So what are all the parents and cool young people out there thinking vis-à-vis Halloween – specifically, the trick-or-treating that my kids are dead-set on doing, ongoing public-health catastrophes notwithstanding?
Our town has provided exactly zero guidance, which has left its cerebral elders struggling to devise responsible courses of action. Some believe that Halloween can proceed as it always does, so long as masking and distancing protocols are followed. Others feel that being out and about in the community, mixing with people who might have heightened sensitivities around unwanted interpersonal contact, is in itself a selfish act.
I don’t have any good answers, so I’m going to listen to the CDC and pray for rain. Passive-aggressive behavior, don’t fail me now.
This week’s Haymarket Media Coronavirus Briefing is 1,135 words and will take you six minutes to read.
The new wave
I have pandemic fatigue. You have pandemic fatigue. Here’s hoping our coping skills are up to the extended challenge likely to be posed by the inevitable continued surge in infection.
- Europe is apparently "chasing the wave," which would be a lot more rad if the wave being chased weren't coronavirus infection. London, Germany and Belgium, among others, are all reimposing significant restrictions.
- With new infections surging across the country, care providers in nursing homes are bracing for impact, Danielle Brown reports in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.
- In Infectious Disease Advisor, Dr. Sara Gianella Wiebel interviews virologist Dr. Davey Smith about the progression of research towards a coronavirus vaccine.
- An incident of COVID reinfection has been reported in an immunocompromised patient, Leah Lawrence writes in Cancer Therapy Advisor.
- Per Bill Kekevian in Ophthalmology Advisor, researchers have determined that COVID can infect ocular tissue. Ears, you’re on notice.
- At least death rates are falling.
The trials and tribulations
I got tested the other day in advance of some imminent age-related maintenance and it felt like the smallest of intrusions, and that was with a swab jammed a yard deep into my brain. Maybe we take another shot at ramping up this regular-testing thing?
- ProPublica’s “Inside the Fall of the CDC” is every bit as damning and infuriating as you could imagine.
- The New York Times details efforts to convince more Black people to abandon their mistrust of vaccines and participate in COVID clinical trials.
- A human challenge trial, in which individuals will be deliberately exposed to COVID so that researchers can test vaccine efficacy, is set to begin in January.
- In PRWeek, Shayoni Lynn details the challenges that came with growing her communications firm amid the pandemic.
- “Self-Help Hacks at the End of the World.” The mental-health pandemic will rage long after the physical one subsides. The Onion has its own take on this potential aftershock.
- Good luck scaling up the production of antibody cocktails anytime soon.
Please add the following to the list of “things that are not easy”: vaccine development, medical logistics, encouraging responsible behavior.
We’ve got marketing, we’ve got elections and we’ve got plenty of pursuits that seem to straddle the two. Hey, at least there’s rarely a dull moment.
- Marc Iskowitz of MM+M reports on the Health and Human Services “defeat despair and inspire hope” celebrity COVID campaign that flopped – and inspired an investigation by House Democrats in the process.
- In Medical Bag, Jeff Forster (who you might know from these parts) presents a primer for physicians on explaining the concept of herd immunity to patients.
- In McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, Alicia Lasek shares details about a pharmacy partnership program that will administer an eventual COVID vaccine to residents and care facility staff with no out-of-pocket costs. CVS and Walgreens are already on board.
- McKnight’s Senior Living’s Kimberly Bonvissuto reports on the struggles faced by senior-living providers attempting to help residents vote in the upcoming election.
- Masks may soon come with labels detailing how well they work. I’m in for a good/better/best classification scheme, out for one involving colors or sock puppets.
It’s the season of the hard sell.
The back and forth
Over the last few weeks it seems that, for every small victory in the war against COVID, there have been two larger defeats. I know we’re a culture that likes to shout “winning!” whenever we feel challenged, but we’re not fooling anyone nowadays.
- “The Story of the COVID Flight From Hell” somehow doesn’t oversell this one. I’m going to wash my hands again now, just to be safe.
- The CDC is pretty much pleading with us to mask up on most modes of transportation at this point, but a full-on mandate is apparently a freedom-depriving step too far.
- Unlike competing communications networks WPP and Publicis Group, Interpublic will continue to pay top execs reduced salaries through the end of 2020, Gideon Spanier reports in Campaign.
- MM+M’s annual Career and Salary Survey of medical marketers asks how much of the 12% drop in average salary is attributable to COVID.
- Transform HR principal consultant Niall Eyre attempts to answer the question, “What does effective leadership for remote working look like?”
- Writing in McKnight’s Senior Living, Nazareth Home CEO Mary Haynes shares the difficulties and blessings that came with caring for residents during the pandemic.
Sometimes it seems that life has become an endless game of Whack-a-Mole. Stay strong, y’all.
- CivicScience is the Briefing’s unofficial pollster for all things COVID, because the company asks about stuff that’s top of mind and stuff that’s not (but isn’t any less interesting for it). Curiosity: as important a trait in research gurus as it is in forensic pathologists.
- The universe of “Be Our Guest” takeoffs has expanded to include “Wear a Mask,” and we are richer as a society for it.
- Masks work on planes... if you actually keep them on. Bet you weren’t ready for that plot twist, eh?
- My wife and I have taken to calling it “competitive landscaping.” There are absolutely enough channels in the cable and streaming universes to spin this into a legitimate telesport.
Stuff you can do
…and some songs.
- Who’s Gonna Help Brother Get Further, Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint
- Sister Disco, The Who
- Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag, James Brown
- Uncle Walter, Ben Folds Five
- Grandmother’s Song, Steve Martin
Thanks for reading another edition of the Haymarket Media Coronavirus Briefing. We’ll be back next Wednesday, the one after that and, based on the way things are trending, every one after that until Memorial Day 2023. Time is a flat circle.