COVID-19 household transmission is way higher than we thought

By Rachael Rettner – Senior Writer 3 days ago

Children wearing masks while playing inside.

(Image: © Shutterstock)

COVID-19 spreads in U.S. households more often than previously thought, according to a new study.

The study, published Friday (Oct. 30) in the journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, involved 191 people in Tennessee and Wisconsin who lived with someone recently diagnosed with COVID-19. Of these, 102 people become infected within seven days of being enrolled in the study, for a “secondary infection rate” of 53%. (The secondary infection rate is the percentage of exposed people who catch COVID-19 from the first case.) 

About 75% of these secondary infections occurred within five days of the first household member getting sick.

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“We observed that, after a first household member became sick, several infections were rapidly detected in the household,” study lead author Dr. Carlos Grijalva, an associate professor of Health Policy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, said in a statement

Other studies looking at transmission of COVID-19 in households — mostly conducted in Europe and Asia — have found a secondary infection rate of 30% or lower. But the new study, which was conducted from April through September, is one of the first to look at COVID-19 transmission in U.S. households in a systematic way, with participants undergoing daily testing for COVID-19.

Part of the reason for the higher secondary infection rate in the new study, compared with previous reports, may be due to the study’s rigorous methods and follow-up testing of household contacts, the authors said. In addition, studies in other countries may have had lower secondary infection rates because people in those countries were quicker to wear face masks inside their own home when another household member was sick. (Mask use when sick has not traditionally been part of American culture, whereas it is in some other countries.)

The study also found that “substantial transmission” occurred regardless of whether the first household case (known as the index case) was a child or an adult. 

Indeed, in households in which the index case was under 12 years old, the secondary infection rate was 53%; and in households in which the index patient was ages 18 to 49, the secondary infection rate was 55%, the report found.

“Infections occurred fast, whether the first sick household member was a child or an adult,” Grijalva said.RELATED CONTENT

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What’s more, fewer than half of household members showed symptoms at the time they tested positive for COVID-19, and 18% remained asymptomatic over the seven-day study. This finding underscores the need for people to quarantine if they’ve had close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, the authors said.

Overall, “persons who suspect that they might have COVID-19 should isolate, stay at home, and use a separate bedroom and bathroom if feasible,” the report said. This isolation should begin even before a person gets tested or gets their results. In addition, all household members should start wearing a mask in their home, particularly in shared spaces where social distancing isn’t possible, the authors said.

The authors note that their study was conducted in two U.S. cities — Nashville, Tennessee, and Marshfield, Wisconsin — and the families in the study may not be representative of the general U.S. population. 

Originally published on Live Science.

Climate change poses big water risks for nuclear, fossil-fueled plants

SNL Image
Exelon Corp.’s Clinton Power Station nuclear plant in Illinois uses about 248.5 billion gallons of water annually, the utility said in its 2020 report to CDP. The plant is in an area projected to face increased water stress by 2030.
Source: Exelon Corp.

As global warming climbs and humanity’s water consumption increases, nuclear and fossil-fueled power plants that rely on freshwater for cooling may not be able to perform at their peak capacity or could be forced to shut down temporarily even as demand for their supplies for indoor cooling and other uses increase, according to researchers and industry experts.

Climate change-exacerbated water shortage issues pose a near-term and longer-term performance risk to power plants, such as hydropower and nuclear, around the world. And in the Lower 48, more than half of the fossil-fueled and nuclear fleet is located in areas forecast to face climate-related water stress by the end of this decade under a business-as-usual scenario, according to an analysis by S&P Global Market Intelligence.



Part 1: Climate impact on water supplies puts squeeze on hydropower
Part 2: Climate change poses water risks to nuclear, fossil-fueled plants
Part 3: Rising water stress risk threatens US coal plants, largely clustered in 5 states

But electric utilities’ overall exposure to power plant water stress risks could diminish as they pursue decarbonization strategies and replace water-dependent plants with wind and solar generation that require little to no water. Some companies are also implementing water management and related investment strategies to reduce their exposure.

Water issues have become more and more important to utilities over time, said Alex Bond, Edison Electric Institute’s associate general counsel for energy and the environment. EEI is an association of U.S. investor-owned utilities.

Bond said water stress is one component of resilience that utilities currently monitor and analyze. “Our companies take electric sector resiliency very seriously,” he said.

According to projections from the World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas, water stress — when humanity’s competition for water exceeds the rate at which nature can replenish its stocks — could grow materially by 2030 in the drought-prone Western U.S., as well as the upper Midwest and portions of the Northeast and Florida, due to climate change.

