WASHINGTON – From 6 p.m. to 3 a.m., Janika Bates was attending to her jam-packed schedule as a digital producer for Turner Sports, which included watching sports games into the early morning hours, editing game highlights, and posting segments of the athletes’ press conference interviews online.
After leaving her job of three years in July, the 26-year-old Atlanta resident now spends her mornings meditating, journaling and reading before creating content for social media.
“Everything that’s exciting at first gets boring after a while, or it just becomes mundane,” Bates said, reflecting on the position she later described as mentally draining.
Bates became part of a massive flood of people who left their jobs in what Dr. Anthony Klotz, associate professor of management at Texas A&M University, dubbed “the Great Resignation,” a COVID pandemic-born phenomenon resulting in a record-high number of people voluntarily quitting their workplaces.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics at the Labor Department reported Oct. 12 that 4.3 million people quit their jobs in August. That accounts for nearly 3% of the nation’s workforce.
Remarkably, the number of people who left jobs in August is 43% higher than at the same time a year ago, the statistics show. And nearly every sector of the economy has been affected, particularly the leisure and hospitality industry and in education and health services.
There is little sign that the trend is easing: month-over-month numbers have continued to grow in most economic sectors, according to the government figures.
Dr. Christopher Kayes, a professor of management at The George Washington University, said he thinks of “the Great Resignation” more as a “‘great awakening.”’
“…Millions of employees realized that they were unsatisfied with their jobs, their careers, and the opportunities they had for advancement,” he told Capital News Service in an email.
Forced from workplaces at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, many people had time to reassess what was important to them, analysts said.
The COVID-19 pandemic served as a catalyst “to get people to reflect on their work, their life, their work-life balance,” said Dr. Richard Klimoski, professor of psychology and management at George Mason University. “Maybe even think about their future and what they want out of life.”
Ana Skoumal, a 30-year-old Chicago resident, said her job at Dennemeyer & Associates, an international law firm, was considered a dream job by most law students, but the pandemic put everything in perspective for her.
The former third-year associate said she wanted to have control over being able to work a normal workday.
During her first year or so at the firm, she said, she worked 100 hours a week and was pulling one to two all-nighters every week.
Skoumal said the workload increased over the years and it felt like it vastly increased during the pandemic. But the pay didn’t necessarily match with what she was happy with, she said.
Now she has started her own firm that specializes in trademark law.
“I’m fine working 100 hours a week for myself,” Skoumal said. “COVID really put things into perspective for me, and I really just thought, ‘What am I doing?’”
No amount of a raise or bonus, however, would have changed Skoumal’s mind that she wanted to quit her job and start her own business, she said.
Levon Myers, 27, of Fairfax, Virginia, said he’s starting a freelance marketing business after quitting his job in July at Badger Sports Properties, the corporate sponsorship marketing division of University of Wisconsin Athletics.
After leaving college, Myers said he was ecstatic about getting the job. But last year, he said, he started to feel like maybe it was time to see what other opportunities were out there.
Myers said he felt that he wasn’t being fairly compensated for his work and he wasn’t necessarily getting the recognition he deserved.
“It’s just pretty standard corporate structure where if you’re at the bottom, you don’t get any of the recognition, and the people above you are getting all the pats on the back and collecting the big paycheck and you’re just fighting for scraps at the bottom,” he said.
Ernesto Uribe, a service advisor at a car dealership, said he’s been thinking about leaving his job for months, but he needs the money.
The 28-year-old from Linthicum Heights, Maryland, said the biggest reason why he’s thinking about quitting is because of management, which he described as non-existent.
Uribe said he’s kind of mentally checked out from his job, and “at some point, you got to question yourself, is the stress even worth the money, and that’s kind of where I’ve been …”
That stress is common in many jobs, experts say.
“Too many employers have failed to take seriously human emotions in the workplace,” Kayes wrote. “Human resource policies ignored burnout, the (importance) of building resilience, and the overall physical and mental well-being of employees.”
Dr. Robert Harbert of Roanoke, Virginia, said some factors in his decision to quit his job as an assistant professor of biology at Stonehill College in Massachusetts included a lack of support from his employer and a lack of wage increases.
“The institution was putting financial success over taking care of the people that actually put all the work in,” he said.
