While COVID-19 cases continue to decline, and states and localities start dropping mask and vaccine mandates it's easy to get our hopes up for a return to "normal." But we've seen this "movie" and now know how quickly things can spike back up to levels impacting public health. In reality, we don't know what normal really is. For the near future, we should expect to see many pandemic precautions remain in place in some form for in-person events for the foreseeable future. This includes sanitization, spacing, masks, and vaccine mandates.
Experience has shown us that careful planning can lead to safe events. The first known omicron case in the U.S. was found in a person that had attended a 53,000-person anime convention in New York. The initial fear was that the event would reveal itself to be a super spreader. The reality showed that was not the case. A CDC study credited good air filtration, widespread vaccination and indoor masking. Events should look to scale these types of efforts to keep attendees healthy even in less contagious environments.Continue reading →
FirstNet is a nationwide wireless broadband network for first responders being built and deployed through a first of its kind public-private partnership. FirstNet was borne out of the September 11, 2001 tragedy where it became clear that the radio systems police, fire, and paramedics relied on did not easily operate across agencies. First responders also could not rely on land and mobile phone lines as they were overwhelmed by a high volume of calls. The 2004 9/11 commission report cited this lack of connectivity as a fundamental problem for first responders and pushed for solutions to be developed quickly to support everyday public safety activities as well as response to catastrophes.
The development of FirstNet began in 2012 when the First Responder Network Authority was established and a law was put in place that allocated 20 megahertz of spectrum and $7 billion to establish a broadband network dedicated to the nation's first responders. FirstNet was launched in 2018.