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Here’s To the Dedicated Wives

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In the course of my day at the hospital I come in to contact with a lot of people and I come into contact with a lot of loving family members.

This little paragraph is about the wives…

I am in awe of the real love, attention, loyalty and total dedication I see coming from these often-diminutive women… there to give it their best shot on behalf of their husband. They may not know all the nuances of health care but collectively they represent a solid base of support in rocky seas, complete with a solid portfolio of care skills, learned on the front lines of the quest to raise a good family in times when money was tight and jobs scarce. The following story is fictitious, but written to illustrate some of the issues that confront family member when a loved one is hospitalized.

AGNES …

Agnes is a pleasant lady in her early eighties, her husband is also a friendly guy mid eighties, retired plumber. She is concerned because he is in the hospital and it is in general, getting to the point where he needs his wife’s help to mobilize..This alone would be a challenge for all of us, but more particularly a lady of this vintage. She needs to begin to look at her options, what should she do first ? Let’s see…

1.Review the state of her own health?

2.Figure out where the other family members fit into the scene?

3.Ask at the hospital about how long her husband is expected to be there?

Hmmm…well, let’s say her husband Bill is there because he slipped and fell, it’s his first day in the hospital and he came in through the Emergency Room last night. In my first meeting with her I am struck with two things. She has a lively buzzing energy that keeps her in touch with all the things going on in the world immediately surrounding her and she is totally focused on her husband’s well being. Let’s go back to the immediate questions on hand. Good decision making is based on good information, the first thing that needs to be accomplished is for Agnes to gain insight into the process that now confronts her.

Bill is now within the protective care of the hospital so his immediate welfare is in the hands of professionals. The most useful information for Agnes at this time would be a sense of time frame. Is Bill going to be undergoing surgery? When? How long do people usually stay after such a surgery? What is the most common post surgical course of treatment for this procedure? A caution here: We must take into account that people are individuals, with unique characteristics that will influence the rate of their recovery and their particular response to treatment but having said that, there are general guidelines that a physician is aware of and able to apply to each of his patients. The key question here is how can Agnes best find out what she needs to know?

In the hospital setting the course of treatment is coordinated by the Attending Physician. This doctor may not be the same one that takes care of Bill in the community, the community Doctor is usually called the Primary Care Physician and is the doctor in charge of the patient’s overall welfare, wherever he may be. So sometimes the doctors are one and the same person, sometimes not..Depending upon the particular relationship the patient’s primary physician has with the hospital. So to follow along with the theme, Agnes’ first mission is to have a chat with the Attending MD. How? Well, here are some ideas: Most people think that if they go to the hospital to visit their loved one that they will naturally have contact with the doctor just as a part of being there, when in fact the opposite is often the case. True, they may actually be there at the time of his daily visit but what happens quite often is that the busy MD is not there at the same time as the family for a multitude of reasons. My point here is that a quick phone call to the Doctors office can really help identify a likely time Doctor makes his rounds in that particular hospital ward. Meeting the MD in or around the patients room allows the doctor to give his opinion based upon immediate data, both observed and from the recording in the medical chart which will give such information as results of recent tests and current lab values and vital signs such as patient’s temperature, pulse rate and blood pressure. It also saves Agnes a trip to his office and has more of a personal touch than a phone call. However, calling the doctor in his office is certainly an option if a personal visit is not feasible.

OK , Bill is now in the process of being diagnosed. Using the example of a fall at home he will almost certainly have an Xray and maybe some other diagnostic imaging tests depending upon the initial results (findings). Let’s say for the purposes of this example that he has fractured his hip and will be needing it to be surgically repaired. In many cases, especially with the elderly, a decision has to be made as to the patient’s ability to tolerate surgery. Among other things Bill’s breathing and heart function and medical history will be looked at to determine the degree of risk.

Once Agnes has discussed with the attending MD the general schedule she can step back and take stock of the situation. Here are some points she may find it useful to think about:

How much physical strength does she have to assist in her husband’s ability to get out of bed? Out of a chair? Use the restroom? All these functions will come into play as Bill progresses through the system and plans are made for his recovery. Many families attend their loved ones in the hospital under the impression that the patient will remain in Hospital until completely recovered and back to their previous level of function. In fact, while this may occur in certain cases, there very often is a time where the patient is well enough to leave the general medical/surgical level of care but not able to bounce right back to where they were before the event that bought them into the hospital in the first place occurred. It is this gap that Agnes will need to think about as things move forward.

