All publications of Kishen Sreedharan . Petaling Jaya , Malaysia
Why is Malaysia so Polarised today?
In the good old days, citizens only had The Straits Echo, New Straits Times and later on, The Star, to feed them with the latest news. The advent of information technology and rise of Internet popularity has seen the proliferation of online news portals - independent and the not-so-independent ones. Since then, news readership of mainstream media has been steadily on the decline and the print media is being sustained mainly by advertising revenue. Beyond all those superficial issues, the fact remains that the rise of the new media has paved the way for more partisan media in Malaysia and triggered an insidious process of political polarisation of Malaysia.
Today, news audience seems to be divided into three segments - the Pro-BN, the Pro-PR and of course, the fence-sitters. Without prejudice, many seem to buy the tales of their preferred media - lock, stock and barrel without questioning the authenticity of the report, the implication of bias headlines, morals, objectivity and even the unhealthy slants of fanatically populist and anti-establishment, anti-corruption rhetoric, anti-PM articles that those independent news portals carried by TMI, FZ, The Ant Daily, MK, Malaysia Chronicle and other sites. Consequently, more are blindly pro-Opposition and narrowmindedly anti-BN with a one-track mind!
Hitler once said: "A lie told often enough becomes the truth."
That is exactly what is happening in Malaysia. the last ten years or so, irresponsible sites have been filling the Internet with lies, distortions of truth, fabrications of concocted reality and all kinds of warped messages.
A very good example is the Altantuya case.
At the end of this post is a list of headlines from various news portals. Even without reading the whole report, citizens are being BRAINWASHED to hate the government!
What is the real agenda of those media sites? Why are they persistently seducing their audience with populist views?
Why are some sites so pro-Anwar and anti-Najib?
For that, we need to examine the content, background and ownership of those sites.
News content that is stems from simple and clear ideological slant e.g. Anti-BN headlines would naturally attract viewers who are ALREADY dissatisfied with the state of affairs. Hence, readers would perceive such websites to be more credible as the owners/writers seem to share their political attitudes.
By reading such distorted articles, these readers are unconsciously reinforcing their stereotypes of the status quo and thus political polarisation multiplies at a very dangerously worrying rate. Things can come to a head when the political ambiance in the country is heated and then fringes may be on the rise.
In reality, citizens have a few choices. They can treat these as the gospel truth or ignore them or accept it and think nothing about those deceptive messages. There is one thing which FEW would ever do.
That is to TEST and to VERIFY the information.
I am not saying we have a perfect government (none exists in this world by the way). We have an imperfect government that is trying to perfect its imperfections in sincere programmes such as GTP, BR1M etc. Along the way, we have little devils in irresponsible news portals spreading doubts, magnifying weaknesses, glorifying the Opposition.
I do not deny the presence of a strong Opposition is important BUT it has to be a wholesome, effective and upright Opposition and that is absent in Malaysia.
There is much irony in news reporting.
1. When the status quo tells the truth e.g. in AG's reports, they are blasted to kingdom come for this and that. Fine - all in the name of efficiency.
2. If the Opposition does something wrong and then the status quo gives them a dose of their own medicine via public criticism, all hell breaks lose and the citizens turn a blind eye to the weaknesses or failings of the Opposition and go into full throttle to blast BN.
3. The worst scenario is this. The whole question of selective exposure is a pivotal factor in polarizing Malaysia. Those who are politically conscious carry with them biases and beliefs that those online sites are believable and trustworthy and deliberately read only THOSE news which can strongly influence their attitudes, speech and voting behaviour. These citizens, armed with their 'perceived' inference of what is right and wrong, go on to become opinion leaders in kopi tiams and INFLUENCE others to share their beliefs. Such a multiplier effect in wider society and at the grassroot level can be very potent in swinging voters to become pro-Opposition.
Now here's the catch.
Some argue and say - if that is the case, why can't the government close down those sites?
If the ruling government would do that in the name of curbing hostility etc... those 'biased' pro-Opposition citizens would say - there you go - we have a government that does NOT practise freedom of speech or press freedom.
It is a Catch 22 for our government, whom I believe is sincerely trying its best to maintain a healthy balance of freedom in a non-hostile and non-confrontational way.
If they pull up editors for misdeeds, people would protest and this would trigger another wave of anti-BN sentiments.
If the government does nothing and allows freedom of speech, the pro-Opposition fellas will say - see our leaders are useless!
Either way, to the pro-PR supporters, BN is always wrong, PR is always right! Sheesssshhh!
