Monthly Archives: April 2020

The Plight of Small Businesses

On the Front Lines of the Pandemic, the Plight of Small Businesses Cannot be Understated. Celebrated former White House chef John Moeller is in the thick of battle during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In the seemingly peaceful landscape of rural Pennsylvania, an epic struggle for small business owners is raging, and it hasn’t left locally born Moeller untouched. While he himself remains healthy, his catering and restaurant businesses are in full tilt reorganization to keep everything afloat. With him in the same battle are thousands of small business owners all over the country. In a recent interview, Moeller tells us how he’s doing. “Health-wise, we are all okay. When it [COVID-19] first came up, we knew something was going to be happening. It was apparent from watching what was going on in Europe. “A Crisis on Several Fronts Moeller was proven right. When COVID-19 began spreading throughout the U.S., businesses began taking severe financial hits. From huge corporations to small businesses, everyone was affected. Mom and pop shops and restaurants were told to either close or change how they serviced

COVID-19 Impact On The Pet Industry

Russell Gibbons: A Taste for Business in the Pet Industry Keeps His Company Afloat During the Coronavirus Shutdown Resilience Amidst the Storm In Australia, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused immense job losses, the capitulation of businesses, and the general destruction of wealth and capital, according to Russell Gibbons, owner, and CEO of Huds and Toke, a gourmet pet treat company in Queensland. His family-run company is one of the lucky ones. Although operations have slowed, orders continue to flow into the company. “As we are a manufacturer of foodstuffs, we are deemed an essential business, so the government hasn’t shut down our business or distribution channels. We can even make human food should the need arise, so they want people like us to remain open and operating!” says Gibbons. Take a moment and watch this short video to learn how Gibbons has taken his company onto the global stage … “Our government acted very early and very swiftly with extraordinary measures. Some said it was too extreme at the time; however, as a result, we as a country seem to be

In the Midst of COVID-19, Kindness Abides

As we all hunker down at home trying to fill the hours with anything we can think of, some of us are randomly switching between social media burnout and bursts of creative mania. Others, however, are proactively thinking of ways to help their fellow Americans on the front lines of the crisis. These giants of spirit are to be admired and celebrated. Throughout our nation’s history, there have been tales of heroism in times of trouble, and this current situation is no exception. If you are holed up in your house feeling anxious about the future, let these following paragraphs be a comfort to you. From giant corporations to children in rural neighborhoods, Americans are stepping forward, volunteering their time and resources to ease the collective burden of COVID-19. – Medtronic, a manufacturer of the ventilators so vital to curing severe cases of COVID-19, voluntarily share design specifications to enable participants across industries to speed production. – In Pensacola, Florida, the local Vietnamese community put its own financial difficulties aside and donated thousands of surgical gloves and masks to a local

New Strengths Formed by Scar Tissue

Not unlike the indefatigable hero in eight of his political thriller novels, Dewey Andreas, best-selling author Ben Coes is a determined man of action. That’s one reason the COVID-19 national lockdown has been especially difficult for him. “It’s a tough situation to watch,” Coes says. “If you’re not a doctor or nurse, a scientist on the front-lines finding a cure, or a political leader at the state or federal level, you’re just sitting on the sidelines watching and waiting.” That speaks to most Americans right now – spending time at home with family members, caring for each other while watching, waiting, fretting and following the CDC guidelines as best they can. “It’s crazy,” continues Coes, “it came on so fast. One minute, we’re doing impeachment here in the United States, hearing little stories out of China here and there, and suddenly – Boom!” Life in a New England Lockdown This was the week the NHL playoffs were set to begin. Aficionados of the winter sport call it “the second season,” the beginning of an exhilarating two months of intense action

Serving The Underserved

Dr. Laurie Green: Blending Science, Health, and Technology to Better Serve the Underserved, Especially During the Coronavirus Pandemic. A Brilliant Idea The pandemic has caused telemedicine to be quickly implemented across the country, helping to serve patients and doctors more efficiently. There’s a massive surge of patients using telemedicine as an alternative to filling ERs and doctor’s offices. Many with private insurance are taking advantage of free coverage for COVID-19 related telehealth services. States are calling retired doctors, nurses, and health care workers to sign up and help in the battle against the disease, both in-person and via telehealth. We’ve tapped telemedicine champion, Dr. Laurie Green, for her thoughts on the coronavirus threat. With the coronavirus outbreak, states are moving quickly to increase the use of telemedicine to help patients and doctors. There’s a massive surge of patients using telemedicine as an alternative to going to ERs and doctor’s offices. Many with private insurance are taking advantage of free coverage for COVID-19 related telehealth services. States are calling retired doctors, nurses, and health care workers to sign up and help in

