Masks and Social Distancing Work, New Analysis Finds

first_imgFILE – In this May 21, 2020, file photo, people in San Francisco’s Dolores Park sit inside painted circles designed to help them keep a healthy distance to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. A new analysis published in the journal Lancet on Monday, June 1, 2020, provides reassurance that masks and social distancing help but hand washing and other measures are still needed to control the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File) “This puts all that information clearly in one place for policymakers to use,” said study co-author Dr. Derek Chu of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Researchers concluded single-layer cloth masks are less effective than surgical masks, while tight-fitting N95 masks provide the best protection. A distance of 1 meter (more than 3 feet) between people lowers the danger of catching the virus, while 2 meters (about 6 1/2 feet) is even better. Still to come are results from more rigorous experiments in Canada and Denmark that are testing masks in randomly assigned groups of nurses and the general public. Until then, the new study in the journal Lancet provides reassurance that masks do help. Related: PPE in EMS Moving Forward With the coronavirus still new, health officials have relied on studies involving its cousins, severe acute respiratory syndrome and Middle East respiratory syndrome. The findings come from a systematic review of 44 studies, including seven involving the virus causing COVID-19. The remaining focused on SARS or MERS. The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content. Eye protection such as eyeglasses or goggles can help too. None of the strategies work perfectly and more rigorous studies are needed, according to the analysis published Monday. Masks and social distancing can help control the coronavirus but hand washing and other measures are still needed, a new analysis finds. Public health officials have given conflicting advice about masks. The World Health Organization, which funded the new analysis, has said healthy people need to wear a mask only if they are caring for a person with COVID-19. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants everyone to wear at least a cloth mask when grocery shopping or in similar situations where keeping distance is difficult.last_img read more

3M And Collision Repair Education Foundation To Race To Support Veterans Through 3M ‘Hire Our Heroes’ Program

first_img3M Automotive Aftermarket Division, along with the Collision Repair Education Foundation, is putting its effort to provide collision repair education opportunities for military members into high gear this year, launching the 3M Hire Our Heroes 500 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisementOn Tuesday, Oct. 30, during the 2018 SEMA Show, representatives from top MSO and independent collision repair companies will compete in NASCAR stock cars from the NASCAR Racing Experience for bragging rights as the fastest collision repair professional in the industry. The winner will be presented the race trophy by NASCAR Hall of Fame member Richard Petty on Wednesday at SEMA.The field will feature 24 spots for competitors who donate $5,000 or more to the Collision Repair Education Foundation for the 3M Hire Our Heroes campaign. The first 10 donors who donate $8,000 or more will drive a car wrapped in their own company branding. All competitors will receive a custom commemorative race helmet autographed by Chip Foose and Richard Petty.Gerber Collision & Glass, Camden Body & Fender, Lindsay Collision Centers, Brandywine Coach Works, CARSTAR and Skeeter’s Body Shop have already entered the race and are ready to challenge their industry colleagues against the clock. Entries are open until July 15.“We are accelerating our efforts to address a critical need for our military veterans and their families to get the training and tools they need to go to work in the collision repair industry,” said Dale Ross, U.S. marketing operations manager for 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division.  “Through the 3M Hire Our Heroes 500, the collision repair industry supports this important cause in a unique, fun way. We all have a passion for cars in this business, and this opportunity puts the industry’s leaders in the drivers’ seat for the race to support our veterans.”AdvertisementThis is the sixth year that 3M has partnered with the Collision Repair Education Foundation in support of the industry and the nation’s veterans. Since 2013, the 3M Hire Our Heroes program has generated more than $1 million to be used toward scholarships and tool grants for military veterans and their family members. Nearly 330 military veterans and their families have already received scholarships and grants.last_img read more

