Skolnik: COVID-19 – Time Is Running Out

first_imgBy RICHARD SKOLNIKLos AlamosThe US is falling further and further behind in its fight against COVID-19. The number of new cases has been at an all-time high. The number of deaths has been climbing. We have the tenth highest number of deaths per million population in the world and Florida has almost as many cases in a week as China has had during its entire outbreak. In addition, many hospitals are becoming overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, health workers continue to face PPE shortages, and test results are taking so long in some places that they are of no value in managing the epidemic.In fact, when it comes to COVID-19, the US is a shockingly bad outlier. Many other countries, from all income groups, have effectively used traditional public health measures, plus varying degrees of “lockdowns” to suppress the outbreak. Vietnam has had fewer than 1,000 cases and Thailand fewer than 3,500. Rwanda can return COVID-19 test results faster than many places in the US. Although the virus arrived in South Korea and the US on the same day, an American has a 70 times greater risk of dying of COVID-19 than a South Korean.Moreover, our COVID-19 trajectory puts us on course to have more than 200,000 deaths by the early fall. This will be about the same number who died in the 20-year Vietnam War. It will be about half the number of military casualties in World War II. We are also at risk of a long-lasting pandemic-related economic depression and the outbreak has profound psychological, social, and educational costs.Our failures to address COVID-19 effectively are overwhelmingly self-inflicted. Our federal government and many state governments have failed to implement well-known public health strategies effectively:Leaders in successful countries identified clear national goals, created a national consensus around those goals, and organized their institutions to achieve them as if their country’s life depended on it.Leaders in the successful countries provided clear and consistent messaging to their people about the nature of the problem, what it would take to address it, and the role of different members of society if they were to tame the outbreak.Countries that have done well against the outbreak have taken policy measures in line with emerging evidence about the disease. They worked continuously to ensure that their people overwhelmingly supported such measures.The countries that have kept new cases and deaths low effectively implemented public health measures at an early stage, including testing, isolation of the infected, contract tracing, and quarantine of their contacts.If we don’t want COVID-19 to get much worse, we need to stop making excuses for American failures. We also need to act in a number of areas with extreme urgency:We must recommit to suppressing the virus.While continuing to promote the development of a vaccine, we must not wait for it, unless we want millions of additional people to get infected and tens of thousands more to die.We must dramatically revise the approach to COVID-19 in states that are seeing major rises in infections.Some or all states will have to work together, even without the federal government, if necessary, to create a coordinated approach to testing and the procurement of needed equipment.We must encourage innovation and social action, such as the Rockefeller Foundation plan to take testing to 30 million a week.States must push national leadership to empower and support CDC, rather than to work around it.We must ensure that appropriate data is consistently collected, available to all, and used in scientific and not political ways as a basis for decision making.We must promote personal responsibility for wearing masks and social distancing whenever we are near other people.We also need to reject thoroughly the idea that “only deaths matter”. Each person who gets COVID-19 needs to be isolated. Each infected person is at risk of infecting others, and could be hospitalized, wind up in an ICU, or die. Many of those who get infected will survive but could face potentially long-lasting neurological, vascular, or pulmonary complications and disabilities. We have no idea yet about the extent to which people with infection and only limited symptoms might wind up later with complications of the infection. Each case also raises a host of social and economic consequences. Thus, completely contrary to what some of our leaders tell us – each case has enormous costs and consequences and we must beat back the virus now.Some governors, both Democrats and Republicans have shown how to lead. Some states, like Connecticut, are winning against the virus. However, if we continue as a nation on our present route, we are headed over the cliff. Let’s hope that we can be exceptional enough to realize this, wake up, and take the urgent actions needed to correct our course.Editor’s note: Richard Skolnik is the former regional director for health for South Asia at the World Bank. He was the director of an AIDS treatment program for Harvard and taught Global Health at the George Washington University and Yale. He is the author of Global Health 101 and the instructor for Yale/Coursera’s Essentials of Global Health.last_img read more

