Thursday, March 19, 2020

COVID 19 #1 of 8 March 2020 -- SNB OPEN for online orders only, Torrance store temporarily closed to public UPDATED

For April -- I have updated all the March COVID-19 Posts on the blog. 
I will be leaving all the March ones here as "archived" and will add links to updated April versions. 

Most recent info on the subjects covered in this post can be found on this link:

ARCHIVED POST -- information here up to date as of 3.31.2020

Stuart Ng Books website and online operations are OPEN.
Stuart welcomes your online book orders. SEE UPDATE BELOW REGARDING SHIPPING.

The SNB Torrance brick and mortar location is temporarily closed to the public, in compliance with 3.19.2020 "Safer at Home" order impacting all of  California

More "Safer at Home" guidelines here:





Art is life. All the online art images... the and other art posts shared and streaming at this time confirms this fact: We value art and artists. Especially when we need to be nurtured. 
How we heal others defines us as a culture and as individuals.
(see the Margaret Mead story at the end of this post:

The SNB website is available 24/7.
Multiple sources confirm Mail order shipments are safe. Here is a link with text and videos.
Stuart and his staff are using recommended disinfecting practices.
This link to Today Show segment has excellent tips on disinfecting home and office areas:

3.23.30 Today Show Segment "Can You Contract Coronavirus from Delivery Packages?"
Link has video and text with tips for handling mail. Plus a big "thank you" to all the heroes at shipping centers getting essential items to homes

SNB is just one of many small businesses that are being challenged by the virus. We will get through this together. Shop online. Shop small. Support indie artists.


8 posts here on the blog to help you with resources, links, tutorials..

Please note the links on my posts are for general information purposes only and my comments/summaries are not tax/business/legal/medical advice. Please consult your own resources for advice that best suits your individual situation.

COVID-19 #2 of 8 March 2020 -- vital to SIFT through online info

For April -- I have updated this March COVID-19 Post on the blog. 
I will be leaving all the March ones here as "archived" and will add links to updated April versions. 

Most recent info on the subjects covered in this post can be found on this link:


ARCHIVED POST -- information from here on was up to date as of 3.31.2020

Putting this essential reminder here in its own post.

Always SIFT through online info...

Fact check/find corroborating stories from credible sources.
Trace claims, quotes and media to its original context.

The flurry of memes and mis-information is not helpful.

Check before you post.
Is what you're sharing from a credible, original source?
Does it pass the fact-check test?
If not, investigate. Be curious. Be a critical consumer of online content.
(photo below from Google Images)

We need to raise expectations now more than ever. The internet has great potential to educate.  Don't let it be used to bully or abuse. Don't facilitate the spread of rumors.

Fact check/find corroborating stories from credible sources.
Trace claims,  quotes and media to its original context.

SIFT before you share.

This link is where I first read about the SIFT system method coined by Washington State University digital literacy expert Mike Caulfield

Top places to find credible info:
World Health Organization (WHO)
videos on COVID-19

your local/State Department of Public Health. Here's link for California:

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)


WHO link for MYTHBUSTING regarding COVID-19

The week of 3.16.20, there was a flurry of posts about animals swimming in the clearer waters of the Venice Canals. These were popular posts and frequently shared. Sadly, these were fakes. This fascinating article from National Geographic not only debunks these stories, but unravels the emotional appeal of postings that go viral. People don't mean to lie and mislead, but as the "likes" pile up, they don't want to edit or delete either..

Credible news sites are reporting stories on all the ways the internet is being used to proliferate rumors and hoaxes related to the virus:

Fighting the false information online -- I'll be adding links here...
One thing everyone agreed on: You have a responsibility to help correct bad information. "When the misinformation can literally damage people's health, I do think we all have a responsibility," Silverman noted. "You don't want people to be doing things that are bad for them or bad for society," added Rand.
And Vraga acknowledged it is not always easy to correct close family or friends. "These are relationships we care about, people whose good opinion we want to maintain and carry forward," Vraga said. But she said, "It's a way of looking out for each other, and it can be uncomfortable in the moment, but hopefully in the long-run it's doing more good than harm."

