(CIDRAP Business Source Osterholm Briefing) – The race is on. The next few months will pit all of our preparedness planning (or lack thereof) against a novel H1N1 virus that is certain to sweep through northern hemisphere countries.While this next wave is not likely to dramatically increase influenza deaths—unless the virus undergoes additional mutations or reassortments—it could cause significant and sustained illness in our otherwise healthy workforce populations. And remember, we currently don’t have any explicit plans to vaccinate that population, except for pregnant women and healthcare workers, even in the United States.Regular readers of this column know I have emphasized for the past 4 months that we should expect the unexpected in our battle with this virus. But now it’s time to drive a stake in the ground and declare, “No more what-ifs. This is what we can and are going to do in response to this virus in our organization over the next 4 to 6 months.”Business preparedness for this pandemic was substantially elevated this past week when the US news media suddenly found the second coming of novel H1N1. Stories about the potential shoe to drop with a fall/winter wave of illness have been everywhere.The media’s attention is not based on any recent change in the disease occurrence, but has largely occurred because of an all-out media campaign by our federal government to hit our pandemic preparedness status head-on. I applaud these federal efforts, particularly the coordinated messages coming from the Departments of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Education, Commerce, and Agriculture.Despite the balanced and scientifically sound information being shared by our federal agencies, there are still a number of critics who have publicly declared that this is a “Chicken Little” situation. We are scaring the world needlessly, they say. If that’s where you are as you read this column, go no further. If you aren’t convinced by now that we have some real challenges ahead with this upcoming fall/winter wave of H1N1, I’m afraid it’s too late for CIDRAP to help.Your primary focusBut if you do believe that H1N1 may cause substantial and sustained illness in our workforce over these upcoming months, then understanding what that means, particularly as it is overlaid on a global just-in-time economy, ought be your second highest priority right now.Of course, your first priority should focus on what the next few months will mean for your family and loved ones. As a father of a pregnant neonatologist (my first grandchild is due in December)—and she is also part of the team at the bedside of other H1N1-infected and seriously ill pregnant women—I pray for the day when my daughter gets both of her H1N1 influenza vaccine doses in her arm. It can’t come soon enough.Announcing a crucial summitTo try to bring a very current, practical, and execution-driven summary of what we all can do to have the highest level of preparedness in our organizations, CIDRAP is sponsoring its third pandemic preparedness summit on September 22 and 23 in Minneapolis. “Keeping the World Working During the H1N1 Pandemic: Protecting Employee Health, Critical Operations, and Customer Relations” is the title we’ve chosen for this 2-day crash course and summary of the latest, most effective actions your organization can implement to be better prepared.You can get more information on the summit here. We’re convening pandemic response experts in public and private sectors who know their business and are ready to act. We’ll tackle with candor, urgency, and practicality how to brace our enterprises for the months ahead.The 25 members of the Summit Advisory Group represent some of the best minds and most practical thinkers in the pandemic preparedness business. I think when you review the program and see the line-up of speakers and sessions, you will agree that this will be your last, best chance to get ready for this next wave of H1N1 infections.And I can only hope that one day, when we do all our pandemic postmortems, we will realize we did make a difference.Bottom line for businessIt’s not too late to get some very crucial and practical preparedness planning completed and implemented in your organization. But time is of the essence. No more feeling your way through the preparedness black hole. Execution is everything now. And it helps if somebody else has tried it and is willing to share which best practices worked and which didn’t.
Melbourne City’s Maclaren opened scoring in the sixth minute when Chemjong lost his grip on a drive from the top of the box.He doubled the lead in the 18th with a header off Rhyan Grant.International debutant Harry Souttar followed five minutes later with his own nod into goal, but a potential fourth by Mathew Leckie seconds before the break was controversially flagged offside.By then the Aussies had made 16 shots on goal against a solitary attempt by the visitors – a 44th minute Hail Mary from Abhishek Rijal from near the half-way line.The visitors rallied in the second half but notched an own goal after failing to deflect Souttar in minute 59.Late substitutes Ajdin Hrustic and Awer Mabil kept up the pressure but could not capitalise on their attempts before Maclaren made his third in the closing moments.“(It’s) my proudest moment in a football jersey,” he told Fox Sports after the match, while conceding that his side squandered a few easy opportunities through the match.“End of the day we scored five… but looking back we could’ve scored more,” he said.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Jamie Maclaren Australia striker Jamie Maclaren made a hat-trick in a 5-0 thrashing of a struggling Nepal during Thursday’s World Cup qualifier in Canberra.The 161st-ranked visitors struggled to break through a disciplined Socceroos defence and were visibly flagging by halftime, with a dogged showing by keeper Kiran Chemjong avoiding a bigger blowout.“We created a lot of chances, but we got a bit more ruthless when it counts,” said Australia coach Graham Arnold after his side’s biggest home win in three years. “Overall, I’m very happy.”
Manager Roberto Di Matteo has parted company with Chelsea, the club have announced.Di Matteo won the Champions League and FA Cup as caretaker manager last season and was given a two-year deal in June.But in the wake of the 3-0 defeat to Juventus, which has left the Blues on the brink of a Champions League exit, he has left Stamford Bridge.“The club will be making an announcement shortly regarding a new first-team manager,” a statement said.Owner Roman Abramovich has made contact with former Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez to gauge his interest in taking charge at Chelsea on a short-term basis.The club’s Russian owner made contact with Benitez even before the defeat in Italy as he assessed his options. After an impressive start to the season, the Blues have won two of their last eight games.They sit third in the Premier League table, four points behind leaders Manchester City, who they host at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Chelsea could become the first-ever Champions League holders to exit at the group stage the season after winning the competition.The statement continued: “The team’s recent performances and results have not been good enough and the owner and the board felt that a change was necessary now to keep the club moving in the right direction as we head into a vitally important part of the season.“The club faces a difficult task ahead in qualifying for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League as well as maintaining a strong challenge for the top of the Premier League while competing in three other cup competitions. “Our aim is to remain as competitive as possible and challenge strongly on all fronts.”Former West Brom manager and Chelsea player Di Matteo, who had been working as assistant manager at Stamford Bridge, replaced Andre Villas-Boas in March.He took over in the wake of Chelsea’s 3-1 defeat to Napoli in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie. But they overturned that deficit with a 4-1 win at Stamford Bridge and secured a 2-2 draw at Barcelona in the semi-final second leg despite having John Terry sent off in the first half at the Nou Camp.After beating Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup final, they beat Bayern Munich in a dramatic penalty shoot-out in the Champions League final. They finished sixth in the Premier League and Abramovich waited until June to give Di Matteo the job on a permanent basis.And after the arrivals of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Victor Moses, they suffered just one defeat in their opening 12 matches before the recent downturn.Abramovich is now looking for a ninth manager since he took over at Stamford Bridge in 2003.At 262 days in charge, Di Matteo lasted longer than previous Abramovich managers Villas-Boas (256), Avram Grant (247) and Luiz Felipe Scolari (223).Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is surprised by Di Matteo’s departure. “I’m astonished really,” he said. “It just goes to show you how precarious we are as Premier League managers and we can’t take anything for granted.“As far as I’m concerned he’s done nothing absolutely wrong. The philosophy was to perhaps change the look of the team which he’s tried to do and that doesn’t happen overnight.“He’s won two competitions in less than a year so it’s unbelievable.”More to follow.