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NFL will continue testing players and top personnel for COVID-19 daily, but not on game day

NFL logo
The NFL will continue testing players daily for the foreseeable future, according to a memo sent to teams on Saturday.
  • The NFL and the NFL Players Association agreed to continue testing players for COVID-19 each day, but not on game days, according to a memo distributed to teams on Saturday. 
  • Pregame exams will be conducted the day before a game, and players will be allowed to play so long as they receive a negative test two hours before kickoff. 
  • The new guidelines state that masks for players on the sidelines are recommended but not required, except for in cities that mandate them.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

With the start of the NFL season days away, the league and its players' union, the NFL Players Association, have agreed to continue testing players for COVID-19 daily, except on game days, according to a memo distributed to teams on Saturday.

The daily-testing requirement applies to players as well as all team employees categorized in Tiers 1 and 2, the Associated Press reports. Tier 1 includes players and others — like coaches and trainers — who need to come into direct contact with players, while Tier 2 employees are those who may need to be in close proximity to players.

According to the new guidelines, pregame coronavirus tests will occur the day before a game and must be conducted before a team travels, per the AP. The memo sent to teams also outlines a testing schedule designed to give teams enough time to deal with any false-positive results, ESPN reports. Players will be allowed on the field so long as they receive a negative test at least two hours before kickoff.

The NFL has been administering coronavirus exams to players each day since training camp began in July, and the latest daily-testing agreement between the league and the NFLPA was set to expire on Saturday. The NFL and NFLPA said that daily testing for Tier 1 and Tier 2 personnel would continue "until we advise otherwise," according to The Washington Post.

The new protocols also state that Tier 1 and 2 personnel cannot access team facilities the day after a game and that players must wear a mask when participating in the coin toss, according to the AP. Face coverings are recommended but not mandatory for players on the sidelines, save for in cities where local regulations require them.

The NFL season starts September 10th with a matchup between the Houston Texans and the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Michigan official says voters should expect 'Election Week, not Election Day' in anticipation of a rush of mail-in ballots

mail in ballots
An absentee ballot election worker consolidates a large stack of absentee ballot applications at the Mecklenburg Board of Elections office in Charlotte, North Carolina on September 4, 2020.
  • Michigan's Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said Sunday that officials are expecting "an Election Week, as opposed to an Election Day" this November as a rush of mail-in ballots will delay counted votes. 
  • Michigan was one of several key swing states the US Postal Service warned last month could face serious delays in voting as "certain deadlines for requesting and casting mail-in ballots are incongruous with the Postal Service's delivery standards," The New York Times reported
  • Benson said the delays could lead to the state declaring a phony winner, but officials plan on keeping the public updated to the best of their abilities while ballots are being counted.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Michigan's Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said Sunday that the state is expecting to take a week determining its 2020 Election as officials brace for a flood of mail-in and early ballots.

"We should be prepared for this to be closer to an Election Week, as opposed to an Election Day," Benson said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "The bottom line is we are not going to have the full results and a counting of all of our ballots on Election Night. We already know that."

Benson said despite the state legislature neglecting to change the law to allow workers to start counting ballots before Election Day, voting officials are increasing tabulators needed to count votes as she remains "laser-focused on accuracy."

"Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd asked if Benson was concerned "people may take the delay in getting all the results in Michigan to declare a phony winner."

"Yes," Benson said. "But to me, that's just going to be another example of the type of misinformation and disinformation that we're seeing multiple ways from multiple platforms and voices in this election cycle. So we're going to counter that misinformation with truth and accuracy," in the form of keeping the public updated while ballots are being counted.

Benson added that every secretary of state should count on "being that source of trusted information of clear facts and data" as officials across the US "seek to cut through lots of different rhetoric that's going to only be increasing in the weeks coming up to Election Day and beyond."

Benson's warning about accuracy issues in the upcoming election comes after months of President Donald Trump and his allies decrying mail-in voting as rife with fraud, though there is no substantial evidence to support that the method is a threat to the election's accuracy. 

The Postal Service warned 40 states last month, including key swing states like Pennsylvania, Florida, and Michigan, a serious warning that "certain deadlines for requesting and casting mail-in ballots are incongruous with the Postal Service's delivery standards," The New York Times reported

The state laws on ballots, combined with cost-cutting mandates by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy that have slowed down mail journeys across the US, could affect initial election results in several key states this November, Business Insider's Grace Panetta previously reported. The stark differences between voters of different parties and their voting methods of choice could mean delays hand Trump an early victory. 

The president has aired baseless conspiracy theories about mail-in voting and interference over the last several months, even saying on Twitter in July that the US should "delay" the 2020 election, but he does not have the power to postpone the election or delay the potential end of his term. 

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Rep. Val Demings says President Trump was 'walking around with a gasoline can' while 'America was on fire' during civil unrest

Val Demings HJC Barr hearing
Florida Democratic Rep. Val Demings questions Attorney General William Barr during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, July 28, 2020.
  • Rep. Val Demings of Florida sharply criticized President Trump's handling of racial-justice demonstrations during an ABC interview on Sunday. 
  • Demings accused Trump of stoking tensions as racial-justice protests rocked the country. 
  • She said Trump was "not trying to sow peace and calm, but actually throwing fire onto an already volatile situation."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Democratic Rep. Val Demings of Florida slammed President Donald Trump for his response to widespread, ongoing racial-justice demonstrations on Sunday, arguing that he has fueled tensions rather than trying to bring the country together.

"While America was going through civil unrest in all 50 states, quite frankly, America was on fire, we had a president — a commander-in-chief — who was walking around with a gasoline can," Demings said during a Sunday interview on ABC's This Week.

Demings' scathing comments were in response to a question about how Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden have responded to the mostly peaceful protests. Host Martha Raddatz cited a new ABC-Ipsos poll, which concluded that 55% of Americans believe that Trump's rhetoric surrounding the protests has made things worse, while 49% said that Biden hasn't had an effect one way or the other.

"President Donald John Trump is the commander-in-chief, and so the buck stops with him," Demings said, adding that Trump was "not trying to sow peace and calm, but actually throwing fire onto an already volatile situation."

Demings' comments came after violence at racial-justice protests has escalated in recent weeks. Police have accused 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse of shooting three and killing two people during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 25. On August 30, a man was shot dead in Portland as Black Lives Matter protesters clashed with pro-Trump ralliers.

Many have accused Trump of playing a part in the violence by emboldening his supporters to physically attack protesters. Shortly after George Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody on May 25 sparked massive protests across the country, Trump tweeted "when the looting starts, the shooting starts," which he later denied was a call to violence.

Trump was also widely criticized for inviting Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who pointed guns at protestors during demonstrations in St. Louis, to speak at the Republican National Convention late last month. The convention saw Trump and his allies tout a "law and order" message, and even use stock video and pictures of protests to warn attendees about presidential hopeful "Biden's America."  

"What we're currently seeing in our country is not sustainable," Demings continued. "And it's really time to start moving from what we're seeing in the streets, I believe, to roundtable discussions ... to start putting into place plans of action that can get us back on track."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump threatens to investigate and pull federal funding from schools that teach NYT's 1619 project on the consequences of slavery

The 1619 Project
A copy of The New York Times Magazine's The 1619 Project is photographed on August 19, 2019, in Chicago.
  • President Donald Trump on Sunday said he would call on the Department of Education to investigate whether schools were teaching The New York Times' 1619 Project.
  • The project, launched by The New York Times Magazine last year, centers on American history told through the lens of Black Americans beginning when slaves were brought to the Virginia colony in the year 1619.
  • Trump threatened to strip federal funding from schools that used the Pulitzer Prize-winning work.
  • The move comes two days after the president announced the federal government would ban anti-racism training that used critical race theory. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump on Sunday said he would implore the Department of Education to investigate schools using The New York Times' 1619 project, which teaches American history beginning with the arrival of slaves to Virginia in the year 1619 and focuses on the contributions of Black Americans.  