State of the Dairy 2020: Midwest: Feed a concern

first_imgFor the co-op overall, dairy membership has declined although overall milk production has remained relatively flat.advertisementadvertisementWhile consolidation is ongoing and the commonly held belief is that small dairies are being driven out of business, that’s not necessarily the case.“Whether it is a large or small farm, we are seeing that survival comes down to management,” Kappleman said. “We are seeing larger farms that have overinvested and are struggling, and we are seeing smaller farms that are doing quite well.”Despite the numbers, Kappleman said the co-op and individual dairy farmers have been working together to proactively position themselves for the future. That has included instituting and enforcing base programs in each of its three milksheds.“The added structure and discipline of our base program has created a strong partnership with our membership that provides a more accurate picture of our milk supply and helps us appropriately respond to evolving dynamics,” Kappleman said.Due to its longstanding business relationship, the co-op’s leaders continue to monitor Dean Foods’ bankruptcy proceedings, working with industry partners to develop contingency plans to react as quickly as possible to the evolving situation, he added. (News regarding the potential purchase of Dean Foods assets by Dairy Farmers of America became available after information was collected for this article.)advertisementThe new year is again being approached with cautious optimism, according to Greg Blonde, University of Wisconsin Extension ag agent in Waupaca County. When it comes to dairy farm attrition, the county has followed statewide trends, losing about 5% of its dairy farms annually between 2015-18, and jumping to 10% in 2019.His is not one of the largest dairy counties in Wisconsin, but Blonde said producers there share many of the same challenges as others in the state and beyond. While improved milk prices provide optimism for profitability, that’s tempered by weather-related concerns. Many parts of the Upper Midwest saw heavy alfalfa winterkill in 2017-18 and 2018-19. Then last year brought prevented plantings and harvest delays.“Feed inventory is a major concern,” Blonde said. Wet field conditions entering last winter increase the potential for another round of winterkill, in addition to delaying manure applications and spring planting.The strong local economy adds to labor challenges. “Two local food manufacturing companies are offering 14 to 18 dollars per hour as a starting wage for new employees and 20 dollars per hour after the first year. It’s tough for farms to compete with that.”Although struggling, dairy isn’t on its deathbed, said Blonde, who’s wrapping up a 35-year extension career in June. Although less frequent and smaller scale than 10 to 15 years ago, he has witnessed producers committed to the future, reinvestment in milking and manure storage systems, and other facility improvements designed to save labor. And he’s heard about potential announcements of increased processing capacity coming by spring.For now, however, caution prevails, with not a lot of major construction projects planned for 2020. “Many farmers are waiting to see how the year unfolds before making any big plans, one way or the other,” Blonde said.advertisementWith better milk prices and trade agreements coming into place, many dairy farmers are starting 2020 on better footing, according to Dave Daniels, a partner in Mighty Grand Dairy Farm, near Union Grove, Wisconsin. He also serves as the vice president of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau.Daniels sees several positives for the long-term health of dairy, from an evolving processor side addressing changing consumer tastes – especially for artisan cheeses, the global demand for protein, an increasingly efficient dairy cow that is helping reduce dairy’s carbon footprint and his state’s investment in dairy research.“If farmers have enough feed to get through the winter, they should be in pretty good shape,” he said.Michigan: It’s time for a recovery storyIn recent years, if you were writing a story about Michigan dairy, you might be tempted to steal a line from Charles Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times … .”The numbers tell part of the tale. Michigan dairy farmers consistently lead the nation in milk production per cow and come in near the bottom in the annual average price they receive for milk.For Ben Spitzley, vice president and commercial lending dairy group manager with GreenStone Farm Credit Services, the key word for Michigan’s dairy industry entering 2020 is “recovery.” It also has two stories to tell.