This would also be a good time to look at resources. Who is around Agnes? Friends? Family? Is she a member of any groups, churches, and senior programs? Where should she go to look at her resource options? The place to start while Bill is in the hospital is the Social Work department of that hospital. This may be called “social services” or a similar name.

Finally, some thoughts may be directed towards the home that Bill and Agnes live in.specifically, the suitability of this environment to their continued welfare. Is their home an apartment on the second floor with no elevator? A single-family house at the end of steep driveway? Perhaps the home was purchased many years ago when mobility concerns were not a consideration. All these aspects need some thought, and even if a move to a more mobility-friendly environment may not be feasible, there are some steps that can be taken to increase the general safety of the home environment and reduce the risk of falls. Very often, as a part of the discharge planning the MD can order a service through the Home Health Nursing aspect of patient care. This is called a “home safety evaluation” and is usually conducted by a physical therapist. This service may not be available to all but it is a common way to reduce the risk of future falls. With this service the home environment is reviewed and suggestions are made as to such items as where safety guide rails may be installed or perhaps a suggestion regarding floor coverings that reduce the risk of accidents.

So, to summarize: In the above example, Agnes should:

1. Gain as clear an idea as possible how long Bill may be in hospital and what the general plan is.

2. Take stock of her abilities, resources, family and friends.

3. Utilize the expertise of all the professional medical personnel that are involved with her husbands care in order to gain a clear idea of the best course of action.

Side Orders: Addition of steak makes for a hearty mac and cheese

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Is there any food that brings back memories of your childhood more than mac and cheese?

It’s pure contentment, and in this time when many of us are self-quarantining and worrying about the future and when this coronavirus will come to an end, that’s exactly what we need.

For a lot of us, mac and cheese recalls Kraft’s beloved blue box. But as we Baby Boomers and the generations following have grown into adulthood, so have our tastebuds, and the thought of boxed mac and cheese just doesn’t fit into our idea of a good dinner. Not that we’ve entirely given up on the thought of pasta with cheese sauce, though. It continues to tempt our tastebuds, just as a tweet from Lodge Cast Iron did when I checked my Twitter account not long ago.

Steak Mac and Cheese was the topic, and it came with a step-by-step video of exactly how to make it, though that wasn’t really necessary. All it did was show how simple it was to create a grown-up version of one of our childhood’s favorite dishes by adding steak, and making it all in one pot — your Lodge or other heavy-duty Dutch oven. You’ll just need to make sure the Dutch oven you use is ovenproof, and if you use a Lodge product, it’s a guarantee.

This recipe has a lot of ingredients, so if you’re in a hurry, do some prep work. Shred the cheeses ahead of time, and keep them in resealable bags in the refrigerator. You can also chop the onion in advance. The rest is just a matter of adding seasonings and a few additional ingredients, blending it all together and putting it in the oven while you’re preparing the remainder of the meal — a salad and some garlic bread may be all you need. And although this is a grown-up version of mac and cheese, the kids will love it, too.

 

Lodge Steak Mac and Cheese

1 1/2 to 2 pounds pasta shells

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 pounds sirloin steak

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

1 bay leaf

4 cups whole milk

3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated

4 cups Gouda cheese, grated

4 cups mozzarella cheese, grated

1/4 cup parsley for garnish

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta according to directions, and reserve 1 cup pasta water.

Heat olive oil in a 6-quart Dutch oven for 4-5 minutes. Pat steak dry with paper towels. Cut steak into 1/2-inch cubes. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and optional cayenne.

Add cubed steak in batches to the preheated Dutch oven, careful not to overcrowd, and sear on all sides 3-5 minutes. Remove steak, and place on a plate to cool.

Reduce heat to medium, and add chopped onion. Cook 5-7 minutes until soft and slightly browned.

Add butter and minced garlic, and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add flour, paprika, ground mustard and bay leaf. Stir until mixture thickens.

Slowly whisk in whole milk, and allow mixture to thicken stirring often, 5-10 minutes.