"california has implemented the 1619 project into the public schools. soon you wont recognize america," a Twitter user claimed in a tweet on September 1. Five days later, on Sunday, the president tweeted the message, writing "Department of Education is looking at this. If so, they will not be funded!"

The White House on Sunday did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for further comment.

"The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery," according to The New York Times. "It aims to reframe the country's history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative."

In May, New York Times Magazine reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for commentary for her work on the 1619 Project. The project has drawn backlash from conservatives, who have "accused the writers of stoking racial division, pushing their leftist ideologies, and rewriting history through 'a racial lens' — meaning through the point of view of Black Americans," as Vox's J. Brian Charles wrote last year.

Some historians have also expressed concerns over their belief that there are factual inaccuracies within the project, as The Atlantic reported, also in 2019.

"But the debates playing out now on social media and in op-eds between supporters and detractors of the 1619 Project misrepresent both the historical record and the historical profession," Leslie M. Jones, a Northwestern University historian, wrote for Politico in March. "The United States was not, in fact, founded to protect slavery—but the Times is right that slavery was central to its story. And the argument among historians, while real, is hardly black and white."


Trump's tweet comes exactly one week after an editorial in The Wall Street Journal titled "California's Radical Indoctrination," published August 30, targeting California state legislation AB 331, which would require all school districts in the state to offer a semester-long ethnic studies course beginning in 2025.

"The largest state in the union is poised to become one of the first to mandate ethnic studies for all high-school students, and the model curriculum makes the radical '1619 project' look moderate and balanced," The Wall Street Journal editorial board said.

The president's Saturday announcement also comes two days after a Friday announcement that he directed federal agencies to cease anti-racism training that involved critical race theory. The theory, according to Britannica, centers around the idea that race is a social construct "used by white people to further their economic and political interests" at the expense of minority groups.

"The divisive, false, and demeaning propaganda of the critical race theory movement is contrary to all we stand for as Americans and should have no place in the federal government," said Russell Vought, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, in a Friday memo announcing. the prohibition. 

As Business Insider previously reported, it's unclear whether these trainings exist within the federal government and to what extent. Likewise, it's not clear whether any school districts in California or otherwise have incorporated elements of the 1619 project, as CNN reported. 

Following the publication of the project, The New York Times partnered with the Pulitzer Center to develop free-to-download educational resources for teachers based on the project, according to the report. GOP Sen. Tom Cotton in July introduced legislation to prevent schools from teaching the curriculum, CNN noted.

Read the original article on Business Insider

USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy gave bonuses to former employees who donated to GOP candidates, new report says

Louis DeJoy
U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies before a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on slowdowns at the Postal Service ahead of the November elections on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., August 24, 2020

Former employees of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said they felt pressured to make political contributions to GOP candidates while working for his former business, The Washington Post reported.

Several people who worked under or were familiar with DeJoy at his former business New Breed Logistics, a supply chain company, told the Post that DeJoy asked employees to donate to GOP fundraisers in return for bonus payments to make up for the costs.

"Louis was a national fundraiser for the Republican Party. He asked employees for money. We gave him the money, and then he reciprocated by giving us big bonuses," David Young, a former human resources director who previously had access to New Breed's payroll records, told the Post.

The Post said an analysis of campaign finance records saw a "pattern of extensive donations by New Breed employees to Republican candidates."

Monty Hagler, a spokesman for DeJoy, told Business Insider in a statement that DeJoy "was never notified by the New Breed employees referenced by the Washington Post of any pressure they might have felt to make a political contribution, and he regrets if any employee felt uncomfortable for any reason." 

He added that while at New Breed Logistics, DeJoy "sought and received legal advice from the former General Counsel of the Federal Election Commission on election laws, including the law of political contributions, to ensure that he, New Breed Logistics, and any person affiliated with New Breed fully complied with any and all laws." 

DeJoy was a controversial choice for postmaster general, as he joined the post office with no prior experience but is a prominent GOP fundraiser and as personally raised millions for Republican politicians. Business Insider previously reported that he and his wife donated around $1.6 million since Trump's election in 2016.

DeJoy has since been criticized for his drastic cost-cutting measures in the USPS including cutting overtime for postal service workers, cutting post office hours, and displacing some mail collection boxes, which have been associated with delayed mail delivery. Lawmakers have questioned DeJoy, as concerns for delayed mail loom over an election that expects a high number of mail-in-ballots due to the coronavirus pandemic that could skew results.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Unemployment diary: I'm a 47-year-old anthropologist in Colorado who's been out of work since February

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Julia Bauer.
  • The Unemployed States of America takes readers deep inside the decimated American workforce.
  • Julia Bauer is a 47-year-old anthropologist from Fort Collins, Colorado.
  • She lost her dream job working at a nonprofit in February, which meant losing the main source of income as well as health insurance for her family of four. 
  • Bauer says she spiraled into a depression after losing her job, and had to stop going to her doctor and physical therapist to save money, even though she has a chronic illness.
  • This is Julia Bauer's story, as told to Business Insider.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

We're a family of four, and my income was really the only one coming in. We had a few months of savings, but we weren't sure what we were going to do about money. There weren't any jobs out there that I could really apply for, and the jobs that were available either put my health at risk or paid so poorly that I would need two or three of them to pay our bills.

On top of that, the job I lost was a dream job that I'd wanted for close to 30 years. I worked with a small team and we felt like family. Losing them was heartbreaking. 

Between losing my dream job, losing my work family, losing my family's health insurance, and losing my only source of income, I spiraled into a depression that I haven't really recovered from.

I don't know what to do next. Nobody is hiring.

I'd contemplate starting my own business, but people are clamping down on their own finances and getting clients isn't going to be easy. 

Currently, I'm working a contract gig, but full-time employment just isn't happening at the moment. I have multiple, diverse skills and am trying to fall back on some of my other skills at the moment, but the pay being offered for those jobs in my area is insultingly low, and I'll have to go back to working multiple jobs if I'm lucky enough to land them. I spend about 10 hours a week looking for a job, applying for jobs, and networking.

We lived very frugally before this all hit, but we've cut out about 95% of the few extras we did allow ourselves. No new clothes (even when things wear out), no meals out. We've banked every penny and only spend on absolute essentials.

I've cut down on groceries.

I've stopped going to the doctor and physical therapist, even though I have a chronic illness. I may just chuck it all, sell the house, and go back to grad school. If I'm going to lose the house anyway, I'd rather sell it first.

I worked for a nonprofit based in the state of Florida, so I'm collecting my UI benefit from them. Those folks have their heads stuck in an alligator. Florida's UI benefits are hopelessly low and only last for 12 weeks.

The state bungled their normal UI claims and held up payment for thousands of people, then bungled the extended UI benefits. They designed a UI system that's horribly confusing to use and then blamed claimants for errors and refused to pay. Overall, claiming UI from Florida is awful.

The $600 additional UI benefit was a godsend and kept us afloat, but I don't know what I'm going to do now that it's expired.

