Don’t panic; unlike us, the virus is non-discriminatory!

first_imgWhile the rest of the whole world battled covid-19 disease for a while now, it wasn’t until the 3rd of March that India rose from its deep slumber; of being comforted by an assurance stemming from unknown reasons that ‘ coronavirus is a thousand miles away.’ Now, it is not known how scientific is our reliance on ‘cow-urine’ and ‘cow-dung’ to save us from Corona, but at a time when the world is seriously talking about finding measures for combating the highly contagious disease- Covid 19, we still have many people who find it hilarious enough to not only make fun of the disease but finds it opportune enough to rebuke and mock people.There was a time we, the Northeasterners were called Momo, Chowmein, Chinky etc. I have written an article about it – both the fun side and the sad reality of discrimination on the NE people. The unfortunate outbreak of Novel coronavirus from Wuhan, China has witnessed a huge turn of events with most countries now affected by the virus. National emergencies are declared and the WHO has now termed Covid-19 disease as a pandemic. But among the many unfortunate victims are the North-Eastern people, who are fortunately not infected by the virus as of now but by a more venomous virus; racism.THE RACISM ANGLE(Unlike us, the virus is not)It is indeed racist to call Chinese people by ‘Corono’. But what is graver and more loathable is to discriminate the North-East people by calling them CORONA. It is discrimination on two counts- firstly calling people by disease is discrimination of the highest level. This too, when there are no confirmed cases of the disease from North East India. Secondly, equating and mocking the citizens of this country to those people where the virus originated and calling them Corona with the sole intention of rebuking them and their physical appearance is not only cowardice, condemnable but inhumane. We will soon be finding out that unlike us, the disease is non-discriminatory and that the disease is in no way a matter joke but one which will require collective fight for people of the world including Chinese and Indians. We need to fight the disease and not the people.‘DO NOT PANIC’ MESSAGE(No virus, no panic)At the time of writing this, more than 80 people have been detected to have caught the highly contagious disease. Several states have issued an advisory on the matter; restricting public gathering and declaring the closure of schools, shopping malls, cinema halls etc. In the midst of all these developments, the understandably anxious public is advised by the concerned authority, ‘not to  panic.’ It is understandable that advisory messages to calm the public are required considering the fact that panic and anxiety could affect the body’s immune system. Nevertheless, one can’t help but assess the Government’s level of preparedness. Do we have the required infrastructure? How many hospitals are well equipped and capable to treat the affected? These questions sadly don’t have encouraging answers. Some people, mostly believers of God, will have little problem in controlling their fear as one message goes, ‘ Even as we take all precautionary measures, the pandemic Covid-19 is not a reason to panic and never one to laugh about it. But it surely gives you and me an opportunity, maybe the last, to remember Him and turn to His ways.’ Still, the highly important message of ‘not to be panic’ will evidently require some ‘more-than-words’ efforts by the concerned authority.LOOKING AHEAD(Ensuring the pandemic disease does not go endemic)The precious time of fifty days from its initial outbreak in neighbouring China should have placed us in a more advantageous position than we presently find ourselves in; that opportunity is apparently lost. The next couple of weeks will be crucial for India as it now fights its own battle of the deadly virus. I am no expert to advise the Government or for that matter the public on how to control the disease. But as an informed citizen of the country, it is hard to turn a blind eye on our inordinate delay in conducting a strict screening process at International borders, Ports and Airports. How was it possible for 16 foreigners with the highly contagious disease allowed not just to enter the country but permitted to move around freely is a million-dollar question. We are at least a month late in directing our time and resources in battling the disease but for a nation of billion people, every experience and learning is worth the money. China has done a tremendous job to contain the disease by affecting a complete lockdown of Wuhan constituency. Hospitals specifically meant for patients suffering from the disease were installed in record time, lasting a few days only. The dedication of South Korean concerned authorities in tackling the disease is worth emulating.We will need a war footing approach to restrict the spread of the disease. The public too had an important role in this fight. Apart from maintaining strict personal hygiene, it is our duty to oblige advisories given by concerned authorities’. As for the Government, assuring the public of visible and quantifiable actions while maintaining a high level of preparedness even for large scale outbreak will go a long way in containing not just the disease but the state of panic, people are currently engulfed with. Sans the same, it will be wrong to blame the public for being fear-mongering and for letting sanitizers and masks out of stock.last_img read more

