Slow Man Comfortable Sneakers Feel Like You’re Walking on Clouds

first_img– Advertisement – Us Weekly has affiliate partnerships so we may receive compensation for some links to products and services.Confession: We just hit the sneaker jackpot! We’ve already found plenty of winners out there (and our shoe racks are practically overflowing as a result), but this pair may be one of the best options yet. If you suffer from foot pain, pay close attention — this one’s for you.- Advertisement – These sneakers from Slow Man are truly outstanding. They have a thick sole in the heel area which provides incredible arch support, and they also come equipped with a sock built in — immediately upping their comfort level!Slow Man Women's Walking Shoes Sock SneakersSlow Man Women’s Walking Shoes Sock Sneakers AmazonSee it!Get the Slow Man Women’s Walking Shoes Sock Sneakers for prices starting at just $24, available at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, November 2, 2020, but are subject to change.- Advertisement – See it!Get the Slow Man Women’s Walking Shoes Sock Sneakers for prices starting at just $24, available at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, November 2, 2020, but are subject to change.The built-in sock are one of our favorite qualities of these sneakers. The styles vary, but some feature a durable mesh material and a higher sock line, while others have a sportier look. Each of the sneakers is available in a slip-on style with adjustable laces that aren’t fussy or difficult to use.These sneakers could become your new go-to pair of shoes for casual, low-key days. If you aren’t doing a high-intensity activity, they can even become a workout essential. They aren’t intended for running, but you can definitely wear them out for walks or bike rides. They’re a sneaker you can count on, and that’s exactly why we’re so ready to scoop them up!See it: Get the Slow Man Women’s Walking Shoes Sock Sneakers for prices starting at just $24, available at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, November 2, 2020, but are subject to change.Not what you’re looking for? Check out more styles from Slow Man and shop all of the clothing, shoes and jewelry available at Amazon! Don’t forget to check out all of Amazon’s Daily Deals here!Check out more of our picks and deals here!This post is brought to you by Us Weekly’s Shop With Us team. The Shop With Us team aims to highlight products and services our readers might find interesting and useful, such as face masks, self tanners, Lululemon-style leggings and all the best gifts for everyone in your life. Product and service selection, however, is in no way intended to constitute an endorsement by either Us Weekly or of any celebrity mentioned in the post.The Shop With Us team may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. In addition, Us Weekly receives compensation from the manufacturer of the products we write about when you click on a link and then purchase the product featured in an article. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product or service is featured or recommended. Shop With Us operates independently from advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback at ShopWithUs@usmagazine.com. Happy shopping! These sneakers are a serious favorite of Amazon shoppers around the globe. They currently have over 40,000 reviews, including countless five-star ratings — which certainly piqued our interest during a browsing session. Those who have already picked up a pair of these sneakers claim they’re super lightweight and ideal for all-day wear. Thanks to their sleek, supportive design, one shopper even compared them to walking on clouds. Dreams come true!Reviewers are comparing these sneakers to popular, expensive pairs that run upwards of $150 — but these are so affordable. Between the price tag and positive feedback, this may be the deal of the season!Slow Man Women's Walking Shoes Sock SneakersAmazonSlow Man Women’s Walking Shoes Sock Sneakers- Advertisement –last_img read more

‘Buyers strike’ is over, post-election stock rally has legs

first_img“There’s been a buyers’ strike for the last three weeks to cash,” but now that money is beginning to work its way back into stocks and helping propel the major U.S. equity indexes higher, Lee said on “Halftime Report.” “There’s been $4.5 trillion on the sidelines. Retail raised a lot of cash. People were really stressed into this. Now we have less uncertainty. Still uncertainty, but less and that’s why we’re rallying.” (This story is for CNBC Pro subscribers only.)The rally on Wall Street after Election Day may have momentum to continue into the end of the year, Fundstrat Global Advisors founder Tom Lee told CNBC on Wednesday.While the presidential race between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden has not been decided, Lee said investors still have more clarity now than they did in the weeks preceding the election.- Advertisement – A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.Adam Jeffery | CNBC – Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