I'm just worried that I'm going to run out of money before I can find a job again, or that something medically catastrophic will happen to someone in my family and we won't be able to afford care. That we'll lose our home. That employers won't bother with my resume because I'm close to 50 and have been out of work for months.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Unemployment diary: I'm a 61-year-old event planner in Connecticut who's been out of work since March

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Thomas Michael Ormond.
  • The Unemployed States of America takes readers deep inside the decimated American workforce.
  • Thomas Michael Ormond was terminated from his position as an events director at a hotel at the start of the pandemic.
  • He'd almost retired before taking the job, and he’s now spending his downtime with his dogs and helping his daughter remodel her house.
  • The events industry is going to take a while to come back, he says, but when it does there will be an influx of people booking weddings and parties the minute they can.
  • This is what his last few months have been like, as told to Leah Feiger. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

I was laid off from my position as director of events at the Sheraton Stamford hotel on March 18. I got into event planning about 20 years ago, and I'd actually almost retired right before taking the Sheraton job, but an old friend of mine convinced me to go back to work. My daughter had just gotten engaged and I was going to take care of the wedding bill, so it felt like a good time to be back. 

It's been about five months since I was laid off, and I'm not exactly looking for work yet. I've been keeping in touch with former colleagues and had some over recently to catch up and talk about what's going on and what's happening to the event planning industry. 

But nobody has anything. One of our biggest caterers right now caters for office buildings, and he was extremely busy every weekend with parties and weddings — but now he's about ready to throw in the towel. It's just crumbling. Everyone's been let go. Before being laid off, I spent a full two weeks just canceling events, sending deposits back. This was for weddings, bar mitzvahs, anniversaries, proms, communions, confirmations, family reunions, fundraisers. All these things I do were just, boom — gone. And so that's kind of where we are. 

Everyone's thinking, what am I going to do? Where am I going to go? 

For some people I know, unemployment checks haven't been enough. One of my coworkers has been struggling and had to remortgage her house to put her kids through school, and now she just can't afford it. But what's she going to do? No one's hiring right now.

For me, it's worked out okay. I fortunately have a little means, and I've been able to rent out some houses. I've been making things work. It was all stuff I planned for my retirement, though I guess I might be there now. 

For my day-to-day, I have two dogs and spend a lot of time with them, walking them, feeding them, and going to the park. I also spent a lot of time helping my daughter and son-in-law remodel their house. We ripped out the kitchen, knocked down walls, ripped up old carpeting, finished the floors, and repainted. It was a good project. 

My son is also back in town and just got his real estate license. My wife is a travel agent, and she's now working two days a week. Mostly she just goes into the office to refund people for canceled trips. But she's still on insurance, and I have to pay $800 to $900 a month for COBRA. It's not a small expense. But, you know, it could be worse, so I'm not complaining, and I'm glad I'm covered. 

I still love the events industry.

It's always different; something's always coming up, and you have to think on your feet and problem-solve. Before becoming a planner, I always loved hosting events and throwing them at my house. I have tables and chairs for a hundred, and I thought, I should just do this for a living. 

But now, I know a lot of people that want to and need to leave the industry. I've heard people say, "I just need to go get a job in a corporate setting or go into another field." The event industry is going to take a while to come back, but I do think there's going to be a fast influx of people, the minute they can, booking weddings and other parties. It's something to look forward to, at the very least.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Unemployment diary: I'm a 31-year-old pharmaceutical recruiter in Florida who's been out of work since June

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Artie Dromerhauser.
  • The Unemployed States of America takes readers deep inside the decimated American workforce.
  • Artie Dromerhauser is a 31-year-old pharmaceutical recruiter based in Kissimmee, Florida.
  • When his company transitioned to remote work in March, Dromerhauser at first felt his job was secure and was happy to be spending more time with his family during lockdown.
  • But at the end of June, he and several colleagues were suddenly laid off. Now, Dromerhauser is worried that soon he and his wife may have to dip into their savings to survive or turn to family members for support.  
  • This is his story, as told to freelance writer Nick Dauk.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

I worked for a staffing company as a pharmaceutical recruiter, helping my clients across the healthcare industry place candidates such as trail managers, educators, doctors, and other senior-/junior-level positions. I found my job rewarding: The feedback was instantaneous, allowing me to quickly improve my production, and the company was very accommodating to my home life, which includes three children under seven.

When COVID-19 forced my department to transition to remote working in March, I took it in stride.

I actually thought it was beneficial that I could work from home and spend more time with my family during lockdown. I wasn't worried about losing my job at first, my main concern was navigating new forms of communication with clients who were understandably stressing out over the pandemic. 

Our department was asked to increase production and we felt secure. Then all of a sudden, some of our recruiters were laid off, including a few that had a longer tenure than I did. I felt like I might be headed in that direction, too, so I focused on increasing my production. 

I was laid off on June 30 while still working remotely, just two days shy of reaching seven months with the company.

I've been searching for remote work ever since and am hopeful to start working again within the next few weeks. When we received the additional $600 unemployment benefits from the government, it was keeping us above water. Before we could take care of bills, but now it feels like the clock is ticking. 

I started saving prior to the pandemic and will likely have to dip into it. We're also considering drastic decisions, like moving or asking for financial assistance from family members. Thankfully, we haven't been confronted with that situation yet, but we're lucky enough to have family members willing to help us if we need it. I feel like if I don't get a job closer to the end of the year then we'll have to make those tough decisions. 

However, part of me was relieved when I was laid off, because now I don't have to worry about that possibility lurking behind me. I also think I might be ready to move into a different career field. My wife and I are considering a transition into the entertainment industry; she's pursuing acting while I'm looking into voice acting. 

I feel like now is the time to make that big change and jump into something scary. Everything is uncertain as is; why not take the plunge down another career path? With that being said, I know that I had success as a recruiter, so I feel like it's still a career worth looking into, but I also believe I have a future doing something else.

Until then, we're focusing on our children, trying to keep them as stable and stress-free as possible.

When something like this happens, you have to look at the bright side. I know that this struggle will be longer than I expected, but I truly believe that it will end up being for the best, despite all of the hardship that's come from it.

Freelance writer Nick Dauk and the subject of this story were coworkers from 2009 to 2013.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Unemployment diary: I'm a 31-year-old youth care worker in Delaware who's been out of work since July

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William Oliver Coursey.
  • The Unemployed States of America takes readers deep inside the decimated American workforce.
  • William Oliver Coursey is a 31-year-old youth care worker based in Wilmington, Delaware.
  • Before the pandemic, Coursey was pursuing a degree in mass communications at Wilmington University while working at the local YMCA to support his family of five. 
  • He's grateful to be spending more time with his kids and help them with online learning, but also worried about staying on top of bills and helping his wife grow her hair salon business. He's making just $100 a week in unemployment benefits.
  • This is William Oliver Coursey's story, as told to freelance writer Taylor Goebel.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Before COVID-19, I could tell you exactly where I would be: I would have graduated from Wilmington University by now. I would have been off to a new job, whether it was moving up from my position at the YMCA or taking my talents elsewhere.

After this, I just don't know.

Once the first person in Delaware got COVID-19, everything just froze.

The more you started hearing about cases, the less people were dropping their kids off at the Y, the less people were working out. 

At first I was getting emails saying, "We'll be shut down for a week." And then, "It's going to be two weeks." The next thing you know I'm getting an email saying I'm officially furloughed. I didn't even know what that word meant at the time.

Since then, my position was eliminated in July. I've been waiting to hear back.

This is my first time on unemployment. Financially, it's been a rollercoaster. We'd been doing pretty good, especially when we were getting the weekly $600 in unemployment benefits. But back in July, they shut that down. Now I'm getting about $100 a week, so I might have to go into the savings I put away from tax time.

I'm a man first. I'm a provider. So it's hard when you're supposed to be that and you lose your job. To wake up every day, leaving this precious time with my kids, and for an employer to say, "We really can't use you right now." You have to keep reminding yourself, "I didn't do anything wrong. I didn't get fired." 

