Post COVID-19: What should we expect?

COVID-19 has disrupted everything with a whiplash effect. The science is unsettled, there’s no single approach by governments, and news coverage is schizophrenic. Let’s examine what is expected for society, community, family, and personally.

Working Definitions

A prediction offers a statement of what will happen in the future based on an inference of events or knowledge. An expectation has something added to the prediction: a state of readiness, a mind-set, for an event about to happen. In the case of the current pandemic, determining expectations and personal reactions are akin to the seven stages of grief: shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing, and acceptance.

The Wizards

To consider what lies ahead, and to fast track to the acceptance stage, we reached out to thought leaders around the world, including a former Deputy Director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with a Harvard Ph.D., an entrepreneur developing software for a global real estate online platform and virtual ecosystem, a UK-based food and hospitality expert advising leading hotel chains for post-COVID-19 readiness, and a Thailand-based Buddhist professor with extensive scholarly credentials. We’ve selected the most interesting range of expectations and add our personal expectations.

Here’s what we might expect.

Society: Expect our Rights to be Re-set

Governments knew that a global pandemic was possible, but there was no readiness. The proverbial phrase: This was not a black swan; it was a grey rhino.

Governments reacted postpartum with a comprehensive business shutdown instead of targeted protection to those most vulnerable. They mandated restrictive policies to flatten the curve, some more draconian than others. Collectively, they appear to try an economic solution to a health problem.

Taking a broad view, think about the choice we have in front of us. Which would you rather:

– Go back to business-as-usual (more deaths, especially amongst the elderly and vulnerable; and fear of social engagements until herd immunity is achieved)

– Lock-down for all until we have a vaccine (with economic catastrophe)

– Asian-style tracking (mass government surveillance, as started by China, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan)

– Expect governments to drive us to the third option. We’ll slide right into a new regime of mass government surveillance. We´ll thank our authorities for it! They´ll present it as having our cake (health security) and eating it too (less economic disruption).

– The strategy, quite possibly, is a temporary lockdown with two purposes:

– let fear extend

– prepare the systems for mass surveillance

Initially, reports focused on the daily COVID-19 death totals without detailing demographic breakdown. Without information, there is no insight, only fear. The lockdown in varying degrees will remain until Big Brother 1.0 – not the vaccine – is ready. Expect Big Brother to come faster than the vaccine.

This is what makes the authorities comfortable with putting in place mechanisms to address a V-shaped recession: it is “fundable” for some months through bailouts of corporates and workers alike. Then mass surveillance begins, and we will move into a different socio-political arrangement.

It’s Orwell wrapped in Kafka inside John Le Carre. Security above everything. And hierarchy as a way of delivering it. For those still skeptical, we share with you what is already happening in Europe.

Spain and other countries in the European Union have restricted freedom of movement of its citizens to one kilometer from home. Further, there are more than ten additional restrictions on movement, most of which carry a minimum fine of 1,500 Euros per act.

For those fortunate to have a second home for vacation, travel between residences is another fine of 1,500 Euros. Celebrations are forbidden too. Each person in attendance is subject to a fine of 10, 400 Euros. Fines are issued on the spot.  Recipients are advised to remain courteous with the administering official or receive an additional 1,500 Euro fine.

The granularity of restrictions rises to a black comedy. Picture this: a family of four is not allowed to venture out for a neighborhood stroll. Only one parent with the kids per time out and the venture must fit one of the five designated time blocks based on age group. After being locked up in the same home for hours, husband and wife cannot stroll together, though neither may complain about that.

At the end of April, nearly 800,000 citizens were sanctioned and nearly 7,000 detained. Kafkaesque bureaucracy is not only a precursor of what is possible, it’s expected because it’s already here.  If this is happening in Europe, normally a beacon for progressive thinking on human rights, then expect other countries to over-determine and overreach with their health surveillance regulations.

In sum, expect privacy and personal movement rights to be re-set.

Community: Moving In, Out, and Around

To continue with a movement theme, let’s examine expectations for movement from one community to another and movement within a community.

All Real Estate is Local.

