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May 2020

April 2020

Many more Americans concerned about covid-19 now than in March, survey shows

The percentage of adults who are “extremely concerned” or “very concerned” about the widespread transmission of novel coronavirus in the United States increased from 44 percent in March to 76 percent in April, an increase of 32 percent, according to a survey from Consumer Reports, a testing and advocacy organization.  The survey, conducted from April 2 to 14, included questions on the pandemic’s impact on consumers’ attitudes, behavior, and finances. It found that Hispanic and black adults are much more likely than white adults, 59 percent and 51 percent versus 37 percent respectively, to say they are “extremely concerned” about widespread transmission of the virus. Hispanic and black communities have been especially hard hit by the pandemic, experiencing higher numbers of cases and deaths in some parts of the U.S. Read more →

Baby boomers have different reactions to stay-at-home orders

During the coronavirus Stay Home, Stay Healthy order in Washington state, I’m doing well. The time is flying by. It’s difficult to believe that we’ve been doing it for seven weeks. Why are things going well here? I’m working on my book “Follow the Money: My Life as a Financial Journalist.” Since I love blogging so much, it’s been difficult to get my book finished. Now, I work on my book first, then, I get a reward to write a blog post. It’s working. I’m three-fourths done with my book. The photo is my dining room table stacked with articles I’ve written: well over 1,000 print articles. When I finish writing about my Tacoma News Tribune articles, I’ll pause and sent my book proposal out to interested agents I met at recent writers’ conferences. While waiting to hear from them, I’ll undertake the huge task of writing the final chapter – describing my blogging work, which includes more than 6,000 articles. Read more →

Electrical connectors made by Leviton Manufacturing are recalled due to shock hazard

Leviton Manufacturing is recalling about 98,000 50 ampere, non-NEMA electrical connectors, plugs, receptacles, and inlets in the United States and about 4,400 units in Canada. The electrical connection devices can have mislabeled terminal markings, posing an electrical shock hazard. Leviton has received four reports of mismarked devices, including one report... Read more →

What to buy and not buy in May

Depending on where you live, you may or may not be able to go out and shop during the month of May. However, even if you’re still staying at home you shop from home. While it’s important to continue to limit your shopping to essential items, because you don’t put a burden on employees who are still required to go to work to handle your order, there are important things going on in May, such as buying birthday presents for May birthdays and Mother’s Day. I mention that because my birthday is in May, and I’d like to get a present to cheer myself up. Here are tips from DealNews for May shopping: Star Wars items Star Wars Day is May 4 — as in "May the Fourth Be With You" — and companies often celebrate by offering deals on different kinds of merchandise. Even though May 4 is my birthday, I’m not longing for a Star Wars t-shirt. Mother’s Day Traditional gifts such as flowers and jewelry will likely jump in price right before Mother's Day, which is May 10 this year. Read more →

Understanding rosacea: It’s more than just a red face

It’s Rosacea Awareness Month. April has been designated Rosacea Awareness Month by the National Rosacea Society or NRS to urge those with the warning signs to see a dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment. It’s estimated that more than 16 million Americans have rosacea. It tends to strike people in their 30s, 40s, or older. “Although the occurrence of rosacea has been well documented over the centuries, virtually everything we now understand about the disorder in medical science has been discovered in the last 20 years,” said Julie Harper, M.D., clinical associate professor of dermatology at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. “As a result of these advances, dermatologists are now able to identify and prescribe specific therapies for the various signs and symptoms based on a thorough understanding of the underlying disease process.” Rosacea affects an estimated 415 million people throughout the world. Among the most famous rosacea sufferers is former President Bill Clinton. Others reported to have had rosacea include Princess Diana, actresses Renee Zellweger and Naomi Watts, singer Sam Smith, and comedian Amy Schumer. Read more →

What we can do on Earth Day

It’s the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. It’s hard to come to grips with the fact that, although some gains have been made, America continues to favor the profits of corporations over the health of the planet. For example, America’s waters are no longer filthy or on fire, but the oceans are warming and are getting more acidic. America’s air is cleaner, but not elsewhere in the world. DDT was banned, but it was replaced by “cousins,” similar pesticides which are harmful to health. And, throughout the world, people and nations are still addicted to fossil fuels, while clean energy isn’t moving fast enough. Read more →

Progressive Leasing to pay $175 million to FTC to settle charges it deceived consumers about prices

Progressive Leasing will pay $175 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges it misled consumers about the price of items purchased through its plans. The company markets rent-to-own payment plans at more than 24,000 retail locations – including stores such as Best Buy, Lowe’s, Big Lot’s, and Kay Jewelers – in 46 states and the District of Columbia. Consumers who visited retailers to buy items such as furniture, jewelry, or cellphones were often told that Progressive’s payment plans were “same as cash” or “no interest” – leading consumers to believe they wouldn’t be charged more than an item’s sticker price, according to the FTC’s lawsuit filed Monday. Instead, the lawsuit alleges, consumers paid more than the sticker price, and often paid about twice the sticker price if they made all scheduled payments under the plans. When consumers were presented with the terms of Progressive’s offers, they were shown the “cash price” of the item, as well as the cost of their initial payment and each periodic payment. Read more →

Baby boomers offer coronavirus pandemic reports

Who could have guessed a few months ago that the world would suddenly be plunged into a pandemic that would require months of staying at home? I’m doing well. I’m able to pick up an order of groceries weekly from my local food co-op. I’m grateful to be able to get most of the organic foods that I like. I had some toilet paper and paper towels on hand, then, when I realized I could be staying home for months, I ordered a case of each from the co-op like I usually do. Read more →

Ranger off-road vehicles are being recalled by Polaris due to fire hazard

Polaris is recalling about 80,000 Model Year 2018 - 2020 Ranger XP 1000 and Crew XP 1000 off-road vehicles. The clutch belt can break and damage the secondary clutch and the fuel line, posing a fire hazard to the rider. Polaris has received four reports of clutch belts breaking, which resulted in fuel line damage and fires. No injuries have been reported. Read more →