Covid Surge Worse Than Anything We’ve Seen

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said boosting vaccination rates will not be enough to contain soaring coronavirus infections across the country, Bloomberg reported, calling for tough action as countries across Europe come down hard on the unvaccinated and prepare drastic measures to smother the outbreak.

Key Facts

Merkel reportedly told officials from her conservative party on Monday that many Germans don’t appear to understand how severe the country’s outbreak is, according to Bloomberg, calling on individual German states to implement tougher restrictions this week.

The measures would exceed new restrictions barring unvaccinated people from public transport and many areas of public life—which apply in areas where hospitalized Covid-19 patients exceed a certain threshold—and health minister Jens Spahn said he could not rule out another nationwide lockdown.

Some politicians in Germany are debating following neighboring Austria—which went back into full lockdown Monday after a more targeted, unvaccinated-only lockdown—in requiring everyone to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

From February next year, Austrians refusing the jab will face fines of up to €3,600 ($4,000), with smaller penalties for those refusing booster shots.

Czechia and Slovakia have also started to make life harder for vaccine holdouts—Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger reportedly called the measures a “lockdown for the unvaccinated”—barring them from using various services, entering restaurants and public events.

Crucial Quote

By spring, “pretty much everyone in Germany… will be vaccinated, cured or dead,” Spahn said at a news conference Monday. “With the very contagious delta variant, it is very, very likely … that anyone who is not vaccinated will over the next few months become infected.”

Key Background

Europe has, again, become the center of the pandemic. Cases and deaths have been rising there even as they mostly fell around the world. The World Health Organization said it is “very worried” about the situation, warning that an additional 500,000 deaths could be recorded by March if sufficient steps aren’t taken.

Many countries, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, are facing dramatic surges and infections are at record-breaking levels. Slovakia, Slovenia, Austria, Czechia, Germany and the Netherlands are all at, or have hit, new highs and cases are rapidly rising in other countries.

Violent protests against new lockdowns and other restrictions have erupted across the bloc as governments scramble to contain rising cases. Many of these measures explicitly target the unvaccinated, who experts and officials warn are undoubtedly driving the new wave by refusing provably safe and effective vaccines.

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I am a London-based reporter for Forbes covering breaking news. Previously, I have worked as a reporter for a specialist legal publication covering big data and as a freelance journalist and policy analyst covering science, tech and health. I have a master’s degree in Biological Natural Sciences and a master’s degree in the History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge. Follow me on Twitter @theroberthart or email me at rhart@forbes.com

Source: Covid Surge ‘Worse Than Anything We’ve Seen’: Germany Mulls Tough Restrictions As Europe Targets Unvaccinated With Lockdown, Compulsory Shots

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Further Reading

Czechs, Slovaks target unvaccinated people in step behind Austria (Reuters)

Not Just Austria—Here Are The Countries Making Covid-19 Vaccination Compulsory For Everyone (Forbes)

Europe’s Carrot vs. Stick Approach to COVID-19 Vaccination (Atlantic)

Austria Sends Unvaccinated Into Lockdown—Here’s How Other Nations Are Limiting People Who Don’t Get Covid-19 Shots (Forbes)

Merkel Says Covid Spike ‘Worse Than Anything We’ve Seen’ (Bloomberg)

‘We Have To Face Reality’: Austria Announces Nationwide Vaccine Mandate, Full-Scale Covid-19 Lockdown (Forbes)

Lockdown And Restrictions Resurface In Europe As Continent Battles Another Covid Surge (Forbes)

The 10 Commandments of Salary Negotiation

The largest salary increase I’ve helped get was for a female FAANG executive: I helped her get $5.4M more on her offer. Through the process, it struck me that even though she was a senior leader everyone admired (you’d 100% know of her if I told you her name), she had very little knowledge of how to negotiate. Don’t get me wrong — she knew how to ask and be assertive, but she was much less comfortable “playing the game.”

And she’s not alone.

Regardless of how senior or junior you are, most tech folks struggle with negotiation. Partially this is because compensation is set up to be intentionally misleading. Partially it’s because sticking up for yourself is nerve-racking AF.

Here are the 10 commandments to negotiation I wish everyone knew:

1. Negotiation starts earlier than you think

Every recruiter worth their salt will ask about your salary expectations when you first start interviewing. Do not — I repeat, do not — give them a number.