Real estate transactions have come to a standstill while social distancing is in place. Once social distancing subsides, real estate professionals expect a spike in transactions. Work from home policies and the economic impact on personal budgets are triggers for relocation.

Buyers and sellers expect better online content to confidently qualify properties. Digitization of real property assets for virtual viewings with 3D immersion with near-online gaming quality is emerging in the industry. Transactions will still require a site visit; however, the number of site visits will be reduced. Buyers will ask, Do you have a 3D immersion before I visit?

Restaurants are about the neighbourhood.

Restaurants give neighborhood identity. Unfortunately, many restaurants will not sustain the economic fallout. Further, as business resumes, social distancing requirements have dealt with business plans a Mike Tyson punch in the face.

Despite a shrinking market, restaurants will need to stand out even more to attract customers. All restauranteurs will try to solve this problem: How to continue to deliver a memorable dining experience? Restauranteurs will pivot to different business models, from remodeling interiors for private seating rooms to grab-and-go and click-and-collect.

Industry insiders expect restaurants to strengthen customer relationships. There are stories of the symbiotic bond between restaurants and the community. Communities are supporting their local restaurants by ordering take-out, purchasing vouchers, and buying fruits and vegetables direct from the restaurant instead of the big chain grocery stores.

Imagine shorter menus, but menus mapped to customer feedback, a previously neglected area. McDonald’s will be a guiding model, with its finite menu and lean supply chain.  Costs remain low, food waste is minimized, and local supplier relationships are maximized. Marketing campaigns can emphasize exclusivity and all things local.

Family: What’s for Dinner?

What’s for dinner? is the most commonly asked question. Cooking at home will be more commonplace for safety and budget reasons. Whether kitchens will be newly stocked with pots and pans and appliances is a matter of individual culinary enthusiasm.

Andrea Stewart, an international food consultant, expects to see a rebirth in catering. Hosts will want to create memorable dining experiences at home without the stress of cooking. Catering can meet a range of budgets and formats, with options ranging from pre-cooked meal drop-offs to private chefs who will cook with flair on-premises.

Personally: Less is Fine

Personally, I’ve enjoyed less consumption during the lockdown. Dividing my consumption into what is essential, and what is a lifestyle, we’ve learned to purchase only what we need and enjoy life just the same. Less is not more, but less is fine.

Not everyone is aligned on desires or affordability for consumption, but if everyone is more prudent, then globally, it would lead to a more sustainable economy on a planet with finite resources.

Conclusions

COVID-19 brings revolutionary change, comprehensive and dramatic. What we expect from governments and how we expect to interact with others as we produce and consume gives rise to existential considerations. Expectations do not imply that we want certain things to happen, only that we think something will happen and then be ready for it. Expectations don’t provide answers, but they lead us to focus on the right questions.

Buddhist Philosophy Professor Frank Hoffman says we need questions to make our lives meaningful. Unprecedented times require pause as to how we give meaning to our lives. Privacy, security, and community relationships are important issues. Larger issues are at stake too. Will we, for example, be conditioned to accept large numbers of deaths in order to sustain some level of economic success? To what degree is the over 60 generation fundable or expendable?


Author: Greg Beatty, J.D., Business Development Consultant. For further information please contact gregfieldbeatty@gmail.com

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SpaceX Make History Launching Its First-Ever Crewed Spaceflight

Anticipation and excitement at a fever over at Cape Canaveral, Florida, as Elon Musk’s SpaceX and NASA prepare for their joint launch later today. This historic mission, known as the Demo- 2 mission, will feature SpaceX’s first-ever crewed spaceflight, ushering in a new era of space travel.

NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley will be traveling to the International Space Station on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, lifting off on a Falcon 9 rocket at 4:33 p.m. EDT. In short, today will mark the first time a privately owned company took humans to the ISS. 

Today’s mission from Launch Complex 39A in Florida is historic for another reason too. The Demo-2 launch will also make history as the first human-based rocket launch since the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011. 

SpaceX founder Elon Musk is both equally excited and anxious about today’s launch. “I am the chief engineer of the thing. If it goes right, all credit goes to the SpaceX team, but if it goes wrong, it is my fault,” said Musk in an interview with CBS in the Morning.