“For many, this means prices have resurrected to profitable levels, and producers are able to begin replacing capital that has been deferred, paying down debt that has accrued and rebuilding working capital positions,” he said. “For others, recovery may mean that asset values have returned to a level where now is the time to exit the industry.”Michigan’s recent dairy past is well documented. After being stable at about 300,000 head for more than a decade, cow numbers increased 120,000 head (38%) from 2004-17. Milk production per cow increased about 26% during the same timeframe. “This combination increased the state’s milk production by 76 percent in a relatively short window of time,” Spitzley said.Michigan’s ability to produce milk far surpassed its ability to process it. With a long milk position, Michigan producers began seeing premiums erode and costs for marketing and hauling grow, pushing net pay prices down among the lowest in the country.“Michigan has been very long in milk, and producers have absorbed substantial discounts in their basis,” Spitzley.Several factors help brighten the outlook for 2020. Ending 2019 at 427,000 head, cow numbers have stabilized. Milk prices recovered considerably in 2019 and anticipated to move higher in 2020, helping many dairy farms turn a profit. Domestic demand is growing, and optimism around new trade agreements should lead to export growth long-term. Producers are focused on increasing milk revenue by improving quality and components while seeking to boost income from calf sales through crossbreeding.Milk production and processing capacity are expected to come more in balance when a new cheese plant, being built in St. Johns, Michigan, by Glanbia, Dairy Farmers of America and Select Milk Producers, begins operations late in 2020. As the plant becomes fully operational in 2021, producers should recognize improvement in their basis.However, we can’t write Dickens’ second phrase totally out of Michigan’s dairy story. While milk prices improved in 2019, the annual cost of production also went up for the first time since 2014, with increasing expenses for feed, labor and hauling. Given the extremely difficult growing conditions in the Midwest during 2019, feed costs could continue to rise in 2020, compounded by feed quality challenges.“What hasn’t changed is that milk is a commodity, and having a low cost of production is paramount to producing a commodity at a profitable level,” Spiztley said. While the average among GreenStone’s client base is about $17 per hundredweight (cwt), there’s a $5-per-cwt range from top to bottom. “If a producer is on that higher range of the scale, they will need to lower cost or command an above-average pay price from the market,” he said.Major dairy themes seen elsewhere continue to resonate in Michigan. Consolidation within the dairy industry is not a new phenomenon, although the pace has increased in recent years with the sustained downturn in prices. Labor challenges are driving the industry toward automation, which provides the ability to increase scale by increasing the number of cows per employee. Environmental regulation continues to be more demanding, and dairy farmers are making strides to optimize nutrient management and reduce the overall carbon footprint. Producers are utilizing new risk management tools.Spitzley’s simple answer to the question on whether dairy is dead is this: “No.”“While you may see headlines around farm and processor bankruptcies, the industry as a whole is evolving at a faster pace. For every Deans and Bordens headline there is an Agropur, fairlife or Glanbia story. Companies are investing hundreds of millions of dollars into fixed, long-term assets. These type of investments aren’t made without a positive view of the future, including consideration of consumption of dairy products and demand for higher-valued products.” Southeast: at a crossroadsCentral: Staying focused on the positivesSouthwest: positioning for the futureNortheast: Embracing innovation, with a sense of reliefNorthwest: Apprehension, but a commitment to innovateILLUSTRATION: Illustration by Kristen Phillips.  In Pete Kappleman’s home state of Wisconsin, licensed dairy farm numbers fell by 818 last year. In neighboring Minnesota, where Land O’Lakes is headquartered, the number of licensed dairy farms declined by 328. Dave NatzkeEditorProgressive DairyEmail Dave [email protected]last_img read more

Nadal on a roll

