first_imgWith Valentine’s Day behind us, Gerhard Jenne reflects on how Konditor & Cook brought a little risqué love to customers.Following a very successful Valentine’s campaign I’m glad to report that the nation is still very romantically inclined. However, a bit worryingly, it’s getting rather moralistic at the same time.At Konditor & Cook, humour and cheekiness have always played a big part when it comes to cake and biscuit decorating ideas, and attracting customers to our shops. On this one we’ve agreed with Oscar Wilde, who said: “The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about”.Our Magic Cakes, small brightly coloured fondant fancies, have been decorated with royal-iced sweetness and cute imagery for years. They make their recipients smile – hence their name, ’Magic Cakes’. Some of them, intended to be edible greeting cards, feature direct messages: Happy Birthday, Good Luck, Sexy Babe, Kiss Me, Hug Me, or the controversial Shag Me. The latter has mostly been consigned to baking history as we bowed to pressure by parents who couldn’t explain to their literate offspring that we were referring to a 1920s dance!All this baking hokum took inspiration from the British humour I so learned to love by watching the Carry On movies, or by immersing myself in the camp jokes of Little Britain, where humour and innuendo are often used to disarm socially risqué topics. Jammy Dodgers, traditionally jam-sandwiched shortbread biscuits, have been given a new lease of life by our bakers. In our recipe we stamp out four-letter words, such as Tart, or acronyms such as YOLO (You Only Live Once), using small alphabet cutters instead of the customary hole or a heart. And, by the nature of some of the risqué words, and as a gentle warning to anyone feasting their eyes on them, we labelled them ‘Dodgy Jammers’.When we first developed them, we were very bold with our choices. It is amazing how many suitable and fun four-letter words the English language has borne fruit to. And if that were not enough, one female customer had the unspeakable baked for her!For this Valentine’s we limited our Dodgy Jammer range; in the end 1,000 were sold, and ‘Kiss’ came top of the podium followed by ‘Love’ and ‘Hunk’. Then came ‘Tart’, ‘Shag’, ‘Dick, ‘Slut’ and ‘Babe’. While there was a lot of romance, I’ll let you guess which one caused the most furore.For gay men it’s not a big deal to call each other ‘Slut’, and our stores count many of them as their customers (gay men that is). One husband bought one for his wife remarking, “She will love it” (and not take it too seriously). Yet a number took offence at what was meant to be a harmless sweet biscuit, albeit laced with some not intentionally sour-tasting humour.Maybe there is a limit to the proverb ‘There is no such thing as bad publicity’ after all. While I don’t expect groups of customers bearing placards, it’s quite easy to start a potentially harmful social media campaign.It’s a good thing we have Easter around the corner, with eggs, flowers, bunnies – cute innocent stuff. Oops, I nearly forgot Mothering Sunday at the end of March – rest assured we will not be baking any MILF (Mother I’d Like To …….)  Dodgy Jammers for this one either.www.konditorandcook.comlast_img read more

first_imgImagine! Tickets are now on sale to see Lennon: Through a Glass Onion off-Broadway. The show, created and performed by John R. Waters and Stewart D’Arrietta, has previously performed at the Sydney Opera House and in the West End. The limited engagement will play the Union Square Theatre from October 3 through February 22, 2015. Part concert and part biography, Lennon: Through a Glass Onion explores the life and talent of one of the most admired icons of the past century. The show will weave together Lennon’s story with 31 songs, including “Imagine,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Revolution,” “Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds,” “All You Need is Love,” “Come Together,” “Help,” “Working Class Hero,” “Mother” and “Jealous Guy.” Lennon: Through a Glass Onion Related Shows Opening night is set for October 15. View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 11, 2015last_img read more

first_imgHappy to see you, former Broadway.com video blogger Alan Cumming! The Tony-winning Cabaret star took a trip to Broadway.com headquarters on October 6 to film a new episode of Show People with Editor-in-Chief Paul Wontorek—and he brought along a copy of his new book, Not My Father’s Son. The memoir, which tells the story of Cumming’s complicated relationship with his father and the buried family secrets that shaped his life and career, will hit bookshelves October 7. Check out this Hot Shot of Cumming and his newest project, then stay tuned for his Show People debut, only on Broadway.com! Alan Cumming Cabaret View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on March 29, 2015 Related Shows Star Fileslast_img read more

