News Scan for Aug 31, 2020

first_imgUS cell phone data: Staying home amid lockdowns may stem COVID-19US counties with large declines in cell phone activity at workplaces, transit stations, and stores and concomitant increases in home activity during COVID-19 lockdowns had lower rates of coronavirus infections 5, 10, and 15 days later, according to a study published today in JAMA Internal Medicine.The researchers made 22,124 to 83,745 daily observations of cell phone location data from 949 to 2,740 counties, depending on data availability, from Jan 22 to May 11 and compared them with COVID-19 growth rates.Growth of COVID-19 cases was 45.5% lower in counties in the lowest quartile of activity in retail stores than in those with the highest quartile, while counties with the most residential activity had a 19% lower COVID-19 growth rate at 15 days than those with the least.Overall, cell phone activity outside the home increased roughly 0.5% compared with in-home activity per day that the stay-at-home measures were in place, suggesting waning adherence over time.After adjusting for county population, case rates, and state-level factors, rural counties had smaller reductions in cell phone activity at workplaces, transit stations, and stores and greater reductions in visits to parks and home activities than did urban counties.Counties in states with higher proportions of older adults, children, black residents, and people living in poverty; more per-capital hospital beds; and lower population density had the smallest reductions in workplace cell phone activity. Conversely, county residents stayed home more in states with a lower proportion of older adults, higher population density, greater economic productivity, lower rates of the uninsured, greater proportion spent on healthcare, fewer people living in poverty, and higher case rates.”Reductions in workplace activity and increases in residential activity were higher in counties and on days where/when there was a greater number of new cases, and thus there was likely a higher perceived risk of infection,” the authors said. “Counties with a high rate of cases were likely to also have more restrictions in place.”The researchers said that their findings support cell phone location monitoring to predict pandemic trends.Aug 31 JAMA Intern Med study Multicenter study suggests stealthy COVID-19 spread by childrenTwenty of 91 children (22%) diagnosed as having COVID-19 in a South Korean study had no symptoms, and most symptoms in clinically ill children went unrecognized or developed only after diagnosis, suggesting that this age-group may silently spread coronavirus in the community.The study, which involved pediatric contacts of people with COVID-19 at 22 medical centers from Feb 18 to Mar 31, was published late last week in JAMA Pediatrics. Of the 71 symptomatic children, 47 (66%) had symptoms that went unrecognized as coronavirus symptoms, and 18 (25%) developed symptoms only after diagnosis, while only 6 (9%) were diagnosed at the time of illness onset.Of the 91 children, 22 (24%) had lower respiratory tract infections. RNA from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was found in upper respiratory samples for a mean of 17.6 days among all patients and for a mean of 14.1 days in children with no symptoms. Mean duration of virus RNA detection was not different for children with upper versus lower respiratory tract infections (18.7 days vs 19.9 days). All patients recovered from their infections.Median patient age was 11 years, 53 (58%) were boys, and 6 (7%) had underlying medical conditions. Fifty-seven children (63%) were infected by household members.The authors called for heightened surveillance with COVID-19 testing to allow detection of the virus in children with no, mild, or nonspecific symptoms.In a commentary in the same journal, Roberta DeBiasi, MD, MS, and Meghan Delaney, DO, MPH, of George Washington University pointed out that most ill children had symptoms for as long as 28 days before diagnosis, although they were presumably being monitored because they were a contact of a COVID-19 patient.”This highlights the concept that infected children may be more likely to go unnoticed either with or without symptoms and continue on with their usual activities, which may contribute to viral circulation within their community,” they said.Aug 28 JAMA Pediatr study and commentary Ebola sickens 2 more in DRC outbreak, 109 total, with 47 deathsTests confirmed Ebola infections in 2 more people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Equateur province outbreak, raising the total to 109 cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) African regional office said today on Twitter.No new deaths were reported, keeping the fatality count at 47.The outbreak, the DRC’s 11th involving Ebola, was first detected in early June in the same area where the country’s ninth outbreak occurred in 2018.Health officials are concerned about the latest outbreak, as responders grapple with COVID-19 and other health challenges and stretched resources. Also, the outbreak is occurring across a wide region, which includes both difficult-to-access areas and Mbandaka, the provincial capital.Aug 31 WHO African regional office tweetlast_img read more

John Raquet of Spiritus Consulting – Crystal ball gazing, or common sense?

