How To Stay Positive When Everything Feels Difficult

Two focuses of my blog are Current Events and Health/Wellness. When things get difficult, it is often times hard to remain hopeful. Regardless, it’s important to figure out how to do so. The following contributed post is entitled, How To Stay Positive When Everything Feels Difficult.

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The last couple of years has been a wild ride. Catastrophic bush fires in Australia, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the new administration in the White House and claims of election rigging, Brexit in Europe, climate change crises, and now, of course, the terrible situation in Ukraine. On top of that can be all the personal difficulties you are going through – health, finances, relationships, injuries which you are getting sorted with the help of this personal injury law firm and so on. So it is little wonder that people are on edge and feeling the uncertainty of the world around us, and mental health is a big issue.

Many of these events are pretty much out of our hands, but that doesn’t help when you feel scared and anxious. The main thing to remember is that you are not alone if you feel like this. It can be hard to feel optimistic with so much going on around you. However, while much easier said than done, staying positive can help you get through the more challenging times and keep your mental health on a more even keel. Here, we look at some tips to help bolster your positivity.

Image via Unsplash

Make a gratitude or happy list at the end of every day

Invite your family and friends to do the same. Maybe you could even start a private group on social media and encourage people to share theirs to brighten up everyone’s day. It just needs to be a shortlist of things that have made you feel grateful or put a smile on your face that day, from a film that you enjoyed watching to receiving a parcel in the post or enjoying a superb cup of coffee. It is essential to celebrate the joys of the smaller moments in life rather than always waiting for the big things to be happy and excited about.

Stay away from the news and social media for a short period

You should take a break if the world is becoming too much for you, and you can tell that social media and the news are having a detrimental impact on your mental health. When struggling, many people find it helpful to mute their news notifications and turn off particular keywords in their Twitter stream.

Take some time to listen to some highly upbeat music

You would be shocked at how powerful music can be. Try to remember how good music makes you feel and remind yourself of them. There are many ways to stream different playlists these days, so set up some happy ones for when you are having a terrible day. Have an impromptu dance party – they can lift the spirits and can not help but make you smile. The release of something positive into your body through music and dancing can divert you and bring you positive feelings, even if it is only a brief fix.

Communicate with your friends, even if it is only online or over the phone

When we are locked up inside and feeling the world’s weight, it is easy to lose sight of the people who care about us. However, it is possible to connect with other people in various ways, and there is nothing quite like hearing the reassuring and diverting voice of a friend to speak with to return to a more positive frame of mind. Regular voice or video talks with your pals can significantly impact your ability to remain cheerful and joyful.

Concentrate on your current hobbies or learn more

Having hobbies may altogether remove you from the real world and provide you with some much-needed momentary escape, which we all desperately need from time to time. Remind yourself of the things you appreciate and the reasons why you enjoy them; spend some quality time enjoying your hobbies; and rekindle your passions after a long period. We guarantee that having a strong passion for a particular hobby will make you feel more positive about yourself.

Declare to yourself that your being positive and happy and that today will be a fantastic day for you

Finally, think of a short slogan that you can repeat to yourself. Every morning, tell yourself that today will be a nice day and that you will look for the positives in everything. Try to put a grin on your face and be thrilled about one aspect of your day. Give yourself a compelling reason to get out of bed in the morning. Take a shower, put on a nice outfit, and make your bed. Start your day off on the right foot and strive to maintain a positive attitude.

4 Tips For Improving Your Political Campaign

Two focuses of my blog are Current Events and Political Discussions. If you’re thinking about getting into politics and you want to run an effective campaign, there are several factors you want account for. The following contributed post is entitled, 4 Tips For Improving Your Political Campaign.

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Whether you’re running for house elections, local elections, or another type of election, your campaign strategy can make the difference between winning and losing.

The size of the electorate, the geography, the public’s mindset, the timing of the election, and the methods of voter communication used should all be considered when developing your campaign strategy.

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A specific election campaign strategy, influenced by the political climate in which it is conducted, is required for every election campaign, in short. And in a local election, gaining supporters is primarily a matter of winning over the voters in one’s community.

This post looks at some ways you can improve your campaign strategy.

Competitor Analysis

The evaluation of competitors is critical in any competition. A thorough understanding of your opponents’ strengths and weaknesses can provide you with a significant advantage in developing your campaign messaging, participating in head-to-head debates, and undermining their campaign message when it becomes necessary.

Make a spreadsheet with the strengths and weaknesses of all candidates, including yourself. Each candidate’s position on the critical issues in the election should be listed on a single spreadsheet. So you can identify your strengths and weaknesses and where you are vulnerable concerning your competitors, and you can communicate more clearly with your customers.

Phone Calls

Talking to your local community and the wider population will be essential to your victory. You need to be able to speak to and reach as many people as possible to persuade them to give you their vote. Working with Kaplan Strategies can streamline your phone calls and help you provide efficient outreach to your phone call plan.