first_img A Marine Corps Training and Advisory Group (MCTAG) participated in a joint combat training subject matter expert exchange (SMEE) with members of the Nicaraguan military in support of Southern Partnership Station (SPS) 2011 at the Corinto Naval Base in Corinto, Nicaragua, 24 March. Five Marines and a Sailor assigned to the SMEE are part of a five-day cross training evolution with members of the Nicaraguan army and navy special forces units, designed to improve proficiency in hand-to-hand combat, tactical procedures and bayonet maneuvers. “This SMEE is essential for all service members who may possibly engage in combat, because we’re focusing on the truest essence of combat, which is hand-to-hand combat for survival,” said Marine Staff Sgt. Daniel Monteiro. MCTAG, operating under U.S. Marine Corps Forces Southern Command, is one of a complement of military teams embarked aboard High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV 2) conducting SMEEs with the Nicaraguan government. The other SMEEs are related to physical security, medicine, civil affairs, construction, engineering and counter terrorism techniques. MCTAG’s mission is to build partner nation capacity in support of combatant commanders’ theater security force assistance and security cooperation objectives as designated by respective regional Marine force component commands. During the engagement, scenarios are presented and the service members must react quickly to access the best course of action for countering an attack from an enemy. “Everyone is benefiting from this training, because regardless of what uniform you wear, you want to be the one to walk away safe if you ever have to apply these tactics,” said Infante Oscar David Lopez, a member of the Nicaraguan navy special forces. “It’s also a good opportunity for us to learn and share information with our American counterparts and continue to build a strong working relationship.” “The success we’ve experienced with our Nicaraguan counterparts this week is a testament to the commitment these men have to service and country, and it has helped us foster an enduring bond with each other,” said Marine Capt. Raul Melano, SPS 2011 MCTAG officer-in-charge. U.S. Marine Corps Forces Southern Command commands all Marine forces assigned to U.S. Southern Command; advises the commander on the proper employment and support of Marine forces; conducts deployment/redeployment planning and execution of assigned/attached Marine forces; and accomplishes other operational missions as assigned. SPS 11 is an annual deployment of U.S. ships to Latin America and the Caribbean. The mission’s primary goal is information-sharing with navies, coast guards and civilian services throughout the region. Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (COMUSNAVSO) is the naval component command for U.S. Southern Command and is responsible for all naval personnel and assets in the area of responsibility. COMUSNAVSO conducts a variety of missions in support of the U.S. maritime strategy, including theater security cooperation, relationship building, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, community relations and counter-illicit trafficking operations. By Dialogo March 30, 2011last_img read more

first_img Bill provides for sworn testimony Associate Editor A sign in a Miami courtroom proclaims: “We who labor here seek only the truth,” so why should the standard be any lower at the Florida Legislature?That was the message Rep. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, brought to the House Judiciary Committee February 3 with his bill that would require people who speak before legislative committees to be put under oath.“Don’t the decisions we make carry as much weight as decisions a judge makes in a courtroom?” he asked.Inspired by less-than-candid testimony in last year’s special session on medical-malpractice insurance until the Senate put people under oath, the please-tell-us-the-truth proposal passed 12-5, and next goes to the House Subcommittee on Rules.“We owe it to the citizens of Florida to do our best to be diligent to determine if the evidence or information upon which we base our decisions is truthful,” said Galvano, a lawyer.His proposal would require that those wishing to address legislative committees sign an appearance card that acknowledges they are under oath and subject to penalties for perjury if they do not testify truthfully.Until now, the oath requirement has been left to discretion, Galvano said, and this would “elevate the respect level of the proceedings of the legislature.”The specter of citizens under threat of being charged with a crime left several legislators concerned about casting a chilling effect on open and vigorous debate.Rep. Phillip Brutus, D-Miami, an attorney, drew on his courtroom experience. Very few who lie on the witness stand are charged with perjury, but attorneys have an opportunity to impeach witnesses’ credibility during closing arguments. In the same way, he said, legislative staff can help cull fact from fiction in legislative testimony.“I cannot support this bill,” Brutus said.