COVID-19 and its Impact on Business and Employees

COVID-19 and its Impact on Business and Employees

The Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) has up-rooted many lives in 2020. First starting in Wuhan, China, there have now been confirmed cases in over 200 countries. As the world worked to stop the spread of the virus, we also slowed the global economy.

The manufacturing sector has been one of the hardest-hit industries in the world during the COVID crisis. COVID originated in China, the #1 manufacturing nation in the world, and one of the top producers of raw materials. The lockdowns at the beginning of 2020 brought the manufacturing industry to an almost standstill. More than 75% of businesses in the United States have “one or more direct or tier 1 supplier” from China.

COVID-19 SNAPSHOT

Dec 21, 2019 – Wuhan China reports a cluster of cases of pneumonia

Jan 13, 2020 – Thailand confirms the first case of COVID-19, the first reported case outside of China

Jan 21, 2020 – First case confirmed in the United States

Jan 31, 2020 – WHO issues Global Health Emergency

Fed 3, 2020 – The United States declares public health emergency

Mar 11, 2020 – WHO declares COVID-19 a pandemic

Mar 19, 2020 – California issues state-wide stay at home order

Mar 24, 2020 – Stay at home orders issued in Florida for parts of Miami-Dade, Alachua, and Orange Counties

Apr 1, 2020 – Florida Governor DeSantis issues statewide stay at home order to begin later this week

Apr 13, 2020 – Osceola County begins mandatory face coverings

Apr 23, 2020 – More than one million Floridians have applied for unemployment benefits

May 4, 2020 – Florida slowly begins to re-open. Restaurants and retailers begin to open allowing limited capacity

June 5, 2020 – Universal Studios re-opens

June 11, 2020 – Seaworld re-opens

June 20, 2020 – Orange County begins mandatory face coverings

July 11, 2020 – Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom re-open

Aug 17, 2020 – Seminole County schools re-open for face-to-face learning

Aug 21, 2020 – Orange County schools re-open for face-to-face learning

Impact on the Construction Industry

With all the new workplace mandates and material shortages, it has been hard for the construction industry to maintain a steady supply of materials. Many material manufacturers are now working at 1/3 capacity to maintain a safe distance of 6 feet between employees. COVID has also required employers to stagger schedules of employees to allow for additional social distancing. This change in the workplace environment paired with the disturbances in the supply chain has continued to make manufacturing difficult.

The fencing industry specifically is having hardships as the top three building materials used in fencing are hard to come by. Tariffs, port closures, and shortages have had a heavy impact on the industry.

Lumber:

There is a severe shortage of pressure-treated lumber across the United States. This is causing issues for the construction and fencing industries. The shortage is largely due to the spike in DIY home improvement projects and working conditions in factories due to COVID-19.

Most pressure-treated wood comes from Brazil. Exports have slowed down due to shipping ports being closed. American lumber mills have also been closed or are working with reduced staff. The demand has been higher than the supply, and it’s estimated that it will be like this for a while.

Pressure-treated wood prices have skyrocketed between the months of June and July due to the lack of supply, and prices are expected to continue climbing.

 

Vinyl:

Vinyl product manufacturers are facing the same issue: working at reduced capacity. Our vinyl manufacturer is 32,000 panels backordered, putting vinyl shipments out 6-8 weeks from their ordered dates.

There have also been PVC shortages. PVC is a plastic polymer that can be used for many applications. Many manufacturers began using PVC to make PPE for frontline workers during the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. PVC is being used to make face masks and face shields.

Prices on European PVC exports have risen by 8.5%, Indian PVC export prices have increased as well. Plant closures across the US have greatly slowed down vinyl production and distribution. The shortage of available vinyl products is causing prices to rise across the board, imported or domestic.

 

Aluminum:

The construction and automotive industries have been heavily hit by COVID-19. American made metal manufacturers are affected by the virus, as well as external factors, such as the Asian metal market. China is already the world leader for steel, and in 2017 it produced more than half of the world’s aluminum.

The construction and automotive industries are facing tariffs on imported materials, as well as long waiting periods to receive supplies.

Impact on Employees

At Paramount Fencing, we are keeping a “worker-first” mindset. Throughout the pandemic, employees from every sector are finding themselves overworked and stressed. COVID is affecting people emotionally, financially, and psychologically as well as physically. According to an article by the “Human Resource Executive”, 88% of surveyed employed individuals reported moderate to severe stress levels.

Across America, many employees are feeling stress over being exposed to the virus, their families’ needs, their children’s distance learning, financial hardships, uncertainty about employment, and learning curves with new work policies, workspaces, or schedules.