SIFT case study 
This chart is an interesting SIFT case study. It was shared on Facebook

I traced the chart to a website page for Channel 11 TV in Georgia.

The TV Channel's website page has this chart along with text that gives a hyperlink to CDC. That CDC hyperlink goes to an informative PDF, but the chart doesn't appear there.

 In the upper right hand corner of the chart, the fine print is "Source: Mayo Clinic," but I don't see this chart on the Mayo Clinic COVID page.

The bottom left of the chart has this credit line 
With allergy season approaching, we want to make sure you're aware of the differences in symptoms between them, Coronavirus and the Flu.

which can be seen on the TV Channel's website page with text and chart, but this credit line doesn't transfer when just the image is saved. Tegna is a media company connected with many television stations.

So where does this chart really come from? and where does it fit on the SIFT system??? 

Some might assume the chart came directly from the Mayo Clinic and/or CDC.
My investigation of this image suggests to me it was put together by staff at the Tegna Media company using info from one or both of Mayo Clinic and CDC sites. I don't know for sure. This is my guess.

It seems reasonable that Media companies and TV stations would be producing graphics like this that are posted as a public service. You would hope public service info like this is also thoroughly fact checked by a staff member at the company.

Is this chart reliable?

Likely -- but since I can't click on a link that takes me directly to this chart on a page for the CDC or Mayo Clinic sites, that indicates to me there is a layer of information assembly one step away from the credible, original source(s). I'm not saying the chart is wrong... I'm just saying for me, I would have more confidence in it and posts like these when they trace back to an original, scientific source. 

Not every post has to be SIFTed to source material. I'm using this an an example. Getting back to the credible, original source is how to connect with information that I personally can have the most confidence in. Do I always get it right? No. But this is an example of how I investigate before I share.

Please note the links on my posts are for general information purposes only and my comments/summaries are not tax/business/legal/medical advice. Please consult your own resources for advice that best suits your individual situation.

COVID-19 #3 of 8 March 2020 -- Links for funding sources, gov announcements, area resource links

For April -- I have updated this March COVID-19 Post on the blog. 
I will be leaving all the March ones here as "archived" and will add links to updated April versions. 

Most recent info on the funding resource subjects covered in this post can be found on these links:


indie artists/entertainment industry



ARCHIVED POST -- information from here on was up to date as of 3.31.2020

This post is where I will be adding links about funding sources and government announcements of note for indie artists/content creators/small businesses.
UPDATED 3.31.2020

(images below were posted by an artist friend. Regret I don't have link for source)

Please note the links on my blog are for general information purposes only and my comments/summaries are not tax/business/legal/medical advice. Always consult with your own professionals for guidance that best suits your needs. Be an educated client -- do your homework and bring good questions.

I try to post the most recent info with links to credible sources. Use the info I share as talking points with your own business resources — tax planner, small business attorney, family lawyer etc. This COVID-19 crisis is a reminder to have your "in case of emergency" documents in order. Everyone over 18 should have an Advanced Health Care Directive. If you have any sort of assets (bank accounts, art, collections etc) you need to have an "estate plan." And don't forget your pets! Be sure there are documents and funds in place to assign their care to someone else if you are incapacitated. In case of emergency/end of life documents aren't only for the wealthy. They are a lifeline for yourself and guide map with resources for your loved ones.

If you don’t have business resources yet, start doing some research — online or with colleagues— to find ones that might be a good fit for you. The money you save getting things done right the first time is an investment in your future earnings and mental health.  There are cost effective options through local SBA (Small Business Administration) offices. You can negotiate a payment plan with personal/business law firms. Some legal documents are available online, but having a professional draft your personal/business legal documents provides benefits. This gives the agents you assign to handle your affairs a contact to help with questions if you're not available.