“When you require people to come in and expect to have a frank debate and strong advocacy, to hold that over their head that you must sign this or face prosecution is overkill.”In more than 100 years of the legislature, there has never been a need for this, he said, adding, “the essence of democracy is to allow citizens to come in and truly disagree.”Some people “may say things that are overstretched,” Brutus said. “But does it rise to the level of criminal prosecution? I don’t think so.”Rep. Curtis Richardson, D-Tallahassee, shared that concern: “I think our attention to this was highlighted by testimony in the med-mal debate. But do you reasonably believe that individuals coming before the legislature would perjure themselves so we need something on the books?”Galvano answered: “No, I don’t believe the majority of people would perjure themselves.. . . We are simply guarding against those few.. . who based on some other interest would provide us with false information.”Rep. Ken Sorensen, R-Tavernier, likened the bill to putting locks on doors of houses to guard against those few criminals.“I believe that people are intrinsically good and honest and straightforward. This bill is pointed basically at those people who are not,” Sorensen said. It would “allow us to keep. . . locks on the truth.”Rep. Juan-Carlos Planas, R-Miami, a lawyer, said there is a difference between debate and “blatantly saying something that is not so. That happened last year. If we cannot go to the bank on (committee testimony), we are useless. This will go a long way so no one will tell us things that are not so. Trust me, that happens.. . . Future legislators will thank you for this.”It’s not just lobbyists who stretch the truth, either, he said, and it was not just during the med-mal issue that candor was sacrificed.Rep. Gustavo Barreiro, R-Miami, said when he traveled around the state with Planas last year, he “found out that agency heads are not telling the truth. This will give cover to agency employees to tell the truth and not be afraid of repercussions if they tell the complete and whole truth.” Bill provides for sworn testimony February 15, 2004 Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

first_imgNAFCU’s Carrie Hunt, in response to 51 banking associations’ call for lawmakers to examine the NCUA’s efforts and ability to provide proper oversight of the credit union industry, said the bankers’ argument had no merit as it “rests solely on a shaky paper that was bought and paid for by their sister organization, the American Bankers Association.”“The letter fails to disclose this important fact to lawmakers on Capitol Hill which should raise alarming questions about bank lobbyists’ true motives,” said Hunt, NAFCU’s executive vice president of government affairs and general counsel.In addition, NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler wrote to lawmakers to defend credit unions, noting the irony of these baseless banker attacks. He asserted that bank lobbyists should instead analyze “why [banks] caused the financial crisis and how they can stop abusing consumers today” and went on to say that the true goal of the bankers is to eliminate credit unions as competition. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

first_imgJust as you’ve gotten used to working from home, you might be getting ready to head back to the office. If things in your state are starting to open up a bit, it’s time to get used to the idea of wearing pants again. I’m kidding of course, but believe it or not, driving to work and setting up shop in your office may feel kinda strange at this point. If you find yourself preparing to return to work, here are four things to consider…Clean your office or workspace: Since you’ve been gone, I’m sure your office has been thoroughly cleaned top to bottom, possibly numerous times. But it may still be a good idea to give your desk, computer and any other major components of your office a good cleaning when you get back to work, just for peace of mind. Nothing feels as clean to me as it does when I’m the one who’s cleaned it.Practice top-notch hygiene: I worked at a restaurant for 2 years right after I graduated college. That job instilled a hand washing habit in me that has stayed with me ever since. If you’re not a big hand-washer, it’s probably a good time to get in the habit. COVID is hopefully starting to fade, but until it’s completely said “peace out”, it’s probably a great idea to keep up the hand washing for a while. And don’t forget to always keep some hand sanitizer on you (if you can actually find some).Brush up on new policies and procedures: Your office is probably going to look a lot different than it did the last time you were there. There may be tape on the floor for encouraging a 6 ft. social distance, there may be less chairs in your lobby, and no doubt you’ll only being seeing half of your coworkers’ faces for a while (because of masks, not because there’s a fence in the way). There will probably be some new guidelines for common areas like the break room and restrooms, so make sure you’re aware of those changes.Be social!: The best part about going back to work is actually being around your work fam. Even if high-fives are out, you can still share laughs and friendly banter. Take advantage and maybe even talk to that one person who you never talk to. They’ve probably missed people too! 29SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for CUInsight.com. John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: www.cuinsight.com Detailslast_img read more