Remove from heat, and discard bay leaf. Stir in sharp cheddar, Gouda and half the mozzarella. Add the pasta and the sliced steak, and stir. If the mixture is too thick, add reserved pasta water until desired consistency is achieved.

Season with salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle the remaining mozzarella over the top of the dish.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until cheese melts and turns golden brown. Garnish with chopped parsley, and serve hot.

 

Cooking classes continue

The Sweet & Savory Classroom, which offers hands-on cooking lessons, sent out a message last week that they remain open but are taking extra precautions, including cutting class sizes and offering a virtual classroom.

Husband-and-wife owners Jeff and Heather Pennypacker also are redesigning the classes so that each participant prepares his or her own ingredients and does their own cooking.

“We are a very small place and believe we can still have a great time and be safe,” said the statement from the Pennypackers.

They’re allowing anyone who wishes to transfer to a future class to do so without additional charges. And the chefs are also preparing meals-to-go for curbside pickup. For details, https://www.sweetandsavoryclassroom.com/.

Email Anne Braly at [email protected]


some text
Anne Braly

 

Some millennials, Gen Z are calling the coronavirus ‘boomer remover’

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The internet’s latest meme is pretty horrible.

Taking off on Reddit and infiltrating social media, “boomer remover” has become a coronavirus catchphrase among younger generations, reported Hannah Sparks for The New York Post.

That’s because people over 60 are at greater risk of becoming ill than younger folks who don’t have underlying health conditions (those who do have preexisting conditions are also at higher risk). Coronavirus risk increases with age, making people in their 80s and 90s at the highest risk.

These facts have given some millennials and Gen Z a false sense of confidence that the coronavirus is only a threat to baby boomers — hence the trending #BoomerRemover.

As Rana Foroohar for Financial Times explains, “Young people calling the coronavirus a ‘boomer remover’ may reflect the general lack of empathy in society these days, but it may also mirror the free-floating political anger that the current generation has for their elders.”

“This is a joking reaction to our frustration with boomers as a generation,” one Twitter user wrote. “We’ve been told we’re ‘too’ sensitive, dismissed on climate change, constantly told we’re entitled.”

On the flip side, some millennials are using the “Boomer Remover” trend not out of insensitivity, but to get their parents to stay home, reported Sparks. The coronavirus is scary to the millennial generation because it shows them how old their parents are. Business Insider’s Hayley Peterson spoke to several millennials who said they are concerned about their parents’ health and frustration in trying to convince them to stay inside.

“I had to tell my 70 yr old mum that they’re calling this pandemic the Boomer Remover before I could convince her to cancel all of her boomer cluster activities,” tweeted Twitter user Kaya Wilson.

Young people can get sick too

Young people aren’t as invincible as they think they are. 

“One of the worst messaging errors of this event has been the overemphasis on it being a problem mainly for the elderly,” tweeted Twitter user Bodie B, when retweeting the account of a 36-year-old nurse without preexisting conditions infected with coronavirus.

Up to 20% of people hospitalized with the coronavirus in the US are young adults between ages 20 and 44, according to a CDC report issued last Wednesday, which analyzed about 2,500 coronavirus patients in the US. Consider the 26-year-old who works out six days a week and has no prior immune or respiratory conditions, but was recently hospitalized for coronavirus, according to her account for The New York Times.

But just because a young adult isn’t hospitalized — or feeling ill — doesn’t mean they’re not infected with coronavirus. They could be an asymptomatic carrier, meaning they don’t present any symptoms and therefore could unknowingly infect more high-risk people.

“It’s important that we all work together, especially younger people, millennials,” Seema Verma, administrator at Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator, said. “They may feel healthy. They may feel like if I get this virus it’s not going to be that big of a deal, it’s just going to be like the flu, but the reality is they can contribute to the spread.”

A New Year For Baby Boomers

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It's a good time to be alive. As we start this Baby Boomer New Year for 2010 we have so much to enjoy. OK, Iran is a problem and our government spending is out of control. But those types of problems are always with us (and always will be).

We Baby Boomers are in relatively good shape as we move into our 60's and beyond. Hey, my grandparents and parents didn't look as good as we do now when they were our age. They did work out like we do and they looked older. They went through tougher times than we did.

