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Whose pandemic fatigue?

first_img(CIDRAP Source Weekly Briefing) – Far from being fatigued by pandemic warnings, the public is just beginning to hear the message. As planners, we’re the ones at risk of pandemic fatigue, as we slog our way forward.At CIDRAP’s “Business Preparedness for Pandemic Influenza Second National Summit” in Orlando this February, Editor-in-Chief Michael Osterholm used the term “pandemic fatigue.” Some in the audience understood him to mean that the public is getting tired of hearing about a possible future pandemic. But as Mike well knows, the public’s fatigue isn’t a significant problem yet. Our fatigue may be.Of course, the media suffer from periodic pandemic fatigue. If you don’t believe it, look at this graph of LexisNexis data showing general media coverage of H5N1.This isn’t an unusual-looking graph. Journalists are novelty junkies; they get bored fast. For a while, the risk of a pandemic was novelty enough for them. Then, inevitably, reporters started longing for a new angle. The one they found was: “Whatever happened to the risk of a pandemic?” That fueled some year-end stories. And it helped reporters gin up interest in otherwise run-of-the-mill January and February outbreaks, enabling them to report “Bird flu is back!” as if it had ever left.It’s a mistake to interpret the media’s cyclic boredom as the public’s fatigue.But those of us who are trying to arouse the public’s concern—and management’s concern—may be experiencing a bit of fatigue. I won’t speak for Mike, but I know I wouldn’t mind moving on to a different issue—if only we were further along on this one. I’ve talked to more than one health department planner and business continuity manager who expressed the same wish. It is a truism of mass communication that the source typically feels the message is getting old when the audience has barely begun to hear it. We should be careful not to project our own exhaustion onto the public.Which public are you addressing?The public, though, is really a lot of different publics. Here’s a quick-and-dirty audience segmentation analysis:Some are completely unaware. Far from being fatigued, they have yet to be reached at all.Some are aware, but haven’t really become interested yet. We just barely engaged them; we’ve got a toehold, nothing more.Some have given the issue real consideration, and now they’re digesting what they have learned. They may not be paying much attention at the moment, but when something new happens on the pandemic front, they’ll be interested again.Some are suffering from pandemic fatigue. They were interested; now they’re not.Some looked at the issue and decided we were wrong. They think H5N1 is a foolish distraction from more serious risks.Some have decided we’re right. They’ve even taken some pandemic preparedness steps. They’re converts and allies, and they’re hungry for more information.Some are active pandemic preppers and key information sources themselves for their neighbors and coworkers. They may see us as the laggards.We should be tracking the relative size of these groups much more carefully than we are. But my bet is that groups 2 and 3 are the biggies.It’s important to note that many in these two groups don’t understand the distinction between bird flu and pandemic flu. Some don’t know the word “pandemic” yet at all. Some who have learned the word think that the pandemic risk will come to them from birds. They are predisposed to overreact to diseased poultry and to underreact until diseased poultry are found nearby. And when news stories about bird flu outbreaks disappear for a while, it feels to them like the risk is gone. Some of what they’ve learned so far, in other words, is badly misleading.This pandemic audience segmentation, by the way, is grounded in Neil Weinstein’s precaution adoption process model, which lays out the stages any new risk goes through from ignorance to precaution taking. Weinstein’s main point is that the messages that work for people at one stage in the model are likely to be completely different from the messages that work for people at a different stage. As we try to figure out what people in groups 2 and 3 need to hear, it’s important not to confuse them with those in groups 4 and 5.Or even with each other. People in group 2, for example, almost certainly need to hear more about how bad a severe pandemic could be. People in group 3 may have heard as much of that as they need right now. Messages about what to do and why it can help might be a lot more useful in persuading them to bypass groups 4 and 5 and progress to 6.This audience segmentation is also consistent with what Anthony Downs has called the issue-attention cycle. When something happens that raises a new concern, people pay attention for a while. Their attention grows, peaks, and then falters. But it doesn’t retreat back to where it started. It settles into “the new normal,” a baseline level of awareness and attention higher than the previous baseline. The next time something happens, the public’s interest rises again, peaks again, and falters again.What follows is a series of peaks and valleys. The shape of this mountain range varies. It takes work and skill (and luck) to make sure the peaks keep getting higher, to build the public’s interest, concern, and willingness to act. What doesn’t vary is this: There are always valleys along the way.Slogging between teachable momentsI see four lessons here.Prepandemic communication—that is, pandemic precaution advocacy—happens most effectively in teachable moments. Sometimes you can create a teachable moment. Other times you need to wait, poised to strike, for the teachable moment.Between teachable moments, we have better things to do than bang our heads against the brick wall of public inattention. Keep up some baseline level of communication, so the issue doesn’t fall off the radar screen entirely. Other than that, focus on working with your fellow fanatics, the people who share your pandemic preoccupation (including those you successfully recruited during the last teachable moment). And focus on planning for the next teachable moment. What’s your plan for when H5N1 is found in North America? It will be a big teachable moment. Are you ready? And I don’t mean ready to reassure people about eating chicken. I mean ready to tell them about the real public health risk: a future pandemic.The pandemic audience is worth segmenting. Sometimes, like it or not, we’re stuck talking to everybody at once. But it’s often feasible to address different messages to the different audience segments. Knowing what each segment most needs to hear is a huge advantage.Pandemic preparedness is a slog. As Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said at CIDRAP’s Orlando conference, it isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. When the public’s attention periodically falters, we need to sustain our own. It normally takes about a generation to get a new risk or a new precaution firmly onto the public’s agenda: Think about seat belts, smoke alarms, and radon. Think about smoking. Think about global warming! In fact, a lot of activists on other risk issues are frankly envious of the fast progress made by pandemic preparedness advocacy since H5N1 came roaring back in late 2003.Stay on guardWe rightly think the progress isn’t nearly fast enough. We rightly worry that we may not have a generation to prepare. We should do everything we can to hurry the process along. And we should remember that it’s a slog, moderate our expectations, pace ourselves, and stay on guard against our own pandemic fatigue.An internationally renowned expert in risk communication and crisis communication, Peter Sandman speaks and consults widely on communication aspects of pandemic preparedness. Dr. Sandman, Deputy Editor, contributes an original column to CIDRAP Source Weekly Briefing every other week. Most of his risk communication writing is available without charge at the Peter Sandman Risk Communication Web Site, which includes an index of pandemic-related writing on the site.last_img read more