The James Brand Pike vintage-style pocket knife has a clean and simple design » Gadget Flow

first_imgEveryone wants a beautiful pocket knife like The James Brand Pike vintage-style pocket knife. This handsome knife combines a minimalist design with modern knife making technology, for an EDC item that’s just like the ones your grandparents carried. It features a sleek black Sandvik steel blade. Also, Its G10 handle has high-pressure fiberglass, which is durable and water-resistant. So you won’t have to worry about this foldable knife getting damaged. Best of all, The Pike uses a non-locking, slip-joint construction for a slim shape that’s designed to fit comfortably in your pocket. So you won’t have to clip this knife to your hip or external carry. This vintage-style pocket knife is a useful item that will impress you every time you see it. And it’s a gadget you’ll be proud to pass on to your descendants. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Tim Henman believes Andy Murray is still driven to fight injury problems | Tennis News

first_imgHenman ranks that moment as his highlight of the last 11 years of the event being in London.“It is the end of an era of the ATP Finals at the O2,” he said. “(Roger) Federer has won a couple of times, Djokovic has won four in a row, there has been some amazing ends to the year.“For me Murray winning in 2016, he had been on such a hot streak, for it to go down to the final match of the year, playing against one of his biggest rivals in Djokovic, the final match to decide not only the champion but also the end of year number one.“For Andy to win that in front of his home crowd was special.” Andy Murray cut short the 2020 season and instead is prioritising his preparation for next year Andy Murray cut short the 2020 season and instead is prioritising his preparation for next year
Andy Murray cut short the 2020 season and instead is prioritising his preparation for next year

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Fixes Incoming With Season 1; Players May Be Playing PS4 Version on PS5

first_imgAdditionally, a report by Eurogamer has pointed out that PS5 players may be playing the PS4 version of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War without realising. The PS5 seems to run the PS4 version of the game by default. Activision has provided a fix for this issue and asked players to follow a few steps to make sure they run the PS5 version of game to experience the next-gen enhancements.- Advertisement – There WILL be Weapon, Scorestreak, and more balance changes coming in with Season 1, if not sooner. Already seeing some interesting trends in the analytics, but it’s too soon for conclusions. If you’re giving feedback, know that we see it and are taking it into consideration.— Tony Flame (@Tony_Flame) November 15, 2020 For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel. Vineet Washington Vineet Washington writes about gaming, smartphones, audio devices, and new technologies for Gadgets 360, out of Delhi. Vineet is a Senior Sub-editor for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about gaming on all platforms and new developments in the world of smartphones. In his free time, Vineet likes to play video games, make clay models, play the guitar, watch sketch-comedy, and anime. Vineet is available on vineetw@ndtv.com, so please send in your leads and tips.More – Advertisement –center_img Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Season 1 will bring some much-awaited changes to the game, as shared by Treyarch’s Lead Designer Tony Flame on Twitter. The game was released on November 13 and players noted that some weapons were more powerful than others, especially the MP5 submachine gun. Season 1 for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will begin on December 10, but the changes might be implemented sooner. Additionally, it has been reported that PS5 players may mistakenly be playing the PS4 version of the game on their new consoles.Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War was released on November 13 and since then, there have been several posts from players about some balancing issues with weapons in the game. The MP5 submachine gun in particular seems to be balanced for a more consistent gaming experience. Some players have also complained about the aim-down-sight speed of sniper rifles. The game has been developed by Treyarch and the studio’s lead designer Tony Flame tweeted that the changes are coming with Season 1, maybe sooner.- Advertisement – PS5 players will need to highlight the game tile on the Dashboard > Play > select three dots menu > select PS5 Full Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.Which is the best TV under Rs. 25,000? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.last_img read more

