Coronavirus Briefing: Diversions, complications, families in flux

This week’s Haymarket Media Coronavirus Briefing is 1,791 words and will take you eight minutes to read.

Source: Getty
Source: Getty

I have decided that I’m going to receive my COVID-19 vaccine on April 10.

I don’t have an appointment yet, mind you. I don’t feel any urgency to engage with the mess of sign-up sites touted by my state and county. I don’t anticipate levitating from my current place in vaccination group 13(r) anytime soon, unless the list of underlying medical conditions that warrant a jump ahead is expanded to include turbo-accelerating baldness.

No, I just believe that, by April 10, the vaccine supply and demand curves will have flip-flopped, leaving vaccine enthusiasts like me to start rolling up our sleeves. Is it wishful thinking? Am I setting myself up for disappointment? Maybe. But that’s where I’m at right now.

And really: It’s not like there’s a whole lot else on the calendar. Thus I’ve booked a dental appointment for mid-May and a family excursion for June, deposits be damned. Come along, won’t you?

April 10. That’s the day. Can’t wait.

This week’s Haymarket Media Coronavirus Briefing is 1,791 words and will take you eight minutes to read. 

The complications

There are many and they are profound, but we’re picking them off one by one.

The takeaway: If you’re discouraged by the enormity of what’s ahead, you have two choices: Pitch in or get out of way. Here’s hoping you can be talked into the former.


Source: Getty

The family circle

For all the challenges that have come with adding part-time jobs as virtual learning coordinator and household IT consultant to my full-time one – the crafting of this sentence was interrupted by a request to print out coloring pages of Boba Fett – I’ll miss it when the load is lifted.

The takeaway: Few families will emerge from this thing without some scars. Here’s hoping that yours is one of the fortunate ones.


Source: Getty

The diversions

On the bigger list of COVID-related grievances, this doesn’t register, nor should it. But man, I am so, so bored.

The takeaway: There’s only so much stuff you can do on your phone. Gimme community.


THREE QUESTIONS WITH… H4B Chelsea president Violet Aldaia

How would you assess communications and messaging around the vaccination effort so far?

They’re really just getting under way. There’s a lot at stake and a very big job to do. Communications that put the value of getting vaccinated in the context of positive impact on daily life can motivate people to get vaccinated. But it’s a delicate balance to mobilize the entire population, while also asking everyone to wait their turn. In the meantime, vaccine messages are tested every day in the face of news about new COVID variants and whether the vaccine will work against them, as well as misinformation questioning the vaccines. The danger is that ultimately people will tune out to avoid the confusion, and lose the urgency to get vaccinated.

What are the areas in which those efforts could stand