Are Covid vaccine mandates moral? Right here’s what medical consultants assume

Protesters demonstrate against vaccine mandates in New York City on November 20, 2021.

Stephanie Keith | Getty Images

Ethical justification

Julian Savulescu, director of the Uehiro Center for Practical Ethics at Oxford University, said the main reason for implementing coercive measures during a pandemic is to prevent harm to other people.

“You are not allowed to shoot a gun in the air to harm other people, nor can you shoot a covid that could kill other people into a crowd,” he said on a phone call.

However, according to Savulescu, four ethical conditions must be met to justify coercive measures such as vaccination or masking requirements.

“First of all, the problem has to be significant, so you have to have a major emergency or a real risk of harming people. Second, you need to have safe and effective intervention, ”he told CNBC. “Third, [the outcome] must be better than fewer freedoms and more restrictive measures. Finally, the level of coercion must be proportionate to the level of risk and the safety and effectiveness of the intervention. “

In his opinion, Savulescu said that the requirement for Covid vaccines for an entire population does not meet these requirements. Because the vaccinations are not 100% effective in reducing transmission, they do not provide any additional protection to others that warrant such extreme levels of coercion.

“But there is a second way to justify coercion that is less common and that is when you have a health system that is collapsing unless you prevent people from getting sick,” he said. “Then you can use coercion to keep people from getting sick, not to prevent them from infecting other people, but to keep them from using these limited health resources in an emergency.”

This could be used to justify making Covid vaccines mandatory, he said, but only if the guideline was applied to the people who were most likely to have to go to the hospital or intensive care unit if they contracted the virus.

Vivek Cherian, a doctor at Amita Health, agreed that the overall benefits of a vaccine mandate must outweigh the risk involved to be ethically justified.

“The ethical dilemma, particularly in the United States, is the inherent conflict between an individual’s autonomy and freedom and public health value,” he said. “Given that when more people are vaccinated [it would] lead to fewer deaths, there is an ethical justification for the common good. “

But in the US, Cherian said, there is “virtually no chance that we will see universally required vaccine mandates”.

“That’s because we don’t have any vaccines right now,” he said. “What we are most likely to see are certain communities that require it, such as federal employees, the military, or individual corporations. States are likely to mandate Covid vaccine requirements for public school attendance at some point, in addition to the many other vaccines currently required. “

While countries introducing nationwide vaccination regulations are in the minority, several countries – including the UK, the US and France – have made Covid vaccination compulsory for medical workers.

British Health Minister Sajid Javid has specifically an extension of the vaccine mandate is excluded to the general population of the country.

Al Dowie, professor of medical ethics and law at the University of Glasgow, said mandatory vaccination was not inherently controversial “depending on the context”, noting that doctors in the UK should already be vaccinated against common communicable diseases.

“Coercion is ethical when the public health risk is sufficient,” he said in an email. “Health is a risky phenomenon and there must always be a residual risk. The question is what level of risk is considered acceptable.”

Coercion vs. Incentive

While some governments have opted for aggressive mandates, others have instead tried to increase vaccination adoption by incentivizing individuals to vaccinate.

For example, Ohio State’s “Vax-a-Million” lottery program, where people entered a $ 1 million raffle after getting their shot, was hailed as a “smashing hit” by Governor Mike DeWine. New York and Maryland later started their own lottery programs To create incentives for vaccine intake, however a study Boston University School of Medicine doctors later found no evidence that Ohio’s lottery incentive had increased adoption.

Alternative research has suggested that financial incentives could be useful in promoting vaccinations. A Swedish study released last month found that the number of people the equivalent of $ 24 increased vaccination intake by 4%. Researcher said CNBC however, that it was “a little extra motivation to vaccinate” and not a tool to change the minds of ardent skeptics.

During the pandemic, several governments, including those of the USA, Japan and Hong Kong, millions of citizens have given checks for $ 930 to $ 1,280 to keep their economies afloat. Savulescu said he suspected that offering lump sum payments of the same value would increase vaccination rates and protect economies by preventing further lockdowns.

“How effective these interventions are is little known and will likely depend on culture, level of incentive or coercion, ability to enforce them, etc.,” he said. “In general, I think it’s better to start with incentives than go straight to coercion.”

Cherian said that while offering incentives to promote vaccination was not at its core an unethical strategy, he was skeptical of the effectiveness of coercion and incentive tactics.

“Those who work for public health will be ready to receive the vaccine regardless of consequence or incentive,” he told CNBC. “Those who are on the fence can be incentivized. Indeed, for people who for whatever reason are extremely reluctant to vaccinate, coercive measures can have the opposite effect, making them even more suspicious of the vaccines someone is trying to force them on. “

Public well being consultants push for regional collaboration with opioid settlement cash | WJHL

JONESBOROUGH, Tennessee (WJHL) – The region will make more for its opioid settlement money if northeast Tennessee counties work together on using the funds, public health experts told Washington County commissioners on Monday.

Rob Pack, professor of public health at East Tennessee State University (ETSU), pitched a concerted approach at a special district commission workshop on settlement funds. Pack has been a regional leader in drug abuse recovery efforts for the past decade and serves on several prominent regional and national groups dedicated to managing the crisis with an evidence-based approach.

