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Instead of providing stores with adequate sanitary supplies (or simply closing them entirely) in response to the covid-19 pandemic, Game X Change thought it best to send employees what amounted to a chain email full of bogus tactics for prevention. Their advice includes gargling with vinegar, drinking lots of water (to “neutralize” the virus in the stomach, you see), and using sunlight to remove it from clothing, all of which are practices doctors have completely rejected.
Last week over concerns about the company’s handling of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic caused by a new strain of coronavirus. Workers said the regional video game retailer, which operates more than 100 locations in the southeastern United States, remained open despite local officials calling for the closure of non-essential businesses. Game X Change also failed to supply stores with the necessary supplies to ensure the health of both its employees and customers.
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To employees who wish to remain anonymous, VP of Retail Mindy Kent shares a list of coronavirus safety precautions she says was provided to her by a registered nurse in Louisiana. (Kent has not yet responded
Request for comment.) While it includes a few common sense instructions, such as advising workers to clean their hands for 20 seconds to kill the virus, most of the claims in the email are completely unfounded.
] this keeps your mouth moist and flushes any virus that has entered your mouth into your stomach, where gastric juice will neutralize it before it reaches your lungs,” reads one tip. Dr. denied this last week. Faheem Yunus, chief of infectious diseases at the University of Maryland.
“Gargle with an antiseptic and warm water like vinegar or salt or lemon every day if possible,” says another. Both the World Health Organization and Johns Hopkins University have called this a myth.
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“If you can’t wash your clothes daily, hang them in sunlight, which also helps neutralize the virus,” the list continues. Again, the World Health Organization says this is bullshit, albeit with a bit more savvy than I do.
“Try to avoid eating and drinking cold things,” says the fourth guideline, but Harvard Medical School warns that this is just more misinformation.
“Experts suggest doing this simple check every morning: Take a deep breath and hold for 10 seconds,” the email concludes. “If this can be done without coughing, without difficulty, it shows that there is no fibrosis in the lungs, which indicates the absence of infection.” It is recommended that this check be done every morning to help detect infection.”
Like all other misguided advice, this can be easily dismissed with a simple Google search. Dr. Thomas Nash, an infectious disease specialist at New York Presbyterian Hospital, told Reuters that this self-test does not rule out the presence of Covid-19. Asymptomatic carriers of the virus can still be contagious, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which makes this particular rumor quite dangerous if, for example, someone continues to work just because they can hold their breath for 10 seconds.
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In his original story about Game X Change’s response to the covid-19 pandemic, one employee took it upon himself to email owner Grant Weatherill with a long, anonymous message pleading for more action. The email, which
Has acquired, exposes the seriousness of the situation with infection statistics and death rates in states where the X game changer is present, such as Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi.
“Some of your employees have families back home to care for,” the anonymous email said. “They may already have children at risk of disease, some have babies on the way, and some of us even personally or know [
] a loved one with an autoimmune disorder — who are some of the people who are extremely susceptible to getting the COVID-19 virus. This is almost guaranteed death. Is this something you tolerate? Just so the store can make a few extra bucks at the end of the day?”
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To other Game X Change employees, seemed more concerned with the tone of the original email and the anonymity of the sender than with providing the support his employees so desperately sought. Weatherill did not respond to
“I can’t do anything to address your concerns if I don’t know who I’m talking to,” Wetherill replied. “I can tell whoever you are that I spend a lot of time in my stores. Although I have Parkinson’s disease and asthma. Besides, I am 56 years old. So don’t lecture me about risk. I’m here if you want to grow up and talk to me.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has illustrated what was already the reality of the working class in the United States: its sole function is to grease the wheels of capital. This is an unsustainable travesty that has become normalized. But now, with a deadly disease breathing down workers’ necks every time they log on, Game X’s change management shows both ignorance of the situation and a seeming disregard for the people who actually make their business profitable.
I’ve heard rumblings that Game X Change locations in Texas could be closing as soon as tomorrow, but what damage have they potentially already done by staying open for the past few weeks? And why did it take so much pressure for management to finally do the right thing, assuming the stores were indeed closing? Apparently, the opportunity to squeeze a few more bucks out of a workforce that is scared and begging for some empathy was too much to resist. Watch live at 19:00: USA. and the Holocaust, a film by Ken Burns | Screening and panel discussion »
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WNPR’s small business coverage increases understanding of the challenges small businesses face, educates policymakers and highlights the vital role small businesses play in the state’s economy.
Businessman Chris Runyan is not one to follow trends. In the downloadable world of the internet, he built a successful brick and mortar business. And at a time when companies are moving out of state, he moved from Arkansas to Connecticut to do it.
When Chris Runyan moved to Connecticut in 2009, he came with the intention of starting his own business. He said: “My goal was to open six stores in three years.”
The store Runyan wanted to open here was Game Xchange, which buys, sells and trades video games, movies and accessories. It’s a franchise of sorts—there are more than 50 stores across the country, most of which are located in the Midwest and Southern United States. Runyan knew one of the owners of the business back in Arkansas, and when his wife accepted a job in the Northeast, he pitched the idea of bringing the brand to new territory.
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“With that relationship, I knew the stores, how efficient they were and the success they had and the expansion,” Runyan said. “I needed something to do when I came to Connecticut and I thought this was good.”
The owners agreed and Runyan bought the business. In any retail store, location is key to success, but when he arrived, he still had very little understanding of Connecticut towns. “I’ve lived here all my life.”
In the south, there can be long hours of driving between population centers. But here Runyan’s potential territories are much closer together. He chose Orange as the location for his first store and opened it in the spring of 2010. It found that being in the Northeast was no barrier to success.” Fortunately,” he said, “when I opened Orange, it grew to the top. five, six best stores in all of Game Xchange.”
The video rental business has moved almost entirely online in recent years, and game sales may follow suit. Runyan says his customers have made the store a destination for these items, and they often come in to browse. just come in and grab something and leave – but spend 30 minutes walking around the store, talking to the staff about the movie that’s coming out or the old movies that are classics. Play games too.”
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Enough customers found his business that he was able to reach his goal — his sixth store in three years opened in Hamden last month, and the federal Small Business Administration recognized him as the 2013 Connecticut Small Business Person of the Year. He now employs nearly 50 people in the state. But at first, despite a business plan that proved to be solid, Runyan was turned down by every bank he approached.
Buck Harris of the Connecticut Community Investment Corporation said, “In the current market,” Harris said, “most banks will
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