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    Published on: September 24, 2020

    This one is from a point of personal privilege - a conversation with Alyza Bohbot James, the CEO and founder of City Girl Coffee, which happens to be what KC drinks every morning (in more or less copious amounts, depending on the news day).

    But the conversation is not just about why KC likes the coffee.  Rather, it is about creating a company with purpose, and how to evaluate the impact that it is having.


    For more information, go to City Girl Coffee.

    Published on: September 24, 2020

    by Kevin Coupe

    From the Associated Press this morning:

    "An asteroid the size of a school bus is headed our way, but NASA says the space rock will zoom safely past Earth on Thursday.

    "The newly discovered asteroid will come within 13,000 miles (22,000 kilometers) of Earth, well below many of the communications satellites orbiting the planet, scientists said this week. The closest approach will occur Thursday morning over the southeastern Pacific Ocean."

    Now, a few clarifications here.

    First, there's that phrase, "newly discovered."  In fact, it was discovered last Friday.

    Second, this particular asteroid is said to be puny -  between 15 feet and 30 feet in size.  Asteroids of this size apparently "hit Earth’s atmosphere and burn up once every year or two," NASA says.

    The bigger asteroids - you know, the kind for which we have to call Bruce Willis - can be detected earlier.

    But still … 2020 has been that kind of year, and this thing is coming closer to Earth than a lot of orbiting satellites are.

    Let's hope it doesn't end up being an Eye-Opener.

    Published on: September 24, 2020

    From this morning's Wall Street Journal:

    "Unemployment claims held steady at a historically high 870,000 last week, suggesting the labor market continues to slowly recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

    "Jobless claims are down significantly from a peak of near 7 million in March but have stagnated at just over 800,000 in recent weeks. That is four times the levels logged before the virus hit this spring, according to Labor Department data.

    "The high number of claims is a sign that layoffs have continued at a high rate, though many workers are also returning to their previous jobs or finding new ones. Re-employment has contributed to a decline in the number of people collecting unemployment benefits through regular state programs, which cover most workers. So-called continuing claims decreased by 167,000 to about 12.6 million for the week ended Sept. 12."

    Published on: September 24, 2020

    From Axios:

    "California Gov. Gavin Newsom is issuing an executive order that seeks to eliminate sales of new gasoline-powered cars in his state by 2035 … Newsom's order would make California the first state in the U.S. to mandate the phase-out of gasoline-powered cars, although 15 countries as well as some major European cities have already done so.

    "The move, if implemented, would mark one of the world's most aggressive climate policies to stem emissions from vehicles and promote electric models."

    According to the story, "Newsom's order demands that state regulators craft rules that require increasing sales of zero-emissions passenger cars and trucks, reaching the phase-out of sales of new fossil fueled-vehicles by 2035.

    "The order, which seeks to grow sales of climate-friendly vehicles over time, also seeks regulations with a target of all new medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses sold or operated in the state being zero emissions by 2045 where it's 'feasible'."

    The White House said it "won't stand for" the ban, though it was unclear what form its opposition would take.

    Axios says that "the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, a trade group representing big automakers, touted its members' increasing offerings of electric vehicles, but said, 'neither mandates nor bans build successful markets'."

    KC's View:

    I'm not sure that political opposition from Washington right now means all that much - this executive order sets a goal that is 15 years away, and who knows what the political power structure in DC will look like then.  (On the other hand, we may be at the tail end of Donald Trump's fifth term …)

    What California's leaders clearly are worried about is that 15 years from now, the wildfires that were at least in part enabled by climate change will have gotten much worse, with an enormous impact on the state's economy. (It is, after all, the world's fifth largest economy when seen on its own - so this is a big and consequential deal.)

    While some say that this move could cost jobs, it also seems possible that it will create jobs.  There will be a domino effect - what happens to all the gas stations and the people who work in them? - but again, there may well be compensating growth in other areas.

    I keep remembering that just a few months ago, there were cities experiencing the cleanest air in their recent histories because commuting had been so curtailed by the pandemic.  In the past week, there have been cities in the US that have had the worst air quality on the planet because of the wildfires.  These are not apples-to-apples situations, but it does show how quickly things can change, and why it is important to learn from history and science, and take advantage of the opportunities we are given by design or circumstance.

