Coronavirus Briefing: Pressure points, absurdities, infrastructures

This week’s Haymarket Media Coronavirus Briefing is 1,290 words and will take you six minutes to read.

The best thing I read this week, pandemic-related or otherwise, was the most recent of Dr. Julia Marcus’ essays in The Atlantic. In it, she argued that shaming vaccinated people into acting like they haven’t been vaccinated is likely to blow up in our faces.

Her point, at least as I interpret it, is basically: Let’s cut each other some slack. The After is in sight. For some people, it’s already flowing through their veins. That doesn’t mean they should burn their masks or attempt to break the Guinness World Record for long-distance sneezing, but it also doesn’t mean they should have to politely endure another few months of stern finger-wagging.

Me? When I get the shot, whether tomorrow or eight months from now, I am going to hug everyone – family, friends, co-workers, train conductors, Starbucks baristas, you name it. I am going to arrive too early and stay too late. If there’s an eventual need for restraining orders, so be it.

Everyone will need some such similar depressurization. Let’s feel happy for the people who are almost there. Let’s not rain on their outpouring of relief. They have received a blessing. Let’s let them enjoy it.

This week’s Haymarket Media Coronavirus Briefing is 1,290 words and will take you six minutes to read.

The pressure points

Schools, restaurants, nursing homes, gyms, airports, supermarkets, salons, libraries, doctor’s offices, trains, community centers – nearly 11 months into this thing, they’re all choked and staggering.

The takeaway: Vaccines may be our collective release valve, but they’re a slow-motion panacea. And the pressure continues to build.

Source: Getty

The absurdities

It doesn’t matter who’s in charge: Every day still brings with it a host of headlines that exist at the place where outrage meets incredulity. It’s exhausting.

The takeaway: Some day in the far-off future, you will open your most trusted news source to find that the lead story is “utility announces 2% increase in water rates.” You will momentarily ponder that piece of information and blissfully go about your business.

Source: Getty

The comms infrastructure

Here’s a not-so-random question: Collectively, have we become better communicators during the pandemic? The circumstances forced everyone’s hand, clearly, but there seems to be a degree of transparency and commitment that didn’t exist before last March.

The takeaway: Let’s continue to make messaging matter.

The rest

…and some songs.

A Hazy Shade of Winter, The Bangles

Chill Factor, Pretenders

Cold Hands (Warm Heart), Brendan Benson

Melt Show, Old 97’s

Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day, Jethro Tull

Most experts said January would be the toughest month of the pandemic. Well, it’s January 28. Stay strong, y’all. See you back here next week.

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