Now he works as a consultant in the pharmaceutical industry, where he said the pay is better and the expectation of the number of hours worked is lower.
Sohaib Athar, 44, of Islamabad, Pakistan, is a former vice president of engineering in the AI field for a unicorn, which is a start-up with a value of at least $1 billion.
As the company grew, “the direction that the business and the culture were moving towards slowly deviated from my personal values and beliefs, until I could see that staying there any more would be detrimental to my health and happiness,” he told CNS in an email about his August resignation.
Some effects of the mass exit of people leaving their jobs may include more automated jobs, better pay and benefits, and greater attention to work-family balance, according to Klimoski.
“I am glad that COVID came with the silver lining of making us … aware of our mortality and the limited time we have on this planet and urged us to take a step back and scrutinize our lives, get our priorities in order and change them for the better,” Athar said.
By BRITTANY N. GADDY
Capital News Service
Virginia State Police welcomes 58 new troopers to serve
On Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, the Commonwealth will graduate its 135th generation of Virginia State Troopers. The 58 new troopers will be presented their diplomas during commencement exercises at 10 a.m. at the State Police Training Academy located at 7700 Midlothian Turnpike in North Chesterfield County. Governor Glenn Youngkin will speak at the graduation ceremony.
“Completing the training here at the Virginia State Police Training Academy is no easy feat, and when you add the challenges COVID has brought, the bar is raised even higher,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “These 58 Trooper-trainees have put their heart and soul into becoming the very best troopers they can be. I am impressed with their resiliency and dedication during the last 27 weeks.”
The new troopers have received more than 1,300 hours of classroom and field instruction in more than 100 different subjects, including de-escalation techniques, strategies to assist people in mental health crisis, ethics and leadership, fair and impartial policing, constitutional law, emergency medical trauma care, and public and community relations. The members of the 135th Basic Session began their 27 weeks of academic, physical and practical training at the Academy July 6, 2021.
The soon-to-be graduates of the 135th Basic Session are from every corner of the Commonwealth, as well as Ohio, Oklahoma, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Vermont and the countries of Germany and Mongolia.
Upon graduation, the new troopers will report to their individual duty assignments across Virginia the week of Jan. 31. For their final phase of training, each trooper will spend an additional six weeks paired up with a Field Training Officer learning his or her new patrol area.
135th BASIC GRADUATING CLASS
Name – Hometown – Assignment
- Alijia Danielle Monet Annon – Henrico – Henrico
- Justin Aaron Armes – Stuart – Henrico
- Zachary Cole Bailey – Ewing – Fluvanna
- Stone Lee Baker – Boykins – Surry
- Kennedy Jerome Barbour, Jr. – Williamsburg – James City
- Jonathan Y. Bazil – Lynchburg – Charles City
- Lucas Jeffrey Beall – Accomack – Accomack
- William Brady Blankenship – Powhatan – Culpeper
- Johnathon Daniel Blitz – Richmond – Henrico
- Michelle Lynn Carney – Roanoke – Culpeper
- Christopher John Caudill – Old Bridge – Prince William
- Mark Wade Chamberlain – Mount Airy – Hanover / Henrico
- Jeffrey Michael Dense – Alpine, New York – Fairfax
- Austin Lee Edwards – Pounding Mill – Henrico
- Robert Lane Faulkenberry – Lane, Oklahoma – Dinwiddie
- Dimitrice John Finley – Chesapeake – Springfield
- Justin Carl Grable – Louisa – Clarke
- Nathanael Scott Hall – Forest – Dinwiddie
- Sarah Francis Halperin – Hardwick, Vermont – Norfolk / Virginia Beach
- Jonathan Wesley Hawk – Emporia – Sussex
- Nicholas H. Henderson – Cape May, New Jersey – Prince William
- Logan Allan Hinnant – Fredericksburg – Prince William
- Nicole Noelle Hobbs – Hiltons – Frederick
- Emma Clare Hodge – Powhatan – Norfolk / Virginia Beach
- Alex Jamal Holley – Newport News – Springfield
- Matthew Samuel Honey – Fairfax – Springfield
- Luke J. Horvath – Schenectady, New York – Campbell
- Logan James Houston – Quinton – Mathews
- Steven Rex Huffman – Louisa – Hanover / Henrico
- Brian D. Hurlimann – Rochester, New York – Stafford
- Kenneth Ray Jamison – Danville – Bedford
- Scott Andrew Jeltema – Bitburg, Germany – Springfield
- Jeffrey Scott Keeney – Virginia Beach – Norfolk / Virginia Beach
- Corey James Klak – Chesapeake – Norfolk / Virginia Beach