    Published on: September 24, 2020

    Bloomberg has a piece in which it observes that Walmart's efforts to diversify its leadership ranks with more women have had "a major unintended consequence - a setback for Black representation."

    According to the story, "Walmart’s focus on women — spurred by a class-action gender discrimination lawsuit — left Black men and women on the outside looking in, according to a half-dozen African-American former associates who worked at Walmart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. These people, who requested anonymity as some still live there and all fear retribution for criticizing the nation’s largest employer, depicted an environment where promising Black staffers repeatedly failed to break into the company’s officer ranks, while White women gained, buttressed by a strong career-development network."

    Bloomberg makes the point that Walmart is not alone in this - a shortage or total lack of Black faces in leadership ranks can be seen at retailers that include Costco, Best Buy, and Target.  "What happened inside Walmart offers a lesson for other companies trying to diversify their management ranks. As the nation’s biggest private employer, Walmart sets a standard with its workforce policies that other big employers typically follow. The retailer also has held itself up as a leader this year by making one of the largest corporate commitments to battling racial inequality, with a $100 million pledge."

    Bloomberg goes on:

    "Walmart’s Chief People Officer Donna Morris denies that the gains made by women came at the expense of Black staffers, but acknowledged that the company’s efforts to identify and promote talented minorities needs to improve. A few have risen recently, like Dacona Smith, now COO of the U.S. business.

    "But many of Walmart’s promising Black leaders have left to lead other organizations: Roz Brewer, who once ran the company’s Sam’s Club warehouse division, is now the chief operating officer of Starbucks Corp. and sits on the board of Walmart arch-rival Inc. Don Frieson, a logistics expert and onetime COO of Sam’s Club, now oversees the supply chain for home-improvement retailer Lowe’s Cos. Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, a former executive vice president and treasurer, now leads the nation’s biggest food bank. Jeffrey Davis, once the chief financial officer of the U.S. business, left to be the finance chief of Olive Garden parent Darden Restaurants Inc. before returning to the retail sector. Phyllis Harris, Walmart’s former head of legal operations, is now the top lawyer for the American Red Cross."

    KC's View:

    The shame of this is that many companies only move when forced to by litigation - that clearly is what happened at Walmart.

    It seems inevitable that the moment we are having right now, with Black people in this country demanding that they be afforded the same levels of opportunity and justice that the rest of us take for granted, is going to encapsulate the retail world.  Businesses that do not measure up, that seem content to take Black people's money without proving the same opportunities in terms of employment and investment, may find themselves targeted through boycotts and litigation.

    Which is not a place right now where they want to be.

    Published on: September 24, 2020

    The Seattle Times reports that employees at Kroger-owned QFC and Fred Meyer stores in the Seattle area have filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), arguing that the company's ban on the wearing of "Black Lives Matter" buttons "violates federal labor law and their union contract."

    According to the story, the United Food and Commercial Workers, "which represents around 13,000 workers in Puget Sound-area Fred Meyer and QFC stores, distributed the buttons in August.

    "Officials at the Westwood Village and University Village stores declined to comment on the buttons or store policy. Tiffany Sanders, a QFC spokesperson in Bellevue, also declined to comment on the NLRB complaint or the specifics of the union’s grievance.

    "But Sanders said QFC offered wristbands as an alternative for employees who 'have expressed a desire to stand together with the Black community and show their support through their clothing, facial coverings and accessories.'  One wristband bears the words, 'Standing Together,' and reflects the company’s 'commitment to Standing Together with our Black associates, customers and communities against racism in all forms,' Sanders said."

    According to the Times, "Union officials said that when unfair labor charges are filed, the NRLB typically gathers evidence from union members and employers and then determines whether violations have occurred. The process generally takes one to two months.

    "The dispute over BLM symbols follows months of protests over police violence against Black people - as well as many efforts by corporations to accommodate employee participation and support for the BLM movement."

    KC's View:

    This is a tough one for retailers;  I'm sure that there are a lot of concerns that a statement of support for one group of employees will alienate a group of customers.

    But I'm not sure this is the battle they should be fighting.  We are in a particularly fragile moment, and I think I would stand with my employees.

