Inflation: Prices Are Increasing From Gas to Groceries but My Income is the Same

Pandemic surging prices are hitting my pockets and everyone else’s, too.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3WYIaJ_0b7bQUzN00
Photo by Tatiana Maramygina via Redshot

As we slowly climb out of the depths of over sixteen months of this pandemic, one cannot turn their cheek to the soaring prices. Everything from gas to groceries to plane tickets has sky-rocketed in pricing when compared to several months prior. I have noticed the steady increase just over two weeks ago, but it first struck me as insane when I went to have some additional work to my car at my mechanic’s shop and had been informed that my previous quote for a 4-tire balance of $39.99 had risen to $95.99.

Luckily for me, I had my estimate from the week before when I took my car in for an oil change with their quoted price of $39.99. I pulled out my estimate which was initialed and dated by me and handed it to the representative. She consulted with the store manager and charged me what my quote listed, regardless of their recent price hike. So, they lost over $60.00 in this case.

Many tire shops offer free balancing as part of tire packages that are purchased from them, but you’ll have to pay for it in other cases. On average, plan to spend between $15 and $75, depending on your vehicle, the tires, and the shop. — Chris Teague, The Drive

In just one week, the store manager stated the prices of the following had increased; oil changes, labor, tire balancing, and basic maintenance for one’s vehicle. I was not the only person hit with a surprise when I walked through the door — he said. Even he could not prepare himself for what occurred while he was away on vacation.

Imagine returning to the store you manage and bombarded with several recent changes, especially to the pricing of which you’ve been familiar for years and those have changed — drastically.

Money doesn’t grow on trees.

When I purchased, and I counted, twenty-seven items from my community Walmart in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, this past Friday, I was greeted with a price tag of $78.22. Just three weeks ago, many of the same items in my cart, save a knick-knack or two, cost me $66.58. Now, you may think an increase of just under twelve dollars isn’t much, but couple that with the steady rise in gas prices, at local eateries, in various other grocery stores, and in apartment/housing markets, and one could end up in the poor-house before an eyelash bats.

As I stated, I am not the only one affected by inflation, everyone is. Based on information reported by Emma Withrow with WNCT9 in Charlotte, The Labor Department states the current prices are the highest tallied since August 2008.

A recent rise in inflation hit everyday Americans where it hurts most, the pocketbook. Some economists are saying it’s temporary, others are saying it’s a big threat, but people everywhere are being affected regardless of how long it might last. — Emma Withrow, WNCT9, Charlotte

Farmers and those working in agriculture have been hit with heavy increases in pricing as it pertains to their specialty and they can dish out a few more cents here and there, but eventually, we will have to take on the brunt of those costs and we already have.

“When you go to increase in the cost of a dozen eggs to produce by 10, 15, 20 cents, you can pretty much eliminate the profits out of it really quickly,” Simpson explained, “We can’t take it forever. We’ll take it here for a little while. But sooner or later, it’s gonna have to trickle down to the consumer.” — Alex Simpson, Simpson’s Eggs, courtesy of WNCT9, Charlotte

Several restaurants are dealing with price hikes as well and they’re not fairing well from it — which means, we see the additional cost to us as the consumer when popping in to pick up our favorite lunch or swinging by to retrieve our family’s evening dinner.

The price index is up by 5.4 percent . . . Experts blame inflated prices on high demand due to the pandemic. They expect inflation pressures to ease with time. — Colette Stein, WXII12, Winston-Salem

How long will this last is the question? As it stands, no one is truly sure.

Getting by because I have to.

With prices increasing for everything I purchase, there’s only one thing that has not increased — my income. Recently, I lost my secondary income with a part-time editing and publishing job and I am steadily looking into replacing that supplemental funding. I have been working full time with my “main” job for three years and within this current department for eight months.

From last November up to now, there has been no change in my income at my primary job. I am hopeful this will prove well in a few more months when I am due for my yearly evaluation. But until that time, my pockets are taking a hit from this most recent inflation and I fear this will not end soon.