RunSignUp introduces Virtual Race TXT Service

first_imgRunSignUp has introduced a new TXT Service for Virtual Races. According to the technology provider, this ‘transforms virtual events into vibrant participatory events and connects athletes in remote locations.’RunSignUp notes that virtual races – events in which participants sign up to run a prescribed distance at a location and time of their choice and self-report their results – have grown in popularity in recent years. This is seen to create a demand for more interactivity with virtual participants.Virtual races can take two forms:Standalone event, often with a broad range of time (weeks or months) for participation from competitors in disparate locations.Add-on to an existing in-person event, allowing runners who are unable to participate due to geographic distance, time constraints, or participation caps to join in the festivities from a distance. Add-on events can often appeal to previous participants, family members of friends of current participants, or supporters of a race’s cause.Many virtual events ask participants to report their race times and collate them into results. Virtual TXT Service allows race organizers to communicate with virtual racers in pre-set text exchanges, and lets the participant respond back with their time for the event.These responses are fully integrated with the RunSignUp Results platform, allowing the participant to be added to official results with an auto-calculation of pace and age-grading, as well as personal finisher pages and finisher certificates.RunSignUp adds that ‘People can even sign up for txt notifications alerting them when a virtual runner reports a finish time – just like spectators can get notifications about the finish of a ‘real’ race.’Virtual TXT Service can be used to enhance virtual events in a variety of ways, including to send a video, offer congratulations, or provide a coupon from a sponsor. It can also bring ‘a sense of community and accomplishment of a typical race day to an otherwise isolated athletic feat.’Setup of the service is flexible, allowing for custom messages, time ranges for reporting that can be broad or narrow; and race directors can elect to post times automatically or require approval before posting. RunSignUp is a leading technology provider for races and timers in the United States. More than 16,000 races use RunSignUp to manage their events, registering more than 4 million participants each year. RunSignUp’s platform provides a hub for registration, fundraising, race promotion and race day management, with a convenient CRM view of a races’ participants, donors, sponsors, and more.RunSignUp products include RaceDay Timer product offerings, RunSignUp Clubs program to enable membership management, and RaceJoy for live tracking and race day mobile experiences.Customers include leading organizations such as the Boilermaker Road Race, Crim Festival of Races, Amway River Bank Run, Philadelphia Marathon, Komen Race for the Cure Philadelphia, Mercedes Marathon, Kentucky Derby Festival, Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, Vermont City Marathon, Sports Backers, Race Day Events, Glass City Marathon, Tulsa Run, Space Coast Marathon, Leone Timing, KC Running Company, Compuscore Timing, Knoxville Track Club, Pikes Peak Road Runners, Gulf Coast Runners, Columbus Running Company, Playmakers Running Store and many more.RunSignUp adds that it is founded by runners for runners, using technology innovation to benefit the running Relatedlast_img read more

Johnson County Developmental Supports colleagues mourning death of Georgia Petsch; husband charged with murder

first_imgGeorgia Petsch, a Leawood native who graduated from SM East in 2000, died of apparent gunshot injuries on Friday. In addition to working at Johnson County Developmental Supports, she volunteered hours each week at The Rescue Project. Photo via Petsch’s Facebook profile.Kansas City, Mo., police on Monday identified the woman found dead in a home near 98th Street and Wornall Friday afternoon as 38-year-old Georgia Petsch.Petsch, whose maiden name is Leming, was a native of Leawood who attended Brookwood Elementary, Mission Valley Middle School and Shawnee Mission East, where she graduated in 2000. Petsch had worked as a direct support professional with Johnson County Developmental Supports, the agency that works to provide personal and professional support for residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities, since 2016.“She was a passionate and dedicated public servant and a beloved member of our JCDS family. Her loss is felt by everyone at JCDS who was fortunate enough to know her,” said Chad VonAhnen, JCDS executive director.JCDS is providing grief assistance resources to employees as well as clients.“We extend our sympathies to her family, friends and co-workers for this tragic loss,” VonAhnen said.Husband charged with second degree murder; police find 2 guns in houseJackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced on Monday that her office was filing second degree murder and armed criminal action charges against Georgia’s husband Brandon J. Petsch, 36. Police were dispatched to the couple’s residence Friday afternoon after Brandon’s father requested a welfare check when he was unable to contact the couple on their phones. Police arrived to find Brandon laying unresponsive on a bed. A note discovered later and apparently authored by Brandon indicated the couple had been in an argument and that Brandon had shot his wife three times. He apologized for what he had done in the note.Investigators found Georgia’s body in another bedroom rolled inside an area rug. She was pronounced dead on the scene from apparent gunshot wounds.Brandon was taken to the hospital for treatment, and was reported to be in stable condition over the weekend. Prosecutors have requested a cash bond of $250,000.As part of the execution of a search warrant, police found two firearms inside the residence.domestic violence resource organizationsIn addition to her work at JCDS, Petsch volunteered as the Outreach Coordinator at The Rescue Project, an organization that works to improve the lives of pets in Kansas City’s underserved communities. On its Facebook page Sunday, The Rescue Project lauded Georgia’s dedication and asked people to consider making donations to organizations that work to address domestic violence.“[Georgia] embodied all things rescue, dedicating hours every week to caring for the many neglected and unwanted animals in our community,” read the statement. “Georgia was a woman who fought hard to be a voice for the many voiceless animals in our community – and yet she ended up being a victim herself. No one knew the hell she was living with behind closed doors. If only we could have saved her life. In Georgia’s memory, we want to use her tragic story to highlight the hidden darkness of domestic violence in hopes of preventing another woman’s abuse and suffering. In Georgia’s honor, please consider making a donation to a local domestic violence shelter or local animal rescue.”Area organizations providing resources to prevent and address domestic violence include:Rose Brooks Center: 816-861-6100HopeHouse: 816-461-HOPE (4673)NewHouse: 816-471-5800Safehome: 913-262-2868last_img read more

Darker Skies, Darker Behaviors

first_imgAir pollution costs the world approximately $5 trillion a year, or about 7 percent of global GDP, according to the World Bank. This cost is measured in a range of metrics, including lives lost and declines in health and productivity. Such pollution can be seen, felt, smelled, and even tasted. It stings and blurs the eyes, blackens the lungs, and shortens the breath. Even in the United States, about 142 million Americans still reside in counties with dangerously polluted air. Yet air pollution affects more than just our health and our natural environment: Our research shows that air pollution also has a moral cost.Without even realizing it, people around the world may be affected, morally, by air pollution. Recent data on daily changes in wind direction in Chicago and Los Angeles suggest that air pollution increases violent crime. Using both archival and lab data, we took a closer look at the link between air pollution and unethical behavior, finding that the experience of air pollution increased unethical behavior. Read the whole story: Scientific American More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more