The bottom line is this.
Many sites have been spinning their yarn of lies, of deception and myths to the extent that these have become 'truths' in the minds of the audience. You see, the culture of ignorance has made many quite clueless about integrity and journalistic principles.
They do not know what is right or wrong. They only know BN is wrong. Remove BN. All will be right after that WHEN (or so they dreamlah) Pakatan Rakyat takes over.
What a lame and blind displacement of hope!
Their folly is this - their ridiculous belief that whatever BN does is wrong.
To them, whatever PR does is RIGHT. Even if it is wrong, it is ok for their wrong is not as unforgivable as BN's mistakes.
Now you see - our society has really become not only ignorant but so polarized that many have lost their sense of judgement.
They can only see our Prime Minister as the villain and Anwar as the hero.
Anwar - the one who gallivants to foreign countries to shame and blame this nation for anything, anywhere, anyhow he chooses.
Or maybe some look to Lim Kit Siang and his obedient son Lim Guan Eng who has led Penang to four or five consecutive budget deficits, land reclamation issues and botak hills.
In spite of all this...
Despite water cuts and what-have-you's....in the eyes of pro-Opposition citizens....they will say - it is OKlah...they are not as bad as BN.
You see...it is not BN that is taking our citizens on the road to destruction.
It is PR and their insidious media who are marking the routes, paving the different roads to destruction and hurrah for them...many citizens are happily traipsing and spreading their new found 'Pro-PR euphoria'.
Do you see how pervasive is the effect of biased reporting from those websites? They have a malevolent agenda. One to divide, not unite. One to polarise, not to spread harmony.
Maybe now you can understand why this country is so polarised.
Maybe now you can appreciate the uphill task of our government to develop this country for the common good.
Be deceived no more!
Top Ten Reasons Why Pakatan Rakyat is a Failure
1. A coalition is a group of people/parties/organizations who share common interest in reaching the same goal and work together harmoniously by regularly meeting and resolving issues/differences. Pakatan Rakyat does not do this.
Although PAS, DAP and PKR share the same goal of toppling BN, they do not have common interests, philosophy or methodology in reaching that goal.
2. A coalition draws inspiration and direction from citizens/members/regional population. This does not apply for Pakatan Rakayt.
PAS, DAP and PKR each get direction from THREE DIFFERENT party leaders who do not co-exist for the same goal.
3. A coalition works to build a healthy community. Pakatan Rakyat thrives by sowing the seeds of dissent.
PAS, DAP and PKR work for self-interest. Decisions made by leaders are usually for THEIR PERSONAL interests.
A good example is the Kajang by-election and MB issue in Selangor.
4. A coalition draws up guidelines and work towards achieving their goals by following guidelines. This does not apply to Pakatan Rakyat.
Pakatan Rakyat had differences when drafting their Buku Jingga and even when completed, it remains A BUKU - A MERE BOOK for show. All else is forgotten!
5. A coalition must have members which respect member parties/organizations but not Pakatan Rakyat.
Pakatan Rakyat coalition party leaders have no qualms about asking other parties to leave when their ideology or methodology do NOT match.
Malaysiakini reported that Lim Guan Eng said "the biggest issue after Aidilfitri celebrations is whether the two party system can continue in Malaysia. The breaking up of Pakatan Rakyat on the refusal of one component party to respect and hold on to views arrived at together, could not be discounted according to his Hari Raya statement today."
6. A coalition must have member parties/organizations that respect and honour the decisions and opinions of other members.
Recently, PAS frustrated PKR and DAP when it said that there was no reason to remove Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim from his post. According to Lim Guan Eng, "if the decisions we have achieved together in the Pakatan highest leadership council is dismissed just like that by one party, the survival and credibility of Pakatan will be continue to be undermined."
What future is left for Pakatan Rakyat, what hope is there for its supporters when Lim Guan Eng himself has PUBLICLY acknowledged that the survival and credibility of Pakatan Rakyat is at stake? Zilch.
7. A coalition makes and keeps promises but not Pakatan Rakyat.
Over the years, Pakatan Rakyat has CLAIMED it can govern if it is given the mandate by the rakyat. They promised to show their shadow cabinet which today has been in the shadows, never ever seeing the light of day! Are they capable of governing Malaysia when they cannot even keep a basic promise?
8. A coalition must show and develop its abilities and competence to foster healthy relationships with member parties/organizations to sustain efforts to reach their mission. Sorry, this does not apply to PR.
