nurses, and first responders at the ready and available to care for the thousands of American’s contracting COVID-19, even as they’re becoming patients themselves.
The act issues contracts to manufacturers to make large numbers of test kits, personal protective masks, ventilators, respirators, face shields, Tyvek gowns, and gloves to support health care workers and their patients.
Federal delays in rolling out widespread testing have sparked criticism from state officials who have said they are woefully underprepared to handle the pandemic.

“Even the most conservative political theories recognize that governments do sometimes have to take directive actions and markets alone cannot solve these problems. It should be a war mentality, and the government should be the leader,” said Mildred Solomon, president of the bioethics-focused Hastings Center.

Some American manufacturers have privately expressed concerns that it’s more difficult to ramp up production of medical equipment without clear guidance from the federal government outlining what materials are needed — and where.
However, Ford Motor Company put things in motion before the White House approved senate bill 3568 – A bill to require the President to use authorities under the Defense Production Act of 1950 to require emergency production of medical equipment to address the COVID-19 outbreak. Ford is already busy making medical supplies through four projects: working with GE to make ventilators; working with 3M to make air purifying respirators; and working in-house to 3-D print face shields and N95 masks.
Sort of makes me proud I drive a Ford.