- Alexis Mykayla Kovach – Chesterfield – Henrico
- Sean Michael Laychak – Springfield – Prince William
- Kortney M. Leazer – Remington – Bedford
- Joo No Lee – Plainview, New York – Springfield
- Griffin Downey Martin – Bracey – Cumberland
- Kortney Evan Terrell McGhee – New York, New York – Highland
- Michael Ryan Middleton – Ashburn – Fairfax
- Chance Allen Morris – Powhatan – Springfield
- Robert Dale Morris – La Crosse – Henrico
- Samuel Patrick Norris – Pulaski – Roanoke
- Alex Hoon Pak – Fairfax – Fairfax
- James Robert Davis Pettry – Big Stone Gap – Bedford
- Andrew Schuyler Poff – Shawsville – Botetourt
- Justin Alexander Ratowski – Hunlock Creek, Pennsylvania – Prince William
- Joshua Tyler Stahl – Toronto, Ohio – Hanover / Henrico
- Malik Rashad Staton – Clinton, Maryland – Prince William
- George Pendleton Stephenson, Jr. – Seaford – Hanover / Henrico
- Eli Steven Thies – Harrisonburg – Henrico
- Gungaajargal Turek – Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia – James City
- Daniel Ryan Urban – Yorktown – Cumberland
- Eric Grant Vitatoe – Haysi – Gloucester
- Alexander B. Wallace – Staunton – Orange
- Matthew Dennis Weinholtz – Buffalo, New York – Fairfax
- Daniel Andrew Wood – Powhatan – Hanover / Henrico
The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank promotes food finder tool amid winter weather, rising food prices
Following another weekend of winter weather, many individuals and families across the region are experiencing hunger because they could not afford to both heat their home and buy food. For those facing this tragic dilemma, the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank has an online tool for people to find food assistance in their community.
Improved and re-launched in the spring of 2021, the user-friendly and mobile-accessible Food Finder tool can be navigated in 12 different languages and displays a broad range of partner and program sites (including mobile food pantries and more). Search results can be filtered by service type, days of operation, distance and even the availability of evening hours.
Compounding the hardships stemming from winter weather, food prices also continue to rise. Food-at-home prices (e.g., groceries) were up 6.5% in December 2021 from December 2020, according to the latest Consumer Price Index. Meat, fish, poultry, and eggs rose 12.5% over the same period.
At least one in 12 people in the Blue Ridge area experiences hunger, with children and the elderly suffering the worst consequences.
“We are in the midst of the coldest part of the year, and with more winter weather on the way, many people are faced with the impossible question of, ‘Do we heat our house today or buy food?’” said Michael McKee, CEO of The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. “We understand the gravity of these situations, and we are committed to offering resources to those facing these difficult decisions. We’ve already seen the positive impact of Food Finder, and we hope more across our service area can find help through the tool should they need it.”
For those interested in utilizing Food Finder, go to: foodfinder.brafb.org for more information.
About the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank
Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Verona, Virginia, the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank is the largest organization alleviating hunger in western and central Virginia. The Food Bank serves an average of nearly 119,000 individuals each month across 25 counties and eight cities through distribution centers in Charlottesville, Lynchburg, Winchester, and Verona. Together with our network of 207 community partners and 187 program sites, we’re serving record numbers of Virginians during a prolonged pandemic and its associated economic impacts. We pledge to continue innovating and adapting to secure, store, and distribute more food to more individuals, families, children, and seniors experiencing hunger. The Food Bank is a member of Feeding America, a national food bank association that supports 200 food banks across the United States providing 6 billion meals to 42 million people through 60,000 partner pantries. For more information, visit www.brafb.org.
Three awarded fourth degree black belts at Potomac Kempo
For many people, the practice of martial arts is a strange—possibly intimidating—concept. People often wonder what happens in a ‘dojo’ with unfortunate misconceptions often perpetuated by movies and television. But the martial arts, and specifically the art of Kempo, which we choose to practice, is not strange or mysterious. It is an ancient self-improvement practice with fitness training and self-defense fitted in to fill out the edges.