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One giant leap for womankind

first_imgSubscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe now for unlimited accesslast_img read more

Misery Index Week 10: Lamenting in East Lansing

first_imgLate Saturday night, a text message popped into the phone of the Misery Index, whose brother-in-law is such an ardent Michigan State alumnus and sports fan that he named his dog after Tom Izzo.“Ughhhh. Just hurts,” he wrote. “Soooo bad.”Even this heartless enterprise of identifying the 10 most miserable fan bases in the country did not want to remind him in the wake of Saturday’s 39-38 loss at Nebraska that it’s only football or that what goes around comes around, which seems apropos in the cosmic sense given what, ahem, happened three weeks earlier in the Big House. One of the tenets we believe in most here is that teams who live close enough to that thin line between winning and losing eventually are going to get a verdict they don’t like.Having said all that, Michigan State was flat-out robbed on Saturday and if the brother-in-law wants to wallow in his sorrow about it, who are we to argue?If you think the Duke-Miami ending was unjust, this one at least rivals if not surpasses it because of what was on the line. Not that the Misery Index ever believed Michigan State was going to win a national championship or even make the College Football Playoff — the Spartans just didn’t seem to be playing at that level — but they were certainly in the hunt. It would have only taken one great performance in Columbus against a still-shaky Ohio State team to turn the narrative 180 degrees.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OprhEDq7r6U?feature=oembed&w=480&h=270%5DAnd now that’s over because officiating incompetence reared its head in a high-profile moment once again.Regardless of what happened in the replay booth Saturday night and what the replay official is and isn’t allowed to overturn, it is clear as day that Brandon Reilly’s 30-yard touchdown catch with 17 seconds remaining should not have counted. Not only did Reilly go out of bounds, but he also pushed off before catching the pass.So the official on the field made two judgment calls there — including the key ruling that Reilly was forced out of bounds — and they were both wrong. Which means Nebraska won and Michigan State lost.And you can pull out whatever talking point you want about how the Spartans shouldn’t have been in that situation to begin with after leading 31-20 early in the fourth quarter and 38-26 with just 4:16 remaining, but the impact of that officiating decision is unmistakable. If the officials make either of the two correct calls available to them, Michigan State wins and moves a step closer to the playoff. It’s just that simple.And even in light of the miracle blocked punt touchdown that lifted the Spartans to the Michigan win on Oct. 17 — a play that was, at best, a 1-in-1,000 proposition — there is nothing about that ending that should sit well with the Big Ten or anyone who roots for Michigan State. FOR THE WINArkansas pulls off an insane lateral pass play, beats Ole Miss in OT USA TODAYMarquise Williams sets passing record in 66-31 North Carolina win 3. Arizona State: There are stages of grief for fans when a team disappoints as deeply as this one has. First, there’s confusion. That’s where Arizona State fans were after the season-opening flop against Texas A&M. Then there’s acceptance that they’re just not as good as everyone thought. That was the reasonable conclusion after a couple of sub-par performances against weaker teams and the inevitable second loss against Southern California.Then there was hope and bargaining that maybe things weren’t so bad as the Sun Devils clicked against UCLA and Colorado. The mood turned, however, after losses to Utah and Oregon in which the team competed but came up on the wrong end of some 50-50 plays. At that point, it was easy for fans to throw up their hands and call it one of those years where nothing goes right, which is comforting in its own way.But now the Sun Devils’ fan base is in the final stage: Question everything. That was the result of Saturday’s 38-24 loss at Washington State, dropping the team to 4-5. This is no longer a season victimized by bad luck or bad calls, just bad football.Coach Todd Graham admitted as much after the game and knows it’s his job to figure out why this team, which he once believed would contend for a national championship, has been so mediocre and undisciplined. His career as a college coach has been defined by overachievement, so this appears to be an anomaly. But it’s one that will mystify and frustrate fans for a long time to come.4. Texas A&M: You could sort of see this one coming. Texas A&M hasn’t been very good for the last month, and Auburn had been figuring some things out even though the records didn’t really reflect it. Plus, this series has pretty much gone the opposite of conventional wisdom every year. But if the Kevin Sumlin era ends badly at Texas A&M down the road, Saturday’s 26-10 loss to Auburn could very well be the watershed moment.The truth is, for all the shade that gets thrown Sumlin’s way about the $5 million per year contract not matching his results, a lot of Texas A&M’s losses the last three years were pretty easy