first_img“So far, so good. It’s about communicating to all of our volunteers all the new changes. A lot of them are older and have decided to hold off on coming back until things are better and they feel safer,” he explained. Tours run from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The museum is putting on tours Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but the reopening comes with new precautions. Staff explained tour groups cannot exceed six people, and everyone must be in the same family or household. Everyone in the tour must be wearing a mask. center_img House manager Joe Schuerch said it will take a little while to figure out all the kinks. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — Just in time for the holiday weekend, the Phelps Mansion Museum reopened its doors Sunday.last_img read more

first_imgMar 17, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – In the early stages of an influenza pandemic, cases are spreading among migrant workers in Michigan. The state’s health department has a supply of antiviral drugs from the federal stockpile and is using them to treat the sick, but, concerned about breaking federal rules, is withholding them from others exposed to the virus—thereby missing a chance to help contain it.Meanwhile, cases are spreading among homeless people in Washington, DC, and authorities are getting ready to close the schools, but they want to know what to do about children who depend on the school lunch program and those whose parents can’t take time off work to care for them.Those were two of the many dilemmas raised in a major pandemic simulation exercise staged at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta last week. Others included how to keep travelers from spreading the virus and what to do in the face of serious side effects caused by the leading antiviral drug.It was the fourth in a series of exercises based on a scenario that puts the United States at the epicenter of an evolving pandemic featuring an H5N1 strain of flu. Instead of watching anxiously as a pandemic emerges on some other continent, the scenario goes, the United States has about 75% of the world’s cases, all stemming from a traveler from Southeast Asia who brought the virus into the country. The series of exercises began in January 2007.Although the event was only an exercise, it offered a close-up look at the CDC’s expectations about the kinds of challenges it will face in the early stages of a real pandemic and how it might be likely to respond.The simulation involved a total of roughly 1,000 people, most of them from the CDC but also a number from other government agencies, according to Von Roebuck, a CDC spokesman who hosted reporters witnessing the drill.CDC emergency center buzzingThe 2-day event took place in the Director’s Emergency Operations Center (DEOC) on the third floor of the gleaming CDC headquarters building on the Atlanta campus. There, specialists from many CDC branches and a few other agencies staffed computer stations laid out in long rows, with 60 stations in all, most of them occupied. They faced a wall filled with a dozen or more electronic displays that charted data on influenza cases and deaths, distribution of antivirals, deployment of CDC personnel, CDC goals and objectives, and various other dimensions of the pandemic and response. Flanking the data displays were two TV news feeds.A similar but smaller control room a couple of buildings away was occupied by the CDC’s Exercise Control Group, consisting of 51 people who designed and monitored the exercise, adding new wrinkles that the CDC had to respond to as it evolved. Some played roles as representatives of other federal agencies or state health departments.As played out in the first exercise last year, the pandemic scenario began with an apparently healthy but infectious man from Southeast Asia who traveled to the United States, exposing other travelers on the way. After falling ill, he exposed household contacts, healthcare workers, and some members of a university sports team.Soon, as depicted in subsequent exercises, cases linked to the index patient surfaced in 10 states, plus Washington, DC, the Marshall Islands, Guam, and several foreign countries, including Australia, India, the United Kingdom, Panama, Japan, and Canada. Early on, the CDC determined that the prepandemic H5N1 vaccine in the US stockpile was not of much use against the pandemic strain. But the agency began shipping antivirals, mainly oseltamivir (Tamiflu), to the states, allocating them in proportion to population.By the time last week’s exercise opened on Tuesday, which was termed the sixth day of the CDC’s emergency response, there were 273 US cases and 27 deaths. The exercise began with a meeting involving CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding and about 25 senior staff members in a glass-walled conference room adjoining