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AAE acquires majority stake in ZSSK Cargo wagon fleet

first_imgSLOVAKIA: European wagon leasing company AAE has been selected to acquire a majority stake in the Cargo Wagon fleet management subsidiary of state-owned freight operator ZSSK Cargo for €7m.In July 2013 the government approved a restructuring plan under which ZSSK Cargo is to concentrate on freight operations, with its wagon management, intermodal and rolling stock maintenance activities to be taken over by three new subsidiaries. While ZSSK Cargo is to remain state-owned, international partners were sought to acquire stakes in the Cargo Wagon fleet management and ZSSK Cargo Intermodal businesses which were formally established in October 2013. ZSSK Cargo is to use the proceeds to reduce debt.Under the deal announced on June 6, AAE is to pay €7m for a 66% stake in Cargo Wagon, with ZSSK Cargo retaining 34%. Cargo Wagon will purchase 12 450 wagons from ZSSK Cargo for €180m, with 8 218 to be leased back to ZSSK Cargo under long-term contracts. ‘Apart from the price we offered, the comprehensive concept for the subsequent marketing of the wagons was decisive, supported by our many years of experience in this field as well as the spirit of partnership which we have developed with ZSSK and Slovakia over the last 20 years’, said AAE Group CEO Karsten Sachsenröder.last_img read more

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African crisis response force ready by October: Zuma

first_img27 June 2014The African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC), a temporary standby force capable of responding quickly to crisis situations in Africa, is expected to be operational by October, South African President Jacob Zuma said at the conclusion of his working visit to Malabo, Equatorial Guinea on Thursday.The ACIRC will serve as an interim measure ahead of the establishment of a permanent African Standby Force, which was originally expected to be operational by 2015. Zuma proposed the concept of the ACIRC at last year’s African Union (AU) summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where the proposal was endorsed.“In order to respond to crises on the continent, the AU Summit took a decision last year to operationalise the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises as an interim mechanism, until the African Standby Force is established”, Zuma said on Thursday.He said the countries that had volunteered to contribute resources to the ACIRC met during this week’s AU summit to discuss the state of readiness of the temporary standby force.“The African Union Commission concluded its verification visits to the contributing countries and presented a report on the framework for the operationalisation of the ACIRC, which was endorsed by the contributing countries,” Zuma said. “It is expected that the ACIRC will be launched by October 2014.”The AU envisions the ACIRC as an efficient, robust and credible force that can be deployed rapidly, either conducting operations of limited duration and aims, or paving the way for the deployment of larger AU and/or United Nations peace operations.Following a meeting in Addis Ababa in January, the AU decided that the force would comprise a pool of 5 000 troops made up of operational modules in the form of 1 500-strong battle groups. Command will rest with the AU Peace and Security Council, which will asses all requests for intervention by member states.On a voluntary basis, member states of the AU will contribute troops and finance for the AICRC to enable it to to act independently.In May last year, South Africa, Ethiopia and Uganda were the first support the initiative and pledged to provide troops should the need arise.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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Boeing says MCAS pilot messages involved simulator still under test

first_imgPhoto: Boeing Boeing believes an interchange between two pilots about aggressive MCAS software related to an incomplete simulator program and says it briefed regulators about the now controversial 737 MAX flight control changes “on multiple occasions”.The release of messages between the pilots sent the company’s share price tumbling on Friday after the US Federal Aviation Administration demanded an urgent explanation about why it was only now seeing the exchange.Boeing said in a statement released Sunday that it understood and regretted the concern the release of the messages by technical pilot Mark Forkner had caused, particularly to the FAA and other regulators.In the exchange, Forkner says the MCAS ” is running rampant in the sim” and worries about unintentionally misleading regulators.Forner, who has since left Boeing, was involved in the development of training and manuals for the MAX.READ: Pilot MCAS messages plunge Boeing into fresh crisisThe release comes at a delicate time for the manufacturer as it continues to deal with the regulators on getting the grounded MAX fleet back in the air.“It is unfortunate that this document, which was provided early this year to government investigators, could not be released in a manner that would have allowed for meaningful explanation,’’ Boeing said.“While we have not been able to speak to Mr. Forkner directly about his understanding of the document, he has stated through his attorney that his comments reflected a reaction to a simulator program that was not functioning properly, and that was still undergoing testing.“We are continuing to investigate the circumstances of this exchange, and are committed to identifying all the available facts relating to it, and to sharing those facts with the appropriate investigating and regulatory authorities. “Boeing said it engaged in an extensive process with the FAA to determine pilot training requirements for the 737 MAX 8, part of “a complex, multiyear effort that involved a large number of individuals at both Boeing and the FAA”.“In that regulatory process, Boeing informed the FAA about the expansion of the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) to low speeds, including by briefing the FAA and international regulators on multiple occasions about MCAS’s final configuration,’’ it said.“The process also included evaluation of MCAS in low-speed configurations for both training and certification.“The simulator software used during the November 15 session was still undergoing testing and qualification and had not been finalized, but it, too, provided for MCAS operation at low speed.“Separately, a low-speed version of MCAS was installed on the airplanes used for training-related flight testing that the FAA administered in August 2016.“And FAA personnel also observed the operation of MCAS in its low-speed configuration during certification flight testing, beginning in August 2016 and continuing through January 2017.“We understand entirely the scrutiny this matter is receiving, and are committed to working with investigative authorities and the U.S. Congress as they continue their investigations. “last_img read more