About 61.8% of existing fossil-fueled and nuclear power plants in the Lower 48, or a combined 535 GW of operating capacity, is in areas that could face medium-high to extremely high water stress in 2030, based on an analysis of Market Intelligence’s power plant data paired with the Aqueduct water stress projections.

Moreover, 68.6% of the Lower 48’s natural gas-fired fleet, 73.3% of its oil-fueled fleet, 61.0% of its nuclear fleet, and 44.6% of its coal-fired fleet are in areas expected to face medium-high to extremely-high water stress that year.

“As we’re seeing snowpack decline — a natural mountainous reservoir of water — and as we’re getting lower amounts of total precipitation and available water in the U.S. West, this is going to be a really serious issue for the power sector,” said Betsy Otto, director of the Global Water Program at the World Resource Institute, or WRI. Moreover, scientists have said the West is entering a megadrought that could last more than 20 years.

SNL Image

Otto also noted that several other U.S. regions not normally thought of as facing water supply issues are already experiencing chronic water challenges that, if left unchecked, could become a problem if extended droughts, heatwaves, and other major extreme weather events should occur.

A number of utilities use WRI’s Aqueduct tool to assess their water risks in their annual reports to the CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, and other organizations. But those reports typically focus on the WRI’s current water stress models and not the tool’s future climate projections.

WRI’s current water stress models show a number of regions that are facing water stress will be in the same situation, or worse, at the end of the decade.

SNL Image

Along those lines, Moody’s Investors Service in August reported that about 48 GW of nuclear capacity across the U.S. face elevated exposure to combined heat and water stress, including plants owned by Exelon Corp., Vistra Corp., Entergy Corp., and the Arizona Public Service Co.

In hot water

A plant’s location is not the only factor that will determine its vulnerability to water stress. A plant’s water source, cooling technology and the temperature of the water when it is withdrawn are also key factors, according to scientific reports. The Market Intelligence analysis using the WRI tool does not account for those three factors.

In addition, rising ambient air and water temperatures can also create operational and legal issues for plants. Because plants primarily use water to cool their systems, “if that water is hot or warmer to start with, that’s not so good. That makes the power plant less efficient” and it also means the plant risks violating federal restrictions on how hot water can be when it is discharged, said Auroop Ganguly, director of the Northeastern University College of Engineering Sustainability and Data Sciences Laboratory.

Ganguly co-authored a study that found that by the 2030s, climate-induced water stress in the form of increased water temperatures and limited freshwater supplies will hurt the power production of thermoelectric plants in the South, Southwest, West and West North Central regions of the U.S. According to the 2017 study, U.S. nuclear and fossil-fueled plants at that time used about 161 billion gallons per day, or 45% of the nation’s daily freshwater usage, 90% of which was for cooling.

The technologies used by a power plant can also make a big difference in how much water it needs. Dry-cooling technology uses very little water but is costlier and less efficient than alternatives. And while once-through cooling systems withdraw more water than recirculating systems, once-through cooling returns nearly all of the water to the source while recirculating systems consume more water due to evaporation.

How the clean energy transition can help

Some of the utilities that have power plants in water stress-prone areas have set ambitious decarbonization goals, including to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner. As such, the utilities are accelerating their investments in wind and solar power facilities that use virtually no water, and natural gas-fired units that use less water than coal and nuclear plants. As a result, utilities are finding that their total water consumption is declining.

Duke Energy, which has a net-zero emissions target, reduced its water withdrawals for electric generation by 12% over three years from 5,293 billion gallons in 2017 to 4,657 billion gallons in 2019, according to Duke’s 2019 sustainability report. Duke has about 28,000 MW of generation in areas projected to face climate-related water stress in 2030. In its 2019 water report to CDP, Duke said that as it switches from once-through cooling to closed-cycle cooling and renewables, it expects its water usage to further decrease.

Duke in an email indicated that in 2019, all of its power plants were in areas ranked low or low-medium for water quality risks and only three stations were ranked with an overall risk of medium-high.

“All three of those stations are located on reservoirs where we engage with our stakeholders on water issues,” spokeswoman Kim Crawford said. She also noted that some plants, including two in Florida that the Aqueduct tool projected would face water stress in 2030, use reclaimed water for cooling through partnerships with local governments.

And WEC Energy Group, Inc.’s subsidiaries We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service Corp. have substantially reduced their combined cooling and process water use and total discharges from its power plants by switching from some coal-fired generation to gas-fired generation and adding renewable electricity, according to WEC spokesperson Alison Trouy.