Having my wife and kids here, not treating me any different, not treating me like I lost my job, it's a great feeling. They're the only reasons why I stayed sane, because if it wasn't for them, I would've blamed myself.

My oldest, Duane, he's 11. He was kind of excited at first. I think later on reality hit him, that he still has responsibilities. But he grasped online school really well. My other son Prince, his school is doing hybrid learning this year, too, which is hard because he's autistic. He needs real interaction. Being there for him is a full-time job. So I'm going to be on Zoom for my class while at the same time trying to settle him down.

My wife and I, we've just been rolling with the punches, trying to count our blessings.

This is the first time I've ever spent every hour with my kids. I can get to re-know them. With unemployment, I've been able to watch my youngest son grow, whereas before I would have missed his first words, his first steps.

I'm going to finish school and try to keep some type of faith and hope for the future.

My wife has been starting her own hair salon, Nessie's Natural Nation. The only thing that looks bright right now is her business idea. She turned the back space of our house into a full-on hair salon. By the time she did that, COVID-19 happened. And it was like, alright, this could be her thing. She inspires me. She has me looking at life differently.  

This is a very blurry time. There's really no plan. I'm definitely helping my wife grow her business — I told her I want to learn how to shampoo. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Unemployment diary: I'm a 34-year-old healthcare customer service representative in Arkansas who's been out of work since March

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Stephanie Ravion.
  • The Unemployed States of America takes readers deep inside the decimated American workforce.
  • Stephanie Ravion is a 34-year-old healthcare customer service representative based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
  • She lost her position when her job site closed down on March 24; she'd enjoyed her job and found it rewarding.
  • Now she's trying to take care of four children with the $71 a week the state gives her.
  • This is her story, as told to freelance writer Sarah Prager.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

For almost a year, I worked for a company named TTEC as a healthcare customer service representative. I assisted elderly clients with their healthcare questions and claims. I enjoyed my job and found it quite rewarding.

Then everything changed: The pandemic hit, and my job site closed down on March 24. I didn't file for unemployment right away because I wasn't familiar with the program eligibility, since I'd never had to apply for it before.

When I did file, I was told that, though I waited six weeks, I would not be awarded any back pay, and the call volumes were disastrous. I was then awarded $81 a week to survive on — and, to add a bit of comic relief — they then took taxes out of it, leaving me with a whopping $71.

Now I'm struggling to take care of four children on $71 a week, which is virtually impossible.

I've been searching for jobs in my field and trying to stay safe at the same time. I have underlying medical conditions, so I'm searching for work-at-home jobs with minimum exposure. I complete about 20 applications per week, and I only get maybe two or three responses back.

It's been hard living in a pandemic with chaos around us and family contracting COVID-19. My kids' school shut down, and we're all at home in constant worry and paranoia. One of my kids has special needs and he doesn't understand why he can't go to school or has to wear a mask when we go out.

I was recently diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and it seems like my world is closing in on me. As a teen I faced homelessness with my mom and siblings; those times I won't ever forget. I was also homeless as a young adult with two children, but that's a place I'm adamant about not going back to.

I want to be so much more and do so much more, but it all seems like a fantasy miles away. Being a single parent is difficult, but living in this pandemic and uncertain times plagued with financial burden makes it so much worse.

My state of Arkansas can do much better than this.

They should give everyone a minimum of $100 a week unemployment or more and cut down on processing times. I understand there are thousands of people waiting for benefits and some have been waiting as long as 12 weeks with no support. That is not okay.

I'm grateful for what I have, even if it's not much, but I think every state should have some money put up in a reserve for emergencies. I wish the Democrats and Republicans would think about us, the little guys, while they're running off to vacation. I think they shouldn't be paid until we're paid, and then maybe, just maybe, they would know how it feels to not know where your next meal or rent payment is coming from.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Unemployment diary: I'm a 54-year-old talent producer in California who's been out of work since March

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Kimberly Stephens.
  • The Unemployed States of America takes readers deep inside the decimated American workforce.
  • Kimberly Stephens is a 54-year-old entertainment talent producer based in Los Angeles, California.
  • After losing her job in March, Stephens has been volunteering locally and says it's been hard finding work, as most live entertainment events are canceled throughout the state.
  • She's cut back on groceries and utility usage, but worried that without a job she won't be able to support her daughter's application for medical school this winter.
  • This is her story, as told to Business Insider.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Life has been challenging since I lost my job in March, but I try to do things that keep me in a positive state of mind. I've been job-searching and looking at a career transition. The entertainment industry is going through changes and many companies have furloughed or let people go. I've been a freelancer for over 15 years and I mainly work on live events, which have all been canceled in California. 

I do volunteer work to keep myself engaged as well as help seniors in my community stay healthy and safe. I try to look for something positive each day to remind me I'm blessed to be healthy and alive.

I'm getting by financially by the grace of God and unemployment, but there are still big sacrifices. I've cut back on groceries, utility usage, and not traveling to the East Coast to visit my family in Atlanta. 

My daughter is applying for fall/winter 2021 admission for medical school, but she may not be able to enter this year because I can't afford it.

I've been a single parent all of her life and supported her educational aspirations, from private school to undergraduate and graduate school. I'm mostly worried about not being able to support her financially in this milestone. I don't want her to miss this opportunity or put it off to get a job to try to help me.

With most productions being shut down and no live events in California, I don't have any job prospects. Still, I look for jobs everyday via Linkedin, classified ads, and other professional platforms. 

I've lost people that I cherish to COVID-19, and seeing their loved ones not being able to have moments with them before they transitioned was hard. Also, witnessing the lack of empathy from the White House and disregard for public health and science has been terrifying to watch, especially as an African American woman.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A Wall Street strategist who nailed last week's sell-off says the only path to a 'sharply higher' stock market is a dot-com-like bubble

Trader Peter Tuchman works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Monday, March 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Investors still have a lot to learn from the Nifty Fifty stock market bubble of 1972 and the dot-com bubble of 2000, according to Stifel's Barry Bannister.

In a recent note to clients, the head of institutional equity strategy said the current technology-driven stock market was showing similarities to previous market bubbles and was even rivaling past melt-ups based on the cyclically adjusted price-earnings ratio, or CAPE.

"The current market level is pivotal," Bannister said, adding: "The CAPE of the S&P 500 is knocking at the doorstep of the same point at which CAPE broke out in the last two years of the most powerful bull markets of the past century, the late 1920s and late 1990s."

If the widely followed CAPE ratio does break above the 30-times level and move decisively higher, "the building and bursting of a bubble" could occur, according to the note.

Read more: GOLDMAN SACHS: Buy these 19 stocks right now for big future gains once a COVID-19 vaccine is available

"The only path we see to a sharply higher market is a bubble like the end-stage of the 1920s and the 1990s bull markets," the note said.

Fueling a continued rally in stocks would be near-zero interest rates and a falling equity risk premium. In other words, the monetary policies from the Federal Reserve will most likely be the determining factor of how long the stock market rally can last.

According to Bannister, the S&P 500 could soar if Fed Chair Jerome Powell is able to avoid the taper tantrum of 2013 and suppress the real 10-year Treasury yield. In this scenario, the S&P 500 could jump 10% from current levels to 3,700, Stifel said.

Read more: 'Never been so extreme': A renowned stock bear says today's 'hypervalued' market implies the worst market returns in history — and expects a 66% crash from today's levels

Additionally, there is a "mega-bull case" for stocks, depending on how low the real 10-year Treasury yield can fall, Bannister said. The real 10-year Treasury yield is the current interest rate of the 10-year Treasury less the current rate of inflation.

Still, market valuations are "precariously high" and investors should note that the decade following the dot-com  bubble led to underperforming tech stocks relative to the S&P 500 despite faster earnings growth, the note said.