What to do instead: Ask for the range they’re budgeted for the role.

How to say it: “Can you tell me the salary band for this level? Happy to let you know if it’s within my range, and we can discuss specific numbers later when I’ve met the team.”

Bonus points: If you’re junior/mid, time all your interviews so you get offers around the same time. If you’re senior, get some press before you start meeting folks.

2. Mine for intel during interviews

Go into the interview ready not just to answer questions but to ask some of your own. You will use this as ammunition to negotiate later. Here are a few examples of what you should ask:

  • What’s the biggest priority for the team right now?
  • Why is this role open?
  • What’s the biggest challenge for someone stepping into this role?
  • How does the org structure on the team work?

3. Don’t give in to the pressure

Once you’ve been offered the role, the recruiter’s job shifts from evaluating you to closing you. Most experienced recruiters will ask you again to put up a number for your salary. Clever recruiters may even tell you that they “will go to bat for you.” Yeah, no thanks.

What recruiters say: “If you give me your number, I will make it happen for you.”

What they mean: “I’ll get you something lower, but kinda close to what you asked for.”

4. At FAANG, your recruiter may have no say at all

At FAANG-size companies (i.e. over 5K employees), compensation is heavily formulaic. In fact, there is often a separate team — the “compensation committee” — who sets your salary. They take into account your background, interview performance, and level. They give the recruiter a number to go with. The recruiter then gives you the number, and every time you negotiate they have to go back to that committee to ask for a re-evaluation.

What do clever recruiters do? They get your number up-front to save some legwork.

Unfortunately, this may hurt your chances of getting more on your offer later. It also deprives you of some valuable data — where you fall in the level/salary band. If you get caught in this loop, quickly turn the tables: most companies will consider “new information,” like another offer, to reopen a negotiation. Don’t forget, an offer to stay from your existing company also counts!

5. Read between the lines

Your initial offer speaks volumes, if you know how to interpret the data. Here are a few scenarios you should consider:

Let’s say you’re applying for an L6 role at a big company.

Initial offer comes in low: The team may have felt that you have a lot of “room for growth.” In this case, my advice is to dig deeper and ask the interviewer to share feedback from folks who met you to fix any misconceptions before you ever negotiate. Telling someone you want more money because you’re “the greatest PM ever” while the team felt you were “meh” is not going to fly.

Middle of the road: You got “the number” (the medium opening number that’s basically a template recruiters use). It’s the most common opening offer — companies do this to reduce risk of lawsuits. Over 80% of people get it. It likely means you don’t have a strong advocate on the interview loop. Do not negotiate until you match with a team and you have a manager batting for you.

Initial offer comes in top-of-band: There was likely a discussion about giving you a higher level. Many times in this case, you can push for an “out-of-band” offer — essentially getting paid for an L7 while you’re an L6.

6. At a startup, the playbook is different 

You may be dealing with the founder directly. It’s very likely there is no range for the role, as smaller companies have much less access to salary data. The goal at the initial offer conversation is to understand three things:

That last one can be tricky because you need data the recruiter may be reluctant to give — the option strike price, preferred price, number of outstanding shares — and you need to understand how options work. At last, get ready to ask:

“What is the valuation based on?”

And get ready to not get a straight answer until you’ve asked five times (yes, this is normal).

TL;DR: Ask the questions an investor would ask because, *news flash*, you are now an investor — but instead of cash, you’re staking your time and earning trajectory on the company’s success. You can meet with the investors too; it’s 100% OK to ask for that when the company is early-stage.

Lastly, 2021 has been a weird year for startup compensation, so much of the data from previous years is unreliable. Remote work, abundant access to capital, and greater trust in international talent have skewed things quite a bit. Still, I find the Holloway Guide ranges to be a good starting point.

7. Your job is to win hearts and minds

It can be tempting to think you need to negotiate now that you have data. Nope, not yet. The next step, instead, is to upsell your worth before you come back with any kind of counteroffer. This is especially important if you’re going for a senior role.

What to do next: Ask for follow-up meetings with decision makers. If you’re a Director or higher, you can usually ask to meet with any VP and possibly C-level execs. VPs can often meet with the CEO and even board members. Take your time; this is important if you want your salary to reflect your value. If everyone wants you, you’ll be calling the shots later.