Similarly, NextEra Energy Inc., which has the largest total generation capacity in U.S. areas projected to face water stress, in its latest environmental, social and governance report noted that it avoided the use of more than 14 billion gallons of water in 2019 through investments in wind and solar power.

Moreover, NextEra said nearly 80% of the water its power plants withdrew in 2019 came from seawater sources, which are “not subject to drought.” According to NextEra, only two of its plants are in areas that currently have high or extremely high water stress, and those plants make up less than 1% of the company’s total water consumption.

Utilities take steps to tackle water risks

However, NextEra has encountered water stress issues in the past. At the company’s Turkey Point Nuclear and gas unit in Miami-Dade County, Fla., a drought in 2014 drove up the water temperatures in the plant’s one-of-a-kind canal cooling system, and the utility had to obtain a federal waiver to exceed the plant’s cooling system 100-degree limit to keep the plant operating.

NextEra has worked on longer-term water solutions for the plant. In June 2020, the Miami-Dade County Commission approved subsidiary Florida Power & Light Co.’s proposal for a project that would use 15 million gallons per day of the county’s reclaimed wastewater to cool unit 5 of the Turkey Point plant. Currently, brackish water from the Floridian aquifer is being used for the cooling towers.

Another utility that uses recycled water from local cities is Salt River Project, which generates electricity and provides water in the Phoenix metropolitan area. SRP uses its water expertise to “ensure that our power plants have access to reliable water sources, including back-up supplies in times of drought,” SRP Director of Water Strategy Christa McJunkin said in an emailed statement.

McJunkin noted that many of SRP’s power plants have access to multiple water sources and that the Palo Verde nuclear plant, of which SRP holds a 17.5% ownership, relies entirely on effluent water from major cities. SRP also has a goal to reduce its water use at power plants by 20% from 2005 levels by 2035, McJunkin said.

Exelon, which has about 25,900 MW of generation in areas projected to have water stress due to climate change, has a fleet of hydropower, nuclear and fossil fuel plants that collective rely on more than 40 billion gallons of water a day, the vast majority of which is returned to the water source.

In its annual water report to CDP in August 2020, Exelon noted that it has a drought monitoring task force that reports to the company’s executive committee. And the company is installing monitoring systems in water-stressed areas. Based on projected increased temperature and droughts in Texas, Exelon decided to use dry cooling technology for two combined-cycle gas plants it brought online in 2017. Those plants are Wolf Hollow II and Colorado Bend Energy Center II, which are projected to be in areas with high and medium-high water stress in 2030, respectively.

Water rights contracts can also help utilities mitigate their water risk, said Joe Smyth, a research and communications manager with the Energy Policy Institute who authored a July 2020 report examining coal and water conflicts in the American West. A number of utilities rely on those water rights contracts to ensure they have what they need, he said.

For example, Evergy Inc., which has about 5,900 MW of generation capacity in areas projected to face water stress, said in an email that it manages water risk associated with its operations through a combination of water supply rights, drought assurance contracts and water contracts. Evergy also monitors its water usage and implements projects as needed to reduce water use and impact, said the email.

Public power utilities are also moving to address water risks. City Public Service of San Antonio, which has about 5,760 MW of generation in locations projected to face water stress, has drought management plans in place. Like other utilities, it has decreased its water use by closing coal plants and adding renewable generation, CPS Energy spokesperson Nora Castro said.

“We cannot make electricity without water, and water cannot be pumped at the scale San Antonio needs without electricity, so we have placed great value and respect for our precious water resource and take steps regularly to ensure it is protected,” Castro said in an email.

Sources of Information

Nobel Peace Prize: UN World Food Programme wins for efforts to combat hunger

POSTED ADMINISTRATOR

  • 9 October 2020

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Villagers collect food aid provided by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) at a distribution point in Bhayu, Zimbabwe, September 14, 2016.
Image captionThe WFP says it provided assistance to almost 100 million people last year

The 2020 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).

The agency was given the prize for its efforts to combat hunger and improve conditions for peace.

The WFP, the 101st winner of a prize now worth 10m Swedish krona ($1.1m; £875,000), said it was “deeply humbled” to have won.

Some 107 organisations and 211 individuals were nominated for the award this year.

WFP head David Beasley told the BBC’s Newshour he was in shock following the announcement.

“I was literally for the first time in my life without words,” he said.

“To receive this award is a recognition to the men and women at the World Food Programme who put their lives on the line every day for the struggling, suffering people around the world. So I hope this is a signal and a message that the World Food Programme is a role model and that we all have got to do more.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was among those to congratulate the group.

“If there is a deserving organisation then this is certainly one of them. The people there do incredible work helping others and therefore I am very pleased about the awarding of this Nobel Peace Prize,” she said.