Investors should take note of Bannister's call. The Wall Street strategist wasn't surprised by this week's tech-driven market sell-off given his note last month called for a 5% to 10% market pullback.

Read more: Bank of America lays out the under-the-radar indicators showing that huge swaths of the stock market are 'running on fumes' — and warns a September meltdown may just be getting started

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Read the original article on Business Insider

Unemployment diary: I'm a 29-year-old magazine editor-in-chief in Alabama who's been out of work since July

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Julia Sayers Gokhale.
  • The Unemployed States of America takes readers deep inside the decimated American workforce.
  • Julia Sayers Gokhale is a 29-year-old magazine editor-in-chief based in Birmingham, Alabama.
  • She lost her job at Birmingham Magazine in July when the publication suspended operations and let the entire staff go.
  • Now, she's living paycheck to paycheck on $275 a week in unemployment and worried about finding another full-time role.
  • This is Julia Sayers Gokhale's story, as told to freelance writer Nick Dauk.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

After graduating from Elon University with a degree in print and online journalism, I moved to Birmingham in 2013 to accept an editorial fellowship with Oxmoor House. I then became an associate editor for Cooking with Paula Dean Magazine before being offered a role as associate editor at Birmingham Magazine in 2015. Accepting that job was the best decision I ever made.

Within two years, I was promoted to managing editor, then to editor in chief at only 26 years old. Becoming an editor in chief for a magazine had been my dream job since I was 13. When you're working on a magazine career track, editor in chief is the end-all be-all; to reach my career goal at such a young age was something that I never expected. It was a wild and amazing feeling.

I was laid off in July, one month short of my five-year anniversary, when Birmingham Magazine suspended publication and let our entire staff go.

I was obviously devastated at the loss of my dream job, but also devastated at the loss of the magazine right before its 60th year in print. We had plans to push this publication into the digital realm, where it would expand beyond travel and lifestyle to include long-form journalism and highlight current events within our city.

After the initial shock, the anxieties for my own future began to set in.

It's a weird feeling when you've been in a top role and are thriving in your career, then suddenly you're nothing. You definitely feel like your value has been cut down. 

Although I've had a few freelance opportunities, I'm still essentially living paycheck to paycheck. Unemployment was helpful when it was $600 a week, but it's been dropped to $275 a week, which isn't enough to make ends meet. If my unemployment runs out, there'll be pressure to find any full-time role immediately. I'm lucky to have a husband that's still employed, but I do feel guilty sometimes that, while I've lost my dream job, I don't have to worry as much as some others do.

I've always thought that I'd eventually become a freelancer later in life, just not now. You don't expect these things to happen so young into your career. In journalism, you always have to think about industry changes, but you never expect you'd be forced to start all over again. Maybe I was naïve in that fact, but I never thought at 29 I'd be going through this. 

It still doesn't feel real because the whole world is still upside down, but when normalcy does resume, I think I'll be hit with the realization of how much my life has changed.

I had my dream job. I got to travel, attend fun events, eat great food, and experience my city in an intimate way. I loved sharing the stories of those who didn't have a platform to do so. I'm afraid I won't find another role that matches what I felt at Birmingham Magazine.

Though it's exciting to think about what opportunities might come and how my life could be different in a good way. I loved my job and was comfortable there; this experience has encouraged me to reevaluate what I really want to do, and I'm excited for new possibilities. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Unemployment diary: I'm a 51-year-old bartender in Kansas who's been out of work since March

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Stacie Sulzen.
  • The Unemployed States of America takes readers deep inside the decimated American workforce.
  • Stacie Sulzen is a 51-year-old bartender based in Kansas City, Kansas.
  • Her bar closed at midnight on March 16, and she hasn't been back since.
  • It took her about three months to start getting unemployment, and she didn't have any money left by the time it arrived.
  • This is her story, as told to Jill Dutton. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

I'd worked as a bartender for 27 years when the shutdown of the bars went into effect in Kansas. I was working at Reich's Club, a small dive bar in Kansas City, Kansas, when the owner told me on March 16 to close the doors at midnight. 

I haven't been back since.

It was such an uncertain time. I didn't know what I was going to do, but I didn't really think it would last. I figured a week or two and things would start going back to normal. The day after closing, I went out and bought a bunch of cans of soup and TV dinners.

The bar was sold during the shutdown period and the new owner, not knowing how long it would last, began gutting the bar to make renovations. At first, when I heard the previous owner washed his hands of it, I wondered if I'd have a job to go back to at all. The new owner does plan to bring us back, but it's not ready to open yet.

In 27 years as a bartender, I've never taken a day off that I was scheduled to work. I would even cover other people's shifts, often working double shifts. I just worked all the time. So at first, it was kind of neat to have some time off. You don't get vacation days when you're a bartender. There's no insurance, no 401(k) — you live on tips and that's how you live.

The first couple weeks, it was nice to sleep in and know that no one was going to call me into work. Then it got to the point where I was ready for the vacation to be over and get back to work. Food was running out; money was running out. It took about three months to start getting unemployment. 

Luckily, I have friends and family that helped me out. For my bills, when they would call, I would tell them that as soon as I had some money, I would send it their way. I was lucky that I never got any threats of the electricity being shut off, and my landlord was very kind and never said a word about my rent being late. I was very fortunate because I knew a lot of people who didn't have understanding landlords.

By the time I received my first unemployment check, I didn't have any money left.

I paid my electric bill and gave the rest of that first check to my landlord, except for a small bit I kept for myself. I did that again with the next few checks. So for the first month of getting unemployment I was still broke, because I was trying to catch up from three months of arrears.

The Kansas unemployment site was screwy, too. Even once I was getting checks, the site would go down and I couldn't file a claim. Or I would file a claim and get an error message. It was a mess. It took me probably a month to get through by phone to the unemployment office just so I could get the errors fixed regarding the back pay I was owed. For those three months of unemployment in the beginning, I was owed five weeks of back pay. Finally, last week, I received the back pay.

I used the money to pay off all my bills. I actually paid ahead because I don't know how long this will continue. My eligibility for unemployment has now run out. I filed for an extension a couple weeks ago, but again, haven't heard anything yet.

When I was younger, I did some factory work. It seems like everyone I know who works in a factory hasn't missed a beat because they're considered essential workers. So I was thinking about doing that. I mean, there have been threats of them shutting the bars down again, so bartending or serving doesn't look too promising going forward.

I have a job waiting for me when the remodeling at the bar is finished, but I can't go to work until then. And even then, only half-capacity is allowed, so there isn't much opportunity for tips.

I'm thinking factory work will be where I need to go.

I've been happy bartending — especially the socialization that comes with the job — so I know I'll miss that if I have to take a factory job. Really, I worry that I won't be able to find any job. What if everyone else decides to do the same thing as me and go into factory work? There might not be a job to go to. 

I'm glad I was able to prepay my bills for a few months, but after that, the future looks uncertain.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Unemployment diary: I'm a 58-year-old event planner in Alaska who's been out of work since March

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Elisa Hitchcock.
  • The Unemployed States of America takes readers deep inside the decimated American workforce.
  • Elisa Hitchcock is a 58-year-old event planner based in Anchorage, Alaska.
  • After losing her job, she now spends most days helping to care for her elderly parents. A part-time job might be possible, but as a caregiver she worries about increased COVID-19 exposure.
  • Unemployment benefits of $277.20 aren't enough to cover her living expenses, so her savings are dwindling. Hitchcock doesn't have a spouse or partner whose salary could help shore up her finances.
  • This is Elisa Hitchcock's story, as told to freelance writer Donna Freedman.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

I've always thought of myself as strong. Growing up in Alaska will do that for you. Even though I'm 58 years old, I can still split wood, fix a carburetor, cut salmon, drive a tractor, and do home repairs. Good thing, because my 87-year-old father needs help at his off-the-grid homestead — and lately, I've had the time.