Pakatan Rakyat leaders almost always issue individual press statements without consulting/considering or acknowledging the views of other leaders of member parties.
Is this effective cooperation or destructive individualism?
9. To succeed, a coalition must show progressive or interim victories because its members work together in unity. Pakatan Rakyat does not have any such consistent record except only in their wishful fantasies.
Since 2008, we have seen PKR, PAS and DAP fighting over seats, limelight and a host of other issues. Self-interest rules, not party cohesion. We see Anwar Ibrahim trapising all over the world to shame the country in international media whereas other leaders HAVE NO COMMENT about such actions.
Who is in charge? Is there unity?
10. A coalition can only succeed if leaders show consideration for the greater good of the country by pooling resources, ensuring proper communication flow to sustain an alliance that unites members to achieve goals and empowers leaders to share power for long-term social and political change. Pakatan Rakyat has never, will never and can never do that.
It is a marriage of convenience that never worked from Day 1. It is a threesome kind of menage a trois whereby three leaders only see themselves and not the other two leaders nor do they see the Trinity kind of leadership depicted by its name. It is never THREE-IN-ONE leadership but each screaming and fighting to be NUMBER ONE.
So there you go....this is the crux of why Pakatan Rakyat has failed and can never serve the rakyat because its leaders are self-serving giants or dinosaurs in the political sphere of Malaysia!
American & Tex-Mex cravings fulfilled
New Petaling Jaya affordable Food Delivery & Mini Catering services offers American, Tex-Mex & Snacks, delivered until 2a.m. Attention food lovers! Petaling Jaya’s newest food delivery has just arrived and it’s impressive.
CapTain Shrimp Jaya One is a platform which cook & deliver your favourite meal and to give you in-depth information about your menu choice.“We wanted to go beyond a normal delivery system and create a powerful, neighbourhood solution that gives the customer more control on their food ordering timing. Our focus was not only on the timing. We wanted to raise the bar in terms of customer service and rare menu as we believe that the Petaling Jaya market deserve much better overall experience.” – Delilah, the founder & chef. Our chefs’ menus reflect the full diversity and vibrancy of contemporary American cuisine, skillfully translating the southwestern traditions of Louisiana into impeccably presented, multi-sensory dishes that uphold Captain Shrimp fine reputation.
With a menu that is both seasonal and always changing under the innovative of our skilled chefs, we do not display a fixed menu here. However, we have chosen a sample of some of the best selling dishes.
Hot Buffalo Wings – have that right combination of heat, zest, and buttery flavor
Classic Chicken Nachos – Who doesn’t love a good Nachos?! Fresh chicken, seasoned with Cajun spices, and grilled. toasted with tortilla. Served with jalapeno and 2 kind of cheese!
Crispy Fish Tacos – easy taco recipe filled with simple and clean ingredients including John Dory Fish.
Ice Chocolate - Chocolate it is.
Spaghetti Seafood Marinara – made with organic tomatoes, herbs and spices, sausage, fish and squid.
Oreo Madness – Finely crushed Oreo Cookies with imported ice cream & Chocolate sauce.
Gone are the days when numbers are required to cater, the mini buffet allows for just a minimum of 5 pax to 100 pax to cater. Great for family-styled potluck parties, seminars, house parties or you cozy gatherings with your friends! Sit back, relax and let us deliver the food over to you.
When you place and confirmed an order through whatsapp, you automatically receive a reply with a estimated time of arrival. We have own riders as well outsource rider to deliver other part of Klang Valley. With ordering through whatsapp or social and food prepared by our own kitchen, food delivered to customer by 30 to 45 minutes.
Customers stay in touch with us as we are also giving them complimentary dessert for purchase above RM 50. It’s not just about ordering food, It’s also about value add-ons. So if you come across one of them over social media, you can confidently place your order knowing that you pay less and eat more.
Looking to organize a small party? Select from our large variety of Mini Buffet menu suited for your party of 10 – 30 person. You may choose from a wider selection of dishes such as the our all-time favorite. Food is served in lightweight microwavable containers and comes with full set of disposable cutlery, plates and serviettes.
If you haven’t yet tried Captain Shrimp, we strongly recommend you do. It will become your best choice, it’s definitely ours!