Improve Your Campaign Message

The goal of a campaign is to establish the candidate’s personal identity. This includes the candidate’s educational and professional background and what makes them a good fit for the position for which they are running.

Your campaign will only be successful if it is tailored to the specific needs of its target audience. It informs voters about the critical issues and policies of the candidate. It is necessary to consider the viewpoint of the voter in this situation. Demonstrate that your victory will improve their quality of life to gain their attention and vote.

Creating Multiple Fundraising Channels

One of the most challenging tasks when running for a local office is raising funds. How are you planning on expanding the necessary funds to make yourself a viable candidate in the election?

Your campaign costs could range from a few thousand dollars to several hundred thousand dollars, depending on where you are running and the demographics of the area in which you are running. That’s why it’s so critical to provide as many opportunities as possible for people to contribute to your campaign as possible.

From selling merchandise to asking family and friends to setting up social media fundraisers and more, please find out how your demographic prefers to donate and make sure you have the suitable options available for them to do so.

An Inside Look Into Biden’s $2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill

Three focuses of my blog are Current Events, Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill has been in the news for quite some time. Most citizens don’t have time to understand what’s in it though as is often the case with politics. The following contributed post is entitled, An Inside Look Into Biden’s $2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill.

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2021 has been a year for the books for so many reasons, and not all of them were bad, but from a landmark news perspective, if you’re anything of a news nerd or politics junkie – you’ve had one of the best years ever.

Controversial courtroom rulings like the Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty verdict, to the bizarre story of Jussie Smollet – and we haven’t begun to look at all of the ongoing Covid news stories that just never seem to end. If you’re not an avowed optimist, you’d be having a very hard time indeed.

But, somewhere in between all of the madness of the year that was(n’t), came news of what some are calling the best thing to happen to domestic spending in history, and what others have called the biggest disaster to spend in the United States, but whatever you views on this landmark announcement are one thing is for certain, it is going to leave America physically changed. It is the massive infrastructure bill recently passed into law, and it effectively amounts to $2 trillion, although the amount in the discussion was actually $1 trillion. Well, that also depends on who you believe because some forecasters believe that the final bill will be closer to $3 trillion. That’s $ 3,000,000,000,000 to you and me.

With all of this lovely money swishing about, already questions are being asked about where this money is going to be spent? Who stands to benefit? Who decides where this money gets spent, and perhaps most importantly – where is this money going to come from? We’re going to try and unpack some of these questions now.

Image By Pexels

Essentially, President Biden’s (officially) $2.3 trillion (or that may actually be $1.8 trillion) infrastructure plan has prioritized spending on transportation, drinking water as well as broadband projects and it comes after the American Society of Civil Engineers released a report in 2021, some call it the report card, on which American infrastructure scored a dismally low, C-minus.

This prompted massive studies across the nation conducted by various government agencies and local authorities to determine which areas had the biggest and most urgent need. The question many wanted answering though, is just why has our infrastructure been allowed to fall into such a state of disrepair in the first place? You may find that that, is a very loaded question, but what all sums have been done and all arguments made, the answer is written rather succinctly by the American writer, Kurt Vonnegut:

“Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.”

And that is quite the crux of it all, as administration after administration since Regan have all just about had ambitious plans to revitalize America’s roads, bridges, urban centers, schools, rapid and mass transit systems, and more.

That in turn, leads us to the next very important question – how much of our infrastructure needs to be fixed or upgraded anyway, and why is it so outrageously difficult to get politicians to agree on it?

As with all things political, there are a few answers to that question.

Firstly, roads, bridges, etc. are all designed (in principle at least), to have as long a life-span as possible and with the knowledge that at some point, their ‘parts’ are going to wear out. The longer something is intended to last, the more expensive it’s going to be to build.

For example, the bridges that form America’s Interstate Highway System, which was started during the Eisenhower administration (more than six decades ago), are now very much nearing the end of their intended lifespan and worryingly, in the case of some of them – are probably beyond their lifespan. Sixty years is a long time for any object to take the pressure and pounding that these bridges take every day – without significant investments in maintenance and upgrading.

Then there is the real reason and if you’ve been thinking it’s all money-related – you’re right. America’s infrastructure is controlled by the public sector – in other words, taxpayer-funded. A lot of the funding for the maintenance of these giant projects like highways and bridges is provided for by federal and state gasoline taxes. To effectively maintain these projects, a lot of money is needed – money, that comes directly from taxes. Taxes that will have to be increased to afford these upgrades and maintenance projects, tax increases, that can cost politicians – their careers.

Then you have the legacy issue. Politicians are not huge fans of making their successors look good. It takes a long time to get approval from all the moving parts in government to get this spending into place, and often it looks like it may happen just as a Presidents term is about to end. That would mean that the next guy gets to take the credit for what his predecessor effectively put into place, and to turn a phrase, ain’t nobody got time for that.