In spite of the world problems we face every day, living conditions are constantly improving here in the United States and to some degree around the world. You would have to be totally unconscious as you walk through life to not be aware of these improvements.

Our freedom and the fruits of capitalism drive us constantly to make a better mouse trap, a better car, better medicine … a better everything. We Boomers benefit from all of the efforts to improve life in America.

We certainly are not all rich but we have moved into that stage of life that lets us benefit from our life's work. Our children have grown up and we can do the "love 'em and leave' em" routine with our grandchildren (and children).

Now, we can live on our Social Security checks and our 401 (k) funds if we want to. The checks may not be a lot but they come in every month. We may have to work part time for extra money but many of us have figured out how to bring in income doing whatever type of work we want to do.

You know what I don't miss? I don't miss that pressure we went through raising our families. Our children survived anyway. I don't feel like I have to prove anything to anyone anymore. My sons come to me for advice and our daughters-in-law come to my wife to ask her questions. Life is good.

We Boomers have been through a lot and we have survived. We still have a lot of good living to look forward to with family and friends. Have fun with this new year and relax a little bit. We earned it, right?

Covid-19 Divides U.S. Society by Race, Class and Age

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We’re tracking the latest on the coronavirus outbreak and the global response. Sign up here for our daily newsletter on what you need to know.

Covid-19 may be remembered as the disease that divided us.

The pandemic is affecting some groups more than others, stirring up a toxic mix of fear, resentment and schadenfreude. 

Coronavirus has become a lightning rod for bullying of Chinese people in the U.S., as racial slurs like “Kung Flu” make the rounds on Twitter. The deadly outbreak has escalated the tension between generations, as some young people not-so-jokingly referred to the deadly virus as “#BoomerRemover” because it is most deadly in older people—with the not-so-surprising baby boomer backlash against college students who continued to “#CoronaParty” on spring break as other people died. And as more white-collar workers are able to keep their jobs and work from home, the growing ranks of unemployed, uninsured hourly workers are finding fresh outrages in the potentially fatal gap between haves and have nots.

“The virus is not doing the dividing,” said Jason Beckfield, chair of the sociology department at Harvard University. “The dividing is a function of what people are choosing to do with the virus. People are able to shift blame away from themselves or shift blame onto people they dislike.”

See Also: Yes, Young People Are Falling Seriously Ill From Covid-19

Covid-19 first emerged in December in the city of Wuhan in Hubei province, China. From there it spread quickly through the Middle East and Europe and then to the U.S. So far, the pandemic has been confirmed in more than 250,000 people and killed more than 10,000, many of them elderly or with underlying health conditions. In the U.S., confirmed cases have exceeded 24,000 with over 250 deaths.

President Donald Trump in particular has been singled out as creating friction for referring to Covid-19 as “Chinese Virus.”

Reports of hate crimes against Asians and Asian Americans have been rising in the U.S. right along with the increase in the virus in the country, said John Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, an advocacy organization that tracks discrimination. Since 2016, the group has maintained a website where people can submit examples of hate crimes. Prior to the outbreak coming to the U.S., the site received an estimated complaint a week. Now it’s up to three or four a day. One man described being beaten and accused of bringing the virus to the U.S.

“It’s not just verbal abuse; people are being harmed,” Yang said. “The lack of the use of the proper name for the virus is giving license to others to use it.”

The U.S. is not alone in looking to blame outsiders. The U.K. has seen a spike in hate crimes against Asians. Ethiopia’s government has called on citizens to refrain from reported attacks against white and Asian foreign nationals, who some are calling “Corona.” Meanwhile, the prime minister of Hungary has blamed foreigners for the spread of the virus.

 

Generational tensions are also rising. On social media, young adults have lamented that boomers wouldn’t take the coronavirus warnings seriously. Other Americans expressed frustration at the Gen Z crowds who kept partying on spring break despite officials’ pleas for isolation.

Calling the virus “#BoomerRemover” is a morbid joke, building on the cultural phenomenon of “OK Boomer” that also expressed young adults’ frustration with economic obstacles. But the joke could exacerbate the tensions already evident as the millennial generation supplants the boomers as the largest segment of the workforce, said Cort Rudolph, 35, an assistant professor in the department of industrial and organizational psychology at St. Louis University. 