BASIC FOOD AND BEVERAGE SERVICE
Food safety is a scientific discipline describing handling, preparation, and storage of food in ways that prevent food borne illness. This includes a number of routines that should be followed to avoid potentially severe health hazards. Food can transmit disease from person to person as well as serve as a growth medium for bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Debates on genetic food safety include such issues as impact of genetically modified food on health of further generations and genetic pollution of environment, which can destroy natural biological diversity. In developed countries there are intricate standards for food preparation, whereas in lesser developed countries the main issue is simply the availability of adequate safe water, which is usually a critical item. In theory food poisoning is 100% preventable The five key principles of food hygiene, according to WHO, are:Prevent contaminating food with pathogens spreading from people, pets, and pests.Separate raw and cooked foods to prevent contaminating the cooked foods.Cook foods for the appropriate length of time and at the appropriate temperature to kill pathogens.Store food at the proper temperature.Do use safe water and cooked materials
Mise en place is a French term meaning "everything is in its place" and refers to preparation carried out before the day's cooking begins Careful attention to mise en place is the vital step in your daily routine. If you are confident that everything required for the day, including equipment, food stuffs and serving dishes are in place and ready to use you are more likely to maintain a smooth and even workflow throughout the working day. This means you can concentrate all your efforts on producing quality products with maximum efficiency and minimal stress. Thing left undone during this preparation time, or food poorly prepared, can easily lead to chaos in the kitchen at the critical time of service. To be competent in mise en place requires a comprehensive range of fundamental culinary skills and knowledge. The type of kitchen and the menu will determine the daily mise en place routine. These includes: A simple task like using a knife includes the types of knives available, their special purposes, how to use them safely and skillfully and how to clean them and store them properly competent chef however needs more then practical culinary skills. Teamwork, effective organization, time management and meeting occupational health and safety standards are equally important work practices, as they contribute to a safe and productive environmentBefore you step into a kitchen it is also crucial that you are familiar with the act that details the requirements of occupational health and safety. You also need to be aware of provisions under the food act, which pertain to people who handle food for resale. It is essential, therefore that you familiarize yourself with these topics.
From confidence to quarantine: how coronavirus swept Italy
Bad timing and bad luck
Italy appeared well ahead of the curve when the coronavirus outbreak began to spread outside China.
After detecting three cases, including two Chinese tourists at the end of January, patients were isolated in a hospital in Rome. Contacts were traced, and the country became one of the world’s first to cut transport links with China.
The sense of confidence was palpable. “The system of prevention put into place by Italy is the most rigorous in Europe,” the prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, boasted on 31 January.
In reality, as would become clear in February, the virus had been circulating unnoticed in northern Italy via other local chains of infection, in all probability since mid-January.
Another critical misunderstanding also appears to have emerged, this time between central government and hospitals in the north.
It concerns what the proper protocols were for testing unexplained fevers and respiratory complaints, and whether people with no apparent connection to China should be tested.
On 18 February, a fit 38-year old with no apparent links to China fell ill in Codogno. He saw his GP and visited his local hospital several times, but his symptoms were not picked up as resulting from the coronavirus.
Known as Patient One by the Italian media, when he was finally admitted to hospital he was tested after a 36-hour delay, which he spent outside isolation. By that time he had infected a number of medical personnel and other contacts over a period of days.
Adam Kucharski, an associate professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the initial spread of the virus in Italy “has shown the ability for this to become a serious outbreak in a very short time.
“The message is, if you have undetected transmission, if that is not taken seriously, you can very quickly get to numbers that can easily put a burden on your health service. You need ideally to be detecting outbreaks as early as possible.” The age profile of Italy’s population also appears to have made it particularly vulnerable. “Italy is a country of old people,” Prof Massimo Galli, the director of infectious diseases at Sacco hospital in Milan, said. “The elderly with previous pathologies are notoriously numerous here. I think this could explain why we are seeing more serious cases of coronavirus here.”
Much of what we know about the dramatic spread of the virus in Italy remains provisional. All that can be safely said, as the former prime minister Matteo Renzi put it, is that Italy has become the the guinea pig of Europe.
Confronted with the first infections spreading in the north, Italian authorities initially suspected they were tied to the cases of the two Chinese tourists in Rome who had visited Parma.
Authorities moved to shut 10 towns linked to the initial cluster of cases in the northern provinces of Lombardy and Veneto. The local lockdowns, which began on the same day that Patient One was confirmed as infected, were hailed in some quarters at time as speedy and decisive.
According to some critics of the Italian approach, however, what seemed like sound decision-making at the outset of the crisis may have led in part to the problems the country now faces.