Then, there is the question of visibility. While bridges, tunnels, and roads are in plain view, some other parts of America’s infrastructure are not so easily noticed, until they stop working. Think sewer lines.
So, which states are going to benefit the most?

According to this report by CNBC, the states that are likely to win big (that means cash in the most) are, New York, Texas, and California with critics citing that it is rather some of the more underpopulated states with less developed rural economies like Montana and Alaska, that should get a bigger share to compensate for much fewer tax revenues.

Well with all of that being said, we’re certain that there will still be lots and lots of quarreling and across the floor back and forth to determine that amount.

Meanwhile, all is not entirely silent in Washington. It appears that there is something of a brouhaha about it all, and more than just a little dose of déjà vu happening too. It all started with Donald Trump’s term in office. He pledged to spend $1 trillion specifically focused on rebuilding America’s roads and bridges. That amount was eventually upped to $2 trillion, but despite all his enthusiasm for the plan, it wouldn’t amount to much, and the term infrastructure week (the period when all of this debating was happening), would become used as something of a euphemism for, futility. Not our nation’s best work.

So, just to create some understanding of what we’re talking about when the word infrastructure is used in this context, we agree that the term infrastructure is something of a ‘hold all’ term that refers to roads, bridges, tunnels, rail lines, dams, buildings, systems that supply water and electricity for example. It basically covers all of the systems that the American civilization needs to function.

Joseph Schofer, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Northwestern University says that infrastructure is “the built environment that supports our lives”.

OK, so let’s go a little deeper, where is this money going?

Roads and bridges: At the very top of the 2,702-page bill’s spending outlines, roughly $110 billion of new funds will be allocated to improving America’s roads and bridges, as well as investment in other major transportation programs. Everything from Asphalt Resurfacing to major upgrades and new road construction.

Public transit: This spending program also includes the largest-ever federal investment
program of its kind in public transit with a massive $39 billion going to modernizing systems, improving access, and repairing over 24,000 buses, 5,000 railcars, and thousands upon thousands of miles of train tracks.

Amtrak: Biden’s plan hails the largest investment in passenger rail since the
creation of Amtrak, over 50 years ago. There is an eye-wateringly, giant $66 billion that’s heading to Amtrak for the development of high-speed rail, safety upgrades, Amtrak grants as well as ‘modernization’ of the route that connects Washington, D.C, and Boston.

Added to that list are massive investments in airports, broadband internet, urban center regeneration, green initiatives, clean energy, electric cars, buses, and ferries, clean drinking water projects, and road safety.

Perhaps this is a good time, to start a construction company then.

What do we really love about this program? The massively long-overdue investment into our Great Rivers and Lakes. The bill has more than $50 billion for water infrastructure improvements and about $1 billion is slated for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. An initiative that proposes a major clean-up program that targets toxic hot spots (areas of shockingly bad industrial pollution), with a further $17 billion going to ports and waterways.

Love it or hate it, there is no denying that if these plans are implemented as they’re intended to be, that America’s infrastructure will enjoy more investment than it ever has, and with around 19 million jobs that are anticipated out of this program, the overall economy should see a significant boost too.

Whichever way one looks at it, it’s probably very much overdue, and about time.

You’ll find a detailed and in-depth look at the bill on the White houses’ website, here.

Bringing Your Business Through The Pandemic

Three focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Current Events. My businesses were obliterated by the Covid-19 Pandemic while others made it through, thrived, or were even started. If your business is still alive, you want to consider how to keep it going as the pandemic may be nearing it’s end. The following contributed post is entitled, Bringing Your Business Through The Pandemic.

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Photo by fauxels from Pexels

Many businesses have been impacted by Covid-19, and while things are improving, firms are still battling to get back on track. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you may help your business grow stronger during this difficult time:

Keep Track Of Your Cash Flow

Identify any cashflow issues as soon as possible, and predict with the worst-case scenario in mind, ensuring that your company is ready for any future socio-economic shifts. Employees should be assigned to procedures that are critical to cash flow, even if this implies cross-training. Many businesses lack a proper, regularly updated cash flow projection, resulting in a lack of awareness of their finances and potential consequences; if this is your company, make it a point to build one. Using tools such as Wefunder Agency could help.

Examine The Dangers In Your Supply Chain

You must prepare for the worst, just as you must for cash flow. What if one of your suppliers is unable to supply you with the things you require? If possible, ensure you have viable backup providers, speak with them, and confirm that they can deliver what you require, as things may not be as advertised on their website at the time. You might also need to make certain strategic supply chain decisions, such as concentrating on your most profitable products or services while reducing other offerings and supply chain risks. While these may be temporary decisions given the current state of the economy, it is always necessary to risk analyse your supply chain.