In life, we often find that our greatest adversary is ourselves, as we all too often stand in our own way—sometimes going so far as to sabotage ourselves actively. But in Kempo, we work to overcome these traits by developing and utilizing methods that work in the studio and as well as in other aspects of life. By doing so, we work to create well-rounded, successful, and healthy lives.
In this spirit, we wish to acknowledge the accomplishment of three of our most esteemed students. In December 2021, Kevin Simpson, Jon Jelsma, and Geof Gibbs earned their Fourth Degree Black Belts in the Art of Kempo. They are the first students to reach this level in Potomac Kempo’s seventeen-year history, representing less than one-tenth of one percent of our students.
These gentlemen have practiced the martial arts for an average of twenty years, teaching as well as training, and have studied multiple arts.
In addition to his Kempo practice, Kevin Simpson has studied Ninjutsu, Hapkido, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Army Combatives, in which he is a Level 2 Certified Instructor. He is a Sergeant First Class in the US Army Band, and he volunteers to teach both Kempo classes and grappling basics.
Before practicing Kempo, Jon Jelsma studied Tae Kwon Do, Shorin Ryu Karate, and Fencing. Amidst his Kempo practice, he has also studied Jeet Kun Do, Pekiti Tirsia Kali, Inosanto Academy Kali, and Kosho Ryu Kempo. He is a patent examiner for the US Patent and Trademark Office and volunteers to teach Kempo and Kali classes throughout the week.
Geof Gibbs began his martial arts practice with Kempo and has since come to supplement it with the study of Kali and Kosho Shorei Ryu. Having left a former life as a computer scientist, he is now a career instructor, acting as our Senior Staff Trainer and the Chief Instructor of our Huntington Metro studio location in Alexandria, Virginia. In addition to teaching Kempo, he leads our Kosho Club. Consistent with our relatively new tradition of passing on belts, Geof was presented with my own Fourth Degree Black Belt that I wore when I was that rank.
We are honored by their accomplishments and are proud to have them as part of the Potomac Kempo team. It is rightly said that “You are only as good as the people you train with,” and these exemplary practitioners are an asset to all of Potomac Kempo. Their work is a testament to lifetimes of dedication, learning, and growth.
One final thought: as I sat on the floor of an empty studio presenting belts to three very sweaty persons, I searched for words to capture the moment, for praise that would not seem redundant or superfluous. My mind circled twice, and I settled back on humility. I have known these men for decades; we have spent more hours training together than I could begin to count. They are my most accomplished students, yet they may also be my most humble students. And I don’t think that is an accident or coincidence. In martial arts, we tell the story of a student whose cup is so full it will not hold any more tea. Through all of these years, Kevin, Jon, and Geof have all managed to keep an empty cup, space to learn, never believing that they have learned it all.
I wish them a lifetime of continued success and health.
Chris Santillo, Sensei
Potomac Kempo Founder, Headmaster
Fauquier Health encourages community members to know where to go, and when
Knowing where to go to get the care you need can be confusing. Efforts to continue slowing the spread of COVID-19 have resulted in many new practices for hospitals, outpatient centers and medical offices. As we move forward, life – and healthcare – continues to evolve. Fauquier Health’s commitment to providing a broad range of healthcare services and high-quality care won’t change.
Now more than ever, it is important to seek out the right level of care for when you are not feeling your best.
Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms? Call your primary care office during normal business hours for non-emergent conditions or symptoms.
- Your primary care provider knows your medical history and should be your first line of defense for any illness or disease that isn’t a medical emergency. Think cough and cold, flu, stomach upset, chronic conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure, and more. They should also be your regular resource for preventive care, including annual wellness visits, routine vaccinations, smoking cessation, diet and exercise consultations, and more.
- It is safe to visit your primary care provider. Physician offices are working around the clock to make it easier for you to get seen virtually or in-person if appropriate. If you have an in-person visit you will need to wear a mask during the entirety of the visit. This helps to protect you, staff members and other patients. You may also notice that there are fewer people in the office, and that’s ok. Many providers are intentionally spacing patient visits to support social distancing measures.