“This is a culmination of a dream… a dream come true. In fact, it feels surreal.” Today could potentially open the flood gates to a more expansive private space travel sector and set the stage for Musk’s broader goal of getting humans to Mars

NASA astronaut Robert Behnken will be the joint operations commander for the mission, while Douglas Hurley is the spacecraft commander for Demo-2. Each commander is in charge of specific tasks for the mission. Commander Hurley is responsible for the launch, landing, and recovery. Commander Behnken will tackle the rendezvous, docking, and undocking for the spacecraft, as well as any Demo-2 activities while docked on the ISS. Both Astronauts have completed previous space shuttle flights during their careers. 

Next stop? The International Space Station 

The two SpaceX passengers will be taking off from Launch Pad 39A, perfectly situated on the mighty Falcon 9. The rocket will accelerate to approximately 27,000 kph on its intercept course with the ISS until eventually docking. Though monitored heavily by the joint team, the spacecraft is designed to do everything autonomously. 

Hurley and Behnken will then spend about 110 days on the ISS running tests on the Crew Dragon and conducting research with other members of the space station crew. After the mission is concluded, both astronauts will make their way back to Earth, undocking from ISS and splashing down in Florida’s Atlantic Coast. 

Weather conditions at the moment are currently not ideal for the launch. If today’s event is canceled due to unfavorable weather conditions, the new launch dates will be May 30 and May 31.

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Dino-dooming asteroid hit Earth at ‘deadliest possible’ angle

PARIS — This much we knew: some 66 million years ago an asteroid roughly twice the diameter of Paris crashed into Earth, wiping out all land-dwelling dinosaurs and 75 percent of life on the planet.

What remained a mystery was whether it was a direct hit or more of a glancing blow, and which would be more destructive.

As it turns out, according to a study published Tuesday in Nature Communications, the giant space rock struck at the “deadliest possible” angle—60 degrees.

The cataclysmic impact kicked up enough debris and gases into the upper atmosphere to radically change the climate, dooming T-Rex and everything it ever hunted to extinction.

Analyzing the structure of the 200-kilometer-wide crater in southern Mexico where the asteroid hit, scientists ran a series of simulations.

Lead author Gareth Collins of Imperial College London and colleagues at the University of Freiburg and the University of Texas at Austin looked at four possible impact angles—90, 60, 45 and 30 degrees—and two impact speeds, 12 and 20 kilometres per second.

The best fit with the data from the crater was a 60 degree strike.

“Sixty degrees is a more lethal impact angle because it ejects a larger amount of material fast enough to engulf the planet,” Collins told AFP.

“The Chicxulub impact triggered a mass extinction because it ejected huge quantities of dust and gas out of the crater fast enough to disperse around the globe.”

Had the asteroid hit head on or at a more oblique angle, not as much debris would have been thrown up into the atmosphere, he added.

Large amounts of sulfur in the form of tiny particles that remained suspended in the air blocked the Sun, cooling the climate by several degrees Celsius.

Rocks ‘rebound’

Smoke, ash and debris engulfed the atmosphere, eventually destroying most plants and wiping out 75 percent of species on Earth.

Chicxulub is also thought to have triggered an earthquake whose seismic waves reached Tanis—the fossil site 3,000 km away in North Dakota where definitive evidence of the asteroid’s devastating impact was uncovered—in just 13 minutes.

The seismic shock triggered a torrent of water and debris from an arm of an inland sea known as the Western Interior Seaway.

Thus far, scientists have only been able to study the early stages of the impact.

The researchers combed through geological data gathered during a recent dig to better understand how the cataclysm unfolded.

They soon realized that the asteroid did not, as long assumed, approach Earth from the southeast.

“Our work overturns this hypothesis,” Collins explained. “The crater’s central uplift is leaning slightly to the southwest, and numerical simulations of the impact reproduce this.”

The findings could lead to a greater understanding about how craters are formed in general.

The 3-D simulations, for example, suggest that rocks “rebound” to fill in some of the impact layer during the final stage of crater formation, a process that takes only minutes, the researchers conjectured.