The World Health Organization and climate activist Greta Thunberg were among the favourites to win this year.

Under the Nobel Foundation’s rules, nomination shortlists are not allowed to be published for 50 years, and the organisation says any speculation ahead of the announcement is “sheer guesswork”.

What did the Nobel Committee say?

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said the WFP was declared winner of the prestigious award “for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict”.

Chairwoman Berit Reiss-Andersen said that with this year’s award the committee wanted to “turn the eyes of the world to the millions of people who suffer from or face the threat of hunger”.

“The World Food Programme plays a key role in multilateral co-operation in making food security an instrument of peace,” she told a news conference in Oslo.

Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Nobel Committee, announces the World Food Programme (WFP) as 2020 Nobel Peace Prize laureate in Oslo, Norway
Image captionBerit Reiss-Andersen announced the winner in Oslo

The committee said Covid-19 had further boosted the importance of the group.

“The coronavirus pandemic has contributed to a strong upsurge in the number of victims of hunger in the world,” it wrote in a statement.

“In the face of the pandemic, the World Food Programme has demonstrated an impressive ability to intensify its efforts.”

Earlier this year, the WFP warned that the world was at risk of widespread famines “of biblical proportions” as a result of the pandemic.

What does the WFP do?

The UN agency delivers food assistance to countries around the world. The group says it provided assistance to close to 100 million people in 88 countries last year who were victims of acute food insecurity and hunger.

The agency was established in 1961, following calls from former US President Dwight D Eisenhower for “a workable scheme” to be devised for providing food aid through the UN system.

People carry boxes of food aid given by UN's World Food Programme at a refugee camp in Ain Issa, Syria

Months after it was created, it responded to a major earthquake in northern Iran, delivering wheat, sugar and tea to survivors.

Since then, it has gone on to respond to natural disasters and conflicts around the world, including:

Yemen: The WFP says its emergency response in conflict-torn Yemen is its biggest anywhere. It aims to support about 13 million people but has faced a number of challenges. It has accused local leaders of diverting food away from vulnerable people. This year it has warned that it is facing a major funding shortfall, with some donors stopping aid over concerns that deliveries were being obstructed

Afghanistan: The WFP says its “overarching goal” is to support the country in tackling hunger in a way that contributes to peace. But it says that decades of “complex and protracted conflicts” have created difficulties. There have been instances of the group suspending food aid deliveries to certain areas because of attacks

South Sudan: The agency has been supporting people through both conflict and famine. In addition to a years-long civil war, it says a collapsing economy, reduced crop production and dependence on imports means many are unable to access sufficient nutritious food. In 2014, one of its staff members was abducted at gunpoint.

However, the organisation has not been free of controversy.

In a WFP internal survey last year, at least 28 employees said they had experienced rape or sexual assault while working at the agency. More than 640 others said they were either victims of or had witnessed sexual harassment. Mr Beasley told the Associated Press news agency at the time he was “making hard choices to bring change”.

Who’s won the Nobel Peace Prize before?

Last year it went to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, whose peace deal with Eritrea ended a 20-year military stalemate following their 1998-2000 border war.

Former US President Barack Obama won the prize in 2009, for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples”.

Other notable winners include former US President Jimmy Carter (2002); child education activist Malala Yousafzai (shared 2014); the European Union (2012); the United Nations and its secretary-general at the time, Kofi Annan, (shared 2001); and Mother Teresa (1979).

What’s the background?

The Nobel Prize is one of the world’s most important awards.

It was started in accordance with the will of Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, with the first awards handed out in 1901.

Nobel Prizes are awarded in several categories to people “who have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind” in the previous 12 months.

The recipient of each Nobel Prize receives three things:

  • A Nobel diploma, each of which is a unique work of art
  • A Nobel medal
  • A cash prize, which is split between winners when there is more than one. They have to deliver a lecture to receive the money

There have been some years when the prize has not been awarded – mostly during the two world wars.

Nobel Foundation rules state if nobody deserves the prize in a particular category, it is not awarded and its prize money is kept for the following year.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-54476569#:~:text=The%202020%20Nobel%20Peace%20Prize,deeply%20humbled%22%20to%20have%20won.

Are non-stick pans safe?

By Isobel Whitcomb – Live Science Contributor 2 days ago

It might be time to ditch your old Teflon cookware.

 Comments (0)(Image: © Shutterstock)

Spending each morning at the kitchen sink scraping at the charred remains of breakfast gets tedious after a while. Non-stick cookware may seem like an appealing alternative — but is it safe?

