Tag Archives: Scare

Canada-U.S. scrimmage called off following COVID-19 scare

A COVID-19 scare caused Canada’s planned scrimmage with the U.S. to be called off Saturday in Bradenton, Fla.

The Canadian men had been scheduled to play two 70-minute soccer scrimmages against the Americans. Both teams are in camp, in separate bubbles, at the IMG Center.

But four inconclusive tests from players/staff in the Canadian camp Friday caused the teams to cancel the match as a precaution. With both camps coming to an end on the weekend, there was no opportunity to reschedule.

“This is part of the learning we were hoping to be exposed to when we’re down here, to understand how to adapt on the fly to a new COVID reality,” Canada coach John Herdman said in an interview. “And, again, right at the core of everyone’s decision are the health and safety of players. It’s difficult times but we have to experience it to know how to adapt and then come out of it stronger.”

The inconclusive Canadian tests eventually came back negative and the Canadians played an intrasquad game instead.

The match was billed as Red versus White with more veteran players at the core of the Red team. The youngsters won 1-0, however, with Vancouver Whitecaps defender Derek Cornelius knocking in a rebound.

Tough tests ahead

“It’s unfortunate the timing,” Herdman said of the cancelled U.S. scrimmage. “But at the end of the day we got out of today what we hoped, which was another opportunity to assess all the players and get a sense of how our young players are tracking for the men’s national team or the Olympic squad. And there were some real good learnings today.”

World Cup and CONCACAF Olympic qualifying are scheduled to begin in March. The Gold Cup follows in July.

Herdman called the replacement intrasquad contest “an intense match.”

“These players when they compete against each other they tend to ramp it up another level,” he said.

“It was a close game and a tough match for both teams,” he added.

Growing the squad

The youngsters also won the first intrasquad scrimmage last Sunday, with Whitecaps forward Theo Bair scoring the lone goal after Toronto FC winger Jacob Shaffelburg was taken down by CF Montreal defender Kama Miller. Vancouver ‘keeper Maxime Crepeau saved Pacific FC’s Marco Bustos’ penalty but Bair headed the rebound in.

The Canada camp did not fall in a FIFA international window so top players like Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich). Jonathan David (Lille), Scott Arfield (Rangers), Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City), Milan Borjan (Red Star Belgrade) and Atba Hutchinson and Cyle Larin (both Besiktas) were not called in.

But Herdman likes what he saw from those on hand, knowing depth could be crucial in a busy 2021. Because of COVID, a sore throat or case of the sniffles carry different implications and consequences these days, he noted.

“We’re going to have to take bigger squads into our environments,” Herdman said. “That’s going to create a lot more opportunities.

“And I think a lot of these young players, particularly the guys that have broken through in MLS [last] year — Tajon Buchanan [New England], Alistair Johnston [Nashville SC], Ralph Priso [Toronto FC], Derek Cornelius [Vancouver]— there was a lot of the younger core players that showed that they could potentially push into that MNT [men’s national team] environment.”

Herdman said with the uncertainty over the start of the 2021 MLS season, he may try for another camp for the North American players in advance of March.

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TFC survive late penalty scare to notch 5th straight win, clinch playoff spot

A game lacking in drama for 90 minutes came alive in stoppage time Sunday with league-leading Toronto FC clinching a playoff spot after hanging on for a 1-0 win over slumping FC Cincinnati.

In recording its fifth straight victory, Toronto (11-2-4) had to survive a 94th-minute penalty call by referee Robert Sibiga who judged Omar Gonzalez had pushed substitute Allan Cruz to the ground as a cross dropped into the Toronto penalty box. Sibiga pointed to the penalty spot but changed the call in the 96th minute after video review

Toronto coach Greg Vanney thought justice was done, saying Gonzalez had position and Cruz backed into him.

“That shouldn’t be a foul on us,” he said. “But it was a little fuzzy there for a few minutes, for sure.”

The drama came on Gonzalez’s 32nd birthday.

WATCH | TFC clinch playoff berth with victory over Cincinnati:

Toronto FC earned their 5th straight victory and became the first team to clinch an MLS playoff spot with a 1-0 win over FC Cincinnati. 1:01

Cincinnati coach Jaap Stam was not happy with the penalty reversal, noting Sibiga was 10 yards from the play and had a good view.