to explain away. Though 2013 was mildly disappointing, you could pin it on lack of depth and a bad defense. In 2014, the program’s holes post-Johnny Manziel were more exposed, though they were not necessarily Sumlin’s fault.But in his fourth year, with a lot of good players and a highly paid staff, the recruiting they’ve done at Texas A&M should be showing more than it is. You could write off losses to Alabama and Ole Miss as the product of a young football team getting beat by better talent, but losing at home to a struggling Auburn team is an eyebrow-raiser because Auburn had won just one of its previous eight SEC games going back to last season. And the game wasn’t even as close as the 26-10 score, given that Auburn rolled up 311 yards rushing alone while Texas A&M couldn’t get much of anything done offensively and threw three interceptions.SPANNING THE SEC: Check in for the latest news, notes, scores and more for one of college football’s best conferences! .oembed-asset-link { background: #fff; border-bottom: 1px solid #e1e1e1; }.oembed-link-anchor { display: block; clear: both; }.oembed-link-thumbnail{ float: left; padding: 14px; }.oembed-link-thumbnail img { max-width: 78px; max-height: 60px; display: block; }p.oembed-link-title { font-size: 75%; color: #009BFF; margin: 0 14px; padding-top: 12px; font-weight:normal; text-align: left; line-height: 120%; }p.oembed-link-desc { font-size: 100%; color: #666; font-weight: normal; margin: 0 14px 14px 14px; font-family: ‘Futura Today Light’; text-align: left; line-height: 120%; } Though he seems firmly entrenched in East Lansing and makes a lot of money, Dantonio is 59 and probably has one more move left in his career if he wants it. With Urban Meyer rolling, Jim Harbaugh getting things fixed at Michigan and quarterback Connor Cook departing, this might be the time to leave if he even has an inkling of doing so. There are going to be some once-in-a-lifetime jobs open including perhaps some we don’t know about yet if, say, Brian Kelly bolts to the NFL, Charlie Strong jumps at the Miami job or Mark Richt and Georgia decide it’s time for a change.Dantonio has put himself in the upper echelon of coaches but is not at a program with championship pedigree. It’s just harder to win one at Michigan State. If he ever has the desire to work at place with all the advantages, well, there are going to be some options. And that’s an even scarier thought for Michigan State fans than a silly replay booth.2. Ole Miss: If you believe ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper’s current board is anywhere close to accurate, Ole Miss could have three of the top 20 players selected in the NFL Draft next year. And yet the vaunted recruiting class of 2013 that launched Ole Miss into the national conversation will leave without getting the program to break through its eternal glass ceiling. But at least they’ll be remembered for this: Ole Miss beat Alabama and lost to Arkansas in the same year not just once but twice.Do you realize how statistically improbable that is given the historical positions of those two programs programs? It’s like a hiker being able to conquer Mount Everest and then collapsing on a stroll up the hills in San Francisco. But it perfectly encapsulates the frustration of being an Ole Miss fan.If there was ever an opportunity for this program to be more than what it’s been, it was this two-year window when Hugh Freeze had Robert Nkemdiche, Laquon Treadwell and Laremy Tunsil on campus along with a few other highly regarded players. But for a variety of reasons — injuries, an NCAA eligibility issue in Tunsil’s case and lack of depth surrounding them — that group has never been able to put together a full season after toppling Alabama early.At least 2014 will be remembered somewhat fondly, with the Rebels getting to the Peach Bowl. But this year will seem like a complete waste with decisive losses to Florida and Memphis and Saturday’s 53-52 overtime heartbreaker against Arkansas in which Ole Miss appeared to have the game won several times. Whenever things start going good again for Ole Miss fans, Arkansas’ insane fourth-and-25 lateral, the ensuing touchdown and two-point conversion to win will lurk forever in the haunted dark corners of their minds. .oembed-asset-link { background: #fff; border-bottom: 1px solid #e1e1e1; }.oembed-link-anchor { display: block; clear: both; }.oembed-link-thumbnail{ float: left; padding: 14px; }.oembed-link-thumbnail img { max-width: 78px; max-height: 60px; display: block; }p.oembed-link-title { font-size: 75%; color: #009BFF; margin: 0 14px; padding-top: 12px; font-weight:normal; text-align: left; line-height: 120%; }p.oembed-link-desc { font-size: 100%; color: #666; font-weight: normal; margin: 0 14px 14px 14px; font-family: ‘Futura Today Light’; text-align: left; line-height: 120%; } Even more baffling is that Texas A&M is now just 6-9 in SEC games played at Kyle Field since joining the league. That isn’t a good recipe for building a sustainable contender. There’s also the simmering quarterback situation with Kyler Murray and Kyle Allen, which does not seem sustainable and could very well have ripples in recruiting if not managed properly. The old joke is that Texas A&M has been one year away every year since the 1940s. The question these days is a year away