first_imgPARIS,  (Reuters) – Rafael Nadal had expected to be spending his days fishing off his home island of Mallorca by the time he reached the age of 32 and his good friend Richard Gasquet probably wishes he was. Instead, the Frenchman will be the latest player in Nadal’s firing line as the Spaniard, who celebrates his birthday next week, moves inexorably towards an 11th French Open title.Nadal romped into the third round on Thursday with a 6-2 6-1 6-1 defeat of the outclassed Argentine Guido Pella.Far from slowing down, he appears fitter and faster and is striking his forehand with frightening power. Poor Pella never stood a chance once he had squandered four break points in the opening game of the match.Nadal has now won 27 consecutive sets at Roland Garros, including last year’s charge to La Decima.On this form, it looks hard to make a case for him not clamping his jaws around the Coupe des Mousquetaires trophy yet again and if Gasquet is to stop him he will have to improve on a head-to-head record which reads played 15, lost 15. It gets worse. The last 10 times the Frenchman has played against Nadal he has not even managed to win a set.“Ten years is a long time,” Gasquet said, recalling a conversation he had with his father after losing to the Spaniard in the semi-final of the Monte Carlo Masters in 2005, a few weeks before Nadal claimed his first French Open title.“I said, ‘He’s going to win and he might win a lot of Grand Slams, because he was incredible’. Maybe five or six, I didn’t think he would win 10 times.” Gasquet was rated as a future Grand Slam champion then.In all probability he will never win one major while Nadal already has 16. Yet the Spaniard could hardly have imagined he would still be ranked number one in the world 13 years after that clash and looking immovable on the Parisian clay.“You cannot predict the future. I just enjoy the things that are happening. At the age of 25, if you’d asked me when I’m 32 will I be here, I would say probably not,” he told reporters. “Probably I will be fishing or doing other things.“I am very happy to be where I am. Very happy to keep playing tennis at my age, because I heard all my career I will have a short career because of my style of game.”With rain showers predicted on Thursday, Nadal was in no mood for any overtime against Pella, dispatching his fellow left-hander with a barrage of brutal forehands on a warm and bouncy Court Suzanne Lenglen.Worryingly for the field, Nadal appears to be setting no limits on where his career might still go. “How do you know when you’ve reached your limit?” he said. “If you think you can’t improve because you have reached your limit, it’s not the right thing. You can improve small things, and small things at this level can lead to great things.“I don’t know where the limit is.”last_img read more

Amaju Pinnick Is Doing Something Right In Leadership

first_imgThe first in a two-part analysis of the structural ills of the Nigeria Football Federation and how Amaju Melvin Pinnick, against incredible odds, is fundamentally righting the course of Nigerian football. For many Nigerians, depending on their age, the ’70s/80s and the early to mid-’90s represent the absolute height of Nigerian football and everything that has followed since pales in comparison.While it should give food for thought that Nigerians still look to the past for football greatness, it is vital to understand why the successes of those eras were possible and also, what went wrong in the intervening years.This would enable discerning Nigerians recognise the current Nigeria Football Federation under the visionary leadership of Amaju Melvin Pinnick is on track to ensure the wholesale repositioning of Nigerian football for sustained and self-replicating success.The ’70s marked the era when Nigerian football truly came of age; a period when football truly belonged to Nigerians.Ask the old-timers and you’re likely to be regaled with tales of a thriving domestic league underpinned by massive crowds at sold-out stadiums and superstar footballers.You’ll hear how the domestic and continental prowess of fierce rivals Shooting Stars and Enugu Rangers was the direct catalyst for Nigeria’s first-ever Africa Cup of Nations title as hosts in 1980.Christian Chukwu lifts aloft the 1980 AFCON trophy in front of a delighted President Shehu ShagariIt was the ultimate statement confirming Nigeria’s status as behemoths of the African game.Triumph in a FIFA tournament followed five years later when the Golden Eaglets lifted the U17 World Cup trophy to become the first African side to win a FIFA organised tournament.The 1985 Golden Eaglets won the U17 FIFA World Cup in ChinaThe ’90s provided even more glamour and represent a period of unrivalled achievements beginning with a second U17 FIFA World Cup title in 1993 which precipitated an avalanche of glorious triumphs.Another U17 World Cup triumph followed in Japan ’93An exciting team – Nigeria’s greatest-ever in the eyes of many – led by