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For now, don’t count on much vaccine: Time to step up your efforts to protect your employees

first_img(CIDRAP Business Source Osterholm Briefing) – It’s a race right now! And it’s between the H1N1 virus and our long-awaited vaccine. Unfortunately, as I write this column, the virus is winning. So will your employees’ best defense against the fast-moving virus ultimately win out? Possibly. But don’t count on it.What does that mean for your organization? In short, plan on functioning without the benefit of much vaccine—and brace for more illness and rising absenteeism. And as I have discussed before, if the virus undergoes any substantial genetic change, the situation could change at any moment. Remember to keep your response proportional to the severity of disease; it’s your best strategy.The current lay of the landI’ll save a thorough analysis of the H1N1 vaccine production and distribution dilemma for another column. For now, suffice it to say the vaccine supply has been overpromised and underdelivered. But we’ve always known that a plentiful supply of effective vaccine was a big variable. No surprise there. And with the severe cutbacks in public health, school systems, and the healthcare system over the past decade, the gaps in our ability to effectively distribute the vaccine should have been apparent as well.Meanwhile, we’re seeing evidence of illness on the rise throughout most parts of the country and the Northern Hemisphere. Will the trend continue? Is this a pandemic wave about to crest? Or is this pandemic like the one in 1957 which had both fall and winter peaks? I wish I could give you an answer. I can’t, and neither can anyone else. But I can suggest that you take steps now to protect your employees to the best of your ability and with the understanding that, outside the workplace, much is outside your control.I realize that some of these steps may seem like no-brainers, others may challenge very fundamental policies, practices, and customs in your organization, and some may seem out of the realm of financial possibility. But I urge you to give each of them serious consideration if you truly want to protect your most precious asset—your employees. And I’ll offer some ideas gleaned from some savvy business leaders who attended the 2009 CIDRAP Summit.1. Insist that sick employees stay home until they are not infectiousI’m sure we’ve all been guilty at one time or another of showing up at work a little sick. Few of us would be where we are if we hadn’t pushed past a little nasal congestion or an annoying cough to meet important deadlines. But this is different.True, thus far the H1N1 pandemic for most people causes illness that is like seasonal influenza. But for some people, including some of your workforce and even essential employees, H1N1 illness can be extremely dangerous. We don’t fully understand why yet. But anyone with an influenza-like illness should not be exposing colleagues to what may be an unpredictable pandemic influenza virus, no matter how mild the symptoms may be.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people stay home until at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever (100º Fahrenheit or 38º Celsius) or signs of a fever (chills, feeling very warm, a flushed appearance, or sweating) without the use of fever-reducing medicines.You’re going to have to model this behavior yourself if you don’t want to give the impression that employees should do what they see rather than what you say.If you decide not to take this step, be sure to let everyone know that your company will not be following CDC guidance so there is no confusion, prepare for employee-relations issues, and know that a consequence may well be greater absenteeism than you expected.2. Ensure sick workers can stay home without fear of being penalizedThis is probably the hardest of the recommendations. But trust me, organizations who have adopted step 1 are figuring out how to make step 2 possible. As one human resources (HR) executive said during the summit, policies are designed to be big and broad and hard to change; however, protocols based on those policies can be flexible.Here are some of the ways organizations are tackling this step:Allowing employees to exhaust paid time off (PTO) hours and go into negative balancesAdvancing sick time up to a year of accrual (if, for example, the employee normally accrues 5 days of sick time per year and has used all 5 days, then you may want to consider advancing another 5 days)Suspending point attendance policies during the H1N1 influenza pandemicProviding a special time-off allotment for H1N1 Allowing employees to donate leave to othersFor more information on this step, please check out the 2009 CIDRAP Summit page, especially the human resources breakout presentations.If you decide not to take this step, be prepared for a form of “presenteeism” that will surely affect productivity and morale, and know that a consequence may well be greater absenteeism than you expected.3. Send sick employees home—consistentlyThe symptoms of influenza hit fast. So an employee can leave home feeling fine and arrive at work in terrible shape. And they’ll be extremely contagious at that point. I doubt they’ll be able to hide how sick they are or even want to hide it (unless they are worried about financial security). But they may not be able to get home easily. So they need to be separated from healthy employees immediately. All your supervisors need to know they are legally within their rights to send workers home and should apply the protocol consistently.By the way, this step also applies to you. Don’t try to gut it out. As someone with pandemic planning and response knowledge, you are vital to your organization, especially now. So don’t risk your own health, or anyone else’s.If you decide not to take this step, prepare for lower productivity and disruption from disgruntled employees, and know that a consequence may well be greater absenteeism than you expected.Bottom line for organizationsNo one knows if your employees will be able to get vaccinated in time to prevent becoming sick from the H1N1. No one knows if the current rise in illness is peaking or will continue to climb. So look closely at how best to protect your employees, even if the steps I’ve outlined push your organization past its comfort zone. Run a cost-benefit analysis if you need an objective measure. I think you’ll find the benefits are likely to far outweigh the risks.last_img read more