Usually when people inquire about the safety of their non-stick cookware, they’re talking about Teflon, said Suzanne Fenton, a reproductive endocrinologist at the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences in North Carolina. Also known as polytertrafluoroethylene (PTFE), this clear plastic is used to coat metal pots and pans, giving them a waxy, easy-to-clean surface — and for decades, scientists have debated whether it’s safe for cooking.

Experts tend to agree that Teflon itself isn’t a problem. The coating itself is considered non-toxic. Even if you ingest small flakes of it, it passes right through you. But some experts are concerned about what happens when Teflon gets too hot. “When pans are overheated, that PTFE coating begins to disintegrate,” Fenton told Live Science. As Teflon breaks down, it releases a host of toxic gases. In rare instances, breathing in these chemical fumes can cause polymer fume fever, a condition characterized by a high fever, shortness of breath and weakness. These gases also deadly to birds — lightbulbs coated in Teflon have wiped out poultry houses. Of particular concern is perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), one of the chemicals released when Teflon pans heat up. Long-term exposure to PFOA is linked to a host of conditions from cancer to thyroid disease, Fenton said. 

https://www.livescience.com/are-nonstick-pans-toxic.html?utm_source=Selligent&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=9160&utm_content=LVS_newsletter+&utm_term=4446811&m_i=kTPsYJZteZmjswVXjHrzT59UW829AlIhD45ax8TDCb33oKqDFmVwaEbY%2BwAh7KXkafDNZSYG90GtxBNtrryTY_FPr5vO0HcY_sDeKgkkk3

Working From Home?Here Are 10 Essential Tools to Keep Your Team Connected While Working Remotely.

https://www.odoo.com/blog/business-hacks-1/post/working-from-home-here-are-10-essential-tools-to-keep-your-team-connected-while-working-remotely-641?utm_campaign=business+hack_working+from+home_2020_apac&utm_source=linkedin_working+from+home_business+hack&utm_medium=Linkedin+ads_apac#blog_content

Even before the corona-virus disrupted the planet, remote working has gone from that rare occasion of workforce arrangements to a standard component of many people’s workweek.

Businesses, large and small, continue to embrace the remote workplace – even startups are on board with this. With remote working being the new trend, collaboration is also found to be the new normal; employees are no longer expected to work independently. Instead, working together is more beneficial. While collaboration means improved efficiency and increased productivity, you still need the right tools to work together successfully.

Most notably, during this unprecedented time where remote working is a first for some companies that haven’t yet adopted this policy, challenges can quickly arise. Odoo has several apps available to help your team stay connected while transitioning into the remote workforce. From instance, messaging to task and productivity trackers, from customer service web chats to SMS text messaging, Odoo has this covered.

Real-Time Communication/ Instant Messaging

Communication within the team can be the biggest challenge when your workforce is remote.

Odoo Inbox

Odoo Inbox can be customized as much or as little as you’d like. It allows seamless communication between individual team members, departments, and/or the entire company. Different chat channels enable people to discuss work, brainstorm ideas, and stay connected throughout the workday. It allows direct messages (DMs) and files to be sent to a single person or a group of employees, including the ability to organize conversations into different channels.

New channels can be created for different teams, projects, or whatever else is relevant to your business. In each channel, members can tag each other, share documents, and communicate through voice calls. In addition to this, the built-in bot will notify you if you’ve missed any important messages.  

Odoo Live Chat

Odoo Live Chat integrates with your Odoo website to allow your team to chat with your customers in real-time and answer questions, schedule appointments, and sell your products or services in 1:1 conversations. The Odoo widget can be customized to include an avatar greeting and place an ‘away message’ for any queries that come in after regular business hours. It’s a great personal touch to add to your “online office” and e-store.

Odoo SMS

Today, businesses use a wide range of methods to interact with customers. From a VoIP phone system to personalized emails, most brands aim to create an omnichannel experience that best serves their consumers. That’s why email, messaging, SMS, or IM services have become a highly effective form of communication; a channel that many customer service teams are beginning to adopt. Odoo Voip truly provides two-way communication, meaning that your customers can write back to any message you send, and you’d be able to reply directly.

Project Management

Working remotely requires a top-notch project management tool because your employees most likely has several ongoing projects to complete. With several ongoing projects, you’ll need a clear form of communication to keep the details organized for your employees. Odoo Project Management is the right tool for this if you haven’t already got it, now is the time to set it up. It allows you to plan, track, and collaborate on projects in a visually simple manner. You can monitor tasks, discussions, documents, scheduling, milestones, collaboration, and more, in a user-friendly dashboard.