Scientists are still trying to figure out exactly how the asteroid triggered a mass extinction event and why some species survived while others didn’t.

“The Chicxulub impact was a very bad day for the dinosaurs,” Collins said, adding that the new research showed it was “even worse” than had been previously thought.

“It makes it even more remarkable that life survived and recovered as rapidly as it did.” — AFP

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Delivery riders, restaurant owners lament fake booking, prank orders

As the threat of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) keeps people in their homes, delivery services have become essential.

However, some delivery riders and restaurants have become victims of fake or prank bookings during the past two months of community quarantine.

In a report by Shai Lagarde in Stand For Truth,  restaurant owners Sasah and Junar Santias recounted their recent experience, which went viral on social media.

They said that just when their shop was about to close, they received an order almost worth P1,000. Their food items cost P55 to P75 per meal.

But just as the rider was on his way to the delivery address, the customer messaged them to say he was cancelling his order.

“Cancel na po, mag-pancit canton na lang kami,” the  message read.

Junar said that the rider came back, wet from the rain, and upset over the money lost.

“Malungkot na malungkot kami noong gabi na ‘yun kasi buong araw namin kinita ‘yun,” Junar said.

Their story got a lot of sympathy from netizens, who sent in cash donations to Sasah and Junar. However, they nor the rider wanted to accept the money, so they used it to cook food for frontliners instead.

Delivery service Jamaica Dee meanwhile lost P3,000 to a fake booking.

She said their policy requires restaurants to send in a valid ID, and the customer sent an ID of his supposed brother, saying he was ordering for him. It took an hour for the rider to pick up the order, and another order to delivery to the stated address.

The rider, Romano, spent another hour trying to get in touch with the contact number provided, to no avail.

Finally, the man whose ID was used for the order came out and said he didn’t order anything.

The picture of his ID was apparently just found online.

“Ako po ay 49 years old at maraming anak na binubuhay. Sana hindi na nila gawin sa iba, nakakapagod,” Romano said.

Jamaica said she shouldered Kuya Romano’s expenses which reached P3,000.

“Kawawa po ‘yung rider kung ibabawas namin sa kanya. Nasa three to four days kinikita ng rider ‘yun,” she said.

Jamaica got in touch with barangay officials and they tracked down the two individuals responsible for the prank.

She also changed their policy to require not only a valid ID, but a selfie from customers. If their order costs more than P2,000, they would have to pay via online payment gateway.

The report added that aside from cancellation of orders, it has become a modus for people to call and order as a prank.

Bernard Enriquez shared that he is a victim of stolen identity. He said that he suddenly got a delivery of 25 pieces of chicken and some halo-halo.

“Alam ko na scam ang delivery niya kasi may dalawa nang nauna sa kanya looking for Jane Castro. Walang nakatira dito na nagngangalang Jane Castro,” he said.

The cost of the order reached P5,800.

Bernard and his neighbors decided to pool their money so they can claim the order.

“Sa awa namin doon sa driver, kasi more than one and a half hours siyang pumila sa fast food chain, nagambagan ‘yung mga kapitbahay dito. It’s a big loss for them. Wala dapat nanloloko,” he said.

Department of Trade and Industry Usec. Ruth Castelo encouraged the use of e-commerce and making use of legitimate online payment gateways.

“Kailanga rin nila proteksyunan ‘yung negosyo nila,” she said.

—JCB, GMA News

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Dengue outbreak kills 2, sickens more than 1,000 in Korat

An outbreak of dengue fever in Nakhon Ratchasima province has killed two people and sickened more than 1,000 residents since January 1, the local health chief said today (May 26).

Dr Narinrat Pitchayakamin, chief of the Nakhon Ratchasima Public Health Office, said the dengue outbreak remained worrisome after 1,037 confirmed cases and a second death recently. The latest victim of the mosquito-borne disease was a 16-year-old boy who also had thalassemia, a blood-thinning condition that can worsen the symptoms of dengue haemorrhagic fever.

Narinrat warned residents to rid their properties of any rainwater trapped during the wet season, as this acted as a breeding ground for mosquitos.