Developer wastes no time paying big bucks for Brisbane property

first_img26 School Street, Kelvin Grove.A family home only 3km from Brisbane’s CBD has been snapped up for a multi-million dollar figure.The property at 26 School St, Kelvin Grove sold for $2.31 million after being marketed as an inner-city residential development site. 26 School Street, Kelvin Grove. More from newsFor under $10m you can buy a luxurious home with a two-lane bowling alley5 Apr 2017Military and railway history come together on bush block24 Apr 2019The character home at 26 School Street, Kelvin Grove.LJ Hooker — New Farm selling agent Claudia Marchand said the character home, on a generous land holding, could be moved to accommodate further building behind.The 1783sq m allotment is close to Brisbane’s CBD and a short walk to QUT, walking trails and parkland.center_img 26 School Street, Kelvin Grove.Ms Marchand said a local developer bought the property and was planning to build a child care centre.“We had this property on the market for a week and it got snapped up — it was incredible,” she said.She said the sellers had owned the property for several years.last_img read more

Orlando Pirates enter esports, FIFA first but plans for much more

first_imgFirst FIFA, and then the big three. That’s the timeline of Orlando Pirates’ esports intentions.A statement on the team’s site read as follows: “For the first year, Orlando Pirates will focus its eSports energies on Electronic Arts franchise FIFA and will later look to moving into the more popular eSports segments such as Counter-Strike, League of Legends and/or Dota.”The club’s Brand Activation Manager Tokoloho Moeketsi, commented: “The eSports industry is exploding and there is a huge talent pool in South Africa with untapped potential.“We have noticed that the level of professionalism in eSports has continued to grow over the past years and as Orlando Pirates we feel that now is the right time to enter this industry.”The South African club will sign no less then ten players to begin with, who will all be contracted. This is a fairly strong signal that they are committed to, and believe, in esports and its capacity to be of benefit to Orlando Pirates going forward.FIFA pro and former FIWC contender Abubakar Akhalwaya will captain the team. He said: “This is a journey that has taken about three years with the Club. I am very happy to be part of this new venture and look forward to being part of the Orlando Pirates eSports family.”The Orlando Pirates made this announcement in the immediate aftermath of rAge Expo, South Africa’s largest gaming expo held in Johannesburg. Esports Insider says: Another club in the space, especially a club from a region in which precious few major organisations have committed resources to esports, is good news. Of course it was music to our ears that there are already plans in place to move into titles such as League, CS:GO and potentially Dota and not do the typical football club move of entering FIFA only.last_img read more

Clippers’ Patrick Beverley gives rude welcome to Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error LOS ANGELES — Patrick Beverley chest-bumped Lonzo Ball to the court after talking trash to him from the baseline to the midcourt line midway through the first quarter of the Clippers’ season-opening victory Thursday over the Lakers. Beverley then forced Ball into a backcourt violation a moment later.Beverley later swiped the ball from Ball near midcourt and coasted the other direction for an easy layup. Beverley then swished a 3-pointer while free from Ball in the corner, retreating down court to play defense while waving his hand in front of his face like wrestler John Cena.You can’t see me.Ball experienced the Beverley Factor for the first time in a dud of an NBA debut, but it was nothing new for anyone who’s been around the league. Beverley was named to the league’s all-defensive first team for the first time in 2016-17 and was on the second team in 2013-14. Fire and grit are what attracted the Clippers to Beverley in the first place. They acquired him from the Houston Rockets as part of a package of players in exchange for Chris Paul during the offseason. So far, after one lopsided victory, there have been no regrets.No surprises, either.“That’s his mentality against everybody,” power forward Blake Griffin said of Beverley. “It doesn’t matter if it’s Lonzo or whoever is next. That’s just his mentality. Pat wakes up like that. We have a lot of guys who have chips on their shoulders, and we play really hard.”Beverley’s intensity in his full-court defensive pressure was infectious, Griffin said.“When you see somebody dogging the ball like that you have no choice to be there for him,” Griffin said. “He’s putting in all that effort and you’ve got to do the same thing. Defensively, it starts with the guards picking up and our guards did a really good job.”For the record, Beverley held Ball to three points on 1-for-6 shooting. Ball also had nine rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes, 21 seconds, watching glumly from the bench with his teammates as the Clippers’ lead grew to as many as 30 points in the fourth quarter.Beverley scored 10 points on 4-for-10 shooting, adding three rebounds and one assist in 24:07 in his Clippers debut. He said the knee injury that sidelined him for two of the Clippers’ five exhibition games bothered him in the early going Thursday.“Knocking off rust,” Beverley said. “Knocking off rust, first game.”ALL ABOUT MILOSMilos Teodosic started and scored six points on 2-for-9 shooting with one rebound and a team-high six assists. At 30 years, 214 days, he is the seventh-oldest rookie to make his NBA debut since 1976-77. Pablo Prigioni of the New York Knicks was the oldest at 36 years, 169 days in 2012-13.center_img Above all, Beverley has been a first-team pest and agitator since making his NBA debut in 2012-13.Nothing personal.Well, maybe a little.Beverley railed profanely about Ball as he entered the locker room after the Clippers’ 108-92 victory, according to a report on The Undefeated website. Beverley cleaned it up for reporters once inside, saying in a G-rated postgame conversation, “I just had to set the tone.”He also said: “I told him after the game, due to all the riff-raff his dad (LaVar) brings, he’s going to get a lot of people coming at him. He has to be ready for that. I let him know after the game. What a better way to start than 94-feet guarding him. Welcome to the NBA.”last_img read more