Area governments are beginning to plan how best to spend the more than $ 20 million they will receive from the Baby Doe opioid settlement.

More than a month ago, the Stacy Street First District Criminal Justice judge suggested that local government leaders consider funding an inpatient treatment center in the former Northeast Correctional Center labor camp in Roan Mountain.

PREVIOUS: Community leaders hear pitch for a drug treatment center with Baby Doe comparative dollars

Street was in attendance on Monday, as were her fellow judge Lisa Nidiffer and State Representatives Rebecca Alexander (R-Jonesborough) and Tim Hicks (R-Gray).

Pack said he was coming not with a proposal but with a framework for how the county can best spend the funds. District Attorney Allyson Wilkinson said the commissioners will be free and free of possible “recoveries” from any bankruptcy related to the case on November 3rd.

“I have no profit from what I say tonight,” Pack told the commissioners. “I’m not looking for resources here, I’m not making a suggestion for anything.”

Instead, Pack reviewed facts about the impact of the opioid crisis at the regional and national levels.

He urged commissioners to consider a public health approach to using the funds and gave a full overview of how public health experts see the best way to help people recover from drug addiction and stay successful in recovery.

Pack said drug overdose deaths in Tennessee increased more than 40% in 2020 from 2019. However, he said that up to 66% of people suffering from substance abuse recover and call recovery “not just possible, but likely”.

A key to ensuring that success reaches the most people is remembering that recovery is likely and a willingness to use “harm reduction” methods, including considering needle exchange programs, Pack said.

Another, he said, is “maximizing the impact of settlement resources by coordinating recovery services.”

Finally, he pointed to successful models, including in Kentucky, that include opportunities for self-preservation efforts in order to be self-sustaining.

“We need to think about getting out of this eternal scholarship cycle,” said Pack.

Wilkinson said the vast majority of settlement funds have almost no restrictions.

Commissioner Freddie Malone noted that the opioid crisis has caused Washington County to bear more costs – in everything from law enforcement to public health to education – than it receives in funding.

Jim Wheeler agreed, saying the severance payment was “a very small amount that we get back for things that were actually expenses. This is not a grant … this is money that we spent and was recovered for the community … and whatever it is for is a local decision. “

Once November 3 arrives, the Washington County amount cannot be “reclaimed from bankruptcy,” and the county can begin allocating it at its own discretion.

Commission chairman Greg Matherly recommended that the procedure for examining specific proposals be left in the HEW committee.

Is it authorized to require vaccinations to journey? Sure, say consultants

Vaccine mandates reached the U.S. travel world last winter, picked up speed in the spring, and hit a fever in the summer.

Vaccinations are now necessary to eat in cafes in France, watch a Broadway show in New York City and soon to fly commercially in Canada.

Although mandates expected for cruises and international travel, the pace and scope of activities they now cover – from booking group tours for overnight stays in hotels – surprised industry experts.

“It was interesting to see vaccine mandates accelerate rapidly,” said Harry Nelson, founder of Nelson Hardiman’s law firm.

He said that while the US Food and Drug Administration’s full approval of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine last month sparked some mandates, it was also “fueled by the increasingly supportive public opinion of the vaccinated majority.”

Are vaccination requirements legal?

Yes, said Lawrence O. Gostin, Professor in Georgetown Law and Faculty Director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law.

“Companies have full authority to demand adequate safety standards for customers,” he told CNBC. “Just as many companies have requested masking, they could also require proof of vaccination.”

This applies regardless of whether mandates come from private companies or government attractions such as the Grand Canyon or tours of the White House, he said.

We believed it was the right thing to do, and sometimes it is hard to do the right thing.

Kelly Sanders

Senior Vice President of Operations, Highgate Hawaii

“For some high-risk companies like cruise lines and hotels, it is very much in their economic interest that their customers feel safe and secure – they have every right to do so,” said Gostin. “Similarly, President Biden, who oversees federal property, could require proof of vaccination for entry into … national parks and federal buildings.”

Nelson agrees, adding that there is a long history of courts upholding vaccine mandates, although most of them were related to school requirements.

“I expect most of the vaccine mandates will pass,” he said.

Vaccine exemptions

The next big debate could be the diluting effect vaccine exemptions can have on vaccine mandates.

Gostin said public and private corporations “likely need to allow both medical and religious exemptions,” but they can be “narrow and difficult to come by”.

United Airlines seems to be taking this approach. Employees granted religious exemptions to the airline’s recently announced vaccination mandate will be granted temporarily unpaid leave until next month.

Unvaccinated tourists traveling to New York City can walk the streets near Broadway, but without exception they cannot attend shows.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The government has a “simple case” of rejecting religious exemptions for infectious disease vaccines, wrote Douglas Laycock, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. in an article published last week on the Australian news site The Conversation.

“Even if religious objections are sincere, the government has a compelling interest in overriding them and insisting that everyone be vaccinated,” he wrote. “And that overrides any claim under state or federal constitutions or religious freedom laws.”

Regarding how far challenges with vaccine mandates can go, Laycock wrote, “If governments that mandate vaccines fail to defend their rules or the Supreme Court changes the law, the answer is likely, ‘Not far’.”