Managing Fear and Anxiety

A Misunderstood Emotion Fear is part of our brain’s circuitry to survive, and we all experience fear in some way. Typically, we’d rather not confront our fear; it’s too uncomfortable. But research shows that if we explore our fear, we might lessen its perceived dreaded effect. Educating ourselves about fear helps us see fear as empowering. Reading about how others drew strength and courage through harrowing experiences can inspire us to delve into and better understand our own fear. One inspirational person is Kristen Ulmer. People were fascinated with her incredible feats as they watched her jump off big cliffs and perform death-defying tricks. She became an extreme athlete and one of the best women skiers in the world. But she learned fear was with her in everything she did, and it became debilitating until she finally dropped out of professional skiing. She took the time to learn how fear could be useful and became a fear and anxiety expert. We’ve asked Ulmer to give her thoughts on fearing the Coronavirus pandemic. HOW ARE YOU, YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS, COLLEAGUES, ETC.,

War Games & National Preparedness

Peter W. Singer is an exceptionally brilliant and serious man. He is one of our nation’s top thinkers and futurists, focused on such matters as how global technological trends are impacting the national security of the United States and its allies. While the former advisor to the Obama administration is sequestering at home, like most of us, he is busy working to release his latest book and ruminating over the critical issues impacting the lives of millions. More on his new book later. For a deeper background on Mr. Singer’s impressive career to date, please review our original article. After exchanging the usual pleasantries, confirming he and his family are doing well (e.g. “with young children, it’s good to have a backyard to run around in”), he surged right into the major concerns of the day. *Fair warning, while our website has prided itself in being generally apolitical and noncontroversial, the following opinions are anything but. However, because Mr. Singer is so connected to the upper echelon of our government, we think his uniquely informed opinions are worthy of dissemination.

Nnamdi: A Mission to Heal the World

Renowned artists, such as sculptor Nnamdi Okonkwo, regularly spend much of their time in isolation. The seclusion and silence of their studio often allows inspiration to flow from their hands to whatever is their favored artistic medium. In that context, Nnamdi’s daily rituals haven’t changed much with the coronavirus lockdown. With one exception. “Now,” he says, “when I lose my inspiration for a sculpture, instead of moving on to another work, I drive out to the grocery store in search of toilet paper.” Hunkered Down in Fayetteville While Nnamdi reports that he, Deidre and their three kids are “hunkered down, feeling happy and healthy,” he’s been finding the grocery store shelves in their hometown of Fayetteville, Georgia often empty. While that may be a sign people are overreacting, he doesn’t blame them. He instead says, “I don’t know what to think about our government, but I know we’re not getting the truth from the media.” If the virus is as contagious as they say, he agrees that “the restrictions, staying home, wearing masks and gloves in public, is a good

COVID-19 Alert: Insights

One of the many hats worn by the prolific Safi Bahcall is that of co-founder and former CEO of the biotech firm, Synta Pharmaceuticals. This alone makes the physicist, entrepreneur and author uniquely qualified to opine and advise on the COVID-19 crisis that is severely threatening the health and economic well-being of America and the world. For more background on this fascinating man, please click here. We recently caught up with Bahcall “holed up in my Cambridge apartment, enjoying some precious bonding time with my young children.” While much of the American economy is shut down, this multi-talented scientist hasn’t slowed down one iota. In fact, his insights are more sought after than ever from a ‘who’s who’ list of corporate executives and government leaders, including leading technology, banking and health companies, our intelligence agencies and armed forces. Where to Focus our Attention To begin, Bahcall sent us his recent website post detailing his ‘reasons for optimism’ that we’ll solve this historic pandemic sooner than anyone believes possible. You can view his encouraging insights by clicking here. Having only twenty

‘Italian Days’ in Lockdown

When I last saw Alessandro Martini, I could barely keep my eyes open, joyfully suffering a food and wine-induced coma in the hills near Bologna, Italy.  My family and I were returning from his Italian Days Food Experience, which has earned 5 stars from virtually every person who has experienced his company.  Click here for our original article that describes this incredible experience, as well as how you can enjoy some of his favorite foods direct from Central Italy in the comfort of your own home We’ve all been watching the heartbreaking news being disseminated from Italy these past six weeks as COVID-19 cases and the resulting death toll rises. Our hearts go out to these lovely people and their ancient country. I reached out to Alessandro for a first-hand report from the ground, and he happily complied. Following is his feedback. News from Bologna As I expected, my friend was as upbeat and hopeful as ever. He immediately opened a bottle of Chianti to set the mood for our conversation. It may have been mid-morning in South Florida, but