McRae, Mathews lead depleted Wizards past Heat 123-105

first_img Associated Press Television News LIVE TV WATCH US LIVE Jordan McRae scored a season-high 29 points, Garrison Mathews had a career-high 28 and Ian Mahinmi added a career-best 25 as the depleted Washington Wizards beat the Miami Heat 123-105 on Monday night.With the Wizards minus All-Star shooting guard Bradley Beal and five other key members of their rotation, they got huge contributions from an unexpected trio. McRae, a third-year player, Mathews, in his 11th NBA game, and Mahinmi, a 13-year veteran, enjoyed nights to remember against Miami (24-9), which had its five-game winning streak snapped. The Heat entered with the second-best record in the East and lost for just the third time in 20 games against conference opponents.Jimmy Butler led the Heat with 27 points and Duncan Robinson scored 16. Bam Adebayo had 14 points and 14 rebounds.Mathews, whose previous NBA high was six points, scored 20 in the second quarter. Mahinmi had 19 in the first half as Washington (10-22) took a 71-63 lead at the break and won going away.TIP-INSHeat: Allowed a season-high 42 points in the second quarter. … End the decade with a 488-319 record (.605), best in the Eastern Conference. … Lost for the first time after five wins against Southeast Division opponents. … Lost for the first time in 22 games when outrebounding their opponents.Wizards: Beal sat out for the second consecutive game with soreness in his lower right leg. “Getting better,” coach Scott Brooks said. “Anticipate him practicing (Tuesday), and we’ll see how he feels.” Brooks hopes Beal can return for Wednesday’s game against Orlando. … C Thomas Bryant missed his 14th straight game with a stress reaction in his right foot. Brooks said Bryant could be back next week. He’ll practice with the G-League Capital City Go-Go in the next few days.UP NEXTHeat: Host the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors on Wednesday. Miami is an NBA-best 15-1 at home.Wizards: Host the Orlando Magic on Wednnesday in the third of a six-game homestand. Last Updated: 31st December, 2019 12:05 IST McRae, Mathews Lead Depleted Wizards Past Heat 123-105 Jordan McRae scored a season-high 29 points, Garrison Mathews had a career-high 28 and Ian Mahinmi added a career-best 25 as the depleted Washington Wizards beat the Miami Heat 123-105 on Monday night. Written Bycenter_img SUBSCRIBE TO US COMMENT First Published: 31st December, 2019 12:05 IST FOLLOW USlast_img read more