“It’s only going to further divide us,” said Rudolph, who submitted a paper this week on how the virus could shape today’s young people as they come of age. “I think what you need to refocus the attention on is that this is not an older versus a younger thing, but this is an issue for everyone. We all have a certain responsibility to each other and not just to our generational group.”

Names are already floating around for what to call this generation whose world view is forming during a pandemic, Rudolph said. Ideas include “Quaranteens” and the “Crown Generation,” referring to the shape of the virus. He said he’s partial to “Coronials.” Whatever the label, there is going to be a need for millennials, the oldest of whom turn 40 this year, and the following generation to get along with the remaining boomers in the workplace, where the youngest members are still almost a decade from retirement age.

“It’s hard to say what the actual long-term effect will be, but it will do nothing to make inter-generational conflicts go away,” Rudolph said.

How To Give Your Nursing Career A Boost

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Nursing is an honorable profession that involves going the extra mile to take care of patients and ensure they remain safe and comfortable. The healthcare industry is largely made up of the nursing workforce and when you are able to increase your skills and knowledge, you can go very far in your nursing career. If what you are looking for is a promotion, there are so many things you can work on to give your career a boost and go up the ladder.

1. Advance your education

A BSN is no longer enough to take you higher, you should consider getting an MSN to open up career doors. Considering that you can enjoy online classes, you really do not have to put your job on hold to continue with your education. You can choose a nursing program that is convenient enough for your job schedule. An advanced degree will definitely get you to executive level roles in your nursing career.

2. Keep on learning

Even when you finally get your degree, you should put effort in improving your knowledge in your field. Sometimes volunteer opportunities and attending conferences and meetings can go a long way in keeping you up to date with the nursing field and health care industry at large. It is important to remember that nursing is a fluid profession and there will always be technology changes and new information. To work better you must be up to speed with the latest.

3. Learn to communicate effectively

As a nurse you will come across all kinds of patients. Without proper communication skills, it will be very hard to handle some of them. Apart from knowing how to communicate with your patients, you must also know how to handle their loved ones and offer the best health care you can. You should start by being a very good listener to communicate effectively. Pay attention to the patient’s verbal and non-verbal cues and respect their perspective and you will go a long way in your career. You must remember to respect their fears, opinions, literacy and their way of digestion news that are not as pleasant.

4. Respect the privacy of your patients

Medical information is very private and as so it should remain. To be a reputable and respected nurse you must learn how to limit the information you can openly share with anyone including colleagues in the clinical setting. Even if you know the patient on a personal level you cannot disclose sensitive information to anyone else however complicated the diagnosis is. Your patient information should be treated with utmost privacy and respect.

5. Join professional nursing organization

It can prove to be very valuable when it comes to professional development, education, advocacy and networking. When you join such an organization, you are able to create communities of shared interests where current information can be shared, maintain professional knowledge and practice proficiency. The organization can also be resourceful in offering webinars and conferences that improves education among the nurses.

The Rise Of The Baby Boomers

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There's this latest finding that more people have multiple full-time jobs. Operative phrase here is having more than one full-time job. The Today show featured an investment banker at day and an owner of a restaurant where she's also the head chef. Also, there's this high school teacher by day then works as a ramp model by night. There was also this woman working as a full-time journalist and a blogger and a speaker as well. Now, if that's not multitasking in the truest sense of the word, then I don't know what to call it anymore. Well, actually, they are now called baby boomers.

Who is the baby boomer?

A baby boomer is someone perceived to be a free spender and a high-earner at the same time. In short, they seem to be your high-earning workaholics who stashes lots of dough for everything they need and want. One tends to ask if what are they really working for anyway? But as I've come across articles and studies about baby boomers, they're actually not the mindless spender at all, they are just trying to work hard and reward themselves just like any one else. The only difference is they have more to spend.

It's not for the money

We may all think that the main reason of baby boomers for getting a second job is to have enough money to pay the bills and be able to keep something to deposit into our savings account. What struck me more is that they opt for the second or third job is because it's their passion. The other job fulfills the empty space in their lives that the first job does not answer. Another interesting reason about these new breed of baby boomers is that their second jobs make them feel relieved from the stress of their day jobs. We can all say that if you truly love what you're doin ', then stress is non-existent.