Nakhon Ratchasima Health officials have also been spraying communities in the province with insecticide in a bid to stem the contagion.

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Here’s Why This 1993 Toyota Supra Billboard Has Been Preserved in San Francisco for Decades

Want to travel back in time? All it takes is a drive down U.S. Highway 101 in the heart of San Francisco at exactly the right moment. The portal is there, perched in plain sight on top of a squat two-story former warehouse in the tech capital’s expensive SoMa neighborhood. It can only be seen when conditions are perfect. 

We’re talking, of course, about the internet-famous, 27-year-old billboard for the 1993 Toyota Supra that’s somehow survived for decades in a city whose name is synonymous with unstoppable progress. Its enduring presence has been a mystery—until now.

The old ad was brought to wider attention in January after a passing motorist snapped a picture of it that went viral; with the launch of the new Toyota Supra last year, the sudden appearance of an iconic image from 1993 seemed like a guerrilla marketing trick. “The line has been crossed” has held up well as far as early-90s taglines are concerned, too. Though as commenters pointed out, the real reason it popped up was because the newer ad that had been plastered on top of it was being swapped out. Not as exciting, but still a treat to witness in 2020.

Still, we couldn’t help but wonder. Billboard ads are generally printed on massive vinyl sheets held in place by a high-strength adhesive. Assuming others graced that spot between 1993 and the late 2010s, why did workers keep peeling until they reached the O.G. Supra of all things? And why is it in such excellent condition? Those questions were only magnified in early May when another motorist again spotted the Supra ad and posted it in the official Radwood Facebook group. We had to find out.

Many people have come to know it as the Salesforce billboard, since the tech company has its logo splayed across the top. But in reality the spot is owned by Clear Channel Outdoor, a national billboard and display ad company that was until recently part of the massive Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartMedia) radio empire.

We got in touch with CCO Regional President Bob Schmitt, who finally revealed the truth: Billboard ads used to be hand-painted, and the 1993 Supra image has survived because it was the last painted one before the company switched to vinyl prints on that particular display.

Rather than wasting paint to blank out the canvas, the company decided to leave up the A80 Supra as the base for all future ads. And so it will stand forever—or at least until some executive declares that it’s time for a digital sign there. That means this past January was far from the first time it’s popped up; in reality, the car appears every time Clear Channel Outdoor changes the current image.

As for why it’s only getting attention now, Schmitt explained that workers can swap out vinyl billboards in about two hours and do so at random times. The billboard can only be seen from the highway, and the only tall building with a view of it is a courthouse and county jail on the other side of the freeway. For it to have gone viral, someone needed to be driving by in the right window of time—we’re talking maybe six non-consecutive hours total in a given year—and paying attention with their smartphone immediately accessible.

Apparently it took until five months ago for that to happen. The fresh cultural relevance of the Supra helped, too, though there are doubtlessly some Bay Area natives shaking their heads right now over our fascination with something they’ve known forever.

Those brief glimpses are also the reason why the painting has held up so well, as it’s only exposed to air and sunlight long enough for the new ad to be put in place. So if you’ve got dreams of time travel, know that it’s possible—if fleeting. Here’s the exact spot if you want to make a run at it. Good luck. — Chris Teague

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Hackers hit PLDT’s Twitter account, call for ‘fast internet’

A group of hackers on Thursday attacked the Twitter account of the Philippine Long Distance Telecommunications (PLDT) with a call for faster internet connection in time of the pandemic.

The PLDT Customer Service Twitter handle @PLDT_Cares posted a series of tweets after changing the account name to “PLDT Doesn’t Care.”

As the pandemic arises, Filipinos need fast internet to communicate with their loved ones. Do your job. The corrupt fear us, the honest support us, the heroic join us. We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us. pic.twitter.com/7JCtxnCzqG — PLDT Doesn’t Care (@PLDT_Cares) May 28, 2020

As the pandemic arises, Filipinos need fast internet to communicate with their loved ones. Do your job. The corrupt fear us, the honest support us, the heroic join us. We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget . Expect us. pic.twitter.com/7JCtxnCzqG— PLDT Doesn’t Care (@PLDT_Cares) May 28, 2020

“As the pandemic arises, Filipinos need fast internet to communicate with their loved ones. Do your job,” the group said in a tweet that included a photo of the iconic Guy Fawkes mask.