Check this blog post for credible sources for COVID-19 info


Posted by "Marea Baja Designs" an artist w/ indie business who is using this program:
The Small Business Relief Initiative was started by GoFundMe to help small businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and empower their communities to rally behind them. The fund will issue $500 matching grants to qualifying businesses that raise at least $500 on GoFundMe.

If you are an indie artist w/ a small business, you can start a Go Fund Me page under this program and be elibiblge for matching funds. See Go Fund Me page for details

Text below is from Go Fund Me link above. :
Help Small Businesses Affected by Coronavirus
The GoFundMe Small Business Relief Initiative is intended to support our local businesses facing financial loss. Make a difference today by donating or starting a fundraiser.
Are you a small business owner? Search and claim your fundraiser. Start a fundraiser if you can’t find a GoFundMe for your business. Small businesses may also apply for a matching grant from the Small Business Relief Fund.



Indie artists/Independent contractors can apply for and receive government aid.

More info here:
Quote: "For example, Section 2102 allows (indie contractors) workers to submit a “self-certification” that they are unable to work due to the coronavirus outbreak. As written, the bill provides no language specifying the necessary conditions of a valid self-certification, nor the oversight to ensure consistency and compliance. As claims rise in response to the virus, unemployment offices will be unable to process such an increased volume of claims. Administratively, the self-certification reduces the time between unemployment claim and benefit disbursement"

Link for SBA application for Disaster Loan Assistance. If your small business qualifies, this can be a grant up to $10K that you do not need to re-pay.  This Disaster Loan Assistance link also available for private non-profits, homeowners and renters. 

Link for online article with tips for artists who have an LLC, S Corp etc may qualify for federal aid under the CARE Act for small business.

quote from article:
"In order to remove as much red tape as possible and speed up the funding process, the stimulus bill has outlined the following requirements you must meet:
  • In business before Feb. 15, 2020.
  • Employ less than 500 employees.
  • Have been impacted by the coronavirus.
While the amount of proof and paperwork required will be crystalized in the days ahead, West and Hartsock agree there is a presumption that if you are applying, you have been impacted. Even so, you will have to sign an affidavit acknowledging you need these funds as a result of the coronavirus."

UPDATED 3.22.2020
I'm not a tax expert (I use an accountant) but this is the update from the IRS ...

Text from IRS Website

"IR-2020-58, March 21, 2020
WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced today that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.
Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax.
Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief. Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the July 15 deadline, can request a filing extension by filing Form 4868 through their tax professional, tax software or using the Free File link on Businesses who need additional time must file Form 7004.
The IRS urges taxpayers who are due a refund to file as soon as possible. Most tax refunds are still being issued within 21 days."
Also there is this message with link 
The IRS will continue to monitor issues related to the COVID-19 virus, and updated information will be posted on a special coronavirus page on

"Real ID" deadline extended to Oct 2021

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201)
Best to check online for most recent stories on this new law. I'll post summaries here:

'Summary of amendments" National Review article by Lira A. Johnson

"Paid Sick Leave -- who gets it during the coronavirus outbreak" Washington post article by Heather
Long. 3.17.2020

This crisis has proved this fact: We value art and artists. All the art, music, dance posts and streaming being shared proves we turn to art when we need to be nurtured. How we heal each other defines us as individuals and a culture. This is the Renaissance for appreciation of artists, scientists, grocery store clerks and cashiers, delivery drivers, highway rest stop staff, and all the newly-drafted "first responders" in aprons, smocks, gloves, goggles and masks. They've joined the ranks of our traditional Essential Emergency services. We'll get through this together -- now is the time to be kind and practice those hard human virtues. Love each other.

From Counsel for Creators Legal Services (a California law firm for Small Business and Indie artists/creators) 
This link will take you to an extensive list of resources
I have been a client of this service for many years and highly recommend them.