Keep Yourself Updated

As a business leader, you must stay up to date on the newest COVID-19 developments on a daily basis, as the advice is constantly changing. However, double-check official recommendations, avoid sensationalised news and social media posts, and carefully consider what to tell your employees, suppliers, and customers. Avoid panic and perplexity! When planning your strategy for the coming months, keep in mind the government’s response and business assistance policies. The most recent advice can be found here.

Be Flexible And Open To New Ideas

Many firms that survive and prosper through a crisis like this will have open-minded CEOs who can adjust swiftly to change and inspire their employees to do the same. Given how our lives have significantly and rapidly altered recently, your business model may no longer be feasible and will need to be updated. There may also be fresh prospects for you to take advantage of and diversify your business. Check out the rest of my essay on how to adapt and diversify your business.

Make Preparations For The ‘After’

Start thinking about how you want your business to look once the pandemic is ended once all of the big obstacles have been addressed. It is preferable to begin planning now rather than face the shock of returning to ‘normalcy’ with no awareness of the significant changes we have all through. Make a list of everything that is functioning well for your team and that you might want to keep in place in the long run, as well as anything you want to get rid of. Are you looking for ways to work that are more productive and cost-effective? Is your team collaborating more effectively? Have you taken steps to reduce your company’s environmental impact? Consider how your customers and suppliers will function in the future and include them in your strategies.

How To Teach Children About Tolerance

Two focuses of my blog are Current Events and General Education. A key term into today’s modern world is “tolerance” which means to become accepting of other people’s differences. In order achieve this society-wide, the population must become educated on it. The following contributed post is entitled, How To Teach Children About Tolerance.

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We can all take responsibility for teaching tolerance, whether we are parents, aunts and uncles, teachers, or just neighbors to a child. We must begin with children if we want to make the world a more empathetic place. They are the impressionable ones who are still establishing their worldviews, and it’s critical that they have strong role models and positive influences in their life. Tolerance is promoted not just in terms of religious and ethnic diversity, but also in terms of gender, physical and intellectual disability, size, shape, and everything in between. With words like woke and discrimination being part of our daily lives, we must make the world a more tolerant place. Read on to find out more.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Watch What You Say

Aside from never allowing your kid to bully or taunt others, be mindful of what you say yourself. Children are like sponges, and if they hear you say something disrespectful, they will feel it’s okay to say it; after all, you are their role model.

This is why, if you want your child to be a good, tolerant person, you must also respect others; your child will do the same. And remember, this isn’t just about talking about other people. Even remarks about your own physique (such as saying you look fat or that you’re stupid for not thinking of something or that you don’t like a particular part of yourself) might cause a youngster to form opinions about the people in their environment or even about themselves.

Encourage Self Confidence

A youngster who is secure in themselves is more inclined to accept differences and appreciate the worth in others. You will often hear that bullies are those who are unhappy in their own lives and have to lash out against others because they are afraid or worried about their own personalities.

The more confident a child is about how they are and what they can do, the less chance there is of them bullying or worrying about anyone else. As a parent or guardian, this is something that you can control – you can help your child be much more self-confident.

Talk About Differences Respectfully

Discuss the distinctions and differences between your family and friends (hair color, skin color, personal likes and dislikes, special traditions, and so on), and take the chance to discuss why it’s wonderful that people are so diverse. You might also talk about how people might be different, but that there will always be similarities. This can help a young child understand that differences are just a part of life and that there will always be something you have in common with someone, whether this is how you look, what you believe in, or something else entirely.

Answer Their Questions

Children might ask difficult questions about tolerance and discrimination, and if you don’t give them an answer, your lack of action can teach them that it is not acceptable to discuss differences or ‘uncomfortable’ things. This leads to more intolerance and misunderstandings.

Even if you’re stumped for words, assure them that you’ll come back to them with a response later. And make certain that you do. This is the ideal opportunity to learn something important yourself.

Simple Ways To Chase After Shifting Automotive Supply Chains

Three focuses of my blog are Current Events, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. If you’re in the automotive industry, you’re likely feeling the effects of stresses on supply chains just like other industries. No matter which aspect of the industry that you’re in, it’s important to figure out how to navigate these new adverse conditions. The following contributed post is entitled, Simple Ways To Chase After Shifting Automotive Supply Chains.

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Image Source: CC0 License

The automotive supply chain has long been one of the most globally complex in the world, consisting of as many as 30,000 parts overall, an astounding 15% of which are sourced out of house. This has always made competitive advantage in the industry imperative, and still-existing pandemic disruptions have especially highlighted the need for all supply partners to come together to ensure the agility necessary to avoid further unexpected setbacks.

In part due to this, but also because of significant shifts in consumer expectations/priorities over recent years, the automotive industry is currently facing some of the most significant changes that we’ve seen in generations. For auto manufacturers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and tiered suppliers, this is both a significant challenge when it’s needed the least and an opportunity to rise from the industry ashes stronger than ever.