Bellator 214: Aaron Pico and the continued quest for greatness

first_imgJoin DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearHeralded as the future of the sport when he signed with the mixed martial arts promotion in November 2014, expectations were through the roof for Pico when he finally transitioned from the wrestling mats into the cage. But as promising as he looked on paper and as much as his coaches and teammates sang his praises, few could have anticipated the Whittier, California resident being this good, this quickly, especially after how his career started.A terrible start leads to a terrific runThrough his first five appearances, Pico has yet to see the second round and while he’s made quick work of his last four opponents, the shortest bout of his brief career was his debut loss to Zach Freeman.Positioned on the main card of Bellator 180 at Madison Square Garden in New York City and matched up against the 10-fight Freeman, the bout was supposed to be the grand arrival of the blue chip prospect everyone had been waiting nearly three years to see — a chance for Pico to validate the hype, begin his career with a quality victory over a solid competitor and start on the road to championship gold and superstardom.Instead, he got wobbled seconds into the first round of his career and was quickly submitted.It was a disastrous start, but one that became the foundation for Pico’s current run of success.“It wasn’t the end of the world for me,” Pico said of the loss to Freeman. “As a kid, I won a lot and I won championships. But what would always stick out is when I lost a match in some of the biggest tournaments in my life, it was devastating. But my dad would always say, ‘The most important thing is how you come back from it.’ And I would always come back and put on a show, so it was nothing new to me.“It’s not that I didn’t have my things in order before the fight,” continued the surging featherweight, who returned three months later and knocked out Justin Linn to register his first professional victory. “I did the best I possibly could to prepare for the fight, but after we had that loss, we really sat down as a family to figure out what were the best things for me as far as training, what we needed to do, what direction we had to go and that’s what we did.”Four months after stopping Linn, he defeated Shane Krutchen with a vicious body shot in just 37 seconds. Four months later, he needed 70 seconds to settle Lee Morrison. Four months after that came the victory over Higo — the one that made it clear that the blue-chip prospect whose career started with a high profile defeat had already morphed into a legitimate title contender.“It was a big step for me,” Pico said of the victory over Higo. “He’s fought for a world title at 135 and he was coming up in weight, so it felt good, especially being in San Jose. It was a big stepping stone — it was the first fight on DAZN, a lot of people were watching and that’s the way I wanted it to end. [But] I like the term prospect because I’m still trying to prove myself and I kind of always want to hear that. Even when I’m in my 30s, I still want to be trying to prove myself, so I’m going to consider myself a prospect until the day I retire.”Next Stop: The ForumThis weekend, Pico returns to action against Henry Corrales in the co-main event of Bellator 214 at The Forum in Inglewood, California.After dropping each of his first three appearances inside the Bellator cage — to Daniel Straus, Emmanuel Sanchez and Patricio Pitbull, mind you — the 32-year-old Corrales has tallied four consecutive victories. Following back-to-back decision wins over Noad Lahat and Georgi Karakhanyan, the De La O Jiu Jitsu representative stopped TUF alum and former King of Pancrase, Andy Main, at Bellator 208 to run his winning streak to four.Though not the highest profile name in the division and more of a lateral move than a step up the competitive ladder for Pico following his emphatic win over Higo, the youngster knows the man he’s facing this weekend is tough as nails and is happy to be competing for the fourth time in the last 53 weeks.“I knew it was coming and I knew the matchup was going to present itself,” Pico said of the pairing with Corrales, which will hit the cage ahead of the Heavyweight Grand Prix finale between Fedor Emelianenko and Ryan Bader on Saturday night. “I knew he was on a four-fight winning streak and he’s knocking at the door for a world title.“He’s a very, very tough guy,” he added. “I keep saying that when everybody asks me, ‘Who’s the guy you’re fighting?’ He’s very tough. He’s a veteran in the sport. He’s been in some wars, but being tough can only get you so far. Skills pay the bills and I feel I have better skills and I know what I’m capable of doing.”The FutureShould Pico add another victory to his resume on Saturday and push his winning streak to five, the Bellator brass will have some interesting decisions to make regarding the burgeoning superstar.Beating Corrales would be another clear signal that Pico has outgrown his prospect label and officially cemented his standing as a legitimate title threat. And there are few fights the promotion could make that would be bigger than pairing the surging phenom against two-time, reigning featherweight champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire.While it’s certainly something Pico has considered, his greater focus for the time being is continuing to gain experience and staying active, while working his way up the divisional ladder.“God-willing, everything goes as planned and I’m injury-free, I want to stay as active as possible,” he explained. “I’m young. I’m hungry. I’m searching for big fights and to be a world champion, so it doesn’t do me any good to be sitting around. The more I can stay active and keep progressing is better for me. There are no names, but I know anybody that is ranked above me or gets me closer to getting that title, I’m all for it.And if a bout with Freire comes, the 22-year-old knows he’ll be up for the challenge, although he’s aiming even higher. Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearHe wants to be the best fighter in the world.“I think I’m very close to being a world champion in Bellator, but being the best fighter in the world, pound-for-pound, I still have a lot of work to do,” said Pico. “I have many, many years ahead of me in this game, so it’s a work in progress, but that’s what wakes me up every day.” Aaron Pico is both the best prospect in the sport and not a prospect at all.On one hand, the 22-year-old is just 19 months and five fights into his professional career in the cage. On the other hand, the Bellator MMA featherweight has earned four straight first-round stoppage victories and capped his 2018 campaign by settling former bantamweight title challenger Leandro Higo in just over three minutes.last_img read more

