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Coronavirus

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The chain is scrambling to fill 25,000 open positions as pharmacies prepare to serve as local immunization centers

$30,000–Largest sign-on bonus Walgreens is offering to pharmacists/technicians joining the company during its hiring spree
$30,000–Largest sign-on bonus Walgreens is offering to pharmacists/technicians joining the company during its hiring spree

$30,000: That’s the largest sign-on bonus Walgreens is offering to pharmacists and technicians joining the company during its vaccine hiring spree, according to Bloomberg.

Frontline health care workers were among the first Americans to receive the initial dose of the newly FDA-approved coronavirus vaccine this week — the beginning of an enormous public health partnership between the federal government and pharmaceutical manufacturers, shipping companies, hospitals, and pharmacies. With widespread vaccine distribution expected in the new year, pharmacies are preparing to serve as local immunization centers. …


From the NBA to Vegas casinos, everyone’s clamoring for the $299 Oura ring—but not even the startup knows if it can actually detect Covid-19

The Oura ring is suddenly everywhere. The $299 sleep tracking device has adorned the digits of Prince Harry, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and, since July 9, 1,000 employees at the Venetian and Palazzo casinos in Las Vegas, and most of the NBA players entering the Walt Disney World “bubble” in Florida. The reason for the hype? The ring’s sensors monitor users’ health data, including heart rate, temperature, and respiratory rate. Oura crunches this data into a daily “readiness” score, which their connected app serves up to users each morning — the score indicates how hard to push yourself that day…


“If you’re a shareowner in Amazon, you may want to take a seat.”

An unlock is the discovery of an accelerant for the brand, product, or service invisible in plain sight. The mold on cheese curing disease was a substantial unlock (penicillin). So is administering a small dose of a pathogen to immunize someone from the complete, more harmful pathogen (vaccines).

In the last 20 years, there have been three unlocks in the business world that have created over $500 billion in shareholder value. I believe the fourth was revealed last week. So, the first three, in chronological order:

Temples

Steve Jobs zigged when everyone was zagging. He reallocated billions from traditional brand building…


A biotech entrepreneur offers advice on how to make sure employees are virus-free

Businessman wearing a face mask walks into his office.
Businessman wearing a face mask walks into his office.

As the states of California, Oregon and Washington begin strategizing on their regional plan to reopen their economies and control the future spread of Covid-19, a crucial question remains: How can businesses ensure their employees remain virus-free now and in the future?

For the thousands of western U.S. businesses seeking to safely bring their employees back to work, and tens of thousands of residents who desperately want and need to return to their jobs, a robust supply of Covid-19 tests, coupled with a systematic Covid-19 testing strategy supported by evidence-based guidelines, will be key to success.

Taking someone’s temperature is…


How discrepancy creates strategic opportunities for businesses to get ahead

So, there was a time when there was … no time. Before the Big Bang (a dot that exploded) there was no time. Are we pre dot? Sheltering in place, time feels amorphous and nonlinear.

Time has a lot to do with our perception. Our focus on different things at different levels of intensity creates deceleration/acceleration and other opposing forces that coexist. It feels like forever since I hung out with friends and expectorated droplets into the air of an overcrowded East Village restaurant. Concurrently, time has lost purchase. The last six weeks have been a blink of the eye…


If we don’t let prices for essential goods rise, we can’t incentivize making more of them

The fear produced by Covid-19 has created unexpected shortages in our lives, from toilet paper at home to masks for health care workers.

Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz argued that this is a market failure—that markets work poorly in a crisis:

No country in times of serious war turns to markets. We don’t use markets to allocate how our troops should be deployed, and we didn’t rely on markets for producing tanks, airplanes, and other essential matériel in World War II. We needed immediate action, with complex coordination and changing demands; markets just don’t work well in these circumstances.

Stiglitz is…


Even during a trade war, you can’t disentangle the American and Chinese economies

A worker arranges boxes of medical supplies, including 1,000 KN95 masks, 2,000 surgical masks, 100 protective suits and so on
A worker arranges boxes of medical supplies, including 1,000 KN95 masks, 2,000 surgical masks, 100 protective suits and so on

The increasing need for medical supplies such as masks, ventilators, and pharmaceuticals has overwhelmed many developed countries. Besides being slow to respond, one of the main reasons for the lack of medical supplies is that we live in a world driven by international supply chains and just-in-time delivery models that deliver goods as close as possible to when a buyer wants them. About 80% of America’s active pharmaceutical ingredients are produced abroad, leaving the United States vulnerable during a crisis that restricts trade flows and heightens existing trade tensions. …


Corps members could become apprentices for essential jobs while developing leadership skills, empathy, and grit

My mom raised me on her own, on a secretary’s salary. Each day she’d wake up at 6:30 so she could be in her car by 7:30 to make the drive downtown to the Southwestern School of Law, where she oversaw the secretarial pool. She had little to no idea what I was up to during the day. I was a mediocre kid (being generous) at a mediocre high school (University High School) in Santa Monica, surrounded by kids who used to steal cocaine from their parents and race their parents’ cars on Sunset Boulevard. Not so much Fast &…


It took 40 years and a pandemic to stir up a worker revolution that’s about to hit corporate America

In September 1945, a little-remembered frenzy erupted in the United States. Japan had surrendered, ending World War II, but American meat packers, steelworkers, telephone installers, telegraph operators, and auto assemblers had something different from partying in mind. In rolling actions, they went on strike. After years of patriotic silence on the home front, these workers, along with unhappy roughnecks, lumberjacks, railroad engineers, and elevator operators — some 6 million workers in all — shut down their industries and some entire cities. Mainly they were seeking higher pay — and they got it, averaging 18% increases.

The era of raucous labor…


Remote work, automation, and telemedicine could soon become the new normal

The coronavirus pandemic will be remembered as a world-reordering event. Like the Great Depression, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the 2008 global financial crisis, it will accelerate social and economic changes that would otherwise have taken years to materialize.

However long it will take, we will eventually beat back this virus, and our economies will eventually recover from the punishing recession it will have brought about. But when the dust settles and the masks come off, the pandemic will have permanently reshaped our social and economic behavior. Here are a few outcomes that seem increasingly likely.

1. Companies that traffic in digital services and e-commerce will make immediate and lasting gains

With people…

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