Nelson said he believed a majority in the US Supreme Court would welcome the opportunity to articulate broader personal religious freedoms if given the opportunity.

What’s next?

Expect more companies to post vaccine mandates, Nelson said, especially after vaccines were approved by the FDA for children ages 5 to 12, and possibly even younger.

Hotels have been slow to enter the vaccination mandate battle, but that is beginning to change. Elite Island Resorts, which operates nine resorts in the Caribbean, and Highgate Hawaii, which operates seven hotels in Hawaii, have both announced mandatory vaccination policies.

“We believed it was the right thing to do, and sometimes it’s hard to do the right thing,” said Kelly Sanders, senior vice president of operations for Highgate Hawaii. “I assume that more (hotels) will follow at some point.”

Starting October 15, guests 12 and older must be vaccinated to stay at the ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach in Highgate Hawaii.

Courtesy of ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach

Flights could be the next if airlines follow the example of Qantas’ CEO Alan Joyce, who pointed out earlier this month that Passengers need to be vaccinated on its international flights.

US officials are discussing whether to make vaccinations mandatory at home and abroad, as of last week. reported The Washington Post. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s senior medical advisor, said this month he would likely support a vaccination mandate for air travel.

Georgetown’s Gostin said he could expect President Biden to issue a vaccine mandate for interstate or international travel, similar to what his administration announced earlier this week for foreigners entering the United States

“But the airlines could also set this requirement themselves,” he said.

So far, no major US airline has announced such a policy.

Vaccination records

So-called “vaccination passports” could also be in sight, said Nelson, as the interest in reliable proof of vaccination status is increasing.

“I think we will see them across the hotel and entertainment industry,” he said.

Starting September 13th, guests at the New York Equinox Hotel must be vaccinated.

Jeenah moon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The White House ruled out plans to issue a federal vaccine passport last April, but Nelson said he believes that given the “trend of” red “states’ hostility to the concept, they are more likely to show up in” blue “states.”

“I have a feeling that the government expects that the more ambivalent and reluctant the vaccination, the stronger the public pressure,” he said. “New measures, coupled with fears of hospitalization and unvaccinated mortality rates, are likely to lead to even more support for further restrictions.”

Love and Cash: Specialists weigh in on monetary planning for {couples}

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Almost one in five couples say money is the biggest challenge in their relationship, and more than half disagree on how much savings they need to meet their retirement goals.

With so many couples getting married this year after a long year of pandemic proposals and postponed weddings, Fidelity Investments is reminding couples to start “forever” on the right financial footing.

According to the Fidelitys Couples and Money Study 2021, 57% of couples say they are joint decision makers for retirement, but more than half of all couples disagree on how much it takes to meet retirement goals.

The study also shows that women need to be more involved in financial matters.

Stacey Watson, Senior Vice President of Life Events at Fidelity Investments, said, “One in five women says they have little to no retirement benefit, so our message is: Delegating is fine, but don’t be without it.”

Watson adds, “Staying involved in financial decisions … really helps both partners look to the future with confidence.”

The bottom line, she says, is making money a team sport in your relationship by picking a weekly financial appointment to discuss finances.

Watson also reminds couples to save their money as early as possible in the relationship.

Find more tips and tools for navigating a wide variety of life events here. here.

Winter flu season may very well be huge, consultants warn

Medics in a pneumonia ward in the Philippines.

Ezra Acayan | Getty Images News | Getty Images

LONDON – Mass vaccination campaigns are being carried out in the developed world, but many countries are still grappling with spikes in coronavirus infections and new strains, such as the highly infectious Delta variant.

And now health experts are warning the public that a very difficult flu season could also be ahead.

“There is great uncertainty about the 2021-2022 flu season,” epidemiologist Lauren Ancel Meyers, director of the University of Texas’ Covid-19 modeling consortium, told CNBC.

“As with Covid, when someone recovers from a seasonal flu infection, they retain a certain level of immunity, at least for a short time, which protects them from future infections. Since our covid containment measures prevented the flu from spreading over the past year, there aren’t “a whole lot of people who recently got infected,” she said.

“So we can enter the flu season with a higher vulnerability than usual, which could exacerbate the risks,” she added.

Meyers believes that whether the flu season is more severe this year or not could depend on how the virus evolves as well as decisions on a personal level.

“As we have learned from the past 18 months of the Covid-19 pandemic, the choices we make as individuals and communities can have a huge impact on the fate of an outbreak. We can and should do our part to prevent a disastrous flu season “by getting vaccinated early this fall and taking sensible precautions if and when the virus spreads widespread,” she said.

“Our experience with Covid can lead to behavior changes that work in our favor. People may be more willing to take flu vaccines and wear face masks or take other precautions to prevent transmission during high season.”

Get ready

The alarm about a potentially bad winter flu season was raised in June by Professor Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer.

“Either we will have a very significant increase in Covid, people will minimize their contacts and we will have less respiratory virus, or people will go back to a more normal life, there will be some Covids, but beyond that we will go back to” one Flu surge, an RSV surge (Respiratory Syncytial Virus, a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms) in children, and so on. “

“I think we have to be aware and adjust to the fact that the coming winter can be a difficult one,” he said.

