Coronavirus Briefing: The vaccine waiting game, marketing pitch activity surges, cool COVID data visualizations

This week’s Haymarket Media Coronavirus Briefing is 1,106 words and will take you five and a half minutes to read.

So now we can devote our full focus and energy to beating back COVID, right? It feels like perhaps this could be a goal around which to recalibrate. “Not dying” is as bipartisan as it gets, at least in theory.

This week’s Haymarket Media Coronavirus Briefing is 1,106 words and will take you five and a half minutes to read. 


The reality on the ground

…or maybe we should retitle this section "The Pessimism," because nobody’s thinking happy thoughts about our current predicament. The numbers are staggering and getting worse. In late summer it felt like we were moving in the right direction. Now, not so much.

The takeaway

Beyond “shut it all down again,” nobody has a solution that’s likely to succeed, and the philosophical impasse is compounded by the refusal of each side to hear what the other is saying. If you have ideas on how to steer us out of this, run for something.


Source: Getty

The biz

And yet here in the worlds of marketing and media, we come to work every day and do what we’ve always done. Staying busy helps.

The takeaway

Now that we’re all used to doing everything from afar, you can almost get a business-as-usual vibe on the occasional workday. Almost.


civis analytics data
Source: Civis Analytics

The visualizations

I grew up with words and will always get a tiny thrill when I pair a punchy noun with an active verb (before numbing it with a parade of adverbs). But journalism is a visual medium now and COVID data have proven rich fodder for illustration.

  • Some part of me is depressed and bewildered that, nine months into this thing, we still need animations like “Masks Work. Really.” Another part of me loves the thought and attention to detail that goes into visually oriented explainers of this sort. They demand a lot more in the way of effort and ingenuity than, say, “13 Pandemic Self-Care Supertips.”
  • El País lays out how COVID-19 is spread through the air and does so in a manner that can’t be misinterpreted, willfully or otherwise.
  • Courtesy of Science – it’s a calling AND a publication! – here’s a visualization of “The Science of Superspreading.”
  • PRWeek illustrates some of the findings from “COVID’s Toll on America’s Mental Health,” a survey conducted by Civis Analytics and Finn Partners.

The takeaway

There’s no journalism as service-y as visual journalism.


Life Inside Senior Care Homes, After The Coronavirus Crucible
Source: Getty

The semi-silver linings

You say “cautiously optimistic,” I say “nauseously optimistic but mostly just nauseous.” Tuh-MAY-toe, tuh-MAH-toe.

The takeaway

Every silver lining’s got a touch of grey.


The rest


Stuff you can do


…and several songs.

That’s it for this week’s edition of the Haymarket Media Coronavirus Briefing, which was written under the most serene of circumstances. We’ll be back on Wednesday, November 11 with the next one. Be smart and safe out there, everybody.

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