Dutchman Clemens Westerhof bagged a second AFCON title in ’94 and also competed in Nigeria’s first-ever senior FIFA World Cup in the USA. There they left an indelible impression and, despite losing to eventual finalists Italy in the second round, achieved a FIFA ranking of fifth in the World – never since replicated.The Super Eagles won a second AFCON title in Tunisia ’94The USA ’94 Squad is arguably Nigeria’s greatest sideMore glory followed in ’96 when the U23 team became the first African side to win Olympic football gold at the Atlanta Games.Nigeria’s U23 side won Africa’s first-ever Football Olympic Gold Medal At The 1996 Atlanta GamesThe ’90s gave Nigeria its first African Footballer of the Year with Rashidi Yekini taking the honours in 1993. Emmanuel Amuneke followed suit in 1994. Nwankwo Kanu was Africa’s best in 1996; Victor Ikpeba in 1997 before Kanu notched a second in 1999.Super Eagles record scorer Rashidi Yekini was the first Nigerian to be named CAF Player of The Year in 1993More than twenty years later and the nation awaits another winner.What then was responsible for the successes outlined above? In a nutshell: stability. Stability enabled an atmosphere conducive to the implementation of plans that culminated in the stupendous successes.Sure, the country had a pool of talented players to call upon, but, it should not be lost to the discerning observer that the successes of the ’70s culminating in the 1980 AFCON win coincided with the period when the NFF (NFA as it was then) had a measure of stability with Sunday Dankaro who was at the helm between 1974 and 1980 the first NFF head to last more three years.The NFF building in Abuja is named after Sunday DankaroThat stability was also the common thread in the ’90s with Emeka Omeruah, a former Minister of Sports, only the third person to enjoy some stability at the helm of the federation where he was in charge between 1993-97.It must, however, be pointed out that while the country excelled in tournaments at both club and country levels, the singular failure to institutionalise the means that ensured the good times and also entrench good governance practices in the federation continues to cost the nation dearly.Only now, under the guidance of the Pinnick-led board, as will be made clear, are genuine, profound and far-reaching efforts being made to correct these structural ills.NFF president Amaju Pinnick flanked by 1st vice president Seyi Akinwumi (r) and 2nd vice president Shehu DikkoBut it is also important to understand a bit of the intriguing history of the NFF.A particular playbook is repeated roughly every four years and it goes something like this:Nigeria qualifies (or fails to qualify) for the World Cup, regardless of how the country performs, the NFF president is hounded out of office either through the polls or by NFF “stakeholders” often acting on the instructions of the sports minister.This has happened like clockwork after every World Cup since 1998 unfailingly – that is, until the triumph of Mr Pinnick at the 2018 elective congress put a halt to the charade.Omeruah’s successor as NFF (then NFA) boss Abdulmumini Aminu lost his reelection bid to the government-backed candidate Kojo Williams in 1999.Abdulmumini AminuWilliams, young and successful if slightly hubristic, was impeached after 90 days by the NFF congress on frivolous charges when he appeared to be growing too big for his breeches.Kojo WilliamsHis successor, General Dominic Oneya was jettisoned after the 2002 World Cup for Ibrahim Galadima who had the misfortune of failing to oversee the qualification of the Super Eagles for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.Dominic OneyaAlthough Galadima managed to win elections in 2005 against incredible odds, by July 2006 he was sent packing and replaced by Sani Lulu.Ibrahim GaladimaLulu, despite singlehandedly sponsoring nearly everybody with more than a passing interest in football to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, was impeached by a group of “stakeholders” immediately after the Mundial.Sani LuluAminu Maigari’s fate following the 2014 World Cup in Brazil was even worse and saw the country suspended by FIFA for outrageous and brazen government interference in NFF matters.Aminu MaigariSubjected to every kind of humiliation including being impeached (later overturned by FIFA) and borderline kidnapped, he was forced to resign but not before, with FIFA’s help, overseeing the elections that ushered in Mr Pinnick for his first term in September 2014.As expected, a similar situation ensued in 2018 in the aftermath of the World Cup in Russia.Former sports minister Solomon Dalung, having spent the entirety of his time in office undermining Mr Pinnick’s NFF at every turn, resurrected