“If it was for like one of the big teams in the league, they would have had a penalty,” he said. “But for some reason we don’t get it. And I think it was [a penalty]. So It’s a strange decision.”

Seconds after the penalty reversal, Toronto substitute Laurent Ciman almost sent a long back pass into his own goal, a play Vanney dismissed as “nonsense.”

Ciman’s errant pass triggered a 98th-minute corner that saw former Toronto FC defender Nick Hagglund, always good in the air, rise high only to send his header off target.

“We should have had more out of this game unfortunately,” said Stam. “But that’s the position where we are now. We need to make our own luck. We need to work hard for it. Nobody’s going to give it to us.”

The game was filled with rare moments of excitement and few chances, but still produced another three points for TFC, who, with the win, became the first club to book its post-season ticket.

Patrick Mullins broke the deadlock in the 29th minute after Richie Laryea squared the ball back from the byline through a mass of bodies. Mullins, with the game’s first shot on target, beat goalkeeper Przemys┼éaw Tyton with a right-footed shot for his first league goal since a 5-1 win in Cincinnati on Sept. 7, 2019.

Alejandro Pozuelo picked up his 10th assist of the season on the play.

In only his second start of the season, Mullins showed his predatory skills in finding the space in the crowded box needed to get the shot off.

Toronto is undefeated in seven games (6-0-1), a run that also includes victories over Montreal, New York City FC, Columbus Crew SC, the Philadelphia Union and New England Revolution.

TFC has lost just two of 27 regular-season games (15-2-10) since a 2-0 defeat at the New York Red Bulls on Aug. 3, 2019.

Bono undergoes surgery

Prior the match, Toronto announced that backup ‘keeper Alex Bono would be out two to three weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a dislocated finger suffered in training Saturday. Kevin Silva dressed as Westberg’s backup.

Impacts’ Sejdic scores 1st MLS goal in loss to Union

Jamiro Monteiro and Sergio Santos scored in a nine-minute span and the Philadelphia Union beat the Montreal Impact 2-1 on Sunday night.

Monteiro took a well-placed lead pass from Ilsinho on the right side and just beat the keeper on the near post in the 39th minute. Santos — also set up by Ilsinho — took a cross and tapped it in a largely untended net.

Amar Sejdic got Montreal on the board at the 65th minute.

With the win, Philadelphia (10-3-4) trails Eastern Conference-leading Toronto by three points. The Impact (6-9-2) are in eighth place in the East.

WATCH | Union fend off Impact:

Philadelphia Union took a 2-goal lead and was able to hang on for 2-1 victory over Montreal Impact. 1:21

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Alphonso Davies helps Bayern Munich survive scare in Bundesliga

Canada’s Alphonso Davies rose to the occasion on Saturday as the sports world remained focused on the German Bundesliga.

Davies, from Edmonton, scored and set up another goal in Bayern Munich’s 5-2 victory over Eintract Frankfurt. The Bundesliga is playing in empty stadiums with no spectators due to strict hygiene measures against the coronavirus.

Goals from Leon Goretzka, Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski had Bayern in cruise control but Frankfurt defender Martin Hinteregger scored twice in three minutes to set up an exciting finale.

Davies steadied Bayern’s nerves before Hinteregger’s own goal capped a remarkable game for the centre back.

“It was one of the nicest own goals I scored,” Hinteregger joked.

WATCH | Alphonso Davies helps Bayern Munich pull away for win:

19-year-old Alphonso Davies from Edmonton records a goal and an assist in Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich’s 5-2 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt. 1:05

Bayern’s rival Borussia Dortmund laid down the challenge with a laboured 2-0 win at Wolfsburg earlier in the day.

The win kept Bayern four points ahead of Dortmund heading into their meeting on Tuesday, a game that will go a long way to deciding the championship — assuming the remaining seven rounds go ahead.

The league resumed last weekend after its pandemic-induced two-month break and players must undergo regular testing for COVID-19 before they are cleared to play.

Like last weekend, players wore face masks on arrival for all games on Saturday, while those who didn’t start kept them on and maintained their distance. Balls were disinfected, and officials conducted pre-game interviews at a distance with microphones mounted on poles to keep TV reporters at bay.