I am searching for a new place to live and currently have three property tours set up for next Saturday, July 31, 2021. Upon researching apartment homes/condos/townhouses for rent in Winston-Salem, NC, and a few surrounding towns/cities, I have noticed an increase within this market as well. I could only shake my head and sigh heavily.

Money really makes the world go ‘round.


Originally published via NewsBreak.

I Am Afraid of the New Dating World and Think I’ll Pass for Now

Even if summer’s on the way, I’m still not ready

Photo by cottonbro via Unsplash

Nowadays if you’re not on one of the following dating apps; Tinder, eHarmony, Match, or Hinge (just to name a few), chances are, you’re still clinging to the traditional way of dating just as I am or I’d like to be. I did not have many miles behind me regarding the traditional way of dating prior to the Coronavirus, COVID-19 — it was the method with which I was most familiar.

If I wanted to, I could go to my local coffee shop, set up my mini workstation, order my favorite blend, and subtly eye God’s gifts that walked through the doors of the venue.

If I made eye contact with a woman or a man who sparked my interest, a small conversation would start and the two of us would simply enjoy one another’s company as we sipped our brews and meshed with our surrounding environment. If the connection was intense enough, we would exchange numbers. If not, of course, we parted ways. No harm. No foul. We were adults and acted accordingly (thankfully).

Today, I feel the stress and overwhelming disdain within me that comes with the idea of even signing on to a dating app to get back out into the not-yet-virus-free world. I could do it that way but I’d still have to meet up with the person after getting to know them online, shoot the shit, and hope the connection is as decent a connection in person as it potentially was online, eventually.

I’m a cut out the middleman kind of person, so . . .


I’d like to trust you, but I don’t.

With summer right around the corner, I would rather visit the various places I used to frequent during the pre-COVID-19 days, however, I don’t trust the people out and about mask-less since the CDC’s most recent update to their guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals.

If I have to go to the store (Instacart has become my best friend), I wear my mask, rush in, get what I need, keep my distance from others, and get out. And I’m a fully vaccinated healthcare worker who now works from home.

There is still a substantial amount of fear dwelling inside me as it pertains to this virus. When one has faced what I have dealt with (prior to my transfer to my current position) — fear is probably not going to subside soon.

Screening patients for COVID-19 symptoms and frequently coming in contact with patients who were positive was enough to keep me aware of the severity of thousands of cases and the seriousness of this pandemic.

Eager to start but afraid to begin.

I would like to get back to the life I had, but I also don’t want to rush into anything stupidly or hurriedly without weighing all safety options. What scares me the most is befriending a person who is not honest about his or her practices and precautions. Are they really fully vaccinated if they say so? Do they keep their visitations to and with others to a minimum? Are they cautious about who they allow in their home? How are their cleanliness and hygiene?

I don’t want to become that person who asks you to show me your COVID-19 vaccination card as proof . . . but . . .

I am not jaded. I would not find it fair for me to hit up my favorite spots or find new ones with this fear still lingering as deeply as it is. I would not want to subject anyone to the possibility of an early dismissal without a proper chance at developing something from nothing.

Kicking digital game isn’t my thing.

The horror stories I’ve heard from many of my friends about this new dating world via the world wide web are enough to keep me single and celibate forever — summer, be damned . . . Constant ghosting. Swiping left or right. Matching only to be swiftly unmatched. Breadcrumbing. Stonewalling. And the list goes on.

Is this what we’re now facing if we somewhat wish to give dating a try again? Impatience and the ever-changing world of I want what I want and if you aren’t it, I won’t stick around to grow with you? “Lies you tell.” — Tamar Braxton

When I was in my mid-twenties, I had signed up for one of the dating sites that had been popular around that time. I want to say it was Match, but I can’t be certain.

Met a guy. We hit it off. Things were good for about four months and then . . . things started taking a more serious turn, and he did not want that. I’m sure it doesn’t need stating that we moved on from one another. It was for the best. I’ve had a few summer and autumn flings here and there — with a few of those individuals scooped up from a couple online platforms I frequented. That’s as close as I have gotten to “online dating” since the previously mentioned guy.

It isn’t my comfort zone.

Summer is right around the corner. Should I come out of my shell?