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The Next Shift in Collective Leadership

first_imgIt’s important that we surround ourselves with others that can encourage and inspire us to see things from a different perspective. We’ve heard folks tell us that “It’s lonely at the top.” We’ve had discussions with many leaders who have shared their personal stories of feeling lonely, and that they were the ones who took on the bulk of what happens in our organizations because it seemed as if no one else cared as much as they cared. But isn’t leadership really more about inspiring others to become a part of the process? Isn’t it more about team-building and getting our organizations and people to work as one collective body? Heck, even pop groups understand that it takes more than one voice or one guitar player to create a whole? I was recently encouraged by the music group Mumford & Sons in a documentary when they shared:  “We try to always remember that our success lie in the collaboration of each member making the whole one really unique experience. We understand that each of us feeds off of each member and their unique piece of the puzzle and energy. This is what makes us who we are today.” The collaboration model is nothing new and according to “Next Shift: Beyond the Nonprofit Leadership Crisis,” by the Building Movement Project, younger leaders are not attracted to hierarchical structures and are trying to find new ways to organize and structure work, ranging from entrepreneurial models to shared leadership and broader participatory structures. And more millenials are entering the workforce today than any other era. Perhaps the time has come that we dissolve the lone hero mentality – the leader who comes just in the “nick of time” to “save the day,” but instead, takes the opportunity to think of themselves as facilitators of a process that engages everyone in our organizations. This can be quite challenging to leaders who are used to doing everything themselves or micromanaging out of fear that no one else can do it “quite like us,” or that they are going to screw everything up — and we’ll be left to clean up the mess. Instead, collective leadership empowers employees and teams, and can, in fact, ease our burden. Figuring out how to adopt this model is not an easy task, but can be a tremendous asset to our cultures and the greater good of our organizations. Distributing leadership and responsibility is a balancing act, knowing when and what each of us needs to communicate to the team without overloading each other. Collective leadership is the result of a process that brings together diverse communities of people to create change, begins with a shared dream that forms the heart of a group of skilled and passionate individuals, and emerges from our relationship building. It is amazing what a handful of people can do when everyone’s leadership is tapped and others are allowed to share their insight and ideas. Who doesn’t like to be heard and feel as if they have a voice, especially at work?last_img read more

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Beat high-cost paid search clicks by sweating the details

first_img HomeDigital MarketingBeat high-cost paid search clicks by sweating the details In some industries and sectors, the per-click cost of search keywords is notoriously expensive — so expensive, in fact, that it dissuades some businesses from even stepping into the fray. When a click can cost you $200 or more, that reluctance is understandable.At the same time, the costs of not stepping into PPC might be just as pricey, even if they’re not as obvious. In industries where competition is stiff, you could stand to lose a lot by being conspicuously absent from PPC.So, what’s a business to do?Fortunately, expensive clicks — even really expensive clicks — don’t have to stop you from venturing into PPC. You just have to make sure that every click counts.[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]From our sponsors: Beat high-cost paid search clicks by sweating the details Related postsLytics now integrates with Google Marketing Platform to enable customer data-informed campaigns14th December 2019The California Consumer Privacy Act goes live in a few short weeks — Are you ready?14th December 2019ML 2019121313th December 2019Global email benchmark report finds email isn’t dead – it’s essential13th December 20192019 benchmark report: brand vs. non-brand traffic in Google Shopping12th December 2019Keep your LinkedIn advertising strategy focused in 202012th December 2019 Posted on 4th October 2017Digital Marketing FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+share Beat high-cost paid search clicks by sweating the detailsYou are here:last_img read more