    Published on: September 24, 2020

    Berkeleyside Nosh reports that the Berkeley, California, City Council has passed a local ordinance that will require stores larger than 2,500 square feet in size to remove unhealthy food from checkout lanes.

    According to the story, the policy mandates the stocking of healthy food "at the register and in areas where customers wait in line, instead of items like chips, soda and candy. It forbids food items with 5 grams of added sugars and 200 milligrams of sodium, chewing gum and mints with added sugars, and beverages with added sugars or artificial sweeteners."

    The new rules passed unanimously, go into effect in March 2021 and will begin being enforced in January 2022.

    One local parent and food activist called it an example of how "Berkeley is a world leader in healthy living and taking on corporate predatory practices in our communities."

    KC's View:

    If this were to happen, Berkeley was going to be the place.  (And I don't say that negatively.  Not in the least.)  One debate participant said that "Berkeley has been a leader in progressive health policies for a long time."  Which strikes me as an understatement.

    I do think that this becomes less of an issue as people shop more and more online, or as checkout-free retailing experiences become more plentiful - shoppers end up not even standing in checkout lanes.

    Published on: September 24, 2020

    The New York Times has an interview with Whole Foods founder/CEO John Mackey in its weekly "Corner Office" column.  

    Two excerpts:

    •  "Amazon has been really respectful of the Whole Foods culture. They’ve let us be ourselves. At the same time, there are things that Amazon does better than Whole Foods does. One of the reasons we wanted to do this merger is we saw Amazon as a technology leader, and Whole Foods was just a follower. Since Covid struck, our online sales have tripled. Could we have done that prior to Amazon? No way. From the very first day we merged with them, they pushed us to make the changes we needed to be more effective at online delivery.

    "Another thing Amazon has changed is that our culture at Whole Foods tended to be intuitive, managing more by the gut. Amazon is very much a company that manages through data. And if you don’t have good data and good arguments, then that’s the end of the discussion. That’s been a positive change for our company because we are making more data-driven decisions than we made previously, and, therefore, I think we’re making better decisions."

    •  "There is a larger move in our society toward businesses having a higher purpose besides just making maximizing profits, and taking other stakeholders into account. That being said, I think there’s fundamental misunderstanding. This is not a win-lose framework. Purpose and profits are not opposites. They’re quite compatible. In fact, having a higher purpose can result in higher profits, and having a stakeholder philosophy doesn’t mean that the investors start making less money. It means that business creates strategies where the customers are getting better prices and higher quality, the employees are getting higher pay and better benefits, suppliers are getting better deals and investors are making higher profits.

    Profits aren’t evil. Profits are good. Profits are what funds progress in our society."

    You can read the column here.

    Published on: September 24, 2020

    Random and illustrative stories about the global pandemic and how businesses and various business sectors are trying to recover from it, with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

    •  In the United States, there now have been 7,140,137 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, resulting in 206,598 deaths and 4,399,996 reported recoveries.

    Globally, there have been 32,126,541 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 982,442 fatalities and 23,699,810 reported recoveries.

    •  From the Wall Street Journal:

    "After peaking in mid-July, daily new infections in the U.S. began to trend downward, but they have been going up again since mid-September—especially in the West. The sharpest increases, where the seven-day average number of new cases has been rising in September, occurred in Utah, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Oklahoma and North Dakota, the data show … Several factors are likely to contribute to the rising trend, including cooling temperatures, more indoor social activities and growing frustration among the public with public-health measures imposed to combat the virus, said Lisa Lee, an epidemiologist and associate vice president at Virginia Tech.

    "In contrast to the spring, American society is seeing 'a great deal of population mixing,' she said, including air travel and the return of students to college campuses and schools.  'You’re bringing people from high-density, high-infection places to other places, and sometimes they will be bringing the virus with them'."

    The Journal goes on:  "Labor Day gatherings may have been a factor helping to drive the recent increase in cases, as well as the reopening of colleges and universities, which can draw together young people who are carrying the virus but not necessarily displaying symptoms … It is too soon to know if reopening K-12 schools will cause greater community transmission of the virus, in part because the health precautions in place can vary widely, and because experts have insufficient evidence from contact tracing to know how readily the virus is being spread."

