It wasn’t until yesterday morning that I realized, with no small degree of shame, that we’d rejoined the ranks of the pandemic hoarders. As part of my routine as the designated dinner-maker, I headed downstairs for food to unearth for the night’s meal. There was nothing in the fridge, so I opened the freezer in the hope that I wouldn’t have to choose between a late-day trip to the market and DoorDash.
This action triggered what can only be characterized as a meat avalanche. A glacier of brisket smacked me in the cheek and a cinder block of chicken cutlets landed on my beslippered foot. Practical fellow that I am, I iced my face with the packets of frozen peas and corn that comprised the frosty deluge’s second wave.
In conclusion, we have canceled our standing order with the local butcher. If you need some deep-frozen ground beef, don’t hesitate to reach out.
This week’s Haymarket Media Coronavirus Briefing is 1,196 words and will take you six minutes to read.
The infection, hospitalization and death numbers continue to read like science-fiction. Individual and community suffering might somehow be just as bad. Mercy.
- Imagine if, at the start of 2020, somebody had told you that we’d be accustomed to “drive-by burials” by the time the year ended. Psychically, 2020 is going to leave some scars.
- Psychiatry Advisor reports on a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry that found that anxiety in young people has doubled during the pandemic.
- Coronavirus chaos is wearing down physicians, and it’s not like the pressure is going to let up anytime soon.
- Large swaths of California are shutting down again, with other regions likely to follow. Anybody want to weigh in on our collective will to abide by such directives? Or for state or local authorities to enforce them?
- “The Life and COVID Death of a Revered Siberian Doctor.” 2020 has been a disastrous year for most everything, but a great one for deeply reported narrative journalism such as this example from The New Yorker.
The takeaway: A full accounting of our grief and loss is going to take years to assemble. I wonder if we’ll have the appetite to engage with it.
Amid all of this, we’re taking small steps forward every day – and vaccine makers are taking giant leaps. Optimism is a choice.
- The first officially approved COVID vaccine shot went into an arm – one attached to a 90-year-old retired clerk from Northern Ireland – early on Tuesday morning. In terms of good news to wake up to, this is right up there with “the sun is up” and “Zoom is down.”
- MM+M’s annual Pipeline Report surveys a host of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics currently in development. Also in MM+M, editor in chief Steve Madden surveys the challenges that lie ahead in terms of combating vaccine misinformation and skepticism.
- In Medical Bag, Sarah Mahoney notes how architects and designers are rethinking medical facilities for an eventual post-COVID world. I’m not sure anyone needs to sit in a closely clustered waiting room ever again.
- A study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine found that ongoing administration of direct oral anticoagulants does not reduce the risk for severe COVID-19, MPR reports.
- PRWeek’s Diana Bradley goes deep on the communications plan behind Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine and the team of three (!) directing it.
- PRWeek sits down with Grayling director Joey Ng to get the full story behind his agency’s work for Lloyds Bank on a COVID-era fraud-awareness campaign.
- In the most recent entry in Campaign’s “Not Normal” series of essays, Kate Magee looks back at the year in virtual work. To answer your next question: Yes, Zoom-related hijinks are involved.
The takeaway: Is it possible that we come out of this thing with more respect for science? Or is the mistrust seeded in certain corners of the media going to negate any positive impact?
There are any number of individuals and groups that need to be heard, so good for anyone attempting to hold our leaders to account. Squeaky wheel, grease, etc.
- The American Health Care Association has called on state and federal health officials to administer the COVID-19 vaccination to all long-term care residents and workers by March 1, Danielle Brown reports in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. That timeline is thought to be ambitious.
- Brown also notes that just under 70% of eligible nursing homes will receive incentive payments – from a Department of Health and Human Services pool of $523 million – for reducing coronavirus infections and deaths between September and October.
- Deadlines spur action, I know, but we’re cutting it way close on a stimulus bill that will deliver needed relief to families and businesses. Maybe the current momentum is for real?
- As part of AARP’s Virtual Lobby Week, the organization is calling on members of Congress to ensure that care facilities have adequate staffing levels and personal protective equipment and regularly test staff members and residents for COVID-19, Lois A. Bowers notes in McKnight’s Senior Living. “Congress should also require facilities to make available and facilitate virtual visitation for their residents and families, and report publicly on a daily basis whether they have confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths, including demographic data,” the organization said in a statement.
- Some 78% of job descriptions in the U.K. fail to offer flexible working options, Francis Churchill notes in People Management. “Women, carers, older workers and those with health concerns are currently at the greatest risk of becoming ‘flexcluded’ from work, as new ways of working fail to be reflected in employers’ recruitment advertising, said Emma Stewart, CEO of Timewise, which publishes the Timewise Flexible Jobs Index.
The takeaway: Amid the chaos, COVID-related and otherwise, 2020’s abundance of zealous advocacy has been extremely inspiring and encouraging.
- Apparently old radiators are “pandemic-fighting weapons.” Throw in their lovely percussive effects, which tend to make themselves heard at 3:20 a.m. most nights, and, well, who needs multizone radiant heat?
- Physicians and other HCPs like what they’ve heard so far about the composition of President-Elect Joe Biden’s coronavirus task force, Lina Zeldovich notes in Medical Bag. As the Internet might put it: Scientists FTW.
- Unofficial HM Coronavirus Briefing pollster CivicScience notes that 71% of U.S. adults would support renewed lockdowns – and that the support is consistent across regions. Furthermore, support for lockdowns is higher now than at any time since June. Also from CivicScience: U.S. air travelers aren’t too keen on the notion of digital health passes and apparently our skin-care regimens have largely remained the same during the pandemic. You know what Pa always said: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
- To-MAY-toe, to-MAH-toe.
Stuff you can do
- Help send low-income young people to college.
- Donate your unused frequent-flier miles and points.
- Provide students with individualized reading support.
…and some songs.
That’s it for another edition of the Haymarket Media Coronavirus Briefing. Wishing a happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate and good health and humor to all. Catch you back here next Wednesday.