Unfortunately, with supply expectations and lucrative trade opportunities changing at an astoundingly fast rate, there’s no time to take stock and decide the best path moving forward. Instead, companies need to remain ahead of the game, continuing to offer the most viable supply options to both keep hold of existing partners and attract new ones. The question is, how exactly can you chase supply chains that are shifting faster than the seasons?

#1: Develop processes around current trends

The most recent automotive trends have changed the priorities of all car manufacturers, meaning that companies at all tiers are increasingly onboarding with modern requirements in mind. Current trends especially revolve around eco-conscious vehicles that, thanks to carbon emissions which fell by 6.4% during the pandemic, are more of a pressing consumer priority than ever. Further to this, and perhaps in direct correlation with that figure, EV sales largely defied Covid, increasing by an astounding 186% during lockdowns.

All of this has especially seen some of the largest new onboarding intakes across the industry, all of which are tailored towards EV-compliant suppliers that can particularly provide the limited and sometimes location-specific battery components required for success. Only by adapting processes according to this need, and creating demand by remaining at the forefront of EV development, can suppliers realistically hope to gain back the almost 30-50% decreases in spending that have had a major impact across the last eighteen months.

Image Source: CC0 License

#2: Continue to perfect existing processes

With most supply chains already consisting of more partners than is reasonably manageable, it’s also vital to note that increasing competitive value is dependent on ensuring that you’re able to offer benefits across the board. Most notably, far from forgetting legacy processes in place of environmental concerns, it’s also fundamental to continue offering old processes that, for now at least, continue to be relevant. Certainly, making sure to continue teaching new recruits about things like the maintenance and creation of standard engines using resources like these OEM Ford workshop manuals, ensures that you’re providing the most possible value as a trade prospect. This is especially imperative at a time when delays and operational setbacks continue to shake the industry, allowing you to perfect just-in-time (JIT), multi-purpose inventories and timely, frictionless deliveries that differentiate you from the rest.

#3: Always focus on optimization

While interest in private car ownership is on a steady increase once more, automotive trade right now is largely in recovery mode. Lost profits, parts shortages, and ongoing Brexit-based setbacks across all-important European markets are especially proving to be the nails in the coffin for countless suppliers, preventing them from perfecting processes that help them to recoup losses, get partners back onside, or even impress consumers at the other end. With all of this already in the way, processes that lack optimization and the increased visibility/agility that focus can make possible are guaranteed to leave businesses floundering.

Instead, then, optimizing using the right technologies and systems at every level is fundamental. Certainly, suppliers looking to continue as viable prospects for new trade need to consider the benefits possible from implementing systems that integrate artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) for the automation of otherwise convoluted manual processes, as well as simplifying data handling, supplier communications, and everything necessary to more easily share, foresee, and work around the delays that continue to rein.

The need for speed in automotive supply

Fundamentally, suppliers need to transform processes and fast if they’re to uphold the positive supply relationships imperative to ongoing success. Environmental diversification, and expansive supply offerings, are certainly imperative for competitive advantage that makes it possible to finally tap into the 7-9% of market growth across the industry right now.

What Business Lessons Can You Learn From The Pandemic?

Three focuses of my blog are Current Events, Money/Financial Literacy and Business/Entrepreneurship. The pandemic was life changing for everyone, and not everyone survived in the business arena. Whether or not you fared well or did not, there were lessons for everyone. The following contributed post is entitled, What Business Lessons Can You Learn From The Pandemic?

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Image from Pexels – CC0 License

It has been a tough 18 months or so for businesses everywhere, and the people who keep them running. Many people in business have struggled to keep their livelihoods alive, which in turn has affected their employees. Nobody wants to have to deal with such a difficult set of circumstances, but we’ve learned that sometimes you need to be prepared for something unexpected to come your way. Many businesses haven’t survived the pandemic, but those that have took steps to adapt and try to survive. Whether you have an established business or you’re setting up a business right now, there are some great lessons you can take from the pandemic.

Here are some of the things you can keep in mind, not just for the current situation but also for the future.

Be Prepared for Anything

While it’s not entirely true that we couldn’t have predicted a pandemic (they have occurred before), most people weren’t expecting to have to deal with one anytime soon. If there’s one lesson that every business owner has taken from the pandemic, it’s that you need to be prepared for anything. It’s not exactly an easy feat to achieve, especially for a small business, but there are multiple things that any business can do to help them prepare for anything that might come their way. Having good savings and good insurance, as well as being ready to adapt your business to new circumstances when necessary can help to prepare your business for the future.