Before the pandemic hit, I'd worked at an events planning company in Anchorage. We staged corporate functions, high-end weddings, benefit auctions, and other special events. It was a creative, challenging job, and I loved sharing people's celebrations. 

After my March 18 layoff, I knew the industry wouldn't bounce back quickly.

The whole point of an "event" is to bring folks together. You can't do that if people are standing six feet apart. 

My expenses are fairly low: I drive a paid-for car, rent a room in a friend's house, and don't go out to eat. But my savings are dwindling because unemployment doesn't cover the basics. After 10% is withheld for taxes, I get $277.20 a week. (I'm divorced, so I don't have a spouse with a salary to help out.)

Work doesn't faze me. I've been a fast-food cashier, a convenience-store clerk, and a professional log cabin builder; as an event planner, I folded napkins and set up tables. Right now, I could probably get a supermarket job filling curbside pickup orders. But I can't risk exposure to COVID-19 because I might give it to my parents.

I spend up to five days a week either at the homestead with dad and his wife or at my 87-year-old mother's place in Palmer, about 40 miles north of Anchorage. My sister moved in with my mom, but 24/7 caretaking is exhausting. Usually, I stay a few days at a time.

The CARES Act stipulates up to 39 weeks of unemployment, which means I've used almost half my benefits. The extra $300-a-week payment starts October 24; that boost means I could last another six months if nothing goes wrong. 

As far as what might go wrong, I try not to obsess over a COVID-19 vaccine, the economy, or whether my job will come back. If I do start spiraling, I grab a novel to quiet the anxiety. 

Not that I have a lot of time to obsess. Unemployment hasn't meant lounging around baking bread and updating Facebook. Most of my days are spent caring for my parents, driving there and back (the homestead is two hours away), doing my share when I'm home, and sometimes helping my friend's daughter with her two kids.

Self-care has fallen by the wayside, but I'm trying to change that.

At the homestead I have my own space, the Alaska version of a tiny house: a 224-square-foot log cabin. It doesn't have electricity or running water, but it does have peace and quiet (and sometimes a movie on my iPad). I can escape the fear and uncertainty for a little while. The next day I start all over again.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Unemployment diary: I'm a 53-year-old business development executive in Arizona who's been out of work since April

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Erik Rothchild.
  • The Unemployed States of America takes readers deep inside the decimated American workforce.
  • Erik Rothchild is a 53-year-old business development executive and Army veteran based in Chandler, Arizona. 
  • After being officially laid off on August 1, Rothchild has been applying for sales and marketing jobs on a daily basis, but says it's difficult even to land an interview.
  • He's getting by on just $240 per week in unemployment benefits and worried that he may lose his house because he's unable to make payments.
  • This is Erik Rothchild's story, as told to Business Insider.

As a single father, it's been very difficult since I lost my job, as I had a new corporate job after being a business owner for 15 years. I had a $70,000 salary plus commission, a car allowance, and health insurance that cost me $50 per month. I was furloughed from April 15 until August 1, when they officially let me go.

I'm an Army veteran and former business owner with a college degree who now can't afford my bills or seem to find a job that I'm qualified for.

I'm a survivor, but this has been tough.

I'm on unemployment and one of the minority where the extra $600 per week was great but still less than what my salary was. Now that the extra $600 is gone, the state provides me with $240 per week. Everything has been sacrificed, just a little less of everything along the way. I'm doing what I can to get by.

I decided to rejoin corporate America after 15 years of owning a small business, with plenty of real-life experience to offer a company. Then this happens, and now I'm unemployed and really struggling.

I apply daily for sales, business development, and marketing positions and have begun to train people (boxing and strength training) on the side to put food on the table. I'm not sure if it's because I'm 53 or due to the number of applicants in my area, but it's been hard to even get an interview.

Only one of my three kids is still at home now, but if I can't find a decent job soon, I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep my house.

I'm not happy that everyone in government on both sides of the aisle in Arizona knew that UI had the expiration date at the end of July and still chose to do nothing about it until the benefits expired, which has affected people like me.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Unemployment diary: I'm a 36-year-old massage therapist in Illinois who's been out of work since March

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Teneia Townsend.
  • The Unemployed States of America takes readers deep inside the decimated American workforce.
  • Teneia Townsend is a 36-year-old massage therapist based in Waukegan, Illinois.
  • The pandemic forced Townsend to shut down her massage clinic, while her part-time job reduced her hours to one day a week.
  • Because she makes $40 over her weekly benefit amount from her part-time job, Townsend isn't eligible for regular unemployment as a small business owner. She's contacted countless city and state officials for help, but hasn't received a response. 
  • This is her story, as told to Business Insider. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

I work a part-time job and have a small business as a massage therapist. My part-time job, which is basically used to cover federal, state, and Social Security on behalf of myself and my business, cut my hours down to one day a week, but they continue to pay me what they paid me last year to secure funds that they received from the PPP loan program. When the pandemic hit, I had to close down my massage clinic, which is the main source of my income.

As a small business owner, I thought that it wouldn't be so hard to receive help from the government, especially with all the extra resources available for small business owners and others who lost their jobs during COVID-19. When I applied for unemployment, I believed I was applying for my closed massage clinic.

I applied for the small business grant and loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA) as soon as the bill was passed in Congress, only to receive a denial letter based on my credit score. I received a reconsideration because the initial letter didn't accurately reflect my score but got another denial. Since then, the SBA dinged my credit three times to verify if I would qualify for a loan, and I've received countless emails to continually provide information. 

I was informed in late July that although I have my own business where most of my income is made, I was qualified for regular unemployment through my part-time job and not pandemic unemployment. My weekly benefit amount is $82 — which is not even a comparable amount to the money that I actually make with my part-time job and self-employed business — but because I make about $40 over the weekly benefit amount, I'm not eligible for regular unemployment.

I'm in the process of obtaining a lawyer and appealing the decision that was made that says that I owe a little over $8,000, which was the total amount I received from unemployment since March. 

I'm not sure what I'll do next. We're being advised to social distance, but those guidelines don't fit anywhere in my massage business.

Also, with cases on the rise again, it's very hard to determine when it will be safe to massage people again. 

I filed a complaint to Gov. JB Pritzker via email and received a message back that my name had been forwarded to unemployment and that someone would be reaching out to me. I never received a call from unemployment or anyone from his office. I reached out to Sen. Dick Durbin through his website and haven't received a call back. I even requested an appointment with Congressman Brad Schneider for a meeting and haven't received any word back. 

On top of the stress from unemployment, I have a disabled 9-year-old child at home who's been out of school. We were already in a very tough place trying to make ends meet, but to find out that I have to pay back all unemployment aid puts me and my child in a very difficult situation. This pandemic is hard already and this setback just makes it so much harder.

I never thought that a virus would be the one thing that stops me from doing what I love most, but it's really made me think that I need to find a career where I'm needed no matter what the world's going through.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Unemployment diary: I'm a 54-year-old business owner in Georgia who's had all of my clients cancel since March

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John Valentino.
  • The Unemployed States of America takes readers deep inside the decimated American workforce.
  • John Valentino is a 54-year-old business owner based in Canton, Georgia.
  • His business, Skales and Tales, provides music programs primarily for elderly residents in assisted living facilities.
  • Since the pandemic hit, Valentino lost all of his clients for the foreseeable future. 
  • This is his story, as told to freelance writer Taylor Goebel.
  • Editor's note: This interview and story were composed by Valentino's niece.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

I know the exact date. I had my last music performance at a senior care facility the Friday before St. Patty's Day. I had six performances that week and then one on the weekend. I got my first call on St. Patty's Day from a facility director saying, "We have to shut down our facility. It's only going to be a month, maybe two at most, but we have to cancel you for this week." 