Flu vaccination benefits for elderly called modest

first_imgSep 23, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Researchers who reviewed 64 studies report that influenza vaccination is only modestly beneficial for elderly people overall, with nursing home residents benefiting more than people living on their own.”Our findings show that, according to reliable evidence, the effectiveness of trivalent inactivated influenza vaccines in elderly individuals is modest, irrespective of setting, outcome, population, and study design,” says the report by Tom Jefferson and four colleagues, of the Cochrane Vaccines Field, based in Alessandria, Italy. The study was published online yesterday by The Lancet.The researchers found that flu vaccines, when well matched to circulating flu strains, reduced the risk of hospitalization for flu or pneumonia by 45% for elderly (65 or older) nursing home residents. For people living at home, flu vaccines were 26% effective in preventing hospitalization for flu or pneumonia. However, vaccination didn’t significantly lower the risk of laboratory-confirmed influenza in either group.The team searched five databases for studies of the effectiveness of flu vaccine in preventing influenza, flu-like illnesses, and related hospital admissions, complications, and death. They found 64 studies from the past four decades, including five randomized trials, 49 cohort studies, and 10 case-control studies, that met their criteria.For elderly residents of nursing homes who received vaccines well matched to circulating flu strains, the vaccines yielded risk reductions of 23% for flu-like illness, 46% for pneumonia, 45% for hospitalization for flu or pneumonia, 42% for death from flu or pneumonia, and 60% for death from any cause. However, vaccination yielded no significant benefit when the match with circulating flu strains was poor or unknown.The benefits were smaller for elderly people living in the community, according to the authors’ analysis of 20 cohort studies. Vaccines didn’t significantly reduce the participants’ risk for flu, flu-like illness, or pneumonia. With well-matched vaccines, risk reductions were 26% for hospitalization for flu or pneumonia and 42% for all-cause mortality. Vaccines did not reduce the risk of hospitalization for heart disease or the risk of death from respiratory disease.However, vaccination looked somewhat more beneficial for community dwellers when the authors adjusted for confounding variables, including sex, age, smoking, and other illnesses. In that analysis, vaccines reduced the risk of all-cause mortality by 47% and lowered the risk of hospitalization by 24% for heart disease and 22% for respiratory diseases.The authors write that no firm conclusions could be drawn from the five randomized controlled trials they analyzed. However, in analyzing the two trials that had “adequate” randomization and blinding, they found that vaccines were 43% effective in preventing flu-like illness and 58% effective against flu in community-dwelling older peopleThe study’s main findings show somewhat smaller benefits than those cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Information on the CDC Web site says that for older people in nursing homes, flu immunization can be 50% to 60% effective in preventing flu-related hospitalization or pneumonia and 80% effective in preventing flu-related death. Also, the CDC says that community dwelling older people who get flu shots can lower their risk of hospitalization for pneumonia or flu by 30% to 70%.In response to the new study, the CDC issued a statement today emphasizing that vaccination remains the best way to protect older people from flu and its complications. The agency acknowledged that flu vaccines are not 100% effective and that older people and those with chronic diseases may develop less immunity than healthy young adults.The CDC said the finding that flu vaccination is more effective for nursing-home residents than for community-dwelling older people “is unexpected and not consistent with other data, including information on immune response to vaccination.”The study authors write that on the basis of their findings, “We believe efforts should be concentrated on achieving high vaccination coverage in long-term care facilities coupled with a systematic assessment of the effect of such a policy. One possible way to improve this strategy might involve the vaccination of carers [caregivers] in an effort to reduce transmission.”The federal government took steps in that direction last month, announcing that nursing homes that serve Medicare recipients would be required to offer flu shots to residents. The government also wants to increase vaccination coverage for nursing home staff members, but there are no plans to require vaccination for them.The new report was published little more than a week after the CDC urged older people and others in high-risk groups to get their flu shots soon. The agency has recommended that flu shots be reserved for the high-risk groups until Oct 24.Jefferson T, Rivetti D, Rivetti A, et al. Efficacy and effectiveness of influenza vaccines in elderly people: a systematic review. Lancet 2005;Sep 22 (early online pubication)See also:CDC information on efficacy and effectiveness of flu vaccinehttp://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/vaccination/efficacy.htmlast_img read more