Flu numbers from the US and England show that influenza cases have decreased during the pandemic, largely due to the social distancing measures in place, which are helping to stop the transmission. During the 2019-2020 flu season, the US has Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that influenza and pneumonia (a life-threatening flu complication that often affects the elderly) will be linked to 38 million illnesses, 405,000 hospital admissions and 22,000 deaths. The CDC stressed that the numbers are only estimates.

But regarding the 2020-2021 season, the CDC told CNBC that due to the low level of influenza activity last winter, there wasn’t enough flu or flu-related hospitalizations in the United States to use a model to estimate US flu exposure for 2020- 2021. “

“We can say that the low level of flu activity during the 2020-2021 season has contributed to dramatically fewer flu cases, hospital admissions and deaths compared to previous flu seasons,” Lynnette Brammer, team leader of the CDC’s domestic influenza surveillance team, told CNBC on Tuesday.

“For example, in the three seasons leading up to the pandemic, the peak percentage of respiratory viruses that tested positive for flu every week was between 26.2% and 30.3%. However, last season, the percentage of respiratory viruses that tested positive for flu remained lower than “0.4% during each week of a typical flu season.”

In England and Wales for comparison, deaths from influenza and pneumonia in 2018 were 29,516 in England and Wales and 26,398 in 2019, according to the Office for National Statistics. Similar to the US, there was a sharp drop in 2020 with 15,437 deaths related to (and due to) influenza and pneumonia.

Whitty’s comments were taken up by Neil Ferguson, an epidemiologist at Imperial College London who has also advised the UK government on its Covid strategy.

He agreed that “seasonal influenza is likely to be a major problem” when it comes fall and winter.

“All the measures we have taken against Covid around the world have brought the flu to a very low level and basically no one got the flu in the last year, so the immunity has dropped a little … I think we have to go to one Be prepared for potentially quite significant flu. “Epidemic later this year,” he told the BBC show “Today” in late June.

What’s coming?

It’s hard to predict what will happen during the 2021-22 flu season, said CDC’s Brammer, but the CDC is “preparing for flu virus circulation to return to pre-pandemic levels” as some respiratory viruses are already circulating again Pre-pandemic stages.

“We think something similar could happen with the flu, especially as community efforts to contain it continue to relax. , which also circulated at a low level in the 2020-2021 season, is increasing. This increase is outside of the typical season, “she noted.

Several factors “could make the upcoming flu season more severe than usual,” Brammer said:

  • Antibodies that protect against flu decrease over time.
  • Immunity to a flu shot decreases faster than immunity to a natural infection.
  • Since there was little flu virus activity last season, the immunity of adults (especially those who were not vaccinated last season) now depends on exposure to virus two or more seasons earlier.
  • Young children also have lower immunity to the flu. They may not have previously been vaccinated or have had natural exposure. If children return to school and potentially become infected, there could be a higher number of children who have not previously been exposed to the flu and therefore have lower immunity, which could exacerbate illness.

“We know that the flu shot is still the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu and its potentially serious complications,” added Brammer.

UK consultants worry an increase in on-line playing hurt

EXETER, ENGLAND – MARCH 18: A sign is displayed in the window of a high street bookmaker listing the canceled sporting events on March 18, 2020 in Exeter, England.

Dan Mullan / Getty Images

LONDON – Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, UK gaming companies have increasingly tried to strengthen and expand their online offerings.

The closure of commercial and social venues and the persistent cancellation of major sporting events have fundamentally changed the gambling landscape around the world.

For example, even though most of the physical stores have been closed for the past 12 months, FTSE 100-listed Ladbrokes owner Receive Core earnings grew 11% to £ 843.1 million ($ 1.19 billion) through 2020, of which £ 803.5 million was due to a 50% increase in online gaming.

The company’s stock hit a record high at £ 17.25 per share in late April, up more than 36% year-to-date as of Monday’s close. It is currently up around 124% from its recent low during the first Covid-induced crash in March 2020 888 holdings, Rank group and Gamesys have all played strong since last March. Meanwhile, Bet365 CEO Denise Coates posted an annual salary package of £ 469million last year, one of the highest in the UK’s corporate history.

However, given the increased isolation, boredom, stress, anxiety or financial worries many people experienced during the pandemic, concerns about a possible spike in addiction and harmful gambling have also emerged.

The Gambling Commission, the UK’s regulator, found that during the pandemic, fewer people gambled, many already committed online gambling consumers moved into new activities and spent more time and money betting.

The Commission noted that engaging in a wider range of gambling activities may correlate with higher levels of “medium risk and problems gambling” and expressed particular concern about the increased prevalence of online slot machines.

Dependence on the vulnerable

Matt Zarb-cousin, co-founder of Gamban, a software provider that blocks access to gambling sites, told CNBC that the cancellation of sporting events and the tripling of digital advertising since the UK was first blocked in March last year has attracted many casual gamers more intense activities such as slots and casino games.

“By and large, the business model is to get people to bet on football, racing, or sports in general, do so with a very small margin – sometimes not at all, sometimes even with a loss leader – and so many of them to get people to the slots and casino games as possible, where there is a significantly higher margin and these are addicting products, “explained Zarb-cousin.