The slash phenomenon

More and more people people are labeling their job titles in their calling cards with slashes. Like the one featured at the Today show as the journalist / blogger / speaker. These people just don't want to be limited to a single career for all their lives but want to prove that they want to do all the things they want at the same time, luckily, they get paid to do it, and a high pay that is.l

Wish we can be part of our own world

Being one of the baby boomers, I think makes us feel more connected to ourselves. It's like, living our numerous alter egos all at the same time. This is not bad, actually. It's a dream. And I salute the baby boomers for braving the physical and mental challenges of having multiple full-time jobs. As I've said, wish I can do that as well. So, want to be one of those baby boomers?

47 Cheap Stocks That Just Got Cheaper

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Each day’s virus news is heartbreaking. Wall Street is full of dread. I’m going to leave my metaphorical whoopee cushion in its drawer and write plainly about a few stocks for readers to consider, I told myself this past week. But there were two complications.

First, thinking about a metaphorical whoopee cushion reminded me that I own an actual whoopee cushion the size of a spare tire. One thing led to another, and I found myself clutching that crass noisemaker like bagpipes each time I turned on the financial channel. Call it stress relief, or a revolt against chaos, or the beginnings of work-from-home madness. All I know is that I’ve perfected a low, mournful rumble for when the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
drops by more than 1,000 points; short, urgent blasts for late-day rallies; and a rising, inquisitive tone for press conferences about fiscal stimulus.

The second complication is even more serious. Now feels like an awful time to recommend stocks. Before trading started this past week, investment bank Jefferies published a list of 47 companies its analysts favor for strong fundamentals and compelling valuations. There were fine names on it, like
McDonald’s
(ticker: MCD) and
Amazon.com
(AMZN). “Practically Stealing,” the report was titled. By the end of Wednesday, some of the 47 were down 10%, 20%, and even more than 30%. Actual stealing would have been punished less harshly.

The Jefferies picks might be better deals now, but at some point, adding money to falling stocks starts to feel like dollar-cost hemorrhaging. I talked about that with a colleague, who said that if Barron’s wrote about shares of good companies when the Dow was near 30,000, it should do so at Dow 20,000, too. I’m still trying to think of a comeback.

When will the stock market hit bottom? The
S&P 500
traded recently at 2,305.
Goldman Sachs
predicts a slide to 2,000 by midyear, followed by a blastoff to 3,200 by year’s end. Its model is based on the index’s valuation shriveling to barely 12 times earnings before puffing back up to over 18 times. I predict an index low that’s one point higher than Goldman’s low, and a high that’s one point lower. My model is based on watching a lot of Showcase Showdowns on The Price Is Right.

Now the banks seem to be competing for the grossest domestic product forecast. J.P. Morgan sees GDP declining by 1.5% this year, which on its own seems OK, considering malls, restaurants, theme parks, stadiums, and theaters are sitting empty. But that figure assumes a 4% decline in the first quarter, then a 14% collapse in the second, followed by rebounds of 8% and 4% in the third and fourth quarters, respectively.

Bank of America
expects a slightly less dire 12% contraction during the second quarter, which will translate to a 37% earnings plunge. Goldman took the bad-news lead on Friday, predicting a 24% decline in second-quarter GDP. All the banks forecast bungee-like returns to growth in the second half. That’s called a V-shaped recession, where things bounce back quickly. The other letters are worse: a U-shape, with a longer trough; a W-shape, with more than one downturn; and the feared L-shape, where growth doesn’t return to trend.

We’ve never entered a recession with interest rates this low and a deficit this large. If pressed to guess a letter shape, I’d look for one that suggests a sharp rebound, but not to former levels right away. Maybe an L popping a wheelie.

The market’s price/earnings ratio is “pretty useless” here, BofA wrote on Thursday: “In a pandemic, new cases matter.” It notes that Italy could serve as a leading indicator for the U.S., because “more aggressive quarantine/social distancing measures were implemented later than in Southeast Asia.” So watch Italy closely for good news.