Prior to COVID-19, 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. reported having a mental illness. There has been an increase in mental health issues due to social isolation and stress. Studies have shown that adults who already suffered from depression or other mental health issues have remained more resilient while social distancing while those who had no reported mental illnesses prior have now a higher risk of developing symptoms of depression, especially adults over the age of 60. 47% of those sheltering in place reported negative mental effects.

We spoke with Kip HudaKoz, the owner of Paramount Fencing, who says “No fence is more important than individuals being able to return safely to their families. We have COVID- but our workers are also over-worked and stressed. We are working hard. I have been in the field daily assisting with installs. The situation is tough- but so are we.”

A Christmas Challenge From Paramount Fencing

It’s that time of year.

The holidays are here, so let’s not think about fence. Yes, good fences promote good neighbors, but it is people who build great communities. So, let us go out and make a difference. Join me, and take the Paramount Fencing Holiday Challenge.

What is The Holiday Challenge.

It is simple. Go out into your community and be a force of good. Remember, it’s those little gestures that can make a difference in someone’s life, and it is the little things that turn peoples frowns’ upside down. So, join me, and take the Holiday Challenge.

The Holiday Challenge.

  1. Commit 1 Random Act of Kindness. It can be anything, but my favorite is walking up to a person in a store and handing them $20 and walking away.
  2. Reconnect With a Neighbor. Bake or purchase some cookies and hand deliver them in person. If the relationship is rocky, include a note that reads, “Remember, someone alway has to go first. Merry Christmas”.
  3. Be Intentionally Courteous. Instead of walking by someone who is struggling or in need of help, stop and ask. How can I help?

The Reward

Should you take the Holiday Challenge, you just might win. What might you win? See Potential Prize List Below:

  1. A smile. That person might just smile when you are intentionally courteous.
  2. A new friend. That warm plate of cookies might just smooth or build a relationship with a neighbor.
  3. A thank you. Rest in knowing, that random act of kindness just might make a difference in someone’s life.

Once again, Central Florida, thank you in advance for assisting me in making our community a better place. We will see you in 2020.

Sincerely,


Kip HudaKoz
Editor – Custom Fence Orlando

Snow Fest, East Coast Believer Church

ECBC

SNOW FEST, DECEMBER 21

If you’re looking for something to do with the family this Holiday, on December 21st, East Coast Believers Church in Oviedo is hosting a free community festival called Snowfest. They are bringing 96,000-tons of snow to their Oviedo campus. There will be snow slides, snow fields to play in, bounce houses, complimentary hot cocoa, and so much more. If you’re family is looking for a fun and safe evening right before Christmas make sure you stop by from 3-8PM on December 21st. You can find more information at www.eastcoastbelievers.org/Joy

Important Event Information:

  • Free Admission:    
  • December  21st
  • 3-8PM
  • 90 tons of snow-
  • Snow slides-
  • Snow play areas-
  • Bounce houses-
  • Activity/craft stations for kids-
  • Outdoor movie theatre-
  • Complimentary hot cocoa-
  • Food trucks and more-

A Christmas Letter From A Child With Autism.

ASGO

A Letter From A Kid With Autism.

As we all know, Christmas is a beautiful thing.  If a member of your family has Autism, it can be challenging.  It can be stressful for all parties involved.

My friends at The Autism Society of Greater Orlando wants to remind everyone be kind, loving, and understanding.  ASGO was kind to provide a letter that any family dealing with Autism should email to their family prior to the holiday.   Let call it “Christmas Through The Eyes of Autism”.  Remember, sharing is caring.

LETTER

Dear Family and Friends,

I understand that we will be visiting each other for the holidays this year! Sometimes these visits can be very hard for me, but here is some information that might help our visit to be more successful.

As you probably know, I am challenged by a hidden disability called autism or what some people refer to as a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD).

Autism/PDD is a neurodevelopmental disorder which makes it hard for me to understand the environment around me. I have barriers in my brain that you can’t see but which make it difficult for me to adapt to my surroundings.

Sometimes I may seem rude and abrupt, but it is only because I have to try so hard to understand people and at the same time, make myself understood. People with autism have different abilities: some may not speak, some write beautiful poetry. Others are whizzes in math (Albert Einstein was thought to be autistic), or have difficulty making friends. We are all different and need various degrees of support.

Sometimes when I am touched unexpectedly, it might feel painful and make me want to run away. I get easily frustrated, too. Being with lots of other people is like standing next to a moving freight train and trying to decide how and when to jump aboard. I feel frightened and confused a lot of the time, like you would if you landed on an alien planet and didn’t understand how the inhabitants communicated. This is why I need to have things the same as much as possible. Once I learn how things happen, I can get by ok. But if something, anything changes, then I have to relearn the situation all over again! It is very hard.