He also noted that while gambling companies allow customers to exclude themselves from their services if they are concerned about the extent of their gambling, they actually depend on a very small proportion of customers who are most responsible for a significant percentage of sales are at risk.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 16: A general view inside the Ladbrokes betting shop on Putney High Street as betting shops reopen in front of Royal Ascot on June 16, 2020

Andrew Redington / Getty Images

A study carried out last year by researchers at the University of Liverpool found that across all UK gambling companies, the 5% of the highest annual spending accounts that Zarb-cousin identified as those at the highest risk for damage from gambling generated 86% of the accounts GGY of the companies (gross gaming return).

Slot machines and casino games accounted for 93% of the GGY from online gambling among the operators participating in the study, while gambling products were also more likely to be used by people from areas with higher levels of deprivation. According to the study, players from the UK’s most deprived areas had disproportionately high spending on GGY.

Meanwhile, most account holders have either made money or lost a modest amount over the year, with 84.5% of account holders spending less than £ 200 over the year. The study found that 1.4% of accounts had more than 20 separate bets placed on an average betting day.

No disruption, little regulation

The UK government is currently conducting a review of the Gambling Act 2005, the basis of all gambling regulations, to test its suitability for the digital age.

Gambling companies in the UK have grown exponentially over the past decade as smartphones made online gambling ubiquitous. Zarb-Cousin, who himself had overcome an addiction to betting terminals with fixed odds, said the previous lax regulation had allowed these firms to become “giant monoliths” in the UK economy.

“That says a lot about our economy and our approach to regulation, and usually when you make huge profits you inevitably have more regulation or disruption,” he said.

“There has been no innovation or disruption to gambling at all, and regulation has been pretty bad in every way.”

However, he suggested that tighter regulation was inevitable in the coming years as the government scrutinized the industry further.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 1: A general view of a closed betting shop on Putney High Street as horse racing resumes competition action on June 1, 2020 in London, England

Andrew Redington / Getty Images

Industry association Betting and Gaming Council has highlighted that its members support 119,000 jobs in the UK and generate £ 4.5 billion in taxes for the UK Treasury and £ 7.7 billion for the UK economy in terms of gross value added.

In addition to substantial contributions to sports sponsorship, BGC members have allocated £ 10 million to the Youth Gambling Damage Prevention Program and £ 100 million to address problem gambling by 2024.

A BGC spokesman told CNBC that the agency welcomes the review of the Gambling Act and the government’s assurance that it is an “evidence-based process”, noting that the overall rate of problem gambling has been stable at 0.5 for 20 years % lies. according to the latest government data.

“During the pandemic, the number of safer gambling messages on betting websites has more than doubled, while the number of direct interventions, where customers spent more time and money than before, has increased by 25%,” the spokesman said.

“We hope the Gambling Review does not safely strike a balance between properly protecting the vulnerable and jeopardizing the enjoyment of the millions of Britons who enjoy fluttering.”

Help calls become “more difficult”

Anna Hemmings, CEO of GamCare, a charity that supports gambling addiction, told CNBC that after an initial abandonment at the start of the pandemic when people were grappling with a range of other issues, the number of people calling for help has now grown steadily above the stand. Pandemic level.

“What is important is that the nature of the calls has become more difficult so that we see more mental health issues, more protection concerns, more domestic violence, etc.,” she added.

Independently of the Gambling Commission review, the Department of Health and Welfare has vowed to expand and improve the treatment of damage related to gambling to reconcile the problem of drug and alcohol addiction.

“There is a serious problem with the levels of funding for research, education and treatment. They are very, very low compared to drugs and alcohol, and they themselves have seen huge cuts in recent years,” Hemmings said, noting that further investment has been made GamCare has been a top priority in treatment programs as it awaits government review.

Along with Gamban and GamStop, a free self-exclusion program that allows players to limit their online activities, GamCare has a partnership called TalkBanStop, a program that combines advice with practical tools to help those at risk begin their recovery.

“People tend to let things get pretty bad before they seek help, and a lot of our work is trying to encourage people to get in touch earlier because the sooner you get help, the sooner you can do the damage “said Hemmings, noting that help – overall search has decreased during the pandemic due to NHS residues and reluctance to burden health services.

“We have to get the entire population back into the mode of seeking help, in which it is legitimate and positive to seek help at an early stage.”

Consultants see innovation and pop-up shops

A shopper browsing used clothing at a pop-up swap event in Singapore.

CATHERINE LAI | AFP | Getty Images

LONDON – The future of physical business has been challenged by the Coronavirus Pandemic, but experts believe the key to survival will be reinvention.

For some time now, retailers have been trying to attract customers by creating in-store experiences. Now, however, they need to get creative as shopping habits change and customers become more demanding.

Online shopping has been booming since the pandemic began. In the UK alone, internet sales rose from under 20% to over 32% in just three months at the start of the first Covid-induced lockdown. And experts expect the convenience of buying online means consumers will continue this habit even after the pandemic.

According to accounting firm PwC, nearly 50 stores closed every day in the UK in 2020.

Both trends show how important it is for retailers to get their physical presence right.