a dead, buried and globally rejected claim of Chris Giwa as NFF president in a desperate bid to stop the reemergence of Mr Pinnick.Solomon Dalung’s disastrous tenure as Sports Minister destablised the NFFDalung’s action precipitated a period of destabilisation as Giwa, with state muscle, hijacked the NFF offices thereby exposing the country to the threat of a FIFA ban.Rejected by FIFA & CAS, Chris Giwa relied on Dalung to hijack the NFFA timely intervention by the presidency, however, saw the ban averted and Mr Pinnick regain control of the federation.Rather than wilt in the face of the raging fire wrought by Dalung, Pinnick like the finest of steel was tempered by the flames and emerged even more resolute.Pinnick was undaunted in face of fierce oppositionHe rode to an unprecedented second term in office with an overwhelming majority at the perhaps the fairest NFF elections of all time conducted on Thursday, 20 September 2018 in Katsina.Pinnick, Akinwunmi & Dikko confounded incredible odds to win a second mandatePinnick’s victory marked a significant milestone and turning point – perhaps forever – in the affairs of the NFF.It has ensured, on the one hand, a chance at the elusive stability needed to push through much-needed reforms to reposition Nigerian football.But more importantly, it was a victory – and this cannot be understated – for the soul of Nigerian football and will forever be a reference point in the struggle for NFF independence.It marked for the first time, the successful re-election of an incumbent on the strength of his accomplishments and vision for Nigerian football against mafia-like “stakeholders” and outsized government meddling.It was a resounding affirmation and validation of his work and reflected the will of Nigerians.As has become quite clear, the rotten NFF infighting that soundtracked the steep decline in Nigeria’s football fortunes has never been about the game but about pecuniary gains for certain categories of people and their backers in government.More stories:Amaju Pinnick: Undaunted In Service Of Nigerian FootballAmaju Pinnick Is Doing Something Right In Leadership [Part 2]Take, for instance, the abominable “recommendations” made by a so-called “Elders Committee” instituted by Dalung to essentially blackmail and strong-arm the Pinnick-led board into submission.Among various execrable suggestions, the myopic committee constituted by the likes of the shortest-serving NFF president in history Kojo Williams and former NFF presidents Ibrahim Galadima and Abdulmumini Aminu enjoined the government to compel the withdrawal of Nigeria from FIFA for two years.The full text of the Elders Committee can be found here [pdf].This recommendation which was ostensibly made to give ample room and scope to rectify the ills of Nigerian football was in reality, a smokescreen to effect regime change at the NFF.Interestingly, the committee also recommended that Giwa, having disrupted and hindered the growth of Nigeria football should be “compensated” for his efforts.The laughable nonsense was promptly dismissed by President Muhammadu Buhari.The contrast between previous NFF boards riven by infighting and self-serving interest and the Pinnick-led board cannot be starker.The unity of purpose and fierce integrity shared with his able vice presidents Seyi Akinwunmi and Shehu Dikko and the rest of the Executive Committee has ensured unparalleled unity in the face of the most uncharitable and barbaric attacks.Nigerians must recognise what this achievement means and throw their weight behind the Pinnick-led board as they work to right the course of our common heritage and unifying factor.The current NFF stands at the precipe of forging a permanent break from the visionless charade of the past and permanently consigning to the dustbins of history, the corrupt interests that have long fed fat on the chaos that characterised the old NFF.But these disgruntled haters of Nigeria will resist this good wind of change tooth and nail.Indeed, as can be seen by the numerous petitions, investigations and litigations against the Amaju Pinnick-led board – all of which have been found to be without a single shred of merit by the courts, these traducers won’t give up without a dirty fight.Having been thwarted at the polls, these traducers and haters of Nigerian football continue to undermine the NFF through sensationalist but patently untrue reports and ludicrous claims.The second part of this article can be accessed here.RelatedAmaju Pinnick Is Doing Something Right In Leadership [Part 2]June 11, 2020In “Featured”NFF, LMC Sign Respective Partnership Deals With 1XBETMay 21, 2018In “National Team”Amaju Pinnick: Undaunted In Service Of Nigerian FootballJune 5, 2020In “Featured”last_img read more