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March 2020
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May 2020

April 2020

State Farm gets an ‘A’ and GEICO a ‘D-‘ on report card of refunds or credits for driving less due to the coronavirus pandemic

Companies that sell more than 82 percent of the auto insurance in the United States have announced that they’ll be refunding or crediting drivers more than $6.5 billion over the next two months. The payments are due to the insurers’ savings from fewer auto insurance claims related to the huge reduction in cars on the road and miles driven during stay-at-home orders and other covid-19 precautions. The Consumer Federation of America and Center for Economic Justice contacted insurers and state insurance regulators to urge this type of relief in letters to commissioners sent on March 18 and March 30. The groups also assessed different approaches insurer could use for relief and a way to ensure fairness. Read more →


Shoppers want grocery staff to wear masks and have paid sick leave, survey shows

Eighty-four percent of consumers would prefer that grocery store employees wear masks, according to a survey of more than 1,000 Americans conducted for the Center for Science in the Public Interest. In addition, 93 percent think it’s important or very important for ensuring shoppers feel safe at the store that grocery retailers offer paid sick leave benefits for employees who are diagnosed with, experience symptoms of, or become exposed to covid-19. Similar numbers think sick leave benefits are important or very important for preventing the spread of covid-19, 95 percent, and for workers’ health and livelihood, 94 percent. Grocery stores are struggling to adopt policies that keep consumers and workers feeling safe while also facing labor shortages, supply chain challenges, and growing competition from online retailers. But grocery employee illnesses and deaths are being reported. Read more →


Tips for delaying mortgage payments in the era of coronavirus

If you’re unable to make your mortgage payments due to the coronavirus pandemic, you could lose your home to foreclosure. Federal lenders and some private lenders are offering borrowers temporary help, such as stopping or delaying foreclosure or modifying the mortgage. However, these measures aren’t available for everyone. If you need help, research the options available. The Federal Trade Commission offers these tips for navigating the process. Learn about new relief for federally backed mortgage The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or CARES offers two protections for some borrowers. To be eligible, you need to have a federally backed mortgage and be having financial hardship due to the coronavirus. The options include: Read more →


Baby boomer bloggers write about Easter

Easter is the topic for this week’s Best of Boomer Blogs. Boomer bloggers are writing about: An Easter survey that shows Easter spending for candy, clothing, and food is down nearly 50 percent due to the coronavirus pandemic. Memories of a sunrise service followed by a pancake breakfast at church. When two uncles had a fight at the Easter gathering. Easter tears and laughter. The promise of spring. A frittata recipe that’s made with three eggs, which is a nice dish for Easter. Last year’s trip to the emergency room on Good Friday. Read more →


Electric receptacles recalled by Pass & Seymour due to burn hazard

Pass & Seymour is recalling about 685,000 commercial-grade tamper resistant duplex electric receptacles. A manufacturing error in the receptacles could lead consumers to incorrectly force the plug into the receptacle, causing the plug blades to overheat, posing a burn risk to consumers. This recall involves electrical receptacles with model numbers found here. The model number is printed on the labels on the individual product boxes or cartons. “Legrand” is printed on the back of the receptacles. The following manufacturing date codes can be found on the outside of the carton: 43U, 44U, 45U, 46U, 47U, 48U, 49U, 50U, 51U, 52U, 53U, 01V, and 02V. Read more →


Happy Easter in the era of the coronavirus, when everything is changed

When it’s warm here, I’ve been walking around my house for exercise. My daughter recommended I do this rather than walking around my neighborhood. She’s probably right because I later learned that the virus hangs in the air for three hours. So, even if you social distance while walking in your neighborhood, it’s possible you could get exposed. I have a mask because I have respiratory problems, but I wasn’t wearing it when I walked around my neighborhood. It takes me one minute to walk around my house, so I go around it 20 times. I hurt my back about a year ago, so I’ve been hiring help for yard work. But, as I walk around my yard, I’ve been picking dandelions to they don’t go to seed. The gophers also are back, so I shoveled the dirt and put it in the yard waste bin. My forester who prunes my evergreen trees and rhododendrons is going to make me a plastic greenhouse so I can have an early garden. He came Saturday and set it up. I usually go to Madrid to visit my daughter and her family in May, but I won’t be going this year. He’ll plant my garden early this year. I usually buy seedlings and plant my garden in late May. Read more →


Facts and figures for Easter 2020

It's such a strange year for celebrating Easter Sunday. The coronavirus pandemic has shut down so much of the United States so that the usual Easter activities, such as attending church, aren't happening. In addition, about half of Americans say they won't be buying Easter candy, a new outfit, or Easter foods this year, according to a WalletHub survey. Here's more information on the WalletHub on Easter 2020 survey: Read more →


Corporate leaders and conservative shock jocks pressure Trump to open the economy soon, report shows

A group of billionaires, corporate executives, and conservative commentators has been urging the rollback of social distancing recommendations, despite public health warnings, a Public Citizen report shows. In arguing for a return to economic “normalcy,” the group ignores the devastating health consequences of its recommendations and the difficulty of returning to normal while the coronavirus pandemic rages on. Public health experts have made it clear that by adhering to social distancing recommendations and requirements, Americans will prevent the crisis from becoming a catastrophe. One study warns that inadequate action could result in the deaths of 2.2 million Americans from the virus. However, after a mid-March meeting with Wall Street executives, President Donald Trump held a press conference to announce he intended to push for a hastened end to the social distancing measures. Since then, a number of big business executives and conservative media joined the call, forcing the government’s top public health officials to intervene to postpone Trump’s rushed coronavirus deadline. Read more →


Baby boomers learn from staying home

On March 23, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee issued a stay-at-home order due to the covid-19 pandemic. About a week before that, I began staying at home because I concerned about getting sick. That means I’ve been at home for about three weeks now. I’m doing well because on Feb. 25 a federal official advised Americans to prepare for a possible coronavirus outbreak where they live. Nancy Messonnier, M.D., director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said it wasn’t a matter of if an outbreak would happen, but when. Another federal official said to prepare like you would for an earthquake or other natural disaster. I bought two weeks’ worth of groceries. Read more →


Stock up on protein foods on your next trip to the grocery store, because some meat processing plants are closing

Around the United States, several meat processing plants are closing because workers are getting the coronavirus. A Tyson Foods pork plant and a National Beef Packing slaughterhouse, both in Iowa, and JBS USA beef plant in Pennsylvania have closed, according to an article on National Public Radio. The plant closings aren’t yet having a significant impact on the supply of meat to consumers, Christine McCracken, a meat industry analyst, was quoted as saying in the article. This is what I’ve been worried about. However, I thought about the workers who made the canned green beans getting sick, not the workers in the meat processing plants. Read more →