I have a burning feeling welled up in me to stick my big toe in the water (so to speak), but I also know I’ll probably tip-toe to the water, overanalyze it, hesitate, and cringe instead of attempting to become one with what used to be familiar to me. I’ve seen so many people crowded together poolside, hosting barbecues and family functions, and jet setting without a care in the world, and although it is rather appealing, I can’t move . . .

I want to, I just can’t.

And this tells me I still have much work to do within myself and about this pandemic before I am ready to see what the new dating world has to offer. People can be more work than I am cut out to put in and well . . . I’ve been single for a long time, I’m in no rush.

But what will the dating world be like when I’ve finally given fear a run for its money?

I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.


Originally published in Prism & Pen via Medium.

Going Nowhere

Silver and Black Digital Alarm Clock on Table
Photo by Burst via Pexels

Time doesn’t stand still for me. I beg it sometimes. My plea goes unheard. A faint whisper greets my ear, “What are you so afraid of”? I respond, “Now? Everything.”

Time cocks its head back & laughs. It gathers data on me and maintains its surveillance.

I’m free to go nowhere.


Originally shared via Twitter.

As the World Burns

Writers and Artists Reflect on a World Gone Mad

Photo by Tremaine L. Loadholt

A brief description from Candice L. DaQuin’s blog, The Feathered Sleep:

As The World Burns is available via all good book stores in Kindle and softback NOW. It is an incredible collection of writers, many of whom are from WordPress and are in our writing groups, writing some of our favorite work. We hope you will support them and our efforts to spread awareness of socially vital subjects. If you have felt frustrated with politics, COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, Homophobia or any of the things happening ‘as the world burns’ this is the collection for you.

The Feathered Sleep, November 2020

I am excited about this anthology as I have been looking forward to holding my copies (one for myself, one for my mom, and one for my best friend) in my hands since I purchased them online via Amazon. I have two poems featured in this masterpiece among many other WordPress writers and I would be delighted if you gave this work of art a chance. Creatives create: we find a way to push what’s locked inside us out and we do so using various methods/mediums of art. Mine just so happens to be writing.

What’s yours?

Celebrating New Life During COVID-19

Thanks to the digital world, it isn’t that hard.

Photo by Gift Habeshaw via Unsplash

During this season of Coronavirus, COVID-19, my father’s side of the family has two new members. Two of my first cousins have welcomed baby girls within nine months of each other. The first was born in January of this year and the second was born during this month, October. For my baby cousin born this past January, I had planned to visit my hometown of Savannah, Georgia in mid-March, but that is when this global pandemic showed us what it could do and the first round of restrictions was put in place not too long after.

I am fond of new life. I am a fan of witnessing the births of babies and showering them with trinkets and necessities upon their arrival. Being that I am five hours away from my hometown, traveling home was always a one to two times per year investment, however, those tables have turned drastically. I have not or will probably not be home for the foreseeable future which cuts me out of witnessing the growth of these two bundles of joy unless . . . it’s through digital devices and photographs.

I am blessed to be able to watch various stages of each take form by way of digital media or hear about their constant shifts in life through the voices of their parents. Had this not been a resource to use, I would be completely in the dark. And I don’t think I’d like that at all.

As much as I appreciate the gift of new life, giving birth during a global pandemic–must be five times more stressful than without one. I have so many questions for women who are pregnant or those new to motherhood. How did you manage to stay safe? What additional precautions are you taking/have you taken? What will you do to ensure your newborn doesn’t contract the Coronavirus, COVID-19? Will you allow any family to visit and if so, whom?

Rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection in neonates do not appear to be affected by mode of delivery, method of infant feeding, or contact with a mother with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. All neonates born to mothers with suspected or confirmed infection should be considered as having suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection when test results are not available.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 3, 2020.

Hospitals and outpatient facilities in most states test their patients prior to any invasive procedures or surgeries, so it’s safe to assume that any woman going into labor has been tested prior to delivery and will be tested again before leaving the hospital. All precautions are in place for both baby and new mom, but how can we be sure?


You can read the rest of the article at Thrive Global, here. If you like the article, please recommend it by clicking on the little heart at the bottom of the post. Thank you for reading.