This 3 mins video will walk you through some of the services you can access as a member

More on the service here:

From "Freelance Artists Source" on WordPress. This has general resources, advocacy for freelancers, and national relief funds and grants

The Creator Fund from ConvertKit

Move Humanity Forward Coronavirus Relief Fund
From the Humanity Forward Facebook page:
The Humanity Forward Coronavirus Relief Fund will distribute at least $1 million to those most in need during this time of crisis. Visit for more details. #YesWeCare #MoneyForThePeople
Video from Andrew Yang on the Facebook page discusses info on the fund and offers like "micro-loans from $250-$500"

campaign to add Displaced Entertainment workers to Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201)
There is an online Petition to include displaced entertainment workers in this federal relief package
My comment on this:
"Oh heck yes!! Indie artists are major contributors to all the “free” image sharing that fuels social media. Only those images aren’t free, the are the time, talent and expense (have you ever priced art supplies???) of artists. Not to mention the content uploaded by dancers, musicians etc."
Link for info on the (IATSE sponsored) petition:

Variety article on Entertainment Industry Foundation Coronavirus Response Fund

LA Times article w/ list of industry resources

Los Angeles TV station story w/ list of companies hiring in SoCal

#PAYUPHOLLYWOOD Go Fund Me site for industry assistants
LA Times article by Anousha Sakoui 3.19.2020
Quote: "The three women who have been spearheading the movement known as #PayUpHollywood — Liz Alper, Jamarah Hayner and Deirdre Mangan — along with a group of leading TV writers and others, created a GoFundMe site to raise money for assistants who face lost work as productions shut down."
Link for the Go Fund Me site:

Some articles with background on funding efforts

Tips on how some grass roots funding got started, and how to give safely to online campaigns

Institutions across the country are answering the call for support

United Kingdom Resource


CALIFORNIA  DMV - 60 day extension to renew drivers licenses and vehicle registrations

CA DVM Press release --

Quote from the DMV Press Release (3.16.2020):
"In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) today asked California law enforcement to exercise discretion for 60 days in their enforcement of driver license and vehicle registration expiration dates beginning March 16, 2020. The DMV is taking this action so that at-risk populations, including seniors and those with underlying health conditions, can avoid required visits to DMV field offices for driver license or vehicle registration renewals"

Also deadline for Federal "Real ID" has been extended to Oct, 2021

CALIFORNIA List of Resources
 "COVID-19 Los Angeles Community Resources"

"Categories include: food*, housing, health, transportation, and education and are separated into three general categories: children and youth, adults, and eldery. "

CALIFORNIA EDD (Employment Development Dept)

Tips for people in High Risk Categories

While this link is from a diabetes source, some of the tips here may be  helpful for others in the high risk categories:

COVID -19 #4 of 8 March 2020 -- The "New Essentials" workforce in aprons, boots, gloves, masks and scrubs

For April -- I have updated this  March COVID-19 Post on the blog. 
I will be leaving all the March ones here as "archived" and will add links to updated April versions. 

Most recent info on the subjects covered in this post can be found here:


ARCHIVED POST -- information here up to date as of 3.31.2020

This crisis added new categories of Essential Emergency Personnel: 
grocery cashiers and clerks, delivery drivers, office and public space cleaners, shop clerks and stockers, warehouse fulfillment center crews, the cooks and chefs making take-out orders. 

Media jobs -- even local reporters have become war correspondents

We are getting news from on-air anchors and personalities -- but not seeing the tech and producing staff behind the scenes. They aren't in the glamour roles, but they are the boots on the ground covering stories at the local hospitals and crisis centers. A family friend who used to work in local news broadcasting reminded me, there are grinding hours on top of the health risk to bring live reports for local viewers. Journalists expected to cover the news as their job, but this high-risk scenario for local coverage is unprecedented.

Repair persons --- now facing "hazmat" conditions

Would you want to be a plumber -- going into the kitchens and bathrooms of strangers right now --- to do your job???
Home and businesses still will need repairs during this crisis. 

These front line draftees are the "New Essentials."

"First responder" was never part of their job description, but they showed up when the crisis hit the fan.