“Mistakes were made, probably, in late January,” the author Beppe Severgnini wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times on 2 March. “Italy may have been ill advised to stop flights to and from China; those flights would have provided a clear indication of who was arriving from that country, making health checks easier.”
For Christian Althaus, who models infectious diseases at the University of Bern in Switzerland, said Italy’s issues may come down to the simplest explanation: that it was unlucky.
“You can argue they noticed it late, but that could have happened elsewhere too,” he said. “Once they realised what was happening, I think they took it seriously. The first lockdown was the right choice, and expanding it nationwide probably too. They realise they need to curb the epidemic.”
It is less clear whether the first lockdown was undermined both by a desire to avoid alarm and unnecessary economic impact in the country’s industrial centre, and a belief that the outbreak remained limited. In this respect, mixed political messaging may have been more at fault than any weaknesses in Italy’s health system. We know now too that the geographical scope of those initial quarantines was far too limited. As anxiety spread to bigger cities, including the industrial hub of Milan and the tourist centre of Venice, the political messaging was confusing. Among those pushing a “business as usual” message was Nicola Zingaretti, the head of the centre-left Democratic Party, who travelled to Milan for a meet and greet with young people to reinforce his pitch. Zingaretti announced at the weekend that he had tested positive for the virus.
For Elisabetta Groppelli, a lecturer in global health at St George’s, University of London, a full reckoning is still some way off.
“Until viral genetic analysis sheds more light on the situation, it’s hard to say exactly why Italy has been so badly affected,” she said. “Northern Italy is the economic hub of the country as well as a tourist hotspot, and therefore has lots of travel in and out of the region.
“With more people moving constantly and interacting with each other, this could provide a greater context for spread of the disease.”
Malaysia beat Sars and Nipah. But Covid-19 is different
Southeast Asia is ramping up its fight against the coronavirus as infections spread across the region, with nations locking down cities and sending in the military.As of Friday afternoon Malaysia, t he hardest-hit country in the region, had reported 1,030 infections, Singapore 345, Indonesia 309, Vietnam 85, Thailand 50 and Cambodia 47. However, with 25 deaths Indonesia had the most fatalities. Myanmar has no reported cases, but has preemptively closed its border and stopped its migrant workforce from travelling abroad, despite the cost. From Sunday the Malaysian military will help the police enforce a lockdown on citizens’ movements. The two-week lockdown is approaching its halfway point, but authorities have been struggling to convince Malaysians to stay home. This is despite the threat of six months’ jail for anyone found outside without a valid reason, such as purchasing or delivering necessities, seeking health care or performing official duties.
The government is also urgently attempting to track down thousands of people who attended a mass religious gathering at the end of February. The government believes 16,000 people attended the event at the Sri Petaling Mosque and 600 of them have already tested positive for the virus. It believes 4,000 people who took part are still to be traced, though the organisers dispute that number. Meanwhile the director general of health, Noor Hisham Abdullah, has warned Malaysians that if they do not adhere to the restrictions and social distancing the nation could suffer a “tsunami-like” wave of new infections.
The crisis comes at a particularly awkward time for Malaysia, with the country’s first cluster of infections emerging just as its government was falling apart.The ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition was forced into opposition after the resignation of Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister in late February and a week later the nation’s king selected Muhyiddin Yassin as the new prime minister. The selection of Muhyiddin, who helms the Malay nationalist Perikatan Nasional (National Alliance) coalition angered many Malaysians who had voted in the more progressive Pakatan Harapan.
Barely had the nation come to terms with having a new leader when it discovered its first wholly local cluster of coronavirus infections, with dozens of cases being detected in a group of senior civil servants and lawyers. Then, while Muhyiddin was still selecting his cabinet, another cluster emerged, this time at a mass Islamic prayer event hosted by the Tabligh Jamaat missionary movement.
It was the discovery of this second cluster that prompted Muhyiddin to announce a lockdown – the government’s preferred term is “movement control order” – from March 18 to 31.
The news shocked the public into panic buying in supermarkets and hoarding dry goods. After an interstate travel ban was announced on Tuesday evening, Malaysians scrambled to return to their home towns or cross the causeway into Singapore. Massive crowds formed at bus stations and immigration checkpoints.
A day later in an impassioned plea, Muhyiddin begged Malaysians to “just sit quietly at home”. Many Malaysians are now criticising the government for its perceived inability to handle the crisis, which has caught it largely off guard despite the country having relatively recent experience with pandemics. The nation battled outbreaks of both the Nipah virus in 1999 and Sars in 2003, but experts said both paled in comparison to the coronavirus.