When you try to talk to me, I often can’t understand what you say because there is a lot of distraction around. I have to concentrate very hard to hear and understand one thing at a time. You might think I am ignoring you–I am not. Rather, I am hearing everything and not knowing what is most important to respond to.

Holidays are exceptionally hard because there are so many different people, places and things going on that are out of my ordinary realm. This may be fun and adventurous for most people, but for me, it’s very hard work and can be extremely stressful.

I often have to get away from all the commotion to calm down. It would be great if you had a private place set up to where I could retreat.

If I cannot sit at the meal table, do not think I am misbehaved or that my parents have no control over me. Sitting in one place for even 5 minutes is often impossible for me. I feel so antsy and overwhelmed by all the smells, sounds, and people–I just have to get up and move about. Please don’t hold up your meal for me–go on without me and my parents will handle the situation the best way they know.

Eating in general is hard for me. If you understand that autism is a sensory processing disorder, it’s no wonder eating is a problem! Think of all the senses involved with eating: sight, smell, taste, touch AND all the complicated mechanics that are involved with chewing and swallowing that a lot of people with autism have trouble with. I am not being picky — I literally cannot eat certain food as my sensory system and/or oral motor coordination are impaired.

Don’t be disappointed if mommy hasn’t dressed me in starch and bows. It’s because she knows how much stiff and frilly clothes can drive me buggy! I have to feel comfortable in my clothes or I will just be miserable! Temple Grandin, a very smart adult with autism, has taught people that when she had to wear stiff petticoats as a child, she felt like her skin was being rubbed with sandpaper. I often feel the same way in dressy clothes.

When I go to someone else’s house, I may appear bossy and controlling. In a sense, I am being controlling because that is how I try to fit into the world around me (which is so hard to figure out!) Things have to be done in a way I am familiar with or else I might get confused and frustrated. It doesn’t mean you have to change the way you are doing things — just please be patient with me and understanding of how I have to cope…mom and dad have no control over how my autism makes me feel inside.

People with autism often have little things that they do to help themselves feel more comfortable. The grown ups call it “self regulation,” or “stimming’. I might rock, hum, flick my fingers in my face, flap my arms or any number of different things. I am not trying to be disruptive or weird. Again, I am doing what I have to do for my brain to adapt to your world.

Sometimes I cannot stop myself from talking, singing, or partaking in an activity. The grown ups call this “perseverating” which is kind of like self-regulation or stimming. I do this only because I have found something to occupy myself that makes me feel comfortable, and I don’t want to come out of that comfortable place and join your hard-to-figure-out-world. Perseverative behaviors are good to a certain degree because they help me calm down.

Please be respectful to my mom and dad if they let me “stim” for a while as they know me best and what helps to calm me. Remember that my mom and dad have to watch me much more closely than the average child. This is for my own safety, preservation of your possessions, and to facilitate my integration with you tippies (what we autistics fondly call you neurotypical folk!) It hurts my parents’

Hurricane and Preparation For Kids with Autism.

Let’s Face it. A Hurricane is scary.  Now imagine, the individual you care for is diagnosed on the Autism spectrum.  That right, Autism.  These individuals needs are often the last to be considered when you think of Hurricanes Preparedness.  Not no more.  Custom Fence Orlando and The Autism Society of Greater Orlando have teamed up to remind us all, don’t forget the needs of those kids or individual diagnosed with Autism.   Below are 5 things to consider before that Hurricane hits: Don’t delay. Do it Today.

Five Big Things To Consider When Preparing An Individual With Autism For A Hurricane.

  1. Google the special need shelter in your county, Now.   It just might save a life.   You have to be registered prior to showing up. 
    1. Orange County Special Needs Registry
    2. Seminole County Special Needs Registry.
    3. Lake County Special Needs Registry. 
    4. Polk County Special Needs Registry. 
    5. Volusia County Special Needs Registry.
  2. Start packing at the watch and not the warning.  Pack those special Items such as medicines, important documents, and dietary requirement.
    1. Don’t forget all those documents: IEP, Diagnosis, and Medical records.
    2. Don’t forget that comfort food
  3. Prepare to explain through social stories and what to exactly what expect.
    1. Don’t run from it.  Explain it from start to finish.
    2. Describe what is exactly going to happen.  Use pictures
  4. Have a car charger and multiple battery backup for those smart devices.
    1. Do not rely on generators. They are odorless and kill.
  5. Emergency Plan.  Establish a play by play scenario and practice it.   Especially, if you chose to stay.
    1. What happen if
    2. Remember, individual with autism love routine.

Need More.  Listen to Kip Hudakoz as he discusses hurricane preparedness on the Pool Fantic Radio Show live on News 96.5 WDBO.