Kristina Rogers, Ernest Young’s global consumer leader, told CNBC in March that there is “a real redefinition” in the way retailers use their physical spaces.

“It’s no longer just an exchange,” she said, adding that retailers need to understand who their customers are and what they want.

Customers are browsing clothes at the Pangaia pop-up in Selfridges department store in London on April 12, 2021 as coronavirus restrictions are eased.

GLYN KIRK | AFP | Getty Images

She highlighted how aim, one of the largest retailers in the US, has chosen to have more space in its stores for Apple products. This effectively enables customers to be interested Apple Devices you can use to check them out in Target while shopping for other things. This is also handy for current Apple users who can merge two trips into one.

“They’re building a ‘mini mall’ in their shop,” she said.

But not every retailer has such a large area to work with. In fact, some experts believe that successful businesses of the future could be those that keep offering new things regardless of their size.

“There will undoubtedly be fewer physical stores going forward,” Matt Clark, managing director of consulting firm AlixPartners, told CNBC’s Street Signs Europe in March. “But the remaining stores need to offer an even bigger experience, additional services and just the ability to purchase products.”

One way for retailers to stand out is to focus more on pop-up stores. These are spaces that are temporarily open to showcase a particular line or product and that have become increasingly popular in recent years.

Stella McCartney Store on Bond Street in November 2020.

SOPA pictures | LightRocket | Getty Images

“One of the most important ways for pop-up shops is to create new opportunities for exploration. It’s not about a consumer walking into a Ralph Lauren store that is the same today as it was 10 or 20 years ago,” says Alex Cohen. A commercial real estate expert at Compass told CNBC.

Some well-known brands have already searched for pop-ups to attract more customers. British fashion designer Stella McCartney is showcasing a variety of local businesses in her flagship store on Old Bond Street in London to celebrate the lifting of restrictions on retailers in the UK. Guess is about to open its first pop-up store in Germany for activewear.

Pop-up areas allow retailers to create something “really fresh” while saving costs, Cohen said.

“Brands have the ability to spend a lot less, not have to commit to a long-term contract, spend less on modular installations, and do it very quickly,” he added.

Exclusivity

In addition, this type of business promotes the idea of ​​exclusivity – a feeling that is becoming increasingly popular with many customers.

“The whole idea of ​​exclusivity is really important. The fact that a pop-up is expiring … is causing excitement among consumers. ‘Wow, if I’m not looking at this pop-up retail offer … at the In den in the next 3 months it will go away, I will never be able to see it, “he said. This adds the kind of excitement that is lacking in many traditional stores.

So it’s not just about the feeling of having an exclusive product, but also about an exclusive experience. This means that retailers can benefit from this exclusivity trend in other ways.

“In terms of exclusivity, many retailers now, either by agreement or actually, when you arrive at a store require you to be connected to a seller. You can’t surf and that creates a sense of exclusivity for better or worse,” added Cohen.

sustainability

Brands are also recognizing the increasing importance of sustainability, both from a business perspective and due to growing customer awareness.

And it’s not just reflected in more “ethical” product lines, but also in what services are available in physical stores.

On its flagship in Stockholm, H & M offers services to repair old clothes and rents out some of its outfits for special occasions.

“The sustainability movement really highlights one of the core dichotomies that the fashion industry is particularly facing, but also a broader retail sector,” said Clark of AlixPartners.

“The debate between value and value: The need to really clearly define your sustainability traits, your ethical sourcing, etc, while delivering great value that is not only cheap but also great value for money which means consumer. “

Marketing campaign Finance Specialists Shocked by Trump Camp’s Reported ‘Cash Bomb’

  • Experts are puzzled and baffled by the “money bomb” trick reported by the Trump campaign.
  • An investigation by the New York Times found how backers were tricked into making recurring donations.
  • So far it is unclear whether the reported acts are illegal or just unethical.
  • You can find more articles on Insider’s business page.

Senior donors who donated a few hundred dollars to former President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign were shocked when thousands were withdrawn from their accounts. Refund requests rose in the last few months of the campaign. The resulting increases in Trump-related credit card fraud cases have been put on the radar by even the largest banks in the United States.

A The New York Times investigation was published on Saturday details a recurring fundraising program, reportedly dubbed the “Money Bomb”, that the Trump campaign used to replenish its coffers through the GOP fundraising platform WinRed in the last months of the campaign.

The tactic involved adding pre-activated recurring donation fields at the end of donation emails and creating an opt-out system instead of an opt-in system for recurring donations. And as the time got closer to the election, the fine print of those bright yellow donation boxes got smaller and more confusing, causing donors, including many older ones, to unwittingly sign up to make thousands of contributions.

Asking for recurring donations is also common among democratic campaigns and nonprofits, but the Trump campaign’s methods have been particularly alarming to many pundits.

“Groups do this in a non-toxic way all the time, and of course Trump as Trump did this 72 million times in the wrong direction and it looked like a fraud,” said Beth Rotman, national director for money and politics at Common Cause advocacy. said insider.

According to The Times, the payments essentially acted as an “interest-free loan” from Trump’s donors for his campaign, which was subject to upheaval and financial turmoil in the months leading up to the November 3rd election. After all, tens of millions of donations were refunded over the course of 2020, with WinRed pocketing the transaction fees.