As soon as the first one called, I thought, "Oh boy." And sure enough, in the next 24 hours, every client I had called and canceled. I followed up with them in April, then in May, and by June it was like, this is indefinite. We don't know when we're going to open up. 

I have the good fortune of working at a local pub three or four nights a week. But if you want a percentage, I'm maybe at 15% or 20% of what I would typically make. I can buy gas. I can pay for food. But I basically hemorrhaged all the money that I've been saving for my business and to live. 

I applied for the government small business loan seven times. As of now, I haven't received a penny.

Nothing. Just always "processing." It's been an absolute nightmare. If you call the Department of Labor, it's shut down. They just say, "We're not taking calls right now." And you can't leave a message. You can email them, but you don't get a response. 

When I built my business model, I never figured a pandemic into any of my projections. My business will be the last one to reopen because of the sensitive nature of the people I perform for. The business, Skales and Tales, can't survive indefinitely. I'll have to think outside the box or create a different business model until this comes back. 

Assisted living facilities are ground zero. We've seen that this demographic is most susceptible to this virus. These are people you want to have the best quality of life so they can enjoy their final years. And right now, they're not. 

They don't understand why they can't see their grandkids. They don't understand why they can't play Bingo or eat breakfast together. Why they can't have music. Why they have to stay in their room and stare at a blank TV and a window. An unchanging scenario. It's devastating. Some of the ones I know are dying or have died. And I hate it. Because they died alone. 

I tried to create a YouTube channel. I tried Zoom. But they can't move or do anything by themselves, and you're trying to say, "Here's a phone, you have to click on this and you're going to sign in." You've lost them already. They want to have your presence. 

My way of doing good was giving senior citizens a piece of their memory back. To be able to turn on a light in their head where it's been dark for so long, even if it's for 30 seconds. It's a gift. I had a director come up to me after a performance and say, "Did you notice the woman over there singing? She was noncommunicative for the last three months. Your music brought her back, at least for the time that you were playing."

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best Labor Day mattress sales to shop this weekend


When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

  • These Labor Day mattress sales include hundreds of dollars off the best mattresses from online startups and legacy brands.
  • On top of that, some even come with freebies like pillows, sheets, and more.
  • Here are the best mattress sales during Labor Day weekend, along with links to our reviews and buying guides.
  • For more savings, check out our comprehensive list of the best Labor Day sales and check out Insider Coupons for more savings at hundreds of stores.



If you're looking for a new mattress, Casper, Leesa, Helix, and more are having great sales during Labor Day weekend. There are huge discounts on their most popular mattresses, along with freebies like sheets, pillows, and shipping. 

Unless you're planning to sleep on a bad mattress until Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you should take advantage of these great deals while they're still around. We've tested many of the mattresses (and pillows and sheets) on the list ourselves and included links to those reviews for your reference.

The 5 best Labor Day mattress sales of 2020:

  1. Leesa: Save 20% on any size of the Leesa Hybrid or Legend
  2. Casper: Save 10% on any order 
  3. Saatva: Save $200 on orders of $1,000+
  4. Tempur-Pedic: Save up to $300 on select TEMPUR-mattresses
  5. BearGet 20% off and two free Cloud Pillows 

Here's a rundown of all the Labor Day mattress sales:

leesa cyber monday deal

Shop Leesa's Labor Day sale here

  • Save 20% on any size of the Leesa Hybrid or Legend with our exclusive code "INSIDER"
  • Save up to $300 on the Studio, or up to $200 on the Original — no code needed 

Read more about Leesa:

casperMattress gallery 05

Shop Casper's Labor Day sale here

  • Now through September 3, take 10% off any order with a mattress using the promo code "COMFORT" at checkout

Read more about Casper:


Shop Saatva's Labor Day sale here

  • Now through September 7, save $200 on orders of $1,000+

Read more about Saatva:


Shop Tempur-Pedic's Labor Day sale here

  • Save $200 on TEMPUR-Adapt mattresses
  • Save $300 on TEMPUR-breeze mattresses
  • Save up to $300 on select TEMPUR-mattresses, plus up to $200 on TEMPUR-Ergo power bases for combined savings of up to $500
  • Save 20% on TEMPUR-Toppers and receive a free gift with purchase
  • Receive a $300 instant gift with any mattress set of the following:
    • Purchase any Tempur-Pedic mattress plus a TEMPUR-Ergo or TEMPUR-Ergo Extend power base, and get $300 off your power base
    • Purchase any Tempur-Pedic non-closeout mattress plus a foundation or TEMPUR-Ergo power base and get $300 in free accessories of your choice using the promo code "300FREE"

Read more about Tempur-Pedic:

Bear Mattress

Shop Bear's Labor Day sale here

  • Get 20% off and two free Cloud Pillows with your mattress purchase with the code "LD20" at checkout 

Read more about Bear:


Shop Purple's Labor Day sale here

Now through September 15:

  • Save $150 on the Purple Hybrid Premier
  • Save $125 on the Purple Hybrid
  • Save up to $100 on the Purple mattress
  • Save up to $200 on pillow, sheet, and mattress protector bundles

Read more about Purple:

Helix Sleep

Shop Helix's Labor Day sale here

Now through September 7:

  • $100 off plus get two free Dream Pillows with any mattress purchase "LDS100"
  • $150 off plus get two free Dream Pillows when you spend $1,250+ with code "LDS150"
  • $200 off plus get two free Dream Pillows when you spend $1,750+ with code "LDS200"

Read more about Helix:


Shop Allswell's Labor Day sale here

Now through September 8:

  • Take 15% off the Luxe and Supreme mattresses
  • Take 20% off adult bedding and bath & spa using the promo code "PERFECTROOM"

Read more about Allswell:


Boll & Branch
Boll & Branch

Shop Boll & Branch's Labor Day sale here

  • Now through September 5, get two free medium/firm pillows with any mattress purchase using code "PILLOWS2"
  • Get $50 off your regular-price purchase of $200 or more all through September with code "FALL50

Read more about Boll & Branch:


Shop Emma's Labor Day sale here

  • Now through September 9, save 30% off mattresses and 35% off bundles with code "LABORDAY20"

Read more about Emma:

Cocoon by Sealy
Cocoon by Sealy:Instagram

Shop Cocoon by Sealy's Labor Day sale here

  • Now through September 2, take 25% off the Chill Mattress, plus get two free pillows and sheets ($179 value)
Tuft & Needle
tuft and needle mint mattress

Shop Tuft & Needle's Labor Day sale here

  • Now through September 7, take 10% off sitewide

Read more about Tuft & Needle:

Nectar Sleep

Shop Nectar Sleep's Labor Day sale here

  • Now through September 7, get a free mattress protector, sheets, and premium pillow with every mattress purchase ($399 value) 

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Eight Sleep

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Now through September 7:

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Read more about Eight:

Brooklyn Bedding
Brooklyn Bedding

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Read more about Brooklyn Bedding:

RV Bedding
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Read more about Layla:

Avocado mattress Presidents' Day sale

Shop Avocado's Labor Day sale here

Now through September 8:

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Shop Dreamcloud's Labor Day sale here

  • Now through September 6, save $200 on any regularly-priced Dreamcloud mattress, plus free sheet set and mattress protector

Read more about Dreamcloud:


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  • Get 25% off toppers, bedding, and furniture
Eco Terra
Eco Terra