“The corrupt fear us, the honest support us, the heroic join us. We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us,” it added.

Ironically, just two days ago, PLDT warned its customers against hackers who may take advantage of the COVID-19 situation.

In a separate tweet, the group warned Globe Telecoms that it will be next. 

GMA News Online has reached out to PLDT for comment on the matter, but no response has been received as of this posting.

PLDT earlier provided a free speed boost for Fiber subscribers amid the lockdowns which lasted until April 30, 2020.

Metro Manila and other “high-risk” areas have been on lockdown since March 17. A modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) has been placed from May 15 to last until May 31. –with Jon Viktor D. Cabuenas/KBK, GMA News

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Chinkee Tan teaches homeschoolers on financial realizations during quarantine

“Pambansang Wealth Coach” Chinkee Tan went live on Facebook for the first Online Philippine Homeschool Conference to share about financial realizations during the community quarantine to stop the spread of coronavirus disease.

The Chink Positive motivational speaker joined fellow homeschooling parents like former University of the Philippines Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan in the week-long “homeference” that had both speakers and audiences participating from their homes.

In his talk, Chinkee Tan shared insights about finances during the public health crisis as well as principles and practical tips on how to prepare financially in the “new normal” when the lockdown is lifted.

Tan and his wife have been homeschooling parents for 14 years and have been working from home for 8 years.

Tan also addressed audience questions such as how to prepare a budget for homeschooling needs, tips from his experience about homeschooling, and the blessings of homeschooling with more time spent with family, less time required to travel, and avoiding traffic to and from school.

Chinkee Tan’s key points shared on the Online Philippine Homeschool Conference are:

1. The Importance of Having an Emergency Fund

2. The Importance of Having a Secondary Income

3. The Importance of Having a Passive Income

4. The Importance of Creating a Spending Budget

5. The Importance of Being Financially Educated and Prepared

6. The Importance of Being Frugal

7. The Importance of Living in Simplicity

8. The Importance of Helping Others

9. The Importance of Starting All Over Again

10. The Importance of Having God in the Center of Our Lives

WATCH the video in this link to learn more about Chinkee Tan’s financial realizations during the lockdown.

The post Chinkee Tan teaches homeschoolers on financial realizations during quarantine appeared first on Good News Pilipinas.

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6 ways to prep your small business for the ‘new normal’

Normalcy has been flipped on its head and has left us feeling anxious about the future and wondering if our business will survive the coronavirus.

My partners and I were set to open our brand-new Pilates studio in New York City in early March. But by that time, all businesses were under a citywide lockdown, with a statewide stay-at-home order that soon followed. With a signed lease, fully renovated studio, clientele with no place to go — and no safety net — we had to reinvent how we work.

For me, and likely many gym and studio operators across the country, last month’s transition to home fitness has not been easy, but it has been eye-opening. What we do now to ensure we keep servicing our clients will most definitely hold the key to a brighter future. Here are a few things we learned that I’d like to share.

First and foremost, we are in the business of influencing how people feel.

These are crazy times. More than anything, people look to you to help them through. Everything you do should be designed with your clients’ well-being in mind. Here’s the rest:

1. Create structure

Clients have built a routine around time spent with you. Right now they need you to re-establish that routine. While you may be tempted to reinvent the wheel, create a structure and stick to it. Your clients will be grateful for the sense of normalcy that comes with this commitment.

2. Stay one step ahead

Week One of “sheltering at home” is very different from Week Five. People are getting more and more antsy. They’re missing their family and friends. They’re worried about money. As a business owner, you must anticipate what your clients may need two weeks from now, three weeks from now, months from now.

Introduce new types of classes that are adapted to their new lifestyles. Do your clients need to burn off steam? Add high intensity classes. Are they anxious? Calm them with meditation exercises. Are they discouraged or losing motivation? Mix it up to keep them committed.