The German football federation (DFB) sent a letter to the clubs during the week warning them that society and politicians were watching closely after some criticism of goal celebrations that went too far the previous weekend.

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Ottawa mammogram services so heavily booked woman must wait 4 weeks despite cancer scare

When Rachelle Gagnon went to see her family doctor for a routine physical on Aug. 22, she was shocked to learn she had a lump in her breast. 

Adding to her worry, Gagnon was told she’d have to wait until Sept. 18 — nearly four weeks — for a mammogram in her home of Ottawa, even though her doctor called her situation an “emergency.”

“I was shocked,” Gagnon said. “Especially when my family doctor felt that I should be seen within a week.”

Gagnon started calling diagnostic clinics around the city to try to book an earlier appointment, but learned several had closed, and those that remained open were swamped.

After four hours spent calling around, Gagnon was finally able to get an appointment about 100 kilometres away in Cornwall, Ont., within a week of the discovery.

“I think it’s completely unreasonable,” Gagnon said. “I should be able to get it within the city that I live in.” 

‘Complex and challenging’

In an emailed statement, the Ottawa Hospital said it “triages mammogram referrals according to urgency so that we can meet the Ontario Breast Screening Program standard to see patients who require a diagnostic mammogram within three weeks.”  

Ontario Ministry of Health spokesperson David Jensen said in another emailed statement that the Ottawa Hospital closed its breast scanning clinic at the Riverside campus in order to consolidate services and “provide a more efficient and comfortable experience for those going through diagnosis and or treatment.”

Equipment from the Riverside campus was transferred to the hospital’s Hampton Park breast screening clinic, while The Rose Ages Breast Health Centre at the hospital’s General campus will now handle diagnosis. 

“The reorganization of services can be both complex and challenging,” Jensen wrote. “Due to consolidation, some sites are experiencing longer than normal wait times for screening mammography.”  

‘Who wants to go through this?’

Gagnon believes it shouldn’t be left to women facing the prospect of a breast cancer diagnosis to navigate a confusing and inadequate system.

“I was surprised there wasn’t a better system in place to put people ahead of the list who needed to be moved up,” she said. “

Denis Potosky, co-owner of Canadian Medical Alliance, a company that provides mammograms at three private clinics in Ottawa, said the wait for a diagnostic breast scan at those facilities is currently four weeks.  

“If someone is referred by a doctor and it’s marked stat, an urgent case, we’ll make ourselves available, but we can only take on so many like this,” he said.

Potosky said within the Champlain Local Health Integration Network, which coordinates health care in eastern Ontario, urgent referrals should be triaged centrally so patients like Gagnon aren’t left on their own to book an appointment.

He agreed making women wait four weeks after finding out they may have a cancerous tumour is unacceptable.   

“Every day of your life before your appointment is a nightmare,” Potosky said. “Who wants to go through this? Nobody, because no one wants to have doubts about their health.”

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Manchester City survives scare to clinch 2nd straight Premier League title

Manchester City retained the Premier League trophy after coming from behind to beat Brighton 4-1 and see off Liverpool’s relentless challenge on the final day of the season on Sunday.

The quality and intensity of the title race was emphasized by City requiring a 14th successive league victory to finish a point above a Liverpool side chasing a first championship crown in 29 years as the top two finished with a record 195 points combined.

“Liverpool was exceptional, I don’t mean to rub it in, it is what it is, they didn’t deserve to lose,” City captain Vincent Kompany said. “It makes me so much more happy that we played such a great team all season.”

But during a 21-minute wobble in the first half City looked like throwing away a fourth title in eight seasons.

Sadio Mane put Liverpool in front against Wolverhampton in the 17th minute and a jittery City fell behind 10 minutes later at Brighton.

“We heard the Brighton fans singing `1-0 to Liverpool’ just at the moment we conceded,” Kompany said.

Even when Sergio Aguero leveled 83 seconds after Glenn Murray’s header, City only moved back into top spot when Aymeric Laporte nodded in from Riyad Mahrez’s corner in the 38th minute.

It turned out to be the goal that clinched the title.

Stylish conclusion

But there were still nerves to be eased in the second half. Mahrez netted in the 63rd minute, a rare high point in his first season after joining City in a record 60 million pound (then $ 80 million) signing in July.