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Shop Nest's Labor Day sale here

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Brentwood Home
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Now through September 8:

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Shop Airweave's Labor Day sale here

Now through September 10: 

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idle sleep

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Additional mattress deals
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  • Take $200 off a Birch Mattresses with the promo code LDS200


  • Up to 65% off mattresses 

Mattress Firm:

  • Save up to $300 on a queen bed plus get a free adjustable base when you spend more than $699 with code "ELEVATE"
  • Up to 50% off select brands such as Serta, Beautyrest, and more


  • Take an extra 15% off select mattresses 


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Raymour & Flanigan:

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If you're interested in learning more about what types of mattresses to buy, these guides will help you out:
Read the original article on Business Insider

From her first time taking Prozac to hiding depressive episodes at work: A candid depiction of a former entertainment lawyer's ongoing struggle with bipolar disorder

sleep paralysis insomnia disorder apnea narcolepsy night dream nightmare bed awake cox 2
At first, Terri Cheney found herself actually looking forward to going work.
  • Terri Cheney is a bestselling author, former entertainment attorney, and writer whose been featured in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, NPR, and more. The following is an excerpt from her new book, "MODERN MADNESS: An Owner’s Manual."
  • In it, she combines her personal battle with bipolar disorder with scientific research to help others navigate their mental illness. 
  • Her poignant, candid picture of mental illness in the modern workplace reveals the state of mental health today, and what we can do about it moving forward. 
  • If you're struggling, call the SAMHSA National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

It was the best relationship I've ever had. It lasted almost two years — two glorious years of waking up in the morning eager for the day to start, and falling asleep with a satisfied smile on my face. Two years of memory-making adventures, intense connection, and a harmony so complete it eludes description. The relationship wasn't with a man, or a woman, or even an animal. I was in love with myself. I call them "the Prozac years." 

MODERN MADNESS: An Owner’s Manual

I hadn't yet been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

When I went to see a psychiatrist, all he witnessed was my crippling despair — the crying jags, the inability to move, the overwhelming wish to end it all. Not surprisingly, he diagnosed me with major depression. He was an excellent doctor, very up-to-the-minute, so it also wasn't a surprise that he prescribed Prozac, the latest wonder drug to hit the market.

It took a week or so to take effect, but oh my God, when it hit, it hit hard.

It banished my depression to a faint if troubling memory. For the first time in ages, I actually looked forward to going to work — in fact, I almost craved the challenge. My mind had been lying dormant for so long, it was a thrill to be reintroduced to its abilities.

I researched and wrote like a fiend, practically cackling with joy at the thought of whipping my adversaries. The partners in my law firm noticed and began giving me bigger and better cases, until my floor overflowed with files and I had to annex an adjoining office.

But it wasn't just in the law that I shone. My creativity, which I thought had all but disappeared, blossomed back to life and the old itch to write reasserted itself.

So I took a writing class, joined a writing group, and rediscovered the bliss of putting just the right words in just the right order. I studied drawing and art history and English country gardens, and amassed a sizable collection of Sherlock Holmes apocrypha. That wasn't enough, though: I was fulfilling my own needs, but what about the world's? There were so many inequities staring me in the face, and I had the resources and energy to take them on.

I sought out causes and represented them pro bono — one lawsuit went all the way up to the US Supreme Court. I finagled myself into an elite showbiz political coalition, and schmoozed my way to justice. How did I take all of this on, while still billing such an extraordinary number of hours?

I often look back at that time and wonder at its elasticity.

It's as if my life expanded to meet my needs and my desires — and speaking of desire, I didn't skimp on socializing, either. I belonged to all the groups for up-and-coming professionals, and made the most of the opportunity to consort with anyone and everyone I found fascinating. And I found a great many people fascinating back then.

The world was full of wonders, not all of them men. Bad things naturally happened — I was, after all, performing for very high stakes in a high-stress environment, and I wasn't magically immune to sadness or disappointment. But they didn't burrow deep inside me and fester, as they used to. I didn't ruminate about them until all hours of the night. I told my doctor I felt like the beloved omelette pan I'd brought home from Paris. Somehow things didn't stick to me, they swooshed right off. I dealt with them and moved on.

I remember one Sunday afternoon hiking up to the Hollywood sign — yes, I even enjoyed hiking back then, such a stark contrast to the sedentary, practically paralyzed person I'd been when I was depressed. It was nearing the golden hour, when L.A. takes on a roseate glow that makes you believe in the divinity of beauty no matter how jaded you might be. I looked out over the city — my city — and made a mental note to remember that moment. Even now, I can still recall how happy and proud and grateful I felt.

I was becoming the person I'd always wanted to be. 

The Prozac years ended the following day. I know because it was a Monday and I had a filing deadline in federal court — an answer to a complaint for copyright infringement that I'd already finished writing. All that was left to do was to get all the necessary copies made and send it by messenger to be filed and served. My secretary could handle most of that, I just had to stand by and make sure everything got done on time.

But that morning, when the alarm clock rang, I felt the oddest lethargy. I hit the snooze button once, twice, then knocked the damn thing off the bedside table. It was past time for me to get in the shower, but the thought of that was repellent to me: all that water needling my skin. When my eyes opened again, the sun was directly in them, which wasn't a good sign. I picked up the clock and swore: 1 p.m. I threw on a suit and gunned the Porsche and made it to the office in record time, only to find disaster waiting for me. The Xerox machines were down.

"They've been working on them all morning," my secretary told me, practically wringing her hands. "It's something electrical, they've called in an expert."

Normally I would have reassured her that it wasn't that big a deal, it would all turn out fine, and not to panic. Instead I marched into the copy room and corralled the head guy.

"I've got a major filing due this afternoon, you have to fix it now," I said. "We're working on it," he said. "But it seems — " I raised my voice so all the copy guys could hear. "I don't want to hear but, I don't want to hear why. I want it fixed and I want it fixed now. Just do it, I don't care how." And I slammed the door behind me.

This wasn't like me at all — I'd always tried hard to maintain a good working relationship with the people who helped me.

I needed them more than they needed me, and I knew it; I was careful with their feelings. But that day I was just plain furious and couldn't stop my anger from mounting. I yelled at my secretary to go stand in the copy room and watch, not that she could do anything but I was inexplicably mad at her, too. The senior partner who was supervising the case stopped by my office.

"What's happening with the filing?" he asked. I told him what was going on, and he lit into me the same way I had lit into the copy guys. "I already told the studio the answer was on its way," he said. "You've made me into a liar. Get it done, now."

When he left, I burst into tears even though I knew this was the way of the wolf pack I lived in: devour or be devoured. I felt helpless and hopeless, and the minutes just kept ticking by. I had to get the pleading out the door by 3 p.m. to beat the downtown traffic, and it was well past two o'clock. But my brain wouldn't work. It was thick and fuzzy, like a cloud of cotton wool. Beneath the fog lay something worse: a growing realization that I had changed, that things weren't swooshing off me anymore.

Excerpted from MODERN MADNESS: An Owner's Manual by Terri Cheney. Copyright ©2020. Available from Hachette Books, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

Terri Cheney
Terri Cheney.

Terri Cheney is the author of The New York Times bestseller "Manic: A Memoir," which was translated into eight foreign languages. Terri's writings and commentary about bipolar disorder have also been featured in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, NPR, and countless articles and popular blogs, including her own ongoing blog for Psychology Today, which has over one million views.

Once a successful entertainment attorney representing the likes of Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones, Terri now devotes her advocacy skills to the cause of destigmatizing mental illness. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics at USC, and the Honorary Board of Directors of the International Bipolar Foundation. She also served on the Community Advisory Board of the UCLA Mood Disorders Research Program. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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