It’s Important to Support Other Businesses

Something that many businesses have learned recently is that you can’t necessarily rely on the government or anyone else for help when you’re in trouble. For many people, the help that was given came too late or wasn’t enough. With this in mind, a lot of business people have realized how important it is to support other businesses and to stick together as a community. The #OpenForBusiness Campaign aims to recognize the resilience of American entrepreneurship and how important it is for small businesses to support each other. The campaign’s helicopter tour of each of the lower-48 states will involve visiting small businesses and speaking to owners about adapting to the post-pandemic economy.

Work-Life Balance Is Important

Working from home has become the norm for many during the pandemic. Business owners have continued to run their companies from home where possible or have found alternative ways to use their business premises if they can. Something that this has highlighted is the need for work-life balance, both for business owners and their employees. Working from home has made it even more important to maintain a line between work and home, ensuring there’s a separation between the two. People who have been working long hours know that it’s crucial to have the time to rest and dedicate to your family and other parts of your personal life.

Image from Pexels – CC0 License

Treat Your Employees Well

One of the effects of the pandemic that we’re seeing is an unwillingness from employees to work for poor pay and in poor conditions. Previously, many people might have felt like they had to take what they could get. But after more than a year has shown why some of these employees are so essential, people are changing their mindsets. They want to be appreciated and adequately compensated for their work. For businesses that are struggling to find employees, offering something more for anyone who works for them could be the key to turning things around.

Keep Your Customers Loyal

As well as treating your employees well, it’s also important to keep your customers loyal. In times of trouble, knowing that you have customers who are likely to stick with you through thick and thin is reassuring. So be sure to treat your customers well, both when things are going well and when circumstances aren’t so rosy.

Know How to Adapt But Stay True

Adapting your business during tough times is often an essential way to survive. Many businesses took this step during the pandemic, especially those that were unable to operate as normal, such as restaurants. Knowing how to adapt is important, but it’s also necessary to know how to stay true to your business and its values. Whether you’re making a temporary change or pivoting on a more permanent basis, you should think about how to maintain your values and what your business stands for, especially if you want to keep some existing customers around.

If there are some positives to take away from the pandemic, some valuable business lessons can definitely be useful.

My Experience Taking One Of The Covid-19 Vaccines

Openly Discussing Getting Vaccinated

As many of my readers and YouTube subscribers know, here on the Big Words Blog Site, most of the content published is now coming from collaborators and customers in the form of shorter informational pieces. With multiple YouTube channels and now another blog for more literary writing, I only have time to write and publish a few pieces of my own here. While others opted for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, I took the Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccine within the last month and as a scientist, I wanted to write something about it.

As described in my initial submission on the new ScoonTV publication, one of the videos on my science and technology YouTube channel was taken down for ‘violating community guidelines’. I have since been hesitant to talk about the vaccines in any way, but with this platform belonging to me, I can discuss whatever I want to. Whether or not the social media platforms allow it to be shared, remains to be seen.

As you know there was a lot of controversy surrounding the Covid-19 vaccines, in addition to the pandemic itself. When talking with a good friend, I pondered that the pandemic may have been the younger generations’ World War 2 or Vietnam, in addition to maybe the 911 attacks. That is no disrespect to anyone who lived through those wars and tragedies or participated in them, but none of the younger generations have lived through a crisis like this.

My Reasons For Getting Vaccinated

I decided to take one of the Covid-19 vaccines for a number for reasons. As described, for a period I uploaded several videos on the pandemic on my science and technology YouTube channel. In short, I honestly was not one of the individuals who was in a rush to get vaccinated. In my opinion there were some very peculiar circumstances surrounding the pandemic which I will not go into here, but to some degree, the need to vaccinate everyone did raise my antennae along with those of other people. In short, I wasn’t going to be one of the first to get vaccinated and took a “wait and see approach”.

In that regard, seeing my relatives get vaccinated with no adverse reactions helped allay some of my concerns. Other individuals who were close to me received their vaccinations was also another line of evidence for me. Ultimately, like most everyone else, I wanted to be able to move about freely without concern and get back to a level of normalcy.

Returning To Normalcy

On that same vein, the featured image for this story is from my trip to the Albany area for Father’s Day 2021. Prior to the pandemic, I made two to three trips a year to New York State’s Capital Region to visit my father via train. During the pandemic, I defaulted to making the five-hour drive to the Albany area and the eight-hour drive to Buffalo to see family. Needless to say, that driving is more work than simply closing one’s eyes, or looking out of the window and daydreaming on a train or an airplane.

Going back to the featured image, it was taken trackside next to my Northeast Regional Train in Alexandria, VA. Amtrak did not mandate its passengers to be vaccinated, though we did have to wear masks once boarded, a rule that was respected by some and not by others. The first leg of my trip from Washington, DC to the New York City area got a little more crowded than I was comfortable with. The second leg from New York City to Albany was relatively empty though. The same was true for the return trip.

What’s In The Three Vaccines?

