FULL QUESTION: I keep hearing about shortages in healthcare workers; how will that impact me?

Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io

Great question. And, if it weren't for the fact I'm the daughter that gets "into the weeds" of finding caretakers for our almost 94-year-old mom, I probably wouldn't have even thought about it. But I can say the shortage of healthcare workers in hospitals and other health facilities is having a ripple effect as I'm personally feeling the repercussions in terms of shortages for in-home caregivers.

I know Black always plans for the future by working backward, and for a long time, we tried to get our mom to have in-home caretakers. But even though she has sight and hearing issues, she's still fiercely independent and mentally "with it" and has resisted. However, we're now at a point of it not being optional, so we're struggling to find caregivers.

So, my only words of wisdom are … recognize there are shortages of healthcare workers and, when possible, plan accordingly. Plus, it's always a good time to thank healthcare workers whenever your paths cross to let them know how important they are … to all of us.

Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

I am guessing you are not asking whether this is a good field in terms of employment opportunities (it is), as the shortage of healthcare workers is almost epidemic (pun intended).

It is important to acknowledge the shortages and plan accordingly. When it comes to health matters, that is not always possible. However, the need to take a proactive approach to being healthy is as critical as it has ever been, as is the importance of preventative medicine and early detection. So, make sure you take care of any annual or routine exams (many of us deferred them due to COVID-19). We may not be able to do anything about the healthcare shortages, but we can do a better job of minimizing health risks and being prepared to address them if they occur.

red head red head assets.rebelmouse.io

Putting aside the fact that 2021 looks nothing like 1621 (wow, it's been exactly 400 years since the first Turkey Day!), I think they'd be overwhelmed by the sheer abundance (both quantity and types) of food at the Thanksgiving table and be amazed at the seemingly endless ways to prepare potatoes. I hope they'd be honored, and maybe even marvel, that the feast they prepared to simply give thanks has become a tradition and includes friends and family, and in many ways defines and unites us (even if for just a day) as a country.

Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

As Puritans, I think they would be shocked by our clothing and lack of modesty. And, they would be confused by all the technology, but that is true of Red, as well. They would probably be disappointed by all the commercialism surrounding Thanksgiving (especially the focus on Black Friday sales). So, maybe we all need to celebrate the holiday as if they are watching us and get back to the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

Interested in other Red & Black Thanksgiving posts?

FULL QUESTION: I'm reading about lots of air travel delays, should I be worried about holiday travel?

red head red head assets.rebelmouse.io

I hate to say this, but I think the answer is yes. My youngest daughter's a freshman at college, and I was so proud of myself for booking her Thanksgiving and winter break flights months ago (great prices and schedules on Southwest Airlines). Now, I find myself worried that although she may have flight reservations, who knows if those flights will get canceled. And, if so, how much advance notice we'll have.

Of course, the worst-case scenario is I could get in the car and get her, but since it's a 12+ hour trip (each way), it might not work for Thanksgiving since she only has a few days off. So, at this point, I'm trying not to freak out (which is my default setting) and just keep my fingers crossed that the flights stay as scheduled. But I'd be very grateful if she only experiences delays vs. cancellation. Meanwhile, she's already prepared for long lines (for everything) at the airport.

Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

Actually, I think Red's daughter is doing a better job of handling the situation, both logistically and, perhaps as important, mentally. She recognizes there is not much she can do in terms of delays or cancellations and will deal with it when and if they occur. And, she already planned to leave plenty of time to check luggage (I suggested she leave her guitar at school and just go with carry-on) and go through security. Fortunately, she is booked on a direct flight; otherwise, she would also be concerned with whether there was sufficient time between connecting flights.

But, "all of the above" is in terms of getting home for the holidays, and you did not indicate whether that was your situation or whether you were traveling for business or a holiday vacation. In that case, it becomes a risk-reward analysis starting with why you are making the trip. If you decide to travel, besides the flight issues, you should adjust your expectations and be prepared for different service levels than you might have experienced in the past. For example, most hotels now offer limited hotel services, such as housekeeping or restaurant options. And, if you are renting a car, availability is limited and prices have increased dramatically.

FULL QUESTION: Why is Facebook changing its name to Meta, and will it impact me?

red head red head assets.rebelmouse.io

At least you didn't ask, "What's the meta with Facebook?" Sorry, I couldn't resist. But you have to admit there are some great headlines out there, with one of my favorites being "Is Meta Really Betta?" Black's probably rolling her eyes and wondering why I don't answer the question, but the truth is I don't know how to answer the question because I find all of this really confusing! Is META an acronym for something? (When I heard "meta," the first thing I thought of was Metamucil, but that may be showing my age.) If I used Facebook, which I don't, would I have to change my Facebook page? And then there's, to me anyway, the million-dollar question of why would a company as well-known as Facebook change its name?

Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

First, your easy question. They are changing the name (and logo) of the parent company from Facebook to Meta Platforms, but Facebook, the social media app (and its "f" logo), will not change.

As to the "why" … Publicly, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and "face" of Facebook, explains the change as shifting the corporate focus from social media to the metaverse. (I explained it to Red as imagine taking real-life, digitizing it, mixing in virtual reality, and yet-to-be-created technology, and convincing us we "need" it.)

Facebook, oops Meta, is not the first company to rebrand, but that is different from merely changing your name. It is interesting that the change "coincidently" happened at the same time they are undergoing severe scrutiny from the government and getting lots of bad press, much of it due to a whistleblower saying that the company put "profits before people." Personally, it makes me think of a witness protection program – except, in this case, the name change and false identity are to protect the "bad guys".