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Safety News Roundup: Week of April 4-9, 2021

April 9, 2021
This week, we’re seeking (or finding) inspiration in unexpected places that give us hope for a return to what was and a reimagining of what can be.

Trees are blossoming, temperatures are rising, and we’re basking in the restorative power of spring.

We’re also finding comfort in the fact that COVID-19 vaccination efforts are ramping up. On April 3, more than 4 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine were administered in a single 24-hour period. And on Tuesday, President Biden announced that every adult in the U.S. will be eligible to be vaccinated by April 19, two weeks ahead of his original deadline.

This week, we’re seeking (or finding) inspiration in unexpected places that give us hope for a return to what was and a reimagining of what can be. Hopefully, these experiences make us stronger, more resilient and safer in the future.

How Healthcare and Tech Might Prevent the Next Pandemic

While the pandemic feels like it has been dragging on forever—it seemed as if the whole world was holding a collective breath awaiting a COVID-19 vaccine—advancements have been happening at breakneck speed. But still, it isn’t fast or proactive enough to prevent another pandemic.

To that end, Cleveland Clinic and IBM are partnering to see how they might use quantum computing and artificial intelligence to research and develop health treatments. For now, they will focus their attention on viruses and other disease-causing organisms, but the opportunities are virtually limitless.

CNN reports that as part of the partnership, Cleveland Clinic will be the first private-sector institution to buy and operate an on-site IBM quantum computer, which heretofore were only in IBM labs and data centers.

Quantum computers operate differently than traditional computers and can handle large amounts of data in a fraction of the time, offering much promise for potential breakthroughs.

Read the full story here.

A New Model for Job Training

The pandemic has upended the labor market, with some sectors seeing mass furloughs and layoffs while essential workers (and those who support them) seeing unprecedented hiring. That has created short-term challenges for companies trying to meet supply and demand, but it may also offer long-term opportunities.

The New York Times has highlighted how one organization is reimagining a different labor future. Social Finance has created a pay-for-success model whereby job-training programs get paid if students get hired, as opposed to getting paid through student enrollment. Furthermore, Social Finance is focused on training low-income Americans, minority candidates and veterans for better-paying jobs.

Social Finance is currently small, but there’s tremendous room for growth. The nonprofit is drafting a proposal for Labor Secretary Marty Walsh on how to scale up similar programs and is talking with several states about implementing a similar state-backed training initiative. President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan will likely spur more conversations, as it carves out billions for workforce development and training programs.

Read the full story here.

Why You Need to Make Yourself a Priority

If you are struggling to get everything done, this piece about prioritizing self-care Harvard Business Review hits home.

It’s easy to get caught up in daily responsibilities, chores and tasks for your job, your family and others. It’s even easier to not make yourself a priority. But as the flight attendant says before takeoff, you need to put on your own mask before you can help others. In this way, prioritizing your needs is a means of preservation and well-being. Self-care is a necessity, not a luxury.

Author Elizabeth Grace Saunders emphasizes the need for a self-care plan. She acknowledges that there are busy periods in our lives—indeed, we are collectively in one now—but says you have to advocate for yourself and your needs.

She writes: “If you put off self-care until work is less busy, your kids are back in school, your house is in order, or some other circumstances are exactly right, you may never get to it. But if you take a brief pause and go through these steps, you can begin to take care of yourself, even when it feels like the responsibilities at home and at work never end.”

There’s a plethora of ideas for self-care in just 5, 10, 15 or 30 minutes. Carve out some time this weekend to follow some of Saunders’ recommendations. We guarantee it will be time well spent.

Read the full story here.

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