Over a period of eight months the Nipah virus infected 265 people and killed 105, the country’s response having been delayed because it was initially misidentified as Japanese encephalitis. Sars, which killed 774 people globally, claimed two lives in Malaysia. Public health expert Khor Swee Kheng said the coronavirus outbreak was “far more severe”.
“This is for several reasons: Covid-19 [the disease caused by the coronavirus] has infected many more people than either Sars or Nipah, it has affected many more countries, and the world is more interconnected in 2020 than 2003 or 1999. “This is why we didn’t see movement restrictions in response to Sars or Nipah.”
The lockdown, he said, had a good chance of mitigating the spread of the coronavirus but only if Malaysians adhered to its restrictions. He said Italy had seen positive effects from a similar lockdown within five days. “However, it could take much longer for Malaysia, especially if there are people disobeying the orders. Movement restrictions are not a magic solution, as they have to be paired with testing and contact tracing as well.”
Meanwhile hospital staff say they are overworked and low on protective gear. At least 15 medical workers have been infected.
Malaysians have banded together to send snacks and drinks to medical staff, while some have set up an online aid platform called “Kita Jaga Kita” (we take care of us), matching people who “want to help with people who need help via various civil society initiatives”. While economic activity is slowing, work continues even for Malaysians in “non-essential” professions. Many workers are seeking clarity from the government on how to keep calm and carry on.
“It’s certainly no holiday,” said commercial lawyer Yudistra Darma Dorai. “In fact, we’ve been busier. Clients are concerned about the legal ramifications of the regulations. Much of it is unprecedented and most lawyers are being kept on our feet.” Political economist Khor Yu Leng said the lockdown had prompted concerns over food security and supply chain disruptions. “What measures are farmers and supply chains taking?” she asked. “Producers and processors need to operate effectively and keep supply going. We should prioritise the delivery of essential services and inputs for farmers, fishermen and the food and forestry segments and keep food and related processing operational. “Payments are fine with the banks running, but farmers were not prepared with enough fertilisers and other inputs. Permits and approvals are needed for all related commercial activities to ensure farm incomes can continue and that fishermen can deliver produce.“In fact, the plantations and other corporations with business continuing through the virus lockdown will also be helping in other ways, including resource support for health care providers.”
Activist Jaskirath Kaur criticised the decision to deploy the army, calling the move “disproportionate”. “We need clear criteria as to what justifies military involvement. These threats create more hysteria and panic, especially coming from a government we did not elect and therefore do not trust.”
Key differences between the 2009 swine flu and COVID-19, and the response to each of them
It's been a little over a decade since the world experienced its last pandemic, the 2009 H1N1 swine flu. Between the spring of 2009 and the spring of 2010, the virus infected as many as 1.4 billion people across the globe and killed between 151,700 and 575,400 people, according to the Centers for Disease Protection and Control. Now, the world is in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by a novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2.
Having been through a pandemic in recent history, it seems reasonable to expect that government agencies in the U.S. would be prepared for the next one. But there are some key differences between the 2009 swine flu and COVID-19, and the response to each of them.
The 2009 flu pandemic was the second H1N1 pandemic the world had seen — the first being the 1918 Spanish flu, still the most deadly pandemic in history. The 2009 pandemic was caused by a new strain of H1N1 that originated in Mexico in the spring of 2009 before spreading to the rest of the world. By June of that year, there were enough cases that the World Health Organization declared the swine flu outbreak a pandemic.
In the U.S., between April 2009 and April 2010, the CDC estimates there were 60.8 million cases of swine flu, with over 274,000 hospitalizations and nearly 12,500 deaths — that's a mortality rate of about 0.02%.
The mortality rate for the novel coronavirus is much higher so far, around 2% (although the number will likely change as more people are tested). That may not sound like a big difference, "but when extrapolated, can mean millions more deaths," Strathdee said.
The 2009 flu pandemic primarily affected children and young adults, and 80% of the deaths were in people younger than 65, the CDC reported. That was unusual, considering that most strains of flu viruses, including those that cause seasonal flu, cause the highest percentage of deaths in people ages 65 and older. But in the case of the swine flu, older people seemed to have already built up enough immunity to the group of viruses that H1N1 belongs to, so weren't affected as much.