How to run these effectively: Come prepared with three things, tailored to who you’re meeting:

  • Questions about how you can create meaningful impact
  • Ideas based on your interviews so far
  • Bonus points: discussing obstacles to your taking the role and making them sell you on it

8. OK, now get some good data

Did you know that women make only 47 cents in equity for every dollar a man makes? A HUGE reason for that is that many women don’t fully evaluate their offer before negotiating. Let’s change that. Particularly if you are a woman, ask yourself these questions:

9. Comparing offers

Not all offers are made equal — in fact, they are intentionally confusing. At Google, you may get a front-loaded vesting schedule on your stock; at Amazon, sizable cash bonuses the first two years. It seems obvious that you should look at the comp, but that’s not everything:

  • Which company has a better trajectory?
  • How do promotions work?
  • Is your manager influential enough to pull for you when needed?
  • Is your product or team visible enough to get good resourcing?
  • What’s the company brand worth to your earnings trajectory?

TL;DR: Getting paid more up-front doesn’t always mean you’ll make the most overall. Plan carefully.

10. Time to make an ask

It can be awkward to ask for more money, but trust me, everyone expects you to do it. On top of that, it doesn’t help that so much of the advice out there is conflicting. Let’s set the record straight:

“I need a competing offer.”

MYTH: You absolutely do not need multiple offers. Just being able to say you’re speaking to other companies is sufficient — you can quote the expected salaries for other roles if needed.

“I need to provide copies of my other offers.”

MYTH: Nope, nope, nope (even though Google in particular loves to ask for them). You signed an NDA before every interview, so you can always use that as a reason.

“I should send the recruiter an email with my ask and justification.”

MYTH: Negotiating via email = MAJOR CRINGE and definitely a worse outcome. I know there are folks selling fill-in-the-blank templates out there. My advice if you want a meaningful/large increase is to have the conversation over the phone.

“If I find a number online, I can quote it as a reason to get more.”

MYTH: Nothing boils a recruiter’s blood more than “It says X on Glassdoor.” Compensation is an exact science — have arguments prepared that are specific to your situation.

“The best way to get more is to reiterate how qualified I am.

MYTH: You already got interviewed and everyone’s read your resume. That’s how you got your initial offer; now you need to build additional arguments. Use the information you collected during the interview about what challenges the team is facing — maybe that increases the scope of the role? Discuss why leaving your current role will be hard — are you critical to your current team? In other words: instead of asking for money, make them give you more money by bringing in obstacles the recruiter needs to overcome to close you.

“I need to be aggressive and threaten to walk if they don’t match.”

MYTH: LOL, let me know how that goes for you. My guess is you’ll get a mediocre increase worded as a “final offer.” If you want big moves, I’m talking $100K+ more, you need to collaborate with your recruiter, not make them an enemy.

As a final word of wisdom: Start with negotiating your overall compensation, not individual components. For example, ask for “500K” and then the next round ask “Can I have X more equity?” Then, when you’ve exhausted all other avenues, ask for a signing bonus. If you still need more help, you can always read our guide.

Now that you’ve got all these RSUs in your compensation…

If your new RSUs are more than 10% of your liquid net worth, you should make a plan to diversify ASAP. Holding a concentrated position can translate into greater portfolio volatility, which has been shown to reduce compounded growth rates and future wealth. At Candor we help you automate RSU diversification by converting your stock weekly, even during blackout periods. You can find us here.

Thanks, Niya!

Till next week, and have a fulfilling and productive week 🙏


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Browse more open roles, or add your own, at Lenny’s Job Board.

 

By: Lenny Rachitsky

Guest post by Niya Dragova, co-founder of Candor

Source: The 10 commandments of salary negotiation – by Lenny Rachitsky – Lenny’s Newsletter

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Related Contents:

 

Can Health Insurance Companies Charge the Unvaccinated Higher Premiums? What About Life Insurers? 5 Questions Answered

Given the average cost of a COVID-19 hospitalization in 2020 ran about US$42,200 per patient, will the unvaccinated be asked to bear more of the cost of treatment, in terms of insurance, as well?

We asked economists Kosali Simon and Sharon Tennyson to explain the rules governing how health and life insurers can discriminate among customers based on vaccination status and other health-related reasons.

1. Can insurers charge the unvaccinated more?

This is a really interesting question and depends on the type of insurance.

Life insurance companies have the freedom to charge different premiums based on risk factors that predict mortality. Purchasing a life insurance policy often entails a health status check or medical exam, and asking for vaccination status is not banned.