They are joining the medical and traditional first responders who are also preforming above and beyond the call of duty at this unprecedented time.

(regret I have no credit info for graphic below)

Added graphic below on  3.22.20. Nice to see the credit too: Art by Rachel SJ @ sj_rachel

Events have demonstrated how vital these people are to the public. They are showing up for work. Putting their own health at risk. Making the sacrifices it takes to get food, supplies and comfort items to neighbors and strangers.

Art is gratitude (art from Wildd
And artists are included in the "new essentials" group..
Clerks and cleaners at rest stops and gas stations have become essential connections for the goods and services we are counting on to get delivered.

art below by Theo Moudakis, Toronto Star
We are benefiting from all these New Essentials who are sacrificing for us.

Let's make sure they get the credit and compensation they deserve.
(art by Mike Lukovich)

I had a heartfelt conversation with a cashier at Vons, a major chain supermarket. She told me her college aged kids were begging her to cut back on her hours at the store. She told them she couldn't. She was working because so many people really needed her skills now. This was her way to help people in this crisis.

3.23.20 Today show segment "Can You Contract Coronavirus from Delivery Packages?"
Link has video and text with safety info, tips.. and a "thank you" to the heroes at shipping centers.
Op-Ed "I deliver your food. Don't I deserve basic protections?" by Mariah Mitchell, New York Times. 3.17.2020
#Pay UP
Working Washington

Impact on Gig workers and Indie Contractors

Healthcare workers...
And now.. these messages from your doctors..

Washington Post story about how art communicated vital messages in WWII and similarly being used today

And a shout-out to all the teachers... always being asked to improvise and supplement on their own time and their own dime..

This is a link to a UK site, but good tips here for teachers learning to teach remotely

Let's also recognize the new essential support workforce includes artists and the preforming arts.
All the online concerts and dance sessions. All the cartoons and images. All the educational info graphics. All artWORK.

Art is life. All the online art images... the and other art posts shared and streaming at this time confirms this fact: 
We value art and artists. 
We turn to art when we need to be nurtured. 
Let's talk about another fact.
Online content is never "free." 
The images we get to "like" and share are put there by artists and content creators. Online content is the hard work of someone putting in the time, talent, experience and expense (have you priced art supplies lately??) to keep us engaged and entertained.
We are consuming hours of films and TV online. Many of the "below the line" industry workers are free-lance and there are no production jobs right now.

Now it's time to Support and not just "like."
Most indie artists are reeling from loss of income due to postponed or cancelled art fairs and conventions. Many have day jobs in retail/office support/food service industries that are also impacted by shut downs. Artists, like other free lancers, don't have job benefits. Art and graphic supplies they need are not "essential" shipments like food and medicine and may be hard to get or replace. Still, they are posting art and finding ways to use their skills to help in this crisis.

Art in action.
TV Doctors donate medical supplies

Artist makes PSA signs more effective
Artist Lili Chin of Doggie Drawings ( ) made signs to help a SoCal grocery store communicate new rules to their customers. She heard from a friend that worked at the store that there was this need -- and she used her awesome art and info graphic skills. Her art is helping other unexpected front line workers -- the staff at the grocery store -- and their customers. Here are two examples of the signs Lili made.

Compare Lili's artWORK above to an example below of the text-only signs. 
Art and design communicate the message with clarity and impact --
Other artists are launching online campaigns to bring attention to overlooked heroes.
artist Amo Kannika Rachjareon
started #SupportOurHeroes

How do we thank artists??
With financial support.
Buy at their online stores.
Contribute on their pay platforms.
If everyone who "likes" the art they are sharing, and makes a modest contribution of support, it will make a big difference.
Many artists are on funding platforms like Patreon or Ko-fi.Others use services like PayPal, Venmo etc.Pay for a commission. Buy a gift certificate. Make a contribution. Start a Go Fund Me page.
Art is life.

My blog posts are for general information purposes only. My comments/summaries are not tax/business/legal/medical advice. Please consult your own resources for advice that best suits your individual situation.