from what?5. Fresno State: Here’s how quickly things can change in this sport. Two years ago this month, Fresno State was 10-0, ranked in the top 15 and worried that its canceled game against Colorado because of flooding might cost it the opportunity to be a BCS-buster.Tim DeRuyter was a rumored candidate for any number of power conference coaching jobs and the giant-killer reputation Fresno State earned under Pat Hill in the early 2000s was on the verge of being restored. Boy, those were the days. Since the high-water mark under DeRuyter in 2013, Fresno State is 9-17 and sinking to the bottom of the Mountain West this year in very ugly fashion.The Bulldogs have won just twice — against Abilene Christian and UNLV — while losing five conference games by an average margin of 24.8 points. Though it was obvious much of Fresno State’s success in 2013 was tied to quarterback Derek Carr, nobody could have anticipated this much of a collapse in such a short period of time.6. Duke: Well, you can say there’s never quite been a week like this in the history of Duke football. For one thing, you had Miami celebrating on Duke’s home field as if it won a national championship after a fluky, eight-lateral kickoff return touchdown. Then you had an officiating decision that the ACC acknowledged was incorrect, essentially admitting that Duke should have won the game.Then you had the absurdity of the ACC giving the Miami player who scored the winning touchdown its special teams player of the week award (it was voted on by the media, but still). And finally you had the Miami president issuing a statement essentially complaining that the Hurricanes weren’t being given credit for winning the game.So here’s Duke in the middle of it all, needing to get back up emotionally for a rivalry game against North Carolina that might very well have decided the ACC Coastal division. And it truly couldn’t have gone worse for the Blue Devils. North Carolina won 66-31 and it was never competitive even for a moment.There were plenty of lopsided statistics to go along with the final score, but none was as representative as Tar Heels quarterback Marquise Williams finishing the first half with 404 passing yards. It’s hard to say how much the Miami game was still on Duke’s mind or whether it was simply too difficult emotionally to get ready to play such an important game a week after getting robbed in such egregious fashion.Either way, this performance only compounds the loser’s lament of the Miami game and exacerbates the amount of blame Duke fans will forever heap on the ACC. USA TODAYOfficials take center stage again, not because they’re stars .oembed-asset-link { background: #fff; border-bottom: 1px solid #e1e1e1; }.oembed-link-anchor { display: block; clear: both; }.oembed-link-thumbnail{ float: left; padding: 14px; }.oembed-link-thumbnail img { max-width: 78px; max-height: 60px; display: block; }p.oembed-link-title { font-size: 75%; color: #009BFF; margin: 0 14px; padding-top: 12px; font-weight:normal; text-align: left; line-height: 120%; }p.oembed-link-desc { font-size: 100%; color: #666; font-weight: normal; margin: 0 14px 14px 14px; font-family: ‘Futura Today Light’; text-align: left; line-height: 120%; } (Disclaimer: This isn’t a ranking of worst teams, worst losses or coaches whose jobs are in the most jeopardy. This is simply a measurement of a fan base’s knee-jerk reaction to what they last saw. The way in which a team won or lost, expectations vis-à-vis program trajectory and traditional inferiority complex of fan base all factor into this ranking.)(Disclaimer No. 2: By virtue of their impending coaching changes, Miami, Southern California, South Carolina, Minnesota, Virginia Tech Maryland, Illinois, Hawaii, Central Florida and North Texas are hereby excluded from this and future editions of the Misery Index, as fans can look forward to a new regime taking hold in 2016.)1. Michigan State: One more thing about this game and the law of averages. It’s impossible not to think about Nebraska’s hard-luck season, including five losses by a combined 13 points, and not think that they were due for something to go their way. Meanwhile, the Spartans had been living dangerously even without the Michigan game and could have easily lost to Oregon or Purdue if they hadn’t gotten a few breaks.It also underscores how rare it is for Michigan State to actually lose. Since the beginning of the 2013 season, Michigan State is 32-4, which is remarkable under any circumstances. Go back even further to the start of 2010 and the Spartans are 61-15 overall and 37-9 in the Big Ten under Mark Dantonio. Which brings us to the most miserable point of all for the Spartans. .oembed-asset-link { background: #fff; border-bottom: 1px solid #e1e1e1; }.oembed-link-anchor { display: block; clear: both; }.oembed-link-thumbnail{ float: left; padding: 14px; }.oembed-link-thumbnail img { max-width: 78px; max-height: 60px; display: block; }p.oembed-link-title { font-size: 75%; color: #009BFF; margin: 0 14px; padding-top: 12px; font-weight:normal; text-align: left; line-height: 120%; }p.oembed-link-desc { font-size: 100%; color: #666; font-weight: normal; margin: 0 14px 14px 14px; font-family: ‘Futura Today Light’; text-align: left; line-height: 120%; } USA TODAYNebraska stuns MSU 39-38 on controversial touchdown 7. Wyoming: Oh Wyoming, why oh why do you chew up football coaches the way you do? Craig Bohl, a man who won 43 of his last 45 games at the FCS level including three consecutive national championships at North Dakota State, is 5-17 at Wyoming following a 27-7 loss to Colorado State.To be clear, there is no indication Bohl is on the hot seat despite falling to 1-9 this season with every single loss by double figures. But if he can’t get it going at Wyoming, who can? This is a job with a lot of challenges — financial resources, remote campus location, a state with spare population — but it’s also a program that thinks it should be pretty good now and then. Heck, Joe Tiller once finished a season at Wyoming ranked in the top 25 before bolting to Purdue where he also made magic happen.Ever since, Wyoming has made football coaching hires that look great on paper. Vic Koenning had been an effective defensive coordinator there. Joe Glenn knew the region, had killed it at Montana and could play the fight song on the piano. Dave Christensen was an offensive guy who had worked alongside Gary Pinkel. And Bohl was a no-brainer, with his pedigree as a Nebraska assistant and a hugely successful FCS head coach. Maybe he can get it turned around, but gosh, it can’t be any fun to be a Wyoming fan right now.8. TCU: We hate to say it, but sooner or later this was bound to happen. TCU fans kept hoping, kept trying to convince themselves that the defense was getting better and that Trevone Boykin was so transcendent that he could rescue this team’s playoff hopes from any situation. And TCU, given the ridiculous way the playoff committee pulled the rug out from under them last year, probably deserved that kind of magic.Instead, it got a 49-29 loss at Oklahoma State and a wrist injury to receiver Josh Doctson (still unclear how severe). TCU is probably still going to finish with 10 or 11 wins, which should never be taken for granted. But the goal this year was making the Playoff, and anything short of that was going to be remembered with regret.It’s nobody’s fault. The defense was always going to be in transition, and Gary Patterson’s challenge got steeper each week as injuries hit early and often. For TCU just to get to 8-0 required a pretty big comeback at Kansas State and a fourth-down tipped touchdown pass at Texas Tech. But typically there are no magic carpet rides all the way through a 12-game season. You steal one or two you’re not supposed to and things will probably even out by the end.9. Penn State: Every coach has an Achilles’ heel. And James Franklin’s is clock management. There have been a handful of times in his career where Franklin didn’t seem as aware of the clock as he needed to be late in games and/or didn’t manage timeouts properly but didn’t pay for it with losses.The 2014 season opener against UCF, for example, was one where Penn State nearly ran out of time to kick the winning field goal despite starting its drive with 1:13 remaining and three timeouts, allowing the clock to tick from 44 seconds left to 17 without using one despite needing more yards to get in kicking range.The situation in Saturday’s 23-21 loss to Northwestern wasn’t as cut-and-dried, but it was consistent with Franklin’s baffling clock issues. Franklin had three timeouts left when Northwestern, trailing 21-20, got to Penn State’s 24 with 1:06 left. At that point, you can either hope Northwestern misses a makeable field goal or you can start using timeouts and at least preserve some time to get the ball back if they make it.Follow the road to the 2015 College Football Playoff at The Football Four, our home to rate and debate the nation’s best. Franklin didn’t call a timeout until there were 22 seconds left — a mistake he later admitted — which left only nine seconds on the clock once Northwestern hit its game-winning field goal. Instead of at least giving Christian Hackenberg a chance to hit a couple big plays, Penn State flat ran out of time.And in the hyper-intense world of Penn State football, the fans and media keep score on those kinds of gaffes. Despite the Nittany Lions’ overachieving 7-3 record, it still feels like Franklin is fighting an uphill perception battle with the fan base and games like that don’t help.10. Boston College: It might be too big of a leap here to assume that fans and alumni of Boston College care enough about college sports to really feel the burn of this unwatchable season in Chestnut Hill. After all, they have the Patriots to occupy their time on weekends in the fall and that is by far a much more enriching experience than watching Steve Addazio’s team put up its customary single digit in the scoring column week after week.This time, it was eight points in a 24-8 loss to N.C. State in which the Eagles finished with 285 total yards — not bad in comparison to some other games this season — and six first downs. Boston College still has not scored more than 17 points against an FBS opponent this year, appears headed for a winless ACC record and finally has tied Central Florida, which had been last in the country in total offense most of the year, at 276.6 yards per game.Honorable mention (miserable, but not miserable enough): East Carolina, Kansas State, Rutgers, Virginia. Kansas, Purdue, Texas Tech, Eastern MichiganGALLERY: AMWAY COACHES POLLlast_img read more