COVID CONTINUES ITS INVASIVE INFECTION GLOBALLY
The Delta and Omnicron variants are raging Globally. The US has only vaccinated approximately 70% of its population but there remain those steadfast in opposition to receiving the vaccination. In the US and Europe, Omnicron is attacking the unvaccinated and vaccinated relentlessly. Masks are now again mandated in indoor areas and crowded public spaces. Venues, shops, bars, restaurants and employers are asking for proof of vaccination to enter and remain employed. ICUs are running out of beds, children and the 18-40 segment of the population is getting hit hard.
INFLATION REARS ITS UGLY HEAD
Inflation is back at approximately 5% eating into consumer savings and spending. Demand is outstripping supply, hampered by shipping and production logistical problems. Manufacturers have slyly cut packaging sizes to offset rising costs to fool the consumer and avoid raising prices outright. The housing market is remains on fire in many markets.
TRAVEL, TRAVEL, TRAVEL!
Despite the risk of COVID Delta variant exposure, Americans' thirst for travel is high, even higher than pre-Pandemic levels. Airlines struggle to meet demand, airports and airplanes are jammed, TSA lines and wait times are long, and inflight passenger disturbances are at an all-time high. Wait time for an expedited passport is 16 weeks or more. The open roads are no exception, despite high gasoline prices.
WFH AND THE LOW WAGE SECTOR
The US labor market construct has been upended by the Pandemic. More and more employers are requiring and enforcing a mandated vaccine policy to work in office environments, are experimenting with flexible working arrangements and hours, and accepting a permanent WFH employee roster. Employees are changing jobs in droves while the low wage employment sector goes begging for employees. Despite some States cutting off unemployment benefits, employees have not returned to their former low wage jobs, employers are offering hiring bonuses and other perks to lure them. Many small businesses have closed or are struggling due to worker shortages and higher wages across the board.
THE TOKYO OLYMPICS
Despite COVID raging throughout Japan, the Olympics are being held. The US is taking home medals, remaining in the lead. If there is a take-away from this unusual Summer 2021 Olympics with its barren stadiums and cheering crowds, Simone Biles has shown us, and brought to the forefront, that there is no shame in admitting that mental health is a health problem that affects physical performance which should be recognized and treated - whether one is an Olympian or not.
GLOBAL WARMING CONTINUES TO AFFECT OUR CLIMATE
All around the World wildfires, floods, draught, severe storms and unusual heat patterns are causing dangerous conditions affecting our Planet and existence. The climate changes need to be addressed urgently.
MCM, VINTAGE, OLD IS NEW....
Bell Bottoms, shoulder pads, Pucci dresses, Scandinavian furniture, '50s-80s home accents, vintage Persian carpets, vintage Gucci handbags -- everything once jettisoned to Goodwill as out-of-date is now coveted and oftentimes priced higher than when once new. The sustainable movement has taken hold.
THE FASION INDUSTRY MOURNS
The fasion industry mourns the loss of iconic Leon Talley, a trendsetter and first Black American to make a strong influence on fashion. Rest in peace Leon.