The simplicity of the drag-and-drop functionality is particularly useful for projects and general workflow management among teams. It integrates with Google Drive, Outlook, and Google Calendar, so you can use this as a central focal point for teams to work together. It’s very flexible and allows you to use boards, lists, and cards to map out your projects.

Tasks are easy to assign and break down since status updates and project progress are available at a glance. Once you’ve created a new board for your projects, you can add any relevant team members to the board. From there, you can create tasks, assign them to other team members, and share documents, all within your Odoo dashboard.

Additionally, Business Owners can also stay on top of every ongoing projects within the company; you can always see the bigger picture, what’s in progress, what’s coming up, and who’s in charge of what. In addition to this, project managers can easily delegate work, set deadlines, review, and evaluate what’s left to do.

Ultimately, for remote employees, the Odoo Project Management app includes all the tools needed to avoid missing deadlines.

Odoo HR

Human resource management is a difficult job. It includes managing time off, negotiating salaries, booking meetings across various time zones, and managing conflicts; with a lot going on, there is more potential for things to slip through the cracks.

Odoo HR is an employee management solution with integrated team communication features. Not only does it offer a way for you to contact your employees, but it also tracks the daily aspects of managing them. With Odoo HR, you can track your employees’ work hours, handle scheduling, and communicate efficiently with them in team chats. The app is easy to customize to the needs of your business. 

Employee profiles

To make sure business communication stays strong and connected, it is essential to make sure that your employees know one another. Whether a company is large or small, challenges can arise if a member doesn’t know who or what other employees do. With that said, employees need to know which department colleagues work in to improve communication about specific topics or ask particular questions to the right person.

With the Employees app, employee profiles provide context about each person within your organization. Members can read about specific individuals, understand their roles, interests, and who they report to. Furthermore, the profiles put a name to a face making it easier to know who is who within the company. 

Task management

Task management and collaboration can be extremely challenging while working remotely with various teams. If you do not have an efficient task management tool, overall business performance will not be as successful as it can be. A task management tool that combines stable communication features with assignment tracking capabilities, will transform the way employees complete the most vital aspect of your company: their jobs. Without a reliable project management system in place, projects can be confusing, which may result in a wasted amount of time for team members trying to figure out what they should be doing. These issues further escalate when management does not have a direct way of monitoring progress, thus detaching them from the situation.

Odoo Project’s task management is one of the most effective business communication tools compared to others. This tool is made easy from the execution to completion of each task as it helps employees and directors reach their goals as successfully as possible in a timely manner. Managers can directly assign tasks to team members and track their progress. They can also set due dates and priority settings, which appear in an organized list for everyone involved. With built-in communication tools, Odoo task management helps employees know who is delegating an assignment, when it is due, and the level of importance to plan projects accordingly.

Appointment

The best meetings are held when people prepare for them. Creating a way to efficiently schedule your meetings can give you more time to prepare for the actual meeting. With that said, one may think that scheduling meetings are an easy process, but it can take up a lot of time when choosing a time and date for your meeting. Additionally, this process usually involves an unnecessarily long email chain. Appointment schedulers help make the process quick and easy. They allow you to poll colleagues and friends on the best date and time for the meeting to be scheduled. It makes your availability known to others and helps ensure that you don’t double-book a time slot. The Appointments app connects to your online calendar, which is fully integrated into your Google and Outlook Calendar, making it easy to schedule meetings.

Amongst everything else, the app provides you with the option to send invitations to the people you need to meet with, allowing you to see what day and time work best for them too. It syncs all the confirmed appointments to your calendar and creates an event on your invitees’ calendars. While it works well for scheduling meetings with individuals or team members within an organization, it also makes it ideal for connecting with external clients, customers, and colleagues.

Meeting Management

Poorly planned or unnecessary meetings waste the valuable time of your most important resource—your team members. Bad meetings slow processes down, create confusion, and breeds a lack of confidence in the organizer. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to spend all your time planning the perfect meetings; instead, let technology help. With Odoo, you can put most of the work behind scheduling meetings on autopilot and focus on other things that matter, technology handles the rest.

Automatically Create Meetings from Events in Your Other Apps

With easy automation, you can generate new meetings from actions in your other planning and organizational tools. You’ll never find yourself scheduling pointless meetings.

Get Reminder Before Your Meeting Begins

The right meeting scheduler tool helps you get meetings onto your calendar quickly and efficiently, and that helps keep you productive. But you don’t have to stop there. Another way to stay productive is to automatically have notifications sent to you before a meeting occurs in whatever app or device that best suits you.