the DEOC. Sound from the meeting was piped—not always very audibly—into the main room.As the exercise unfolded over the 2 days, cases mounted, slowly here, in spurts there. CDC officials hashed out responses in the early morning briefings and in conference calls with state officials; they announced decisions and recommendations at mock press briefings each morning and afternoon.School closing confusionThe question of school closings and related “community mitigation” (CM) measures (also known as nonpharmaceutical interventions, or NPIs) arose early and often. At the first morning press briefing, Gerberding said, “As of this morning we’re not recommending widespread school closures or other measures to reduce spread in crowds, but those measures are likely.” She added that actual closings would be local decisions.When she was asked what should trigger CM measures, Gerberding said, “When a community begins to see acceleration in the number of cases that suggests that transmission is really taking off, that’s when closing schools and avoiding crowds can help. It’s important to do it early, because if you wait till you have 1,000 or 10,000 cases, it’s too late.”Hesitation and concerns about CM measures emerged in an hour-long Tuesday afternoon teleconference between senior CDC staffers and health officials from states affected by the pandemic. (The state officials were mostly played by CDC staffers in the Exercise Control Group, but three people from state health departments had joined the group for the exercise, according to Jerry Jones, director of the group.)The Michigan official wanted to know if the CDC could recommend any particular NPIs as better than others. He said the state had a case-fatality rate of 7% in its 100 cases, signaling a severe pandemic under the CDC’s community mitigation plan, so the state needed to launch mitigation steps. “But the local health departments are telling us they don’t want to do all that work,” he said. “So if there’s one thing working better than others, we’d like to recommend it.”The answer from the CDC team was negative. “We need to really discourage people from picking and choosing different things. They need to be implemented simultaneously,” said one official. However, the officials said mitigation steps could be limited to specific communities rather than covering the whole state.Another official cited last year’s report in the Journal of the American Medical Association on the effectiveness of NPIs in the 1918 pandemic, including school closures, banning public gatherings, isolation of patients, and quarantine of contacts. “If you need ammunition, that’s what to use,” he said.A few minutes later, a Washington, DC, official raised concerns. “We get a lot of pushback about the need to wait to work on these school closures,” she said. The three main issues, she said, had to do with children dependent on the school lunch program, children whose parents can’t take time off work, and what to do about teachers’ salaries.The CDC officials deferred to others on that issue, saying the Department of Education was supposed to be developing relevant guidance. “These problems require resources that we don’t have authority over,” said Dr. Stephen Redd, the CDC’s influenza team leader.School closures came up again on Wednesday, the second day of the exercise.In response to questions at the morning press conference, Redd said, “There will not be a federal decision on school closings. This needs to be a local decision.” He added that schools were already closed in affected areas of Michigan and Arkansas.But in another conference with state health officials that afternoon, uncertainty was still evident. Ohio, which was reporting 18 cases, was getting a lot of questions and concern about whether schools would close, especially in Toledo, a state official reported. He expressed concern that parents would start keeping their children home and said he wasn’t sure what the state’s trigger for closing schools was.CDC officials responded by repeating the criteria for launching NPIs and said a document explaining them would be posted on the government’s pandemic flu Web site later in the day.Debating guidance on antiviralsWith no effective vaccine available, health authorities were forced to rely on antiviral drugs to fight the virus, under the scenario. Earlier chapters in the exercise brought the news that the prepandemic H5N1 vaccine in the US stockpile was too poor a match for the pandemic virus to be of much use. The CDC decided to distribute antivirals from the national stockpile to all the states in proportion to population. Roebuck, the CDC spokesman, said the real stockpile currently contains 39.8 million treatment courses of oseltamivir and 9.9 million courses of zanamivir (Relenza).The drugs were being shipped to the state health departments in stages, with each state first receiving 25% of its share and then getting another 50% later. The CDC planned to hold the last 25% in reserve. At the Wednesday news briefing, Redd said about 30% of the stockpile had been delivered so far, and the expectation was that the 75% mark would be