- You may be asking yourself what to expect during a virtual or telehealth visit. Telehealth is a safe way and effective way to get you the care and guidance you need from a health professional. Providers offering telehealth may do your visit over the phone or through a video conferencing call. Check your provider’s website or call the office to determine if telehealth is available.
COVID-19 testing sites may be coupled with longer wait times and at home testing kits may be difficult to obtain. Many primary care offices are also capable of doing COVID-19 testing. So be sure to speak with your physician about when testing is appropriate for you and what their recommendations are for next steps.
Use an urgent care or walk-in clinic for moderate/worsening symptoms when prompt primary care is not available or after normal business hours.
- Using an urgent care or walk-in clinic is a great option if your primary care provider is not readily available, or if it is after normal business hours and your primary care provider’s office is closed. Urgent cares and walk-in clinics commonly treat people for cough and cold, flu, ear infections and allergies, skin conditions, minor injuries and more. Some urgent cares or walk-in clinics have x-ray capabilities onsite as well.
- It is safe to visit urgent cares and walk-in clinics. Please exercise an abundance of caution by wearing your mask during your visit. This helps to protect you, staff members and other patients. Some urgent cares or walk-in clinics may have digital wait-in-line tools to reduce your time spent in the waiting room. You can sign up for your slot ahead of time and arrive for your appointment.
- Many local urgent care or walk-in clinics offer telehealth or virtual appointment services in an effort to support social distancing while continuing regular patient care. Providers offering telehealth may do a visit over the phone or through a video conference call. Check the office’s website or call ahead to determine if telehealth is available and appropriate for your needs.
For COVID-19 testing, most urgent cares or walk-in clinics are requiring appointments ahead of time. Be sure to check their websites or call for information on how to schedule a COVID-19 test. By scheduling an appointment, it will cut down on your estimated wait times and will help to prevent long drive-up lines.
Use your nearest emergency room for any medical emergency.
If you are experiencing emergent symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, have difficulty breathing, or are experiencing another medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
To help prevent the spread of illness, you will be screened for fever and other symptoms of respiratory illnesses when you arrive. You will also be asked to wear a mask. It is important that you wear your mask until you are instructed to remove it by a staff member or until you are discharged. This helps to protect you, staff members and other patients.
It is critical that you seek emergency care if you are experiencing a medical emergency. We have procedures in place to protect the health and safety of our patients, staff members and visitors. Our standard infection prevention protocols help in preventing the spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19, year-round. It is safe to come to the hospital, and your life, or the life of a loved one, may depend on prompt emergency treatment.
If you are concerned you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please check out our symptom checker.
Prioritizing your health and the health of your loved ones is important. By seeking out the appropriate level of care, taking advantage of telehealth visits when appropriate, following guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for wearing a mask, and practicing smart social distancing, you are making communities healthier.
Fauquier Health reverts to stricter limited-visitation policy as COVID numbers rise
As we continue to evaluate the situation of COVID-19, and the confirmed number of cases that are on the rise in our communities, Fauquier Health has decided to move back to a stricter limited-visitation policy. It is our priority first and foremost to ensure the protection and safety of our patients, employees, providers, volunteers and visitors.
We have also made the difficult, but necessary, decision to reschedule elective and non-urgent cases that require inpatient stay for the next two weeks. We will continue to assess the situation daily.
Patients whose appointments are being rescheduled will be notified, and procedures will be rescheduled as soon as feasible.
Rescheduling elective and non-urgent cases will allow us to conserve hospital and ICU beds, and ensure we have additional personnel available to support our sickest patients.
To view the full visitation details, please visit: fauquierhealth.org/covid-19-preparedness
Shooting death at Frederick County residence under investigation
At approximately 11:50 a.m. today (Dec. 30), a shooting was reported in the 100 block of Dick’s Hollow Road in Frederick County which has resulted in the death of one person.
- The Sheriff’s Office can confirm that a male subject was shot by the homeowner during some type of verbal or physical altercation.
- There were multiple subjects in the residence at the time with one subject fatally struck by gunfire.
- Early indications are that there was only a single shot fired.
- The subject who fired the weapon is in custody.
- There is no ongoing threat to the community currently.
- The identity of the victim is not being released pending notification of next of kin.
Details are limited at this time as this incident remains an active crime scene with law enforcement still processing evidence and speaking to witnesses and suspects. A more detailed press release will be forthcoming in the future.