Not only can you receive reminders in your Google and Outlook calendars or by email, but also you can get SMS notifications however far in advance you like before events in your Google Calendar start. Anything you can do to make your routine of scheduling meetings more efficient is a win for everyone because it allows you to focus on preparing for the meeting instead of finding the right time for it.

Share and Collaborate on New Notes

The takeaway points and action items are the most important outcome of most meetings. It’s important that you don’t forget to share these with your team. With that said, you can automate that process, so you never have to think about it again.

Send Meeting Minutes to the Right People

Taking notes and sending them to the right people can take up time, making it feel like a time-waster. Don’t let it waste your time. After taking notes during your meeting, Odoo can send these to your team (and your supervisor) to keep everyone on the same page.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with your customers. The easy-to-customize templates can help you build an appealing newsletter with relevant information, business updates, and entertaining content. Email is one of the best ways to reach someone, too. Email marketing is 40 times more effective at reaching your target consumer than Twitter or Facebook. While your store is closed, use your newsletter to share content that entertains people or keeps them engaged with your brand. Email Marketing is equipped to help you build something that generates a high open-rate.

Social Marketing

Whether you’re managing social media for your business or are trying to build a personal brand, managing all social media platforms can be a huge responsibility. You might be creating a Facebook Page, trying to improve your LinkedIn profile, or waiting for company mentions on Twitter. On the other hand, many customers automatically resort to social media channels to stay in touch with businesses. Your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages are the default place where they will go to find out if you’re open, selling or accepting returns.

A team working remotely is likely to have a pretty varied schedule. To ensure that social marketing doesn’t get left behind and your content marketing stays on track, you can use Social Marketing to schedule posts in advance, so they always publish at just the right time. With Social Marketing, your team can simultaneously respond to comments, direct messages, and posts that your company has been tagged on to keep up with any questions and concerns. Social Marketing allows you to:

Share New Content

One of the best ways to build a stable community on any social network is to share content that your followers will find interesting.

Cross Post and Syndicate Content

You’ve written a great post. Now it’s time to ensure your audience sees it regardless of what platform they’re using. It’s tedious to share content across platforms, but with Social Marketing, you can automatically cross-post content between all of your social media accounts.

Monitor Your Brand Online

Tracking your online brand mentions can be tedious while working with multiple tools, sifting through pages and pages of links to find legitimate brand mentions. Social Marketing can help monitor social networks for you automatically.

Odoo NOTES

Whether you’re in a meeting or doing research, taking notes helps you concentrate and gives you a reference later to remind and reinforce the context of your work. It may be less effort than writing a full transcript, but notes still take a significant amount of time to format, organize, and follow-through. Whenever you need to take notes about something, you should do it in Odoo Notes.

It helps you make your notes actionable

Having your notes convert into a task list where you can check things off allows you to stay on top of your work and ensures that you don’t miss following up on those critical items. Or, you could create notes from your new tasks. That way, whenever you add something new to your to-do list, you’ll have a perfect space to track your thoughts and notes.

Get Reminded About Notes on Your Calendar

Sometimes we as humans make mistakes and forget things. Following up with all the action items that you just jotted down can be a repetitive task. But, you can create a workflow that automatically turns your notes into reminders in a calendar so you’ll remember to check back on your notes.

Documents and Files Cloud storage

When it comes to remote work, collaboration doesn’t just take place through video chat, but on files as well. This is why it’s imperative to have an app that enables project stakeholders to share and edit files with their remote teams. This is where cloud storage applications like Odoo Documents can come in handy. By moving all your files to the cloud, it ensures that your team has uninterrupted access to relevant documents, spreadsheets, presentations, videos, and more.

With Documents, you can store multiple versions of all of your documents and control access rights to ensure everyone has access to what they need. You also have access to file edit history to see who changed what. Plus, it’s easier to collaborate in real-time and avoid sending edited versions of documents back and forth. It’s also a great way to organize work from freelancers and your remote team when they need to submit projects.

Make Signing Documents Easy

While ink pens and paper may seem like a thing of the past, signatures still hold weight and make business deals real. You can simplify the process and automate and sign documents with digital ink, and modernize this old-world aspect of the company.

Time Tracking and Productivity

One of the challenges with remote work is that employers and clients want to know that work is getting done, and productivity isn’t falling short. At the same time, employees don’t want to have constant check-ins, neither do they want to feel like someone’s watching over their back. This is when using a time tracking tool comes in handy.

It is a great way for businesses to measure employee productivity but also hold employees accountable for their work. On the employee side, especially for freelancers and independent contractors, time tracking software can be critical when it comes to sending invoices to payroll. All parties involved benefit from unbiased time and productivity tracking.