How Insider Tom LoBianco reportedFormer Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale had booked nearly $ 200 million in television commercials with the expectation that a last-minute spike in donations would cover costs, a misstep that “stalled re-election efforts in early October” .

The Trump campaign’s recurring fundraising trick confused and shocked even the most seasoned campaign funding experts interviewed by Insiders.

Campaign sign

Candidate Courts signs are displayed outside the First Ward polling station in Danville.


Paul Weaver / Pacific Press / LightRocket via Getty Images

“A complete rip-off” of a plan

Fred Wertheimer, the president of Democracy21Insider, who has led major campaign funding and ethical reform battles in Congress and in court for the past four decades, told Insider he “had never seen anything like it”.

“I’ve never seen anyone do what the Trump campaign just did,” Wertheimer said, arguing that the Trump campaign’s behavior was an abuse of the elderly and “under the bottom” of acceptable donation tactics lie.

“This is a complete rip off, they knew exactly what they were doing,” he added. “They knew they were making people sign up for one post when they really signed up for multiple posts. Then when they got caught they sent the money back. It’s like a bank robber was caught and said, ‘ Oh well, I returned the money. ‘ “

The highly unusual nature of the Trump campaign’s methods was also reflected in the amazing refund rate. While it is routine for presidential campaigns – especially large-scale campaigns – to reimburse some contributions to donors who have unwittingly exceeded the legal limit, the sheer number of reimbursement requests and the surge in reimbursements stood out to experts and insiders alike.

Overall, the Trump campaign reimbursed $ 122 million in online donations, including 10.7% of donations raised through WinRed, The Times reported. In contrast, President Joe Biden only reimbursed $ 21 million in online donations and 2.2% of donations made through ActBlue.

“I’ve been here for nearly six years and can’t think of anything in particular that people didn’t know they were making recurring contributions,” said Jordan Libowitz, Washington director of communications for Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility (CREW), Insider said. “The 10% refund of donations is a huge, unbelievable amount.”

In one long Monday explanation Trump, issued through his Save America PAC, denied the main claims in the article, arguing that the Trump campaign always promptly refunds donations upon request, indicating that a contribution rate of less than 1% was the subject of formal disputes by credit card companies . He also attacked the Times’ coverage as “an utterly misleading, one-sided hit track” and continued to falsely claim that the 2020 election was stolen.

Donald Trump Melania Trump

Former President Donald Trump and Former First Lady Melania Trump.


Bill O’Leary / The Washington Post via Getty Images

The law does not always take into account campaign funding measures

Experts interviewed by The Times and Insider all agreed that the actions of the Trump campaign and WinRed cross an ethical line, particularly when it comes to older donors who say they have been betrayed. However, it’s not yet clear whether their tricks violate campaign funding or consumer protection laws.

“This is not an everyday thing that we’ve seen before,” said Libowitz. “It could be an unregulated thing just because laws follow problems.”

Common Cause’s Rotman told Insider that the new Trump campaign revelations represent an excellent opportunity for agencies like the Federal Electoral Commission and lawmakers in Congress to set new, updated rules and standards for soliciting recurring online donations.

“It’s not really a scam, but it’s a potential ploy,” Rotman said of the Trump camp’s tactics. “You talk about tricks and you need rules and laws against tricks. And you can do that with clearer guidance and enforcement. It shouldn’t be so easy for people to wonder how much they give and how often.”

Craig Holman, campaign funding and ethics lobbyist for the democracy watchdog group Public Citizen, told Insider that federal campaign funding laws and the Internal Revenue Code mostly just prohibit raising campaign donations beyond the legal limit, not necessarily the tactics used by is applied to these requests.

“I’ve never seen a fundraiser for candidates and party committees like this before, but the laws and regulations around inquiries are pretty lax,” Holman said. “It could be argued that the promotional method would likely cause illegal postings beyond post limits, but it appears that refunds have been made in such cases, so it is unlikely that legal action can be taken against the Trump campaign and WinRed . “

Meredith McGehee, Campaign Funding Reform Executive Director Issue One told Insider that the Trump campaign’s activities raise new questions about the interface between campaign funding and consumer protection, including whether fundraising platforms like WinRed are subject to the same standards as other companies , especially for actions that might be viewed as prey for seniors.

‘The basic consumer right is that you give consumers a clear and tangible notification that a commitment is about to be made. In the case of pure consumer law, it sounds like it doesn’t take the test of people who know what they’re getting into passed, “she said.

In the long term, WinRed’s mandate to make profits in the online fundraising game and to catch up with their political opponents on the democratic side creates an incentive structure that allows them to compromise and get into ethical gray areas like these, added McGehee.

“It’s important to note that WinRed is structured as a for-profit company as opposed to ActBlue which is a nonprofit. When you’re a for-profit company, the incentives to get these things straight are less strong – they are a business and their job is to make money, “she said. “Since you are a company, I would immediately ask the question, is this good business practice?”

Even if the Trump campaign and WinRed don’t have immediate ramifications from federal agencies, the damned allegations could harm the platform’s ability in the future, and thus the GOP as well.