    •  Axios reports that "CDC Director Robert Redfield said at a Senate hearing Wednesday that preliminary data shows that over 90% of Americans remain susceptible to COVID-19 - meaning they have not yet been exposed to the coronavirus."

    •  Also from the Wall Street Journal:

    "The new coronavirus can leave some patients with signs of heart inflammation and injury months after they get sick with Covid-19, even in cases where their illness wasn’t severe, researchers say … The findings could help explain the symptoms of recovered Covid-19 patients, some of whom are struggling with such issues as shortness of breath, chest pain and heart palpitations, scientists say.

    "And in some patients, the heart inflammation and damage could lead to serious problems years from now, including irregular heartbeats and even heart failure, though there hasn’t been enough time to study the long-term implications, according to researchers."

    Gee, I wonder how long it will be before insurance companies will claim that these things are pre-existing conditions for which they should not have to pay off claims.  I'd guess that they're already preparing the legal documents, and will add the dates later … but then again, I'm pretty much a cynic on such issues.

    •  From the Washington Post:

    "Scientists in Houston on Wednesday released a study of more than 5,000 genetic sequences of the coronavirus, which reveals the virus’s continual accumulation of mutations, one of which may have made it more contagious.

    "That mutation is associated with a higher viral load among patients upon initial diagnosis, the researchers found.

    "The study, which has not been peer-reviewed, was posted Wednesday on the preprint server MedRxiv. It appears to be the largest single aggregation of genetic sequences of the virus in the United States."

    According to the story, "The new report did not find that these mutations have made the virus deadlier. All viruses accumulate genetic mutations, and most are insignificant, scientists say. Coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV-2, which causes the illness covid-19, are relatively stable as viruses go, because they have a proofreading mechanism as they replicate.

    "But every mutation is a roll of the dice, and with transmission so widespread in the United States – which continues to see tens of thousands of new, confirmed infections daily – the virus has had abundant opportunities to change, potentially with troublesome consequences."

    •  From the New York Times:

    "As public health officials raise alarms about surging coronavirus cases among young people, new research suggests that Americans under 25 are most likely to believe virus-related misinformation about the severity of the disease and how it originated.

    "In a survey of 21,196 people in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, researchers identified a clear generational divide. Respondents 18 to 24 had an 18 percent probability of believing a false claim, compared with 9 percent for those over 65, according to the study, conducted by researchers from Harvard University, Rutgers University, Northeastern University and Northwestern University."

    According to the story, "The results diverge from past research that said older people were more likely to share false news articles on social media."

    •  The New York Times reports that "the Metropolitan Opera announced Wednesday that the still-untamed coronavirus pandemic has forced it to cancel its entire 2020-21 season, prolonging one of the gravest crises it has faced in its 137-year history and keeping it dark until next September.

    "The decision is likely to send ripples of concern through New York and the rest of the country, as Broadway theaters, symphony halls, rock venues, comedy clubs, dance spaces and other live arts institutions grapple with the question of when it will be safe again to perform indoors. Far from being a gilded outlier, the Met, the nation’s largest performing arts organization, may well prove to be a bellwether."

    The story goes on:

    "Grand opera is in some ways uniquely vulnerable to the pandemic: It is so expensive to produce that it is financially difficult to sustainably perform to reduced-capacity audiences, and it attracts older people, who are among the most vulnerable to the virus. (The average age of Met opera-goers was 57 last season.)

    "But the broader question - when will it be safe to hold large-scale indoor performances again in the United States, which has been much less successful at curbing the spread of the coronavirus than many of the nations in Europe where theaters are gingerly beginning to reopen - is being asked throughout the arts world."

    •  Variety reports that "Disney has postponed the release of fall blockbusters such as Marvel’s Black Widow, Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story and Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile by several months. The results are bad news for the exhibition industry, which is facing fierce headwinds after closing for months due to coronavirus … Disney’s release date shifts all but guarantee that box office revenues this year will reach a nadir - analysts have already projected that domestic grosses would decline between 70% to 80%."

    Black Widow, which was set for a November 6 opening, now is scheduled to open on May 7, 2021.  

    Death on the Nile, scheduled for October 23, has been delayed to December 18.

