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.
- A magic-bullet vaccine isn’t arriving anytime soon, no matter how much the slate of late-stage clinical trials might tantalize.
- As the number of coronavirus cases swells across the U.S., hospitals are finding themselves in competition with one another for nurses. Sure, let’s add an unbridled-capitalism component to this miserable affair.
- Infectious Disease Advisor’s Madeline Morr reports on research published in JAMA Network Open comparing the clinical presentation in children of COVID-19 and seasonal influenza. Unrelated: 61,000 children in the U.S. tested positive last week.
- According to American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living president and CEO Mark Parkinson, the fate of liability protections for home operators is largely tied to the results of the presidential election, Danielle Brown reports in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.
- In People Management, Jonathan Owen reports on a study by whistleblowing charity Protect that found one in five COVID whistleblowers in the U.K. were fired. In most cases the whistleblowers alleged fraudulent activity or safety violations.
- Individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder are having a particularly difficult time during the pandemic, NPR reports.
- The coronavirus has destroyed road racing, for pros and weekend warriors alike. I miss the camaraderie—and the t-shirts.
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.
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.
- Campaign’s Natasha Bach notes that pitch activity has grown during the pandemic, per R3 Worldwide’s latest global new business league table. Agency revenue, however, has declined.
- Families and day-care facilities alike are chafing against health rules put into place during the latest COVID surge. Pandemic parenting has as much in common with traditional parenting as it does with chainsaw-juggling.
- In PRWeek, Harman International’s public affairs chief Darrin Shewchuk details his pandemic-era work schedule.
- MM+M shares takeaways from an Ogilvy Consulting/Salesforce event in which health-tech execs weighed in on the effect of COVID’s myriad disruptions.
- In Campaign, former agency exec Ian Leslie argues that virtual pitches often lead to better outcomes.
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.
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.
There’s no journalism as service-y as visual journalism.
The semi-silver linings
You say “cautiously optimistic,” I say “nauseously optimistic but mostly just nauseous.” Tuh-MAY-toe, tuh-MAH-toe.
- At least botanic gardens can remain open during England’s current shutdown, Matthew Appleby notes in Horticulture Week.
- Education Week checks in with Brown University School of Public Health dean Dr. Ashish K. Jha on plans for school reopenings. Not to tease my fellow working parents, but he believes schools “need to be bolder.” Right on, brother.
- One real estate CEO believes that nursing homes are better prepared to handle the next pandemic, Kimberly Bonvissuto reports in McKnight’s Senior Living.
- McKnight’s editorial director John O’Connor wonders if COVID-19 will ultimately jumpstart innovation in and around the long-term-care business.
- Medical Bag’s Lina Zeldovich details a range of techniques, including mindful meditation and expressive writing, that can help physicians cope with pandemic-related stresses.
- National Institutes of Health head Dr. Francis Collins: “Face Coverings Could Save 130,000 American Lives from COVID-19 by March.”
Every silver lining’s got a touch of grey.
- A few more corona-findings from our friends at CivicScience: 49% of Americans expect to practice social distancing or social isolation for at least the next six months. On the rare positive side, 62% of Americans are “not at all” concerned about their current employment situation. Also, collectively we feel like we’re getting better at working from home – which, in this house at least, manifests itself as acceptance that we will never successfully scan a document. I love CivicScience.
- Medical Bag shares the work of an Iranian artist who has depicted the bravery and sacrifices of medical professionals during the pandemic.
- Planning on hosting a get-together anytime soon? Here’s a handy risk-assessment tool. It does not, alas, include tips for getting venues to return advance deposits.
- I knew it!
Stuff you can do
…and several songs.
- Saskia Hamilton, Ben Folds and Nick Hornby
- Alec Eiffel, Pixies
- Dance Soterios Johnson, Dance, Jonathan Coulton
- Blind Willie McTell, Bob Dylan
- James K. Polk, They Might Be Giants
- Marie Provost, Nick Lowe
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.