Health insurers are a different story. A slew of state and federal regulations in the last three decades have heavily restricted their ability to use health factors in issuing or pricing polices. In 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act began prohibiting the use of health status in any group health insurance policy. And the Affordable Care Act, passed in 2014, prevents insurers from pricing plans according to health – with one exception: smoking status.

2. Are premiums or coverage being affected yet?

Fortune recently reported that while several of the biggest U.S. life insurance companies aren’t yet asking customers for their vaccination status, a few insurers told the magazine they are doing so for people at high risk. It wasn’t clear from the article whether this is affecting premiums.

A recent study comparing life insurance policies from 2014 through February 2021 found that premiums and coverage didn’t change a lot during the pandemic. The study did find some evidence that policy terms for the oldest individuals and those with high-risk health conditions did worsen.

The authors of the study suggested that the rapid development of vaccines may be why life insurance markets haven’t yet shown a dramatic response to COVID-19, but their work does not distinguish the vaccinated from the unvaccinated.

It’s important to note that no matter what, premiums and coverage on existing life insurance plans won’t change, so a death due to COVID-19 will definitely be covered. In general, denial of life insurance claims is rare and occurs only for specific documented reasons.

3. So smokers may pay higher premiums?

In life insurance, smokers definitely pay higher premiums, as do people who are obese.

ValuePenguin, a unit of LendingTree that provides research and analysis, found that smokers typically pay over three times more for life insurance than non-smokers.

The site also found that obesity increases premiums by about 150% – or more if the person also has medical conditions associated with being overweight.

As for health insurance pricing, the Affordable Care Act allows insurers to increase premiums by up to 50% for smokers. The difference between what smokers and non-smokers pay may actually be higher because the former can’t use a key government subsidy to pay for the smoker surcharge.

The ACA makes no similar exception for obesity.

4. How about discounts for the vaccinated?

There is a tool health insurers – including self-insured employers – have to lower premiums to those who are vaccinated: wellness incentives.

Just as insurers and companies offer discounts for things like trying to lose weight or stop smoking, they are also permitted to reduce the health insurance premiums that vaccinated employees pay.

In 2019, the average maximum incentive offered by employers for workers to participate in wellness activities was $783 per year.

Some employers are already incentivizing COVID-19 vaccinations this way. For example, Missouri State University offers a $20-a-month discount on health insurance premiums for employees who got a COVID-19 jab. Others are considering similar discounts.

And so, even though insurers can’t charge the unvaccinated higher premiums, people who refuse to get a shot can end up paying more than their vaccinated colleagues.

5. Do insurers consider other vaccine or flu shots in rates?

To the best of our knowledge, insurers haven’t specifically used vaccination status or getting a flu shot in setting premiums.

As part of having access to your medical records, life insurers might get to know whether you received vaccinations, but there are no systems in place to verify each year whether you got your flu shot. Health insurers can’t ask about vaccine status for the reasons listed above.

Employers can offer incentives to get a flu shot through their wellness programs.

[Like what you’ve read? Want more? Sign up for The Conversation’s daily newsletter.]The Conversation

Kosali Simon, Professor of Health Economics, Indiana University and Sharon Tennyson, Professor of Public Policy and Economics, Cornell University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

By:

Source: Can Health Insurance Companies Charge the Unvaccinated Higher Premiums? What About Life Insurers? 5 Questions Answered – HealthyWomen

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Female Scientists Set Back by the Pandemic May Never Make up Lost Time

5 Tips From a Play Therapist to Help Kids Express Themselves and

My Wife Has Severe Heart Disease

Clinically Speaking: Questions to Ask Your HCP About Cardiovascular Disease

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5 Best Apps to Cultivate a Meditation Habit

Getting Caught Up on Back-to-School Vaccines

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Oxford & AstraZeneca are Resuming Coronavirus Vaccine Trials After a Participant Fell Ill

Clinical trials for the coronavirus vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford have resumed in the United Kingdom, the company said Saturday in a press release.

The statement said the UK Medicines Health Regulatory Authority approved trials to resume after an independent review of data “triggered a voluntary pause” on September 6. STAT reported on September 8 that the company had paused the Phase 3 study after a “suspected serious adverse reaction” in a UK-based participant and The New York Times cited a person familiar with the situation to report that the participant was diagnosed with an inflammatory condition that affects the spinal cord and is “often sparked by viral infections.” 