CDC: New test speeds detection of bird flu in humans

first_imgFeb 3, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – A new test developed by federal experts offers preliminary detection of H5 avian influenza in human patients in about 4 hours, compared with 2 to 3 days for other methods, government officials announced today.”This laboratory test is a major step forward in our ability to more quickly detect cases of H5 avian influenza and provides additional safeguards to protect public health,” Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said in a news release.The test is to be used on respiratory samples from patients suspected of having avian flu on the basis of severe illness and possible exposure to sick birds, Dr. Steve Gutman of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Center for Devices and Radiological Health said at a news teleconference this afternoon.The FDA announced its approval of the test, following an unusually quick 2-week review. The test, called the Influenza A/H5 (Asian Lineage) Virus Real-time RT-PCR Primer and Probe Set, was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Because of the concern that H5N1 avian flu may lead to a human flu pandemic, “FDA acted quickly to evaluate and expedite CDC’s request for approval of this test,” Acting FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach stated in the news release. He said the rapid review did not compromise the quality of the review process.Gutman said the test yields “a presumptive not a definitive positive.” The test determines only the hemagglutinin (H) type of the virus; further testing is needed to confirm the result and identify the neuraminidase (N) type, officials said.”The test provides preliminary results on suspected H5 influenza samples within four hours once a sample arrives at the lab and testing begins,” the news release states. “Previous testing technology would require at least two to three days to render results.”The CDC will distribute the test to its Laboratory Response Network (LRN), consisting of about 140 labs throughout the country, many of them public health labs, officials said.When LRN labs using the test get positive or equivocal results, they will send the sample to the CDC for confirmatory testing, which will take about 2 to 4 hours once the sample arrives, said Stephan Monroe, acting director of the CDC’s Viral and Rickettsial Diseases Division.Gutman said a negative result from the test does not conclusively rule out the possibility of avian flu. “It’s not intended for general screening of people in the general population; it’s for people with severe respiratory illness who might’ve been exposed to sick birds,” he added.The CDC is sharing the test with the World Health Organization (WHO) and its collaborating labs, which so far have included labs in the United Kingdom, Japan, and Australia, officials said.Concerning use of the test by other labs outside the United States, Monroe said the CDC would distribute the technology only to labs that the CDC judges to have the technical capacity and biosafety measures to use the test properly.The CDC is not charging other labs for the test and is not making money on it, Monroe said. So far the test has been strictly a government-funded project, he said.CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding commented in the news release, “The use of this test by laboratories that are part of the LRN, in conjunction with other laboratory testing and clinical observations, may enable earlier detection of influenza cases caused by this specific virus and allow public health agencies to investigate sources of infection and more quickly respond with control and prevention activities.”See also:Feb 3 FDA news releasehttp://archive.hhs.gov/news/press/2006pres/20060203.htmlFeb 3 early release MMWR articlehttp://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm55e203a1.htm?s_cid=mm55e203a1_elast_img read more