There was a stylish conclusion to City’s title defense when Ilkay Gundogan scored directly from a free kick in the 72nd minute for the team’s 95th goal in 38 league matches.

“We were creating chances, finding the gaps, imposing ourselves,” Kompany said. “Though the pitch was slow I felt we were magnificent. We did everything we needed to do in a game such as today.”

City became the first team since Manchester United in the 2007-08 season to retain the trophy, part of a hat trick of successes for Alex Ferguson’s team.

With Ferguson long retired and United in freefall, City is the force not only in Manchester but English football. City has won the Premier League four times since the influx of Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth following a 2008 takeover, having only won the title twice before that.

Guardiola has now won eight league titles in his 10 seasons as a coach, stretching back to his debut campaign at Barcelona when he won a treble in 2009 and featuring successes at Bayern Munich.

City remains on course for an English treble, having already collected a League Cup and preparing for the FA Cup final against Watford on Saturday.

“We’ll go and celebrate but we’re also thinking of that next game on Saturday,” Kompany said.

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Whoopi Goldberg Reveals She Was Hospitalized Again Following Pneumonia Scare

Whoopi Goldberg Reveals She Was Hospitalized Again Following Pneumonia Scare | Entertainment Tonight

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Don't try to reason with vaccine-skeptic parents. Scare them: Robyn Urback

A baby in the midst of a whooping cough (pertussis) fit will appear to cry without making a sound. Her mouth will be open as she tries to cough to clear the mucus from her narrowed airway, but if she's really struggling, nothing will happen. Her lips and tongue might turn blue. She could seize. When the fit is finally over, she'll vomit.

It's absolutely terrifying to watch (and no doubt, to experience), and precisely the type of picture public health organizations need to paint to counter anti-vaccination propaganda. No more stats about the infrequency of adverse reactions, or sterile "myth vs. fact" pages on government vaccine information websites. Facts don't move people the way that an appeal to emotion — fear, specifically — does.

Anti-vaxxers know that. Their dispatches are compelling: Vaccine Choice Canada, a registered not-for-profit, posts devastating, detailed, first-person stories on its website by parents who report taking their perfectly healthy children in for their scheduled vaccines and leaving with sick, disabled or otherwise "vaccine-injured" children.

There are, of course, the requisite stories about children exhibiting autistic behaviours after vaccination — anecdotes that are easily dismissed by people who already know that there is no link between the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine and autism.

But some of the other stories are harder to shrug off. They include tales of babies experiencing seizures, anaphylaxis and even paralysis after vaccinations. According to the parents' own accounts posted on Vaccine Choice's website, emergency room physicians dismissed their concerns, telling them that they were simply overreacting.

These are the critically dangerous stories from a public health perspective, in that they can't be flat-out rejected as false. That makes them potentially persuasive even to parents who know better. We know the chance of a serious adverse reaction as described above is exceedingly rare — about three in a million, according to the most recent data out of Ontario — but statistics don't stick in the mind the same way a single story of a mother's anguish does. And anti-vaccination groups tell those stories perfectly.

Measles outbreaks

Right now, British Columbia is currently grappling with a measles outbreak, and so too is Washington state, Texas (where a lawmaker erroneously suggested that antibiotics could clear up the outbreak) and a handful of other regions mostly along the Pacific Northwest. Not surprisingly, the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified "vaccine hesitancy" as one of the top 10 threats to global health in 2019.

Vaccine hesitancy, however, is an umbrella term that really describes two distinct groups. There are the strident anti-vaxxers whose opposition to vaccination is entrenched and full-throttled — the organizers and proselytizers, who made up less than three per cent of parents surveyed, according to one study. And then there are those who can more accurately be described as vaccine-hesitant — those who are worried about adverse reactions, or autism, or the pace of the vaccine schedule, or about putting "artificial" medicines in their children.

The former group might be impossible to influence, but the latter group can still be reached, though bombarding them with stats about safety and sterile warnings about vaccine-preventable illnesses obviously isn't working.

So scare them. Show them what a child hospitalized with measles-induced encephalitis looks like. Tell stories like that of Jamie Schanbaum, whose legs and fingers were amputated after she contracted meningitis as a Texas University student. Let them see what it's like for a baby with whooping cough try to struggle to breathe.