reached within the ensuing week. In a real pandemic, state health departments will be responsible for distributing the antivirals to healthcare providers according to their preexisting plans, said Dr. Richard Besser, director of the CDC’s Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response.Because of the limited supply, the CDC’s recommendation was to use the antivirals to treat sick people, not to prevent flu in their contacts, although small amounts could be used for “initial containment in some locations,” Gerberding said at the Tuesday morning news conference. “The deployment is to make sure that hospitals have drugs available when people are sick,” she said.Whether to use antivirals for prophylaxis sparked a lively discussion at the Wednesday teleconference of CDC leaders and state health officials. A Michigan official said the state was calling for community mitigation measures in affected migrant worker camps and neighboring towns, but some of the neighboring towns were reluctant to take those steps. As a result, he said, state officials were worried that the virus would move from the camps to the nearby communities and start spreading. In response, a CDC official recommended that the state use antivirals for prevention in those areas.”We’ve been using them only for treatment so far,” the Michigan official replied. “We would be happy to use them for prophylaxis at this time, but we need more clarification from the SNS [Strategic National Stockpile]” on policy.Another CDC official observed that the official guidance was that the antivirals should be used only for treatment. But in further discussion the CDC conferees agreed it would be appropriate for Michigan to use the antivirals for prophylaxis under the circumstances.”I’ll make a decision,” one CDC official volunteered. “Go ahead and give them some.””Can I get that in writing?” the Michigan official asked. He was assured that he would, and the CDC officials concluded it was time to issue specific guidance to the states on how and when to use their antivirals.A few minutes later, two other states reported no hesitation in using antivirals preventively. An Ohio official reported “a lot of success” in treating both the sick and their healthy contacts with the drugs. And an Arkansas health official told the CDC people that state authorities had decided several days earlier to give preventive antiviral treatment to everyone in the town of Pea Ridge, where the state’s cases were concentrated.But the prophylactic use of antivirals had a serious downside in the exercise scenario. At the Wednesday morning press conference, Dr. Carolyn Bridges of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases reported that two Arkansas teenagers had committed suicide after receiving oseltamivir.She noted that a label warning about possible neuropsychiatric side effects of oseltamivir had been added after reports of such events in young patients in Japan, though there has been very little information to directly link the drug with such reactions.Calling the suicides “tragic,” Bridges urged healthcare providers to report any adverse events through the MedWatch system. But in the face of a rapidly spreading virus that causes severe illness, the CDC was not changing its recommendations on the use of oseltamivir, she said.A plan to screen travelersAnother containment strategy invoked in the exercise, though in a limited way, was to screen incoming travelers in areas not yet affected by the pandemic. At the Tuesday afternoon press conference, Dr. Francisco Averhoff of the CDC Division of Global Migration and Quarantine announced a screening program designed to slow the spread of flu into Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, which were not yet reporting cases.The plan, he said, was to funnel all airline flights to one airport for each of those jurisdictions—Anchorage, Honolulu, and San Juan—and to screen all arriving passengers with a visual check, health questionnaire, and physical exam. Sick passengers were to be isolated and treated, and their contacts quarantined.This plan had aroused considerable concern in state officials when it was described at the CDC conference call with state officials earlier the same afternoon. The Department of Homeland Security was to conduct the primary visual check of incoming passengers, and the CDC was to do the medical screening, with an interview and physical exam. Each state health department was asked to provide 20 staffers to help out with evaluating passengers, isolating and treating patients, and quarantining contacts, CDC officials said.”You’re asking us to give up 20 of our staff?” replied a Dr. James from Alaska. “That’s just not realistic for us to give up that many. That’s practically our whole staff.” Similarly, a Hawaiian official added that it would “extremely difficult” for his state to provide the help the CDC was requesting.The state officials said they would try to assign staff members to help with the effort, but they needed information on what kinds of workers the CDC wanted. CDC officials promised to send a list.At the news conference, a “reporter” asked