HHS awards $102 million for new flu drug

first_imgJan 5, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – In an effort to expand the pool of antiviral drugs for influenza, the US government yesterday awarded a $102.6 million contract to BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Birmingham, Ala., to develop peramivir, a new neuraminidase inhibitor.The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in a press release, said peramivir has been effective against several influenza strains in laboratory studies. HHS said the contract will cover production of the investigational drug, phase 2 and 3 clinical studies, and validation of manufacturing processes.Research under the contract will include tests involving the deadly H5N1 avian flu virus and may include research on the possible preventive use of the drug, according to HHS. BioCryst officials said the drug has been shown to help animals survive H5N1 infection.”Antivirals are an important element of our pandemic influenza preparedness efforts,” said HHS secretary Mike Leavitt in the press release. “Our antiviral strategy includes not only stockpiling existing antiviral drugs but also seeking out new antiviral medications to further broaden our capabilities to treat and prevent all forms of influenza.”Licensed drugs in the neuraminidase inhibitor class are taken orally (oseltamivir) or by an inhaler (zanamivir). However, peramivir is under development as a parenterally administered drug, meaning it can be given through intramuscular and intravenous routes.HHS said a parenteral neuraminidase inhibitor may be particularly useful in hospital emergency departments for treatment of patients who have life-threatening flu. Parenteral injection could permit rapid buildup of peramivir to high levels throughout the body and allow treatment of people too ill to take medications by mouth, the agency said.In a news release, BioCryst said its laboratory tests have shown that peramivir, an inhibitor of influenza A and B neuraminidases, is more potent than currently available drugs in its class and is active against antiviral-resistant flu strains. The company said high doses of injectable formulations have been safely administered to healthy people, and the drug has been found to promote survival in animals infected with the H5N1 virus.At a BioCryst teleconference that followed the HHS announcement, Charles Bugg, PhD, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, said the contract allows the company to move peramivir as quickly as possible through clinical development.HHS said awarding the contract to BioCryst is part of a larger initiative to support the development of new treatments and vaccines that would allow the United States to respond quickly to a flu pandemic.Bugg said both the intramuscular and intravenous formulations of peramivir will go through phase 2 and 3 clinical trials. The intramuscular formulation will be tested against a placebo in outpatients, and the intravenous trial will likely test peramivir against oseltamivir in hospitals.Enrollment of patients for the phase 2 trials will begin this flu season in the United States, Canada, and Europe, Bugg said, adding that the company has identified sites in the southern hemisphere that could be used to fill this year’s phase 2 study groups or facilitate an early start on phase 3 studies. He said BioCryst is also identifying sites in Southeast Asia, where flu outbreaks occur year-round, that might be added to the study.Bugg said the HHS contract to develop peramivir is subject to an emergency use authorization that would allow the department to stockpile the drug before approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) if clinical data show it to be beneficial.Jonathan Nugent, vice president of corporate communications at BioCryst, told CIDRAP News that the company hasn’t ruled out developing oral or inhalational formulations of peramivir in the future. He said the company couldn’t speculate on how long it might take for the drug to win FDA approval. HHS said the FDA has given peramivir “fast track” status, which would expedite the agency’s review of BioCryst’s application.See also:Jan 4 HHS press releasehttp://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2007pres/01/20070104a.htmlJan 4 BioCryst press releasehttp://investor.shareholder.com/biocryst/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=224367last_img read more

Poll shows many unready for public health crisis