Now in terms of the vaccines themselves, having backgrounds in Pharmacology and Toxicology, my focus was always on what was in the vaccines in terms of ingredients (active and inert). I wanted to get a feel for their “pharmacodynamics” and potential side effects. In today’s information age, there were lots and lots of rumors and theories floating around about nanotubes and microchips being injected into us. My mother told me that someone in her circle believed that the vaccines would ‘magnetize’ our bodies. It was like the hysteria surrounding 5G technology when people attempted to make it the cause of the pandemic.

While many people are skeptical about the work done of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), their mission from the regulatory context is to protect the health of the nation and to make sure that the foods and medications we take are safe. The vaccines thus had to go through the FDA for approval for “emergency” usage. To determine the safety of the vaccines, I pulled the memoranda for each of the three vaccines approved in the United States from the FDA’s website to ascertain what was in the vaccines.

The following are the ingredients contained in the vaccines. The verbiage and characterization were lifted directly from the FDA memoranda which are hyperlinked in case readers want to go and look for themselves. The “efficacy” and side effects are also characterized in each memorandum.

The Moderna Vaccine

The Moderna vaccine is an off-white, sterile, preservative-free frozen suspension for intramuscular injection. The vaccine contains a synthetic messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) encoding the pre-fusion stabilized spike glycoprotein (S) of SARS-CoV-2 virus. The vaccine also contains the following ingredients: lipids (SM-102, 1,2-dimyristoyl-rac-glycero- 3-methoxypolyethylene glycol-2000 [PEG2000-DMG], cholesterol, and 1, 2-distearoyl-sn-hocholine [DSPC]), tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, acetic acid, sodium acetate, and sucrose.

The Pfizer Vaccine

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is a white to off-white, sterile, preservative-free, frozen suspension for intramuscular injection. The vaccine contains a nucleoside-modified messenger RNA (modRNA) encoding the viral spike glycoprotein (S) of SARS-CoV-2. The vaccine also includes the following ingredients: lipids ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2- hexyldecanoate), 2-[(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-distearoyl-sn- glycero-3-phosphocholine, and cholesterol), potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose.

The Johnson And Johnson Vaccine

The Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is a colorless to slightly yellow, clear to very opalescent sterile suspension for intramuscular injection. The vaccine consists of a replication-incompetent recombinant adenovirus type 26 (Ad26) vector expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein in a stabilized conformation. The vaccine also contains the following inactive ingredients: citric acid monohydrate, trisodium citrate dihydrate, ethanol, 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HBCD), polysorbate 80, sodium chloride.

Getting My Shot

Assuming none of the ingredients were intentionally omitted, nothing I read personally in any of the vaccines alarmed me. I chose the Johnson and Johnson vaccine because I liked the mechanism of action more (a DNA Adenovirus vs micro RNA), and I just wanted to take one shot and be done with it. I was discouraged, though, after the Johnson and Johnson vaccine was initially pulled for a rare side effect, blood clots, I believe. When I decided to get vaccinated, I could not find it initially and then one day when doing a random search online, I saw that the CVS pharmacy that I frequent at Pentagon City was, in fact, offering it. After making a reservation, I went and got it on a Friday around noon.

I was cautioned from the nurse or pharmacist that I might experience symptoms of some sort over the next 48 hours. There was the inevitable pinch/sting from the needle and then I felt a sensation in my shoulder which radiated up towards my neck. That went away quickly. I hung around in the pharmacy area for the next 15-20 minutes as instructed. I then took my complimentary 20% off coupon, purchased something and left the store. I did not expect any adverse reaction(s) as I keep myself healthy and have faithfully taken vitamins C, D, E and Magnesium since the pandemic started.

Abandoning Our Masks?

And that was my vaccine experience. I did not write this to sway anyone. Again, as a member of the science community, I just wanted to share my story. I am happy that I got the vaccine I wanted, though I saw an article on Yahoo that said that the Johnson and Johnson vaccine has not rebounded from the initial pulling in terms of popularity. I do not know if this means that it will be abandoned altogether, but I hope not, especially if it has efficacy against the new “Delta Variant”.

I have not completely abandoned my masks. I honestly will have to get used to not using them again. As described earlier, Amtrak insisted on its passengers using them and at least initially and when I fly, I am certain the airlines will also err on the side of caution. For the type of mask I had, it was not that bad for the seven hour ride.

Some stores and proprietorships are still mandating mask. Interestingly, before making my Father’s Day trip, New York State, one of the most vigilant of all the states during the pandemic, lifted all its restrictions. I met up with some old friends at Latin Dance Night in Albany, and no one wore masks as they danced up a storm, respired all over the place and socialized that night.

Do you have a vaccine story? Please feel to leave some comments below this piece. Also please subscribe to my science and technology YouTube channel to hear more science-related discussions like this. I am about 225 subscribers away from the holy number of 1,000.

Broaden Your Political Knowledge With These Vital Steps

Two focuses of my blog is Current Events and Political Discussions. Politics can be a very, very divisive topic and some would argue that it’s not safe to talk openly about it today. The more you know, the easier it may be to understand and discuss ideas with others. The following contributed post is entitled, Broaden Your Political Knowledge With These Vital Steps.

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You have a lot to think about when it comes to improving and broadening your political knowledge, and this is something that plays a massive part in this. Try to focus on doing as much as possible to enhance and improve your political knowledge so you are more aware of what is going on in the world and how global events are going to affect you.

Make sure you focus on doing as much as possible to improve your knowledge and keep yourself informed as much as you can. Try to focus on being able to come up with the best ways of achieving this, and you need to come up with the best ways of doing this. Here are some of the best ways of being able to broaden your political knowledge this year.

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Read up on Global News

Reading up on global news is vital because you need to know what is going on in the world, and not just where you live. Global events impact the entire planet in some way, so you should educate yourself as to what is happening in the world. There are also important global publications covering news and current affairs in particular countries, such as The Times Kuwait, which covers Kuwait news and events. This is particularly useful for Kuwaitis living abroad and wanting to stay in touch with developments back home.

Study Manifestos

Another great way of broadening your political knowledge is to read the manifesto and policies of the parties or candidates in your country. Familiarise yourself with what these policies are, and try to do your best to make sure you understand them and what they are about. Having knowledge of the political stance these people or parties are taking is important for helping you to make informed decisions when it comes to voting. Most party or candidate manifestos are going to be available online to read at your leisure, and this is something that you have to try to do as best you can.

Listen to the Other Side

One of the biggest problems with modern politics is how tribal it can be, and this can so often create a toxic environment. So it is imperative that you take the time to listen to other opinions and motivations that people have for their political viewpoints. There are a lot of benefits to this, and it is really important to make sure you listen to other people and debate with them. Ignoring or shutting down conflicting opinions only causes them to fester, and this can often make the whole situation worse. Debating people and showing them the merits of your beliefs is the best way to encourage them to come around to your way of thinking, and this is something you should be looking to do.

Try to do the best you can to improve your political knowledge, and these are a few of the best ways of being able to achieve this. Politics affects our lives in almost every way, and due to the growth of social media, politics has become a wider issue than ever before. So you need to brush up and know your stuff so that you are able to improve upon the best ways of being able to approach political topics, as well as chatting about this with other people.

Effective Ways To Boost Employees Productivity Levels In 2020

Two key focuses of my blog are Current Events and Organizational/Management Discussions. The Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic has significantly affected the landscape of most workplaces. A continual consideration for managers is how to maximize employee productivity. The following contributed post is entitled, Effective Ways To Boost Employees Productivity Levels In 2020.

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2020 has been a strange and scary year for everyone thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic. Out of what seemed like nowhere, the entire world was hit hard by the virus, causing many countries to go into complete lockdown and forcing businesses to adapt around these rules. Whether your team worked from home, or you were able to stay open due to being key workers, if your business has made it this far then congratulations! It’s likely that your team has worked hard during these strange months, and you may be beginning to notice a little lackluster in their efforts – and that’s totally understandable given the year we’ve had! However, to ensure your business continues to thrive, it’s your job to keep productivity levels high, and here are some effective ways to boost your employees productivity in 2020.

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Give them incentives

As a boss, you expect your staff to work hard but sometimes, motivation can drop and a great way to boost their productivity is by giving incentives to your staff. Your employees may already have the advantages of using your Health Reimbursement Account, so you may want to look for more creative incentives! You could offer a day off completely paid if targets are met, or vouchers for money off their favourite brands. Having something exciting to work towards is an extremely effective way of boosting productivity levels, and it’s a great way of saying thank you to your staff for working so hard!

Reevaluate your office layout

Sometimes motivation and productivity levels can drop because of your surroundings. Rooms with little to no natural light, boring and dull decor, and even an office layout can affect this, so shake things up! Provided you’re complying with COVID-19 office regulations, you could experiment with different seating plans, the direction desks are facing, or even treat your staff to brand new office chairs to maximise their comfort while working. A great way of achieving this is by speaking directly to your staff so they can voice their opinions and ideas. Creating an environment where everyone works well will help your business thrive.

Switch up roles

Job roles can become mundane when you do them day in and day out for months or years on end, so why not switch up your employees job roles a little? If possible, allow your team to switch roles for a day or two each week to keep things interesting. Not only that, more ideas and opinions for each job role could lead to bigger things for your business. Obviously, this might not be applicable for specialist job roles, but generic roles such as answering the phone or data entry could be switched up to keep things interesting for your staff.

Millions of businesses have been forced to close thanks to the pandemic, and if yours is still going but your staff are struggling with motivation or productivity, then use this guide to help bring those levels back to where they should be. Remember that showing gratitude for all of your employees hard work will make the world of difference.