This means that so many people are immune to the infection, because of vaccines or because their immune system has already fought the infection, that the few people who aren't immune are somewhat protected. There might be some groups of people who have immunity to the 2019-CoV-2 virus, too, but that's an area that's still being researched. So far, COVID-19 is most deadly for people over 60 who have underlying health conditions.
Another difference is that flu viruses are spread in respiratory droplets and airborne particles, while 2019-CoV-2 is primarily spread through respiratory droplets, and in some instances may be shed in feces, Strathdee said. "We don't yet know how important the oral-fecal route of infection is, but it's another reason to wash your hands regularly with soap and water," she said.
The symptoms of the swine flu were similar to those caused by other flu viruses, primarily: fever, cough, headache, body aches, sore throat, chills, fatigue and runny nose. Those symptoms show up between one and four days after contracting the virus
At the beginning of both pandemics, the genetic sequences of the virus were released to the public with remarkable speed, so that countries could create diagnostic tests as soon as possible. On April 24, 2009, just nine days after initial detection of H1N1, the CDC uploaded genetic sequences of the virus to a public database and had already begun development of a vaccine. Similarly, on Jan. 12, 2020, five days after the novel coronavirus was isolated, Chinese scientists published the virus' genetic sequence.
"Another difference is that this is the first pandemic in the era of social media," Strathdee said. The wealth of misinformation about the disease has spread faster than the virus, she said, as has blame for the virus. "We need to stop thinking like this. We need to unite against the virus."
However, the plus side of living in this advanced technological age is the speed at which research and vaccine development can occur. A potential treatment and the first trial of a candidate vaccine are already underway, which is amazing and encouraging, Strathdee said. "It will take time for a vaccine and treatments to be studied and scaled up," she said. "So in the meantime, we all need to do our part and stay home."
UP SELLING INSTEAD OF HARD SELLING
First what’s the difference between the two:
Up selling: selling a product or service by using subtle persuasion.
Hard selling: selling a product or service using a more direct, forceful, and overt approach.
Don’t overlook Up selling as a key way to make money. The gross profit margins on beverages are astronomical compared to food, yet strangely, most beverage incidence (ratio of beverages sold to food sold) is less than 10% in food service operations. And yet beverages can contribute as much as 70-80% gross profit margin per serving…so what’s wrong with this picture? Opportunity knocks if you’re willing to listen, and here’s a few ideas to help you start managing your beverage sales like the (overlooked) profit center they are.
Sell two beverages to every guest.
At breakfast, train servers to suggest a glass of juice and a coffee. At lunch, a soda, or a bottle of water or mango-raspberry tea, or coffee. At dinner, a beer, cocktail or glass of wine and later, a cappuccino.
Keep the lines clean.
If you want to get the most out of your fountain beverage sales make sure you listen to the advice of your account reps relative to maintaining clean lines, nozzles and syrup/carbonation mixes. Take as much pride in the quality of your carbonated fountain beverages as you do in your food. Your customers notice and will buy more—and more often.
Just say no to tap water.
I figure that giving away a glass of ice water to a customer costs you about RM 0.90 per serving once you factor in the cost of the glass, ice, and labor to store and serve it, coupled with the cost of the detergent, hot water, rinse and labor necessary to clean it. So I say carry bottled water on your beverage menu and suggest it always instead of faucet water when a guest asks. This is applicable no matter what segment you operate in, full-service or quick service, fast-casual or on-site dining. A glass of tap water is not “free”!
Offer to re-fill alcohol beverages at 1/3 full.
The best time to offer a new alcohol beverage like beer or wine or a cocktail is when the glass is about 1/3 full. Which reminds me of a classic line: “Is the glass half empty, or half-full? That depends on who’s buying.”
Suggestively sell non-refillables.
Most restaurant likes the profit inherent in favourite beverages, but has another perspective too: “Every time you allow a guest to slide into a default beverage choice that comes with unlimited free refills, you not only miss a chance to distinguish yourself, but you potentially lose money too. Consider the number of times a RM5 iced tea is refilled at lunch on a hot day—four, six? If that beverage was two non-refillable Cokes or bottled water or a signature fruit/spice premium tea at the same price instead, you’d already be ahead by 100% and your guest has a better tasting drink to remember you by.” You can get your waitstaff to warm up to this thought process by asking them how many times and how much they’re tipped on six refills of iced tea or tap water.
Say what, say when.
The best way to offer a new alcohol beverage is by being specific. Don’t say “Sasha want another drink?” The word “another” can be off-putting. Instead, servers could say: “Ready for a glass of the wine, sir?”
Offer another drink before delivering entrée.