Conclusion – Working From Home Is Here To Stay

The corona virus lock down has shown remote working is possible on a far wider scale than many companies anticipated. The flexible working conditions are turning into a new norm, and this shift is noticeable in the working culture. Even after the pandemic passes, it is expected that there will be more of a cultural shift towards working from home as a norm and many employees will want to do this, at the very least for part of the week. On the other hand, employers, managers and founders will realize that the home office can actually help productivity. With great tools, resources and advanced technology, it has never been this simple to set up a professional working environment at home that empowers efficiency.


in Business Hacks

PocketBook of Potential Foodstuffs for Anti Virus and Immune Booster

Covid-19 pandemic which certainly will not pass quickly and corresponding to all sectors of life, has pushed various efforts to be able to survive and live healthy by utilizing various existing potential sources.. Indonesia is rich in various potential natural resources including nutrients rich in food and beneficial bioactive components health.


This pocketbook presents various types of foodstuffs and products preparations that have active ingredients and benefits as antivirus
and immune booster, including manufacturing products and some technologies processing that has been developed by the Postharvest Research Center Agriculture (BB Postharvest). Ways of consumption, dosage, and side effects might arise from consuming each product also described, with the hope that the community can obtain complete information.

This pocket is expected to be one source of information that can be
enhancing the reader’s insight to increase endurance by utilizing the food that is around us.

Furthermore, suggestions and constructive criticism are expected above all
deficiencies found in this pocketbook for future improvement.

Hazton Technology for multiplying Rice Yields

Specific information can be gathered from www.hazton.net

Some Indonesian farming communities are being familiarized with a new technology of agriculture scheme that is acknowledged as Hazton. Hazton technology was pioneered and applied in various regions in Indonesia. A number of examinations were conducted to prove that this Hazton System was applicable and replicable anywhere in any corner of Indonesia. Based on the information from several parties, this Hazton technology will have results in yields 3 times than the ordinary one.

Hazton Technology was initiated as a result of thinking of the Local community member of West Kalimantan namely Ir. Hazairin MS, who currently serves as the Head of the Agriculture and Food Crops Horticulture Service and Anton Kamaruddin, SP, M.Sc as the Head of the Food Crops and Fruits Section.

Hazton technology can be realized as a way to grow rice by using old seedlings aged 25-35 days after seedling with the number of dense seeds that is 20-30 seedlings per planting hole.

The superiority of the Hazton method as follow

  1. Potential High production where the rice is easy to plant. Therefore plant adaptation is faster / not stressed after planting and is relatively resistant to pests [golden snails and regular snails]
  2. little or even no replanting and weeding, faster harvest age, high grain quality, and the percentage of broken rice is relatively low.
  3. Through the Hazton method, the yields increase especially during the months of April-September planting season, which is usually only a little land clearing due to entering the dry season.

Currently some testings will be carried out in Java. Therefore efforts to improve the testing are part of proving the quality and quantity of Hazton technology. We hope a success for this testing toward real implementation.

Following are the documents relevant to Hazton’s lessons learned

Potatoes as food commodity substitution for rice

Potatoes are a unique commodity that can be developed in Indonesia. On various occasions, the food is processed with potatoes to increase the variation of carbohydrate and as nutritious food intake. Besides potatoes are a good alternative in improving diet, especially for those who like to go on a diet. Not surprisingly, the demand for potatoes has increased along with the diets of our people who are getting used to consuming carbohydrates other than rice.

However, the fact is the availability of potatoes does not meet market demand, so that Indonesia in recent years still imports this commodity.

Following is the figure of Potato Harvesting based on Province during period of 2015 – 2019

Source: Statistical Agency of Horticulture Directorate General

One alternative that can be developed during difficult times like this [Pandemic] is by conducting potato cultivation. A few years ago, it was predicted that the government would be hard to guarantee food security if it only relied on rice. There is a tendency to find alternative food commodities as an alternative to replace rice to support food security. We need to be grateful because Indonesia has the potential to develop food that is quite high.

In all directions, there are local food plants that thrive. Our society is very wise and has high knowledge of utilizing nature for life, maintaining soil fertility, and environmental preservation.

Rice-based consumption must be slowly changed to eating based on nutritional carbohydrate requirements and can be grown in Indonesia. For this purpose, potato commodity is one of the options to fulfill those needs. .

Potatoes contain adequate nutrition [high] and have an advantage in planting because they can be grown in a small area. Besides that, the food security and cultivation diversity program makes potatoe as one of the hopes to sustain the increasing food needs.


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