The company did not acknowledge reports of an adverse reaction in its statement on resuming trials, but said “the UK committee has concluded its investigations and recommended to the MHRA that trials in the UK are safe to resume.”

Temporary halts are common in vaccine trials, but the pause on the front-runner for the coronavirus raised eyebrows earlier this month as at least 176 ongoing research efforts as medical leaders in countries across the world race to deliver a vaccine to get a hold on the coronavirus pandemic.

AstraZeneca’s CEO Pascal Soriot said last week that despite the halt in trials, it “is still feasible” the company’s vaccine will be ready by the end of the year.

Soriot said Thursday that AstraZeneca is “on track for having a set of data that we would submit before the end of the year,” Business Insider previously reported.

  American Eagle Outfitters’ new chief creative officer on why the company still believes in stores and why the fashion industry is poised for a post-pandemic renaissance

SEE ALSO: There are 176 coronavirus vaccines in the works. Here’s how top drugmakers see the race for a cure playing out in 2020 and 2021 and when the first shots might be available.

Read More: Business Insider

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Athletes, priests and politicians: 9 public figures who didn't take the coronavirus seriously and then got infected themselves

U.S. Won’t Join Global Coronavirus Vaccine Effort Because It’s Led By The WHO

The U.S. announced Tuesday that it would not join an international coalition to find and distribute a Covid-19 vaccine worldwide due to the group’s association with the World Health Organization, the latest sign of the Trump administration withdrawing the country from the international health community’s response to the pandemic over political concerns.

Covax is co-led by the World Health Organization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and Gavi, which aims to purchase 2 billion doses of potential Covid-19 shots from several vaccine makers by the end of 2021 and distribute them worldwide.

The WHO announced last week that Covax plans to work with vaccine manufacturers to provide countries worldwide equitable access to safe and effective vaccines, once they are licensed and approved, and that 172 countries are engaged in discussions to potentially participate.

On Monday, the European Commission confirmed it would contribute 400 million euros ($478 million) to the initiative, and the WHO said Germany had joined the pact as well.

“The United States will continue to engage our international partners to ensure we defeat this virus, but we will not be constrained by multilateral organizations influenced by the corrupt World Health Organization and China,” said Judd Deere, a spokesman for the White House.

According to the Washington Post, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar had “interest in exploring some type of role in Covax… but there was resistance in some corners of the government and a belief that the U.S. has enough coronavirus vaccine candidates in advanced clinical trials that it can go it alone.”

The World Health Organization has warned against “vaccine nationalism,” with WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stating, “for the world to recover faster, it has to recover together, because it’s a globalized world: the economies are intertwined.”

Key Background:

After initially praising both China and the WHO at the pandemic’s outset, President Donald Trump sharply reversed course. In early April, Trump blasted the World Health Organization, saying they “called it wrong” on the virus, that the WHO was “very China-centric” in its approach, and froze U.S. funding to the organization. “They should have known and they probably did know,” Trump said of World Health Organization officials, suggesting the group had gone along with China’s efforts to downplay the severity of the outbreak.

In July, the administration sent a letter signaling its intent to withdraw from the WHO. “When the U.S. says it is not going to participate in any sort of multilateral effort to secure vaccines, it’s a real blow,” said Suerie Moon, co-director of the Global Health Center at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. “The behavior of countries when it comes to vaccines in this pandemic will have political repercussions beyond public health.” 

Crucial Quote:

“Equal access to a COVID-19 vaccine is the key to beating the virus and paving the way for recovery from the pandemic,” said Stefan Löfven, the prime minister of Sweden. “This cannot be a race with a few winners, and the COVAX Facility is an important part of the solution – making sure all countries can benefit from access to the world’s largest portfolio of candidates and fair and equitable distribution of vaccine doses.”

Further Reading:

U.S. says it won’t join WHO-linked effort to develop, distribute coronavirus vaccine (WaPo) 

EU offers 400 million euros to WHO-led COVID-19 vaccine initiative (Reuters) 

Global report: WHO warns against dangers of ‘vaccine nationalism’ (The Guardian)

Tommy Beer

 Tommy Beer

I’m a New York-based news desk reporter for Forbes covering sports, politics and business. Please feel free to contact me via email (tsbeer7 [@] gmail.com) or Twitter (@TommyBeer).

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