first_imgMay 8, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – A recent survey sponsored by the American Public Health Association (APHA) indicates that about a third of Americans have made no preparations for a public health emergency and nearly 90% have prepared less than they think they should.The APHA survey, released in April at an expert roundtable discussion during National Public Health Week, was recently posted on the association’s Web site. The online survey was conducted in February by Peter D. Hart Research Associates, based in Washington, DC. It included 925 adults and sought the input of several specific groups, including mothers with children younger than 5, hourly wage workers, and adults who have chronic medical conditions.The survey group also polled 120 employers and 150 school superintendents and interviewed a small group of regional food bank administrators and local food panty and soup kitchen managers.Among the survey’s key findings:Thirty-two percent of the public have taken no special steps to prepare for a public health emergency that could leave them short of food, water, or medication.An 87% majority said they knew they had not done enough and could do more to prepare for a public health emergency.Forty percent of respondents said they had taken steps to prepare in the past, such as after the Sep 11 terrorist attacks, but had since let their plans lapse.More than a quarter (27%) said they were prepared for an emergency, but only about half (14%) had the 3-day supply of food, water, and medication currently recommended by the American Red Cross for general disaster planning.Close to half—46%—of respondents had not assembled a disaster supply kit.Georges C. Benjamin, MD, executive director of the APHA, said in a press release that the survey findings show public health officials have a long way to go to prepare the nation for public health emergencies.”No one can predict where the next natural disaster, major storm, or disease outbreak will strike, but when it does, it is likely to disrupt basic services, leaving people without electricity, water, food or needed medications,” he added.In the press release, the APHA said the survey shows that several vulnerable subgroups are lagging in their emergency preparedness efforts. For example, 58% of mothers with young children said they did not have a 3-day supply of water for their families, and only 61% of people with chronic health conditions had at least a 2-week supply of medication.The 17-page survey report says the term “public health crisis” does not resonate with people, though respondents reported being are concerned about specific events, such as natural disasters, that might lead to one. Only 26% thought that a public health crisis would affect their family in the next year or two, but 57% thought a severe storm might strike their area in the next few years, 47% thought an infectious disease outbreak such as the flu is likely, and 43% believed a foodborne disease outbreak is likely.In other findings, researchers reported that only 37% of employers believed that a public health crisis would affect their business during the next few years, and only 18% said they could continue paying their employees if business operations were interrupted. Though 63% of employees realized they might not be paid during a public health crisis, only 15% had saved enough money to provide for their families if such an event occurs.School administrators generally reported a high level of preparedness in the form of evacuation, communication, and community sheltering plans, but few said they had enough drinking water or food to last students for 3 days.Representatives of regional food distribution centers said they had devoted a lot of time and resources to preparedness planning, but those from local pantries or food shelves reported they were not prepared for public health emergencies, according to the APHA.All groups that were surveyed said cost was a major barrier to their preparedness actions.Greg Dworkin, MD, one of the editors of the FluWiki, an interactive pandemic planning Web site, told CIDRAP News he commends the APHA for commissioning the survey and said it’s important to gauge the public’s preparedness opinions from time to time, rather than making assumptions.The survey results suggest that preparedness messages are getting through to the public, but that people are not following through with action, said Dworkin, who is chief of pediatric pulmonology at Danbury Hospital in Danbury, Conn. “That’s a real problem: the public hears the information, but the next question is how they process it,” he said.Some public health officials are overly concerned that the public will overreact or panic if they use specific terms when referring to public health threats, but not using specific terms represents a missed opportunity, Dworkin asserted. “The message has to be crystal clear. Say ‘pandemic’ if that’s what you mean,” he said.Also, it likely takes sustained, high-profile, and consistent messages to successfully persuade the public to prepare for public health emergencies, Dworkin said. “It’s a marathon, rather than a sprint,” he added.See also:APHA press releaselast_img read more