how much good the screening program could do, given that the virus had a 2-day incubation period and apparently healthy travelers could be infected.”The screening isn’t foolproof,” acknowledged Dr. Stephen Redd, the influenza team leader. “What we’re trying to do is decrease the numbers and the burden of disease in a community. We know it’s not going to completely keep the virus out of these areas. We know that complete closure of the borders does not work. You would only slow the introduction.”When he was asked about screening at land border stations, Redd said the government had no major plans for enhanced screening. “We’re working in collaboration with Canada and Mexico. We feel that activities at land ports of entry would not be effective. It would be a misuse of our resources,” he said.Similarly, at the Tuesday morning news conference Gerberding reported there were no plans for increased screening of incoming international travelers other than places like Alaska and Puerto Rico. “The fact is we have the most cases of anywhere in the world. It’s not likely that doing things to keep people out will make much difference,” she said.However, the CDC was taking action when incoming international travelers with suspicious symptoms were identified during normal screening. At the Wednesday afternoon teleconference with state health officials, Averhoff said 300 airline passengers from Europe had been quarantined on arrival in Georgia after three people on the flight were found to be ill with possible pandemic flu.At the Wednesday morning news conference, Redd was asked about screening of travelers leaving the United States. He replied that the CDC was consulting with the WHO about exit screening at airports, adding, “We think the measures we’re using in the U.S. would be more effective than exit screening, so we hope not to go that way.” He explained that self-isolation of patients and voluntary quarantine of contacts seemed to be paying off in Michigan and Arkansas.Other observationsThe exercise covered many other issues and concerns. Here are a few:The 10% case-fatality rate in the scenario was worse than in the 1918 pandemic and “out of bounds of our planning scenarios,” said Gerberding.While noting the high fatality rate, Redd said, “Really the question is how widespread is this going to become?” Would it spread fairly slowly, like SARS, or would it travel much faster, like seasonal flu? “There’s kind of a sense that in some areas the local control measures are being effective,” he said.In the scenario, the pandemic virus was spreading while seasonal flu was still active. However, not much was said about how clinicians might distinguish the two illnesses, aside from laboratory testing. One official said current tests can identify an H5N1 virus in 3 to 4 hours after a sample reaches the lab.In one of the staff conferences, Gerberding called for creation of a video on how to use a simple face (surgical) mask, recommended for flu patients to protect others from their respiratory droplets. She also said the CDC should advise the public what could be used as a substitute if masks run short. “We need to lean forward with the expectation that we’re going to run out of masks,” she said.At one of the news conferences, Redd advised the public to stockpile enough food and water to last 2 weeks. The scenario did not include any major economic repercussions such as shortages of food, fuel, medicine, or other commodities.last_img read more

first_imgMany changes are needed in our immigration laws. But we’re disgusted, ashamed and horrified by the actions taken by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the treatment of families who have applied for refugee status at our southern border. These are people (not animals) who are fleeing intolerable and unsafe conditions in their own countries. It’s our understanding that the procedure is to house them in detention centers (prisons) while their refugee status is verified by a slow-moving court system. Because children aren’t supposed to be held in a prison, they’re forcibly taken from their parents and moved thousands of miles and placed in foster homes with no contact with their parents. Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion This is the deliberate and stated policy of the Trump administration to discourage immigration. It has been reported that the government has lost track of at least 1,500 of these children after placement in foster homes. How does this increase our security? As these kids grow up, will they not be embittered and want to strike out at the country that made them orphans?The words on the Statue of Liberty are: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”Why haven’t all of us called for an end to this inhumane process? Where is the outrage from the so-called moral majority, Vice President Pence and the other Evangelicals?Dorothy HorstkotteEd HorstkotteNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:Puccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationNiskayuna girls’ cross country wins over BethlehemEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more