Then let the anti-vaxxers try to counter with stats: But encephalitis from measles is rare! (True) Vaccines don't prevent against all kinds of meningitis! (True) You can still get whooping cough even if you've been vaccinated! (True) But alas, information about the relative infrequency of complications doesn't stick in the mind the way the image of a baby's blue lips and tongue does.

The better way

Some might be uncomfortable with pro-vaccination efforts using the same appeal-to-emotion, anecdotal tactics as do anti-vaxxers. But offending our collective polite sensibilities matters less than herd immunity and the suffering of children who have little to no say in their own health care.

Some regions have adopted or are considering adopting policies that essentially make life more difficult for anti-vaxxers; for example, by preventing them from sending their children to public schools unless they have been vaccinated or have a legitimate medical exemption.

But these measures just tend to galvanize the most militant anti-vaxxers, many of whom are convinced that there is a government and pharmaceutical conspiracy to vaccinate children. (In my day, the goal of government conspiracies were a lot more nefarious than trying to keep kids alive, but I digress.) It also does little to actually help the children of vaccine-hesitant or anti-vaxx parents, other than entrench their parents' beliefs. These sorts of prohibitions also do little to mitigate the risk of measles spreading at the grocery store or community centre or anywhere else these banned-from-public-school kids can still frequent.

The better way is to reach vaccine-hesitant parents before, or more effectively than, the anti-vaxxers do. Anti-vaxxers know how to turn suffering into propaganda: to use anecdote to stoke fear. Fighting fear with information doesn't work as well, unfortunately, as fighting fear with fear. Anti-vaxxers have graciously already given us the formula. All we have to do is follow it.

This column is part of CBC's Opinion section. For more information about this section, please read our FAQ.

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Susan Lucci Shares How Her Heart Health Scare Has Changed Her (Exclusive)

Susan Lucci Shares How Her Heart Health Scare Has Changed Her (Exclusive) | Entertainment Tonight

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Pete Davidson Jokes About Suicide Scare in 'Weekend Update' Segment on New 'Saturday Night Live'

Pete Davidson Jokes About Suicide Scare in 'Weekend Update' Segment on New 'Saturday Night Live' | Entertainment Tonight

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Farm supervisor charged over Australia strawberry needle scare

A former strawberry farm supervisor was accused in court Monday of retaliating over a workplace grievance by putting needles into the fruit, sparking recalls that devastated the Australian industry.

Magistrate Christine Roney said she would not consider granting bail for the woman until the reasons for her actions became clearer. Prosecutors alleged that My Ut Trinh was "motivated by spite or revenge."

While no injuries were reported from the needles, the crisis escalated to six states and neighbouring New Zealand. Australia's multimillion-dollar strawberry industry suffered major financial losses, with fruit recalled from supermarket shelves and destroyed. Major food distributors in New Zealand removed Australian strawberries from stores.

Jon Wacker, State Crime Command superintendent, told reporters before the court hearing that 230 incidents were reported across Australia, affecting 68 strawberry brands. The scare was concentrated in Queensland state, where 77 incidents were reported, 15 of which were believed to be hoaxes or false complaints.

Trinh, 50, was the first person arrested and has been charged with seven counts of contamination of goods with intent to cause economic loss. She could face up to 10 years in jail if convicted.

A Vietnamese refugee who arrived by boat two decades ago and became an Australian citizen, Trinh was working as a supervisor of fruit pickers at the Berrylicious strawberry farm near Caboolture, north of Brisbane, when she allegedly inserted needles into the fruit between Sept. 2 and 5, the court was told.

Michael Cridland, a lawyer who represents My Ut Trinh, leaves the Magistrates Court in Brisbane on Monday. My Ut Trinh has been charged with seven counts of contamination of goods with intent to cause economic loss. (EPA-EFE)

Prosecutor Cheryl Tesch said it would be alleged in court that DNA matching Trinh's was found on one of the needles discovered in a strawberry.

Trinh's lawyer, Michael Cridland, withdrew a bail application, but said his client was not an unacceptable flight risk. She was remanded in custody until Nov. 22.

Walker said the police investigation into the broader crisis was continuing.

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