Re-engage colleagues on preparedness

first_imgSecond in a two-part series examining the numbers and epidemiologic factors surrounding the virus that many experts believe could lead to the next pandemic. Part 1 explored why the apparently lower number of human H5N1 cases in early 2007 does not mean the pandemic threat is receding.May 17, 2007 (CIDRAP Source Weekly Briefing) – Before this week, it might have been easy—albeit wrong—to draw the conclusion that the pandemic threat was lessening. But when the World Health Organization (WHO) on May 16 confirmed 15 human H5N1 cases and 13 deaths in Indonesia, dating back to January, official WHO data now show that this year’s tally of avian influenza in humans is at least keeping pace with 2005, when media coverage of H5N1 reached its zenith. (See the sidebar, “Keeping tabs on H5N1 media coverage.”)The WHO confirmation may produce a spike in news coverage, which might help correct the misimpression given by greatly diminishing news coverage that H5N1 is a fading risk and put the issue back on the radar screen of top executives. “If it’s not in the media, for the average American it’s out of sight, out of mind,” says Penny Turnbull, senior director of crisis management and business continuity planning at Washington, DC–based Marriott International, Inc.From Jan 1 to May 16 of this year, 43 official human cases of H5N1 were reported, with 27 deaths. This compares with 98 cases and 43 deaths for all of 2005. Even with the newly confirmed Indonesian cases, 2007 numbers still appear to be off 2006’s pace of 115 cases and 79 deaths for the entire year. Although the pandemic threat isn’t fading, it could look that way to those not fully informed.Pandemic preparedness planners, say Turnbull and other experts, need to frame the situation to more accurately reflect the reality that the pandemic threat is, ultimately, not about case numbers.This is a difficult task, given that many in the field may have given the impression that it was about numbers, says Peter Sandman, risk communicator and Weekly Briefing deputy editor. “We need to take some of the blame for the misimpression, because we put too much emphasis on the number of human cases and human deaths,” he says.Pandemic preparedness planners can help correct that misimpression by communicating to senior executives that the real threat to business lies not in numbers but in failing to use this time to fortify their business.Striking a balanceKeeping up the pandemic preparedness momentum relies on identifying “teachable moments” rather than reporting on each new human H5N1 case, Turnbull says. “It’s finding a very judicious balance between providing good, valuable information and getting the timing right,” she says. “You don’t just want to keep on issuing reports and updates when there’s nothing of much value to report on.”For example, she says, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) release of its “Community Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Mitigation” report in February and its recent guidance on masks were good opportunities to present new, concrete information to senior executives. National Emergency Preparedness Month, in September, will provide another chance to drive home the importance of being ready.Strategies that you want the company to adopt don’t necessarily have to be couched in terms of pandemic preparedness; indeed, Turnbull says some strategies may be better received by pandemic-weary executives if presented under the general heading of seasonal flu mitigation or disaster preparedness.”You want to use these opportunities to reinforce the behaviors that you want to see happening during a pandemic,” she says.Another teachable moment might be the Apr 26 announcement that Roche was cutting back on production of the antiviral Tamiflu because governments were not buying as much as predicted, Sandman says. While a senior executive who does not want to invest in a stash of Tamiflu that may expire before a pandemic occurs may view that news as proof that the need to prepare is not as urgent, a planner can use this as an opportunity to argue that now the company could buy a supply without worrying that the purchase might be taking it away from emergency workers.”Of course, you should admit that Roche has found a smaller pandemic preparedness market for Tamiflu than it—and preparedness experts—hoped,” Sandman adds. “But your company isn’t planning to sell Tamiflu; it’s planning to use it. Roche’s sales problems have very little to do with whether the XYZ Corporation needs an antiviral stockpile to keep operating in a pandemic.”Working with numbersBecause people in the pandemic preparedness field have always pointed to the growing number of human H5N1 cases and bird outbreaks as an indicator of the pandemic threat, they’re in a weak position to turn around and say the numbers aren’t important, according to Sandman. “The number of people that caught the disease is absolutely irrelevant,” he says. “The disease that causes a pandemic is one nobody’s caught yet. We should have been saying so all along.”Now, the people who never wanted to spend money on preparedness can use those very numbers to try to prove their point. “I bet the numbers are giving very valuable ammunition to people who want to argue that this issue isn’t worth their company’s time and investment,” Sandman says.Likewise, the strategy of giving the public the impression that a pandemic was imminent (because otherwise no one would prepare) has also backfired. “Nobody says we know it’s imminent, but we certainly have given the impression that it’s imminent,” Sandman says. While that strategy seemed to mobilize the public for about a year, by now many Americans, feeling misled, have shrugged off the threat.Reframing pandemic preparednessRather than backing off from communicating about pandemic issues, reframe them, Sandman says.Focus on the potential destruction. “Good pandemic preparedness warnings are about the potential magnitude of the risk—not the probability of the pandemic,” he says.Use the insurance industry analogy. You can say, Sandman says, “It’s not like hedging is unknown in our business. We spend a lot of money in our business on getting ready for things that may or may not happen. If there is a pandemic and if it’s severe, the impact on our company can be huge.”Emphasize that the world is fragile because of our just-in-time economy. Many people mistakenly believe that the world is much better prepared to handle the effects of a pandemic now than it was in 1918. “We’re more vulnerable to pandemics than we ever were before,” he says.Point out that business continuity isn’t about media popularity. “Companies are supposed to make a business judgment about which issues deserve sustained attention,” Sandman says. “I would tell my management that, now that the media focus is elsewhere, companies are the only force capable of preparing their employees.” Individualizing the planStephen Redd, MD, director of the CDC’s Influenza Coordination Unit, says that the slightly lower numbers of human H5N1 cases in 2007 haven’t produced pandemic fatigue in the government sector. “There’s no evidence that we’re at reduced risk of a pandemic, so we understand that we need to continue all the work that we’ve been doing for the past several years,” he says.To keep up the pandemic preparedness momentum during the past year, Redd and his team conducted a 24-hour tabletop exercise followed by a 48-hour exercise. “Those experiences have helped us realize that there are a lot of challenges and a lot of things we still need to do,” he notes.Redd recommends that businesses conduct these drills as a continuing cycle of activity. “The cycle is to develop a plan, exercise the plan, and then, based on the results of those exercises, revise the plan,” he says.Another process that keeps preparedness planning in the forefront is to charge employees with getting themselves and their families ready for a pandemic. According to Redd, “I think it does help reduce the risk of complacency for people to need to do something for themselves.”last_img read more