If you’re buying stocks, financial strength is key. From the aforementioned Jefferies list,
Home Depot
(HD) generates more than $10 billion of free cash flow during ordinary times, which bodes well for its resilience during a downturn. Long-term, it stands to benefit from baby boomers upgrading homes to age in place, and more construction outside of city centers. Record-low mortgage rates don’t hurt. Shares are down 23% this year. The dividend yield is 3.7%.

Mondelez International
(MDLZ) is usually an expensive stock, but it’s down 17% this year. It has better growth potential than the food group because of its exposure to snacks, a top-performing category, and to overseas markets like India, which have more room than the U.S. for increased food spending. Shares pay 2.5%.

For contrarians,
Chevron
(CVX) has lost half its value this year and yields more than 8%, a level that suggests investors expect a payment cut. The world is awash in oil, and a Russian-Saudi price war isn’t helping. But Jefferies describes Chevron as being able to break even at a lower oil price than nearly all its peers, and having the group’s strongest balance sheet by far.

Blackstone Group
(BX), the biggest alternative-assets manager, is down 27% this year. Having $150 billion in fresh dollars to put to work, and private-equity investors willing to lock up money for a long time, isn’t such a bad hand now. The stock yields 4.8%.

For some hopeful news, read my Q&A with
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
(REGN) CEO Leonard Schleifer, who talks about the race for a Covid-19 treatment. The stock is the best performer in the S&P 500 this year, but some buyers may be missing the point. “This is where the biotech industry shines in the ability to innovate and do right by humanity,” Cowen analyst Yaron Werber told me on Friday. “This is not what we think is going to be a moneymaker.”

Two other things will be more profitable for Regeneron. Short-term, its top-selling drug for macular degeneration, Eylea, could do better than expected, because a key competitor has had a safety setback. Longer-term, the same high-speed technology platform Regeneron hopes will yield a Covid-19 treatment—whereby mice are given human immune systems, causing them to create antibodies that can be used for people—will yield lucrative treatments for chronic diseases. Dupixent, the company’s drug for eczema and asthma, came from this platform. It is expected to pass Eylea in sales next year.

Stay safe, look after your neighbors, and keep in touch. I’ll be working on a jubilant whoopee-cushion roar to put into play once we’ve turned the corner.

Write to Jack Hough at [email protected]

Career in Agriculture in Pakistan

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Agriculture and its allied profession are not merely source of employment but a complete way of life in countries like Pakistan. The future of a career in this field in Pakistan is very bright. One can find farming jobs very easily after successfully completing a degree program in this field. Pakistan basically is an agricultural country and there needs a great number of experts. Employment normally available in the villages where research institutions have been established by the government. Therefore, Jobs opportunities in this field are normally offered by the government organizations.

Future outlook of jobs

Nobody can refuse the importance of agriculture and its allied fields. More than 80% people in Pakistan are directly or indirectly connected to this field. Numerous industries which depend on the raw material have been set up. Trained agricultural scientists are badly needed for such industries. There is no single scientist who has to wait for job for more than 6 month because there are ample opportunities available in government and private organizations. A united nation sister organization ie FAO Organization is working on the research for the prosperity in the field of agriculture. The regional office of this organization offers Openings for Pakistani agriculture scientists time by time. Grade 17 jobs in government organizations are offered to the BSc (Hons) in agriculture degree holder in this field. BSc degree holders have opportunities to work in the following organization:

WAPDA, Seed Corporation of Pakistan, Water Management Project, Agriculture Development Bank, Agricultural Research Council, PCSIR, Central Cotton Committee, Military Food Laboratory, CDA, Malaria Prevention Program, Rural Development Program, Agriculture allied industries, livestock growth centers, Dairy Farms, Personal Business, Agricultural Development Corporation, Feed of Livestock, Feed Making Industries.

Degree Program

  • B.Sc
  • M.Sc

Eligibility / Admission Criteria

Intermediate Science (pre-medical) for B.Sc program

Agriculture Universities and Colleges in Pakistan

Following institutions offered various degree programs and training schemes in the field of agriculture and allied branches:

  • Sindh Agricultural University, TendoJam
  • NWFP University, Peshawar
  • Barani Agriculture College, Rawalpindi
  • Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan
  • University College for Agriculture, Rawla Cot, AJK
  • College of Veterinary Sciences, Lahore
  • Forest Institute, Peshawar

Those who choose agri-career merely for job purpose do not remain successful. Agriculture and allied industries are suitable career choice for those youth who select this field as a way of life. Normally those youths choose this profession who belong to the rural areas of Pakistan. In the urbane areas, student selects other career options like computer science, engineering or medicine.