Reaching out to other businesses and helping leverage each other are great ways to get in front of different audiences and collaborate on new ideas. if you continue to deliver fresh resources for clients, they won’t look elsewhere. For example, if you lack experience with meditation, invite a professional to join you in an interview and session.

3. Reinforce a palpable sense of community

People who frequent your business are probably like-minded people that share a common interest in improving their well-being. They could benefit from time with each other as much as they benefit from interacting with you, the instructor. Help them connect with one another and create a communal virtual space to engage in. Being a connector in customers’ lives demonstrates that your business can offer more than just ‘classes,’ but also a community – something many may be yearning for during this period of social distancing.

Host “virtual happy hours.” Start a book club. Invite a guest speaker to share something important. Give your own clients a platform for what they know. If a client is a chef or nutritionist, that person might conduct a demonstration on an easy recipe. Providing bonuses like these will empower your clients.

4. Show appreciation for clients

Show that you value the personal relationships you’ve established with your clients by letting them know you care deeply about their well-being. Find authentic ways to see how they are doing. The personal touch of an email or a phone call can go a long way; in fact 85% of US consumers say it’s completely acceptable for companies to be communicating at this time. One idea is to introduce promotions or prizes for your VIP clients who have been with you the longest, to let them know you appreciate their continued business.

5. The future is digital, so take this time to master skills

“Virtual” is here to stay in the ‘new’ normal of operating a business. As society opens little by little and doors open for customers, class sizes are expected to be limited to incorporate social distancing between individuals. Use this time as an incubator period to hone your digital skills. If you haven’t yet, familiarize yourself with digital technology platforms that could be useful tools for business operations and communication. Here at Studio House Pilates, we transferred in-studio classes online through Zoom. We maintained an active online presence on Instagram, communicating with our clients and the fitness community through daily stories, Instagram live videos, and pop-up class collaborations with surprise guests.

6. Keep a portion of your business virtual to reach more clients

People have adopted some positives from sheltering at home – and so can you. They may continue to work online or take classes in the comfort of their own homes and without that added commute. By offering virtual classes, local fitness businesses can continue to reach and serve a broader remote audience outside of the typical neighborhood radius. You’ll also be “keeping spaces” for clients who may be on vacation or traveling and could potentially introduce you to one of their friends in Paris or Los Angeles. Virtual classes can also grow your business with new affordable pricing options for people who cannot afford your in-studio classes and services.

Lesson learned?

Responses to the coronavirus grew out of physical distancing for safety sake. In fitness, the virus changed the way we teach and enabled us to recreate the class experience. Our business model is likely forever changed and will now include both an in-person and a virtual presence.

Another amazing thing that has come out of this is reuniting with past students or new students outside of the city that I would have otherwise never crossed paths with. I’m inspired to be able to cultivate a community in a way that was not possible before, and also optimistic for the potential of our New York City block community expanding its universe to other clients —  Rachel Cipriano.

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San Miguel to build emergency quarantine facilities near military hospitals

Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) will build 10 emergency quarantine facilities (EQF) located beside military hospitals, to house personnel who tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) but have mild or no symptoms.

In a statement, SMC said the 10 facilities will have 15 beds each, and will be located beside military health facilities — NOLCOM Hospital in Tarlac, SOLCOM Hospital in Lucena City, Eastmincom Hospital in Davao City, CENTCOM Hospital in Cebu City, Westmincom Hospital in Zamboanga City, Veterans Memorial Center, CJVAB Hospital in Pasay City, Naval Air Group in Cavite City, and WESCOM Hospital in Palawan.

“We are thankful to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for giving us the opportunity to collaborate with them on this initiative. This is one way we can help our hospitals efficiently attend to COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms as well those suffering from other life-threatening conditions,” said SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang.

“We are one with the country in finding ways to accommodate more patients as hospitals reach their full capacity. These emergency COVID facilities we are helping build will serve not just our military front liners but also other PUIs in surrounding communities,” he elaborated.

Ang earlier personally donated P100 million to efforts against COVID-19, bringing total donations from SMC to nearly P900 million as of April 6, 2020.

SMC has allocated P500 million for the acquisition of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline health care workers. — RSJ, GMA News

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