Chatter: UCLA alumns in full force

first_img“I know it’s her team now, but I’m not worried about Lisa at all,” Mendoza said. “She’s a competitor and I know she’s going to do whatever it takes to win.” Handball championships The National Intercollegiate Handball championships are being held this weekend at the Spectrum Club in Canoga Park. There are 268 collegiate handball players from Ireland, Canada and the United States taking part. “I’m biased of course, because I’ve been playing since I was six years old. But the abilities required in handball are greater than just about anything besides basketball,” event organizer Howie Eisenberg said. “The top-level player blast the ball as hard as a baseball pitcher, 80-85 miles an hour, with either hand.” The men’s quarterfinals begin at 9:30 this morning. The semifinals are at 1. – Ramona Shelburne 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! It’s going to look a little like an alumni game tonight when the UCLA softball team plays an exhibition against the PFX All Stars as part of a tournament in Palm Springs. The PFX roster is stacked with UCLA alums and in an interesting twist this year, UCLA coaches. Lisa Fernandez, Andrea Duran and Natasha Watley are all assistants at UCLA this season. center_img Former UCLA head coach Sharron Backus will coach the PFX team along with former UCLA All-American catcher, Stacey Nuveman, who is unable to play because she is expecting her first child in May. Former Camarillo High standout Jessica Mendoza is also expected to play for the PFX team. last_img read more