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NYT Jumps Into VR, Sending A Million Google Cardboards To Readers

first_imgHow to Avoid Being Part of 90% of Failed Companies Tags:#Google#Google Cardboard#New York Times#virtual reality#virtual reality headset#VR david nield Building a Workplace for the Next 100 Years Related Posts center_img The New York Times is giving out Google Cardboard kits to its one million subscribers. The free gifts will ship in advance of the November 7 release of its new virtual reality film, The Displaced. Produced by the New York Times Magazine and the first in a planned series of short movies from the news organization, Displaced will tell the story of “three extraordinary children uprooted by war.” This marks a landmark moment in the use of VR to tell a news story, and the NYT’s goal is to offer the viewer “a unique sense of empathic connection to people and events,” as NYT Magazine editor Jake Silverstein puts it. The approach is also a huge vote of confidence, not just in virtual reality, but also for Google’s DIY viewer. See also: Virtual-Reality Films Could Put The Whole Industry In The Spotlight Cardboard, a corrugated paper box with a couple of lenses, offers a blueprint for a basic VR viewer powered by an Android smartphone. (Users can buy pre-made kits or build their own.) It seemed strange at first that Google would create such a cheap, bare-bones viewer. Then again, not everyone can afford an Oculus Rift, and it’s hard to imagine anyone handing out a million premium VR goggles. The aim of Cardboard has always been to bring VR to the masses, and the NYT’s move could help Google succeed in its goal. Of course, Cardboard can’t do everything an expensive Oculus Rift can, but it can act as an on-ramp for users and developers interested in what VR has to offer. Now a million NYT readers will join the fold. VR: In The NewsAt its most basic level, a VR movie offers a 360-degree perspective, so viewers can look behind or around them, as well as straight at “the action.” The format is now supported by YouTube and Facebook, and creating these kinds of movies is quickly becoming easier and more affordable too. In fact, if the technology establishes itself, there could be little point in sticking to 2D footage if the 360-degree format was available. For news reporting, it could make for a dramatic experience. “In the context of international reporting and conflict reporting, where our readers rely on us to bring them news and stories from remote and inaccessible places, this has huge potential,” added Silverstein in a press statement. “Through this immersive video experience, we can put our readers at the center of the most important story of our time.” Think of it as the difference between seeing one small window of a local or world event, and feeling like you’re there and taking it all in. The New York Times looks set to be the first of many news organizations to make some of their stories available through virtual reality. At a recent journalism conference, the VR sessions had some of the most well-known news organizations in the world in attendance. As with games and movies, there’s a lot more to come from virtual reality—news, education and Street View for starters. And for many, Google Cardboard is going to be the way in. Images courtesy of Google Why Your Company’s Tech Transformation Starts W… Why Your eCommerce Business Should Have a Pop-U…last_img read more

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Pjanic set to miss a month

first_imgMiralem Pjanić Pjanic set to miss a month and World Cup qualifiers with thigh injury Sacha Pisani Last updated 2 years ago 07:35 29/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Pjanic-cropped. Getty Images Bosnia-Herzegovina Bosnia-Herzegovina v Belgium Estonia v Bosnia-Herzegovina Estonia Belgium WC Qualification Europe A torn muscle will force the midfielder to miss World Cup qualifying fixtures against Belgium and Estonia Juventus star Miralem Pjanic has been ruled out of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers due to a thigh injury as he prepares for a month-long stint on the sidelines.A torn muscle will force midfielder Pjanic to miss fixtures against Belgium and Estonia, the Football Association of Bosnia-Herzegovina announced.Juventus 5/1 to win CL Group D Article continues below Editors’ Picks Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. Pjanic sustained the injury in the warm-up before Juve’s 2-0 win over Olympiacos in the Champions League on Wednesday.”We spoke to the Juventus doctor. Pjanic has a 2cm muscle tear above his knee and will have to rest for 3-4 weeks,” said Bosnian doctor Reuf Karabeg.With 75 international caps to his name, Pjanic added: “I am sorry to be injured at this important moment, ahead of the Belgium match.”I will support Bosnia with all my heart and hope this situation can be another motive for my Bosnian team-mates.”Bosnia host Group H leaders Belgium – who have already qualified for the World Cup – on October 7 and travel to Estonia three days later, with their hopes of reaching Russia next year still in the balance.Pjanic and his team-mates are second in the table but cannot qualify directly, though they can still book their spot in the showpiece tournament via the play-offs.last_img read more

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