    West Side Story, planned for a December 18 opening, has been pushed to December 10, 2021.

    These are big movies, and so presumably Disney  didn't want to take the streaming route … though I suppose that this could change if theaters remain empty into early next year.  Still planned for theaters in November - though I wouldn't gamble on it - is the new James Bond movie, No Time To Die.

    Published on: September 24, 2020

    From the Los Angeles Times:

    "Smoke from the California and Pacific Northwest wildfires has tainted grapes in some of the nation’s most celebrated wine regions with an ashy flavor that could spell disaster for the 2020 vintage.

    "Wineries in California, Oregon and Washington have survived severe wildfires before, but the smoke from this year’s blazes has been especially bad — thick enough to obscure vineyards drooping with clusters of grapes almost ready for harvest. Day after day, some West Coast cities endured some of the worst air quality in the world.

    "No one knows the extent of the smoke damage to the crop, and growers are trying to assess the severity. If tainted grapes are made into wine without steps to minimize the harm or to weed out the damaged fruit, the result could be wine so bad that it cannot be marketed."

    John Aguirre, president of the California Assn. of Winegrape Growers., calls it "without question the single worst disaster the wine grape-growing community has ever faced … I’m fully expecting a plague of locusts to descend and maybe 40 days of night.  I mean, it’s just nuts."

    Pinot noir, made from a relatively delicate grape, may be one of the wines most vulnerable to the impact of the wildfires.

    KC's View:

    I totally get this plague-of-locusts perspective.  2020 has been that kind of year - every time you think things can't get worse, things do.

    Published on: September 24, 2020

    •  The Verge reports that it has seen an internal Amazon memo confirming that Prime Day this year will be held on October 13-24, with a formal announcement of the scheduling on September 27.

    •  The Cincinnati Business Courier reports that Aldi is bringing its new curbside pickup service to the area, offering it in six stores there as "part of a nationwide push the retailer began in May."

    "Our Curbside Grocery Pickup pilot was quickly embraced by our customers and demand for this service has continued to increase. We're pleased to be bringing this service to customers across 35 states over the next several weeks," said Jason Hart, CEO of Aldi US.

    •  The Verge reports that "Amazon is launching a new environmental program called Climate Pledge Friendly that will label certain products that meet one of 19 certifications for sustainability. The goal is to help climate-conscious consumers make a better decision about whether to buy one product over another by letting them know when a brand has made an effort to reduce its carbon footprint. Amazon says more than 25,000 products should now display the program’s label."

    “Climate Pledge Friendly is a simple way for customers to discover more sustainable products that help preserve the natural world,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement. “With 18 external certification programs and our own Compact by Design certification, we’re incentivizing selling partners to create sustainable products that help protect the planet for future generations.”

    The story notes that "in June, Amazon launched a $2 billion climate change fund to invest in technologies that can reduce greenhouse gases as part of the Climate Pledge commitment it introduced in last year that includes a promise to be carbon-neutral by 2040."

    •  CNBC reports that Amazon "is distancing itself" from a $500 EX-Prime exercise bicycle launched by Echelon Fitness and described in marketing materials as "Amazon’s first-ever connected fitness product" and "developed in collaboration with Amazon."

    In this case, "distancing itself" actually means that Amazon has told Echelon to stop selling the bike and to change its branding.

    The move is sort of a big deal, since the bike was getting a lot of attention in the media as reflecting Amazon's desire to take on Peleton.

    “This bike is not an Amazon product or related to Amazon Prime,” an Amazon spokesperson told CNBC. “Echelon does not have a formal partnership with Amazon. We are working with Echelon to clarify this in its communications, stop the sale of the product and change the product branding.”

    Published on: September 24, 2020

    •  Bloomberg reports that "Walmart Inc. is removing the one-way aisles it had imposed in its stores at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, a move likely to be welcomed by customers who largely ignored the rule anyway.

    "The nation’s biggest retailer said it would resume two-way shopping in all of its 4,753 U.S. stores at the beginning of October and also reopen some additional store entrances that had been closed temporarily to help control the flow of customer traffic. Walmart will keep in place other safety measures like plastic shields at registers, requiring customers to wear masks and spraying shopping carts after each use."