How To Spark Joy In The Lives Of Your Beneficiaries

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When it comes to tidying up your house, bestselling author Marie Kondo from Japan famously advises readers to keep only those items that spark joy. This philosophy may be useful to the many baby boomers now in the process of downsizing their homes. But for many, this process is often simpler said than done. One of the more difficult challenges may be deciding how to divide personal items among children, grandchildren, other family members, friends and charities.  

When it comes to the distribution of tangible personal property, how do you spark joy in the lives of your beneficiaries instead of creating the potential for conflict that can later tear apart siblings or other family members?  

Today’s baby boomers are downsizing their homes for a variety of reasons: maybe their children are out of the house, maybe they want to live in a new geographic location, or maybe they experienced a divorce or death. Whatever the reason, downsizing often means finding new homes for a wide range of tangible personal items. The process of downsizing may also cause these baby boomers to suddenly think more carefully about how they will distribute the rest of their personal property at death.  

The need to downsize may also provide a good opportunity for people to update their broader estate plans and decisions about dividing assets. Dividing items of financial value (stocks and bonds, cash, proceeds from the sale of real estate) may pose fewer issues, because there is a clear way to equally divide these assets if the donor so wishes. But when it comes to items that have more sentimental value than financial value, how these items are distributed can create distress for the donor and future strife among loved ones.

A good starting point is to acknowledge that “fair” does not always mean “equal.” In addition, recognize we are dealing with two different time frames. Downsizing happens during your lifetime, as opposed to property being distributed through a will upon one’s death. The benefit of downsizing is that, in many cases, everyone is living, so important conversations can take place with all of the necessary parties present. This is in contrast to the process upon death, when the person making the ultimate decision is no longer available. With that in mind, a recommended starting point is to have a plan and to give family members a chance to have these important conversations.   

The first strategy is simply to ask. While downsizing, parents can ask their children if they want particular items. For example, when a client was downsizing, they asked both their son and daughter if either one wanted a piece of valuable furniture. The son was interested in the furniture, but he was living with his wife and baby in a small apartment. He did not have the room, and he did not want to pay for storage. His sister was not able to take the piece for similar reasons. The parents then sold the item at auction. Everyone had an equal opportunity, and everyone was satisfied with the outcome.

The second strategy is to create a list of who should get what property, either during one’s life or upon death. For many items, this is as much about sentimental value as it is about financial value. But this strategy is most effective if you first set expectations among beneficiaries. Photo albums, handwritten notes and childhood pictures all may have sentimental value. Take the time to understand which child may want one item over another and note that on a list. Any list should be updated if an item was given away or new ones are acquired.

Also, for some of those items, a picture may be worth a thousand words. Take a picture of a handwritten note and get duplicates of a photo album. With today’s technology, it may be possible for everyone to get that handwritten note, even if only a replica. One family spent part of Thanksgiving going through the house and putting sticky notes on items each child eventually wanted. Although arguably a bit morbid, the children were able to discuss why they wanted a particular piece and, as necessary, “trade” one item for another. Even the grandchildren were able to express their opinions.

The third strategy is to have a family auction. Children start with a set sum of “estate dollars” that they can use to bid for certain items. This shifts the determination of value upon the children, who will get to bid more on those items they really want and pass on those items they deem less valuable. Be sure to provide a mechanism to equalize as needed and to distribute any items not distributed through the auction process. Also, it is important to ensure the individual running the auction has some understanding of the family. The goal is to make this a fair and conflict-free process.

When deciding how to distribute personal property, it is a good practice to ensure each beneficiary gets approximately the same financial or sentimental value. In some cases, it may even be worth considering donating a valuable collection to charity. Be thoughtful about what strategy will work best for your family. The goal is to make sure that the family members will ultimately be satisfied—giving the donor as much joy as the beneficiaries.

Josh Miller is a managing director and senior wealth strategist for CIBC Private Wealth Management in Boston.

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