Our good friends at The Cheesecake Factory have taught me that the best time to suggest dessert is right before you bring the entrees out, and that is also the ideal time to suggest another beverage.
Be a Devil’s Advocate.
With your fellow managers, compile a list of reasons why your team doesn’t sell more beverages. Now do everything you need to do training-wise and operations-wise to remove those obstacles and make those objections irrelevant.
Don’t sell “rounds” (unless it’s shots).
“When you have four or more people drinking alcohol beverages with dinner, try to stagger the drink orders and avoid the phrase ‘Another round?’, unless it’s shots.” says Mr. Kirkland. Although it can affect a server’s table timing, selling new drinks one-on-one, actually raises the number of beverages sold.
Suggest your best.
When a guest orders a vodka/tonic, many servers respond robotically: “Would you like Absolut or Grey Goose in that?” Nice try, but a better, softer way to sell might be to phrase the question : “Do you have a favorite vodka that you’d like in there?” Servers tend to suggest more top shelf liquor when they’re reminded that when the guest drinks better, they do too! Better tips now, better drinks for the staff after the shift. (If you don’t serve alcohol, this is another example of where suggesting bottled water over tap water can improve service and increase sales).
List wines from driest to sweetest.
If your servers are novices at wine selling, I recommend that you list your wines from driest to sweetest so they have an easier time remembering the flavor profile.
Use the Sullivan Nod.
Whenever servers suggest a beverage, have them smile and slowly nod their heads up and down as they make the suggestion. Body language is powerful, and research shows that over 60% of the time, the guest will nod right back and take your suggestion!
Coronavirus - Predictions and Prophecies
Since the coronavirus first appeared in China in December it has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). The disease has infected more than 154,000, killing at least 5,400.
Where do we stand today?
The outbreak continues to spread — As of Feb 1st, the WHO has confirmed around 12,000 cases, and more than 2,000 alone was confirmed on Saturday (That’s roughly 18% of the total reported cases). A total of 48 provinces across 28 countries have been affected. However, only a little more than 2% of these cases were found outside China. Although this number might seem small, Wuhan, the city at the center of the outbreak, is a major transportation hub of the country. Inter-city travels increasing because of the Lunar New year has aided the outbreak to some extent. During Oct-Nov last year, close to 2 million people flew out of Wuhan and roughly 120 thousand people flew outside the country as well. Hence the outbreak of Coronavirus remains a major concern across the globe.
How Contagious is the Virus?
The pace and ease at which any outbreak spreads, determine its scale. The Report published by the Imperial College of London suggests that a person suffering from Coronavirus can affect 1.5 to 3.5 healthy people. According to the New York Times, if 5 people with new coronavirus can impact 2.6 others, then 5 people could be sick after 1 Cycle, 18 people after 2 Cycles, 52 people after 3 Cycles and so on.
Coronavirus (COVID19) has recently caused major worldwide concern.
As the number of coronavirus cases reportedly increases, the spread of COVID19 is a serious threat to global health. In this work, we will try to predict the spread of coronavirus for each one of the infected regions. Fitting time series analysis and statistical algorithms to produce the best short term and long term prediction. An adaptive online Kalman filter provides us with very good one-day predictions for each region.
As a beginning, let’s briefly compare the COVID19 to an older fatal virus-Ebola. Ebola is not a new disease (first cases were identified in 1976) but in 2014 and 2018 it erupted again until these days.
* The fatality rate of EBOV is much higher and may reach a 75% death case comparing to ~2.7% death of COVID19. It must be noted that COVID19 is an ongoing disease so the fatality rate is not final and will most likely increase.
* The locations and countries are obviously different where EBOV harms mostly in Africa and COVID19 in China and Asia.
*COVID19 seems most likely to spread in cold weather where EBOV in warm weather.
* Eruption trend seems very similar between the two, both diseases showed powerful eruption rapidly.
The trendy modern cocktail bar now makes more cocktails than ever before. Trendy modern cocktail bar now makes more cocktails than ever before. A cocktail menu is no longer an additional extra but an critical ingredient in today’s bars. The types of cocktails that bars now have on their cocktail menu’s has also changed with the more developed palates of today’s cocktail drinkers.
The influx of superior quality products in most of the major bar markets in the world & the more culinary styles of progressive cocktail trends have made developing a cocktail menu a challenging prospect that will have a major influence on the success of your bar.
Part 2 i will follow up with 3 secret of a great new cocktail menu are balance, variety & quality.