    Published on: September 24, 2020

    With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

    •  From Food & Wine:

    "Among the many hardships we’ve faced over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the suspension of McDonald’s all-day breakfast service clearly isn’t the most serious. Many locations were already over the 2015 menu extension: Last year, McDonald’s granted franchises the option to slim down their all-day offerings to help improve operations before coronavirus was even on our radar. So when the pandemic forced the burger giant to simplify things further, all-day breakfast was a logical place to start.

    "However, now that locations nationwide have remembered what life was like before all-day breakfast, Business Insider reports that a growing push exists to get rid of the service altogether. And when asked for comment, McDonald’s corporate didn’t increase confidence that all-day breakfast would definitely return."

    But, the story says, "Permanently removing all-day breakfast a mere five years after introducing the concept would certainly be upsetting for McMuffin fans who spent decades dreaming of McDonald’s pushing breakfast items into the PM hours."

    •  From the Associated Press:

    "A Massachusetts construction worker’s love of black licorice wound up costing him his life. Eating a bag and a half every day for a few weeks threw his nutrients out of whack and caused the 54-year-old man’s heart to stop, doctors reported Wednesday … The problem is glycyrrhizic acid, found in black licorice and in many other foods and dietary supplements containing licorice root extract. It can cause dangerously low potassium and imbalances in other minerals called electrolytes.

    "Eating as little as 2 ounces of black licorice a day for two weeks could cause a heart rhythm problem, especially for folks over 40, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns."

    I am not making light of this tragedy … but I must admit that the first thing I did when I read this story is Google, "Do strawberry or cherry Twizzlers contain glycyrrhizic acid?"  The answer, thankfully, is no … because for me, Twizzlers are like heroin.

    Published on: September 24, 2020

    •  Albertsons announced that it has hired Omer Gajial to be its new senior vice president of pharmacy and health.

    Gajial spent almost five years at Amazon, where he was GM - Category Development for North America and before that, GM - Soflines and Consumables for Amazon Marketplace.  Before that, he spent more than a decade at PepsiCo, finishing his tenure there as VP Global Strategy, Category Management & Insights for the Walmart Customer team.

    Published on: September 24, 2020

    Regarding Walmart's plans to rethink its approach to Black Friday this year, MNB reader Matt Nitzberg wrote:

    You wrote that "you'd think that most folks would have figured out that this is not a safe thing to do," referring to rushing into crowds for frenzied in-person shopping. But plenty of people either don't believe or don't care (thanks in part to the powerful forces of misinformation and disinformation), and others may reluctantly choose to trade safety for savings. The pandemic has been a powerful reminder that different people make different choices on a daily basis, driven by preference, privilege, and priorities.  

    I would've said it differently - that bad choices are made daily by people who have made a decision not to trust the science.  And then, ignorance is celebrated.

    Go figure.

    From another reader:

    You may be right in thinking that who would want to get out for a day of Black Friday shopping, but have you seen the beaches, campgrounds, outdoor restaurants, etc.? They are packed. People are so tired of these shut-ins and lock-downs, they just want to get out. If the opportunity for a Black Friday event, the folks will show up in droves.

    Sometimes people talk tough about their personal freedoms, and then in their actions demonstrate that they actually are soft and unwilling to make the hard decisions and do the responsible things that will keep other people safe.

    Go figure.

    Got the following email from MNB reader Sandy Voit:

    Reading Michael's comments on extroverts/introverts and the covid paradigm shift that provides recognition for the often overlooked introvert, provided me some insight as to my own experiences. I am an introvert, who is professionally an extrovert - that is I've always had jobs (community organizer, dean of students, executive director, teacher) that have put me in the spotlight in public and with the media. I've done well, but never feel comfortable in that spotlight, but the passion with which I am doing my job seems to resonate and impact others. (And interestingly enough, I married an extrovert, as have most of the introverts I've met.) 

    Yes, covid may be presenting an opportunity for more introverts to be recognized for their leadership style and expertise, but I am noticing that zoom meetings are still dominated by extroverts, and many fields are more likely to be filled by extroverts, while some fields seem to attract more introverts. I will gladly accept falling back into the ranks of the unnoticed when the covid pandemic recedes... It can't happen soon enough...