“The highly unethical and misleading fundraising practices will inevitably take their toll,” Holman told Insider. “It is very unlikely that these donors will donate to Trump and WinRed again for a campaign.”

Medical consultants attempt to set up ‘lengthy Covid’ analysis for sufferers with lasting signs

Some Covid-19 patients suffer from shortness of breath, fatigue, headaches and “brain fog” for months to almost a year after their first illness. Now global medical experts are working to better diagnose and treat what they tentatively refer to as “long covid”.

Earlier this week, the World Health Organization hosted a global meeting with “patients, clinicians and other stakeholders” to improve the agency’s understanding of the post-Covid medical condition, also known as Long Covid, WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Friday.

The meeting was the first of many to come. The goal will ultimately be to produce an “agreed clinical description” of the disease so that doctors can diagnose and treat patients effectively, he said. Given the number of people infected with the virus worldwide – nearly 108 million people as of Friday – Tedros warned that many of these persistent symptoms are likely to appear.

“This disease affects patients with severe and mild Covid-19,” Tedros said during a press conference at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva. “Part of the challenge is that long-term Covid patients can have a range of different symptoms that can be persistent or come and go.”

Limited dates

So far, there have been a limited number of studies that will determine what symptoms are most common and how long they might last. The main focus was on people with a serious or fatal illness, not people who have recovered but still report persistent side effects, sometimes referred to as “long distance riders”.

Most Covid patients are believed to recover only weeks after their initial diagnosis, but some have symptoms for six months or even almost a year, medical experts say.

One of the largest global studies on Long Covid Found published in early January that many people who suffer from persistent illness after infection cannot work full six months later. The study that was published on MedRxiv and not peer-reviewed, surveyed more than 3,700 people aged 18 to 80 from 56 countries to identify the symptoms.

The most common symptoms after six months were fatigue, post-exercise fatigue, and cognitive dysfunction, sometimes called brain fog.

Is that unique to Covid-19?

“We really don’t know what is causing these symptoms. That is a focus of research right now,” said Dr. Allison Navis, a professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, during a call to the Infectious Diseases Society of America on Friday.

“The question that arises is whether this is something that is unique to Covid itself – and it is the Covid virus that is causing these symptoms – or whether this could be part of a general post-viral syndrome,” Navis said, adding, that medical experts see similar long-term symptoms after other viral infections.

Another Study published in early January The Lancet medical journal examined 1,733 patients discharged from a hospital in Wuhan, China, between January and May last year. Of these patients, 76% reported at least one symptom six months after their first illness. The proportion was higher among women.

“We found that fatigue or muscle weakness, sleep disorders, and anxiety or depression were common even 6 months after symptoms appeared,” the researchers wrote in the study.

They found that symptoms reported months after a person was diagnosed with Covid-19 were consistent with data previously found in follow-up studies on severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), that is also a coronavirus.

Post-Covid clinics are going online

Some large medical centers are now creating Post-Covid clinics to care for patients with persistent symptoms. Navis said her clinic on Mount Sinai, New York treated a “fairly even” distribution of men and women with persistent illness, and the average age of patients was 40 years.

Dr. Kathleen Bell, a professor at the University of Texas’ Southwestern Medical Center, said her hospital’s long-term Covid-19 clinic began last April when a wave of infections hit Italy and New York at the start of the pandemic.

Bell said on the Infectious Diseases Society of America conference call on Friday that a number of professionals are required to staff the clinics because symptoms are uneven, including experts who can treat muscle weakness, heart-related disorders, and cognitive problems in the insane and health Problems after their diagnosis.

“It forces all of us, in many ways, to come together and make sure we have open lines of communication to address all of these issues for patients,” said Bell.

Bell added that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention held a phone call in January with long Covid centers across the country to discuss their model for treating patients.

“I think the CDC is now trying to bring centers together and get some firmer guidelines on it, which is very exciting,” said Bell.

– CNBCs Sam Meredith contributed to this report.

Consultants clarify how one can declare lacking stimulus cash, the place we’re at with third spherical

BISMARCK, ND (KFYR) – Discussions are in progress on a third round of stimulus checks. However, experts say that many did not receive their second or even first payment.

The Internal Revenue Service started delivering payments for the second round in December. If you are still waiting for your money the accountants say you are not alone.

“The IRS is trying to redirect payments that didn’t go to the right place,” said Haga Kommer CPA Kelda Rerick.

You can still claim this money by listing it on your 2020 tax return on the second page of the 10-40 document.

“You get your money there. There is no phone number to call or contact. You just have to worry about it in your 2020 tax return, ”said Rerick.

Meanwhile, Washington is talking about a third stimulus payment.

“The first thing I have to do is get this Covid package adopted,” said President Joe Biden. The president is pushing for a bipartisan agreement on his one-point, $ 9 trillion recovery plan, but getting Republicans on board won’t be easy.

“That’s not what we see of the Democrats in this proposal, which is to send checks to people making up to $ 300,000 a year,” said Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyoming.

If Biden doesn’t get the backing of both parties, he can keep Republicans off the deal to provide more momentum. But his election could mean setting the tone for his term in office and revealing whether he can keep his promise to unite Congress and the country.

You can find answers to frequently asked questions, tax tips or further guidance at irs.gov.

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