Day: September 20, 2020

How to be financially ready for the next COVID-19 lockdown

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has hit 200,000. And, a chilling forecast from the University of Washington predicts the number could more than double or even triple by January as people spend more time indoors and tire of social distancing and other recommended measures.

Other countries are imposing new lockdowns as coronavirus case numbers explode, and a new Newsweek poll finds a majority of Americans would support a national lockdown to stop the spread.

The earlier lockdowns in the U.S. led to layoffs and furloughs, and even a new series of smaller, more localized ones could spell trouble for workers still feeling drained after round one.

But you have time to prepare if Americans are asked to hunker down again. Here are nine things you can do to protect your finances ahead of a second lockdown wave.

1. Keep on saving

As the first wave of the pandemic swept

Read More

Money laundering is a dirty, even deadly business. Miami plays a huge role

Emily Spell heard the screams from outside her parents’ red brick home.

She found her brother, Joseph Williams, 31, splayed on a mattress in the basement. His eyes, half open, were yellow. His lips were blue.

“Joe, wake up! Joe, wake up!” his wife, Kristina, hollered, while pounding on his chest.

Spell, a nursing student, started CPR. Joe’s mother, who’d raced home from work at the Piggly Wiggly grocery in Garland, North Carolina, tore into the room.

“It’s OK, baby, you can go ahead and sleep,” Susan Williams said. “Do you want a cigarette? Are you cold?”

“I thought my mama had lost her mind,” Emily remembers. “Of course he was cold. Because he was dead.”

Joe’s family had no idea that he was one of the first of thousands of Americans who would die from fentanyl, the most dangerous narcotic in the world. And even after they saw the

Read More

Apps are tracking WhatsApp users’ online activity, including whom they’re likely talking to and when they’re sleeping

Hello everyone! Welcome to this weekly roundup of Business Insider stories from executive editor Matt Turner. Subscribe here to get this newsletter in your inbox every Sunday.

Read on for news about the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, WhatsApp-tracking apps that are letting people figure out when you’re sleeping, how home-listing site Zumper weeded out thousands of Section 8 renters, and a toxic culture in Yelp’s Phoenix office. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. <p class="copyright">Drew Angerer/Getty Images</p>
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Hello!

The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is likely to make intense political polarization in the US even more severe.

Ginsburg’s death opened up a vacancy on the Supreme Court that President Trump said he will fill as quickly as possible. But a new national survey from Insider found that most respondents disagree with the plan to fill the seat as soon as possible. You can get the latest on the response to

Read More

Just got a job offer? Be smart about your new benefit choices like health coverage, 401(k) savings levels

Dear Pete,

I’ve been without work income for four months now, but I just received a job offer. I haven’t started a new job for almost twenty years, as I’d been with the same company that entire time. When it comes to starting a new job, have things changed from a benefits and procedural perspective? I want to make sure I don’t make any mistakes.

Allison, New Haven, Connecticut

Congratulations. And I hope millions of other Americans are soon able to experience what you’re about to experience.

You’re smart to pause and ensure your onboarding process goes smoothly. It’s incredibly easy to let the excitement and relief of the moment distract you from making prudent, calculated benefits decisions. 

It begins with your W-4, the form which lets your employer know how to set-up your paycheck’s tax withholding. This form was redesigned for 2020, and if you haven’t seen it yet,

Read More

Special needs students struggle to adapt to on-screen, hands-off learning amid pandemic

For sixth-grader Santiago Casas, who has autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, going to school means staying home and staring at a computer for six hours.

The screen, like a drawbridge stuck in the up position, has left him stranded, cut off from the cognitive and social nurturing he received in the classroom.

He has trouble with organization, so clicking between online calendars, messages, documents and assignments for six advanced classes is “like negotiating a maze,” said his mother. He has trouble concentrating, so sitting still through the 115-minute periods of his new online block schedule at Glades Middle School on two-dimensional Zoom and Teams meeting platforms is “like torture,” she said.

Santiago used to love school. Now he hates it. So do his parents and teachers. Remote learning, a disruption to everyone’s education during the coronavirus pandemic, creates an even higher barrier for students with special physical, emotional and

Read More

Faked videos shore up false beliefs about Biden’s mental health

Joe Biden
Joe Biden

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks about climate change and the wildfires on the West Coast at the Delaware Museum of Natural History on September 14, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden has scheduled campaign stops in Florida, Pennsylvania and Minnesota later this week. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

From Ronald Reagan in 1984 to Bob Dole in 1996 and even Hillary Clinton in 2016, candidate health has become a common theme across recent U.S. presidential campaigns.

The issue is poised to take on added significance this fall. No matter who wins, the U.S. is set to inaugurate its oldest president by a wide margin.

The Trump campaign and its surrogates have seized on Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s age and have been painting him as mentally unfit for the presidency. Videos of Biden falling asleep during an interview, misspeaking about the dangers of “Joe Biden’s America” and appearing lost during a

Read More

Hazardous air quality worries West Coast parents

Clarissa Carson cradled her baby girl in her arms and felt her heart drop. The ICU nurse looked out her front window, barely making out trees across the street. Dense, choking smoke — the result of nearby wildfires — had settled in her hometown of Medford, Oregon, a city of 82,000 located 27 miles north of the California border. 

It was 2017, and Carson badly wanted to take her daughter, who had just started crawling, outside to their yard, to let her feel a ray of sunshine on her face, let the grass tickle her knees. She knew sensory input was critical to her development. This was the summer Carson’s blue-eyed baby girl started balling up her fists and shaking her hands when she got excited, drool spilling onto her chubby cheeks.

Carson knew if they went outside, she’d get that reaction. But she also knew that with the hazardous

Read More

Two weeks in, Detroit parents question tough choices about school

DETROIT — A few days before the start of the eighth grade, Jonah Beasley considered the risks he’d face when he walked back into the classroom and summed them up in stark terms.

He could get Covid-19 from a classmate or a teacher, he said, and “if I get it, I’ll probably die.”

A veteran of two heart transplants, Jonah, a soft-spoken teen who loves football and basketball, takes medicine that suppresses his immune system. He has a long list of health issues that his parents initially thought would force them to choose virtual instruction this year.

But Jonah’s lengthy hospital stays have already put him behind his peers academically and socially, said his mother, Peggy Carr-McMichael. He’s 15, two years older than most of his classmates. And Carr-McMichael saw how difficult it was for him to focus on his schoolwork and speak up during video classes last spring after

Read More

Westfield Schools Say Student Coronavirus Cases May Be Connected

WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield Schools Superintendent Margaret Dolan sent out revised information on Friday about the six confirmed cases of Westfield High School students with coronavirus that were announced Wednesday. Dolan had said Wednesday that WHS would go remote for two weeks, but that the cases were not connected.

On Friday, Dolan released a new letter to the school community saying that she had received more information and that the six WHS cases may be connected — and that a seventh case of a student with the virus had been reported.

None of the district’s other nine public schools are being affected by the two-week closure.

Dolan wrote in a letter Friday evening, “On Wednesday, based on initial reports provided to the Westfield Regional Health Department, the cases of six high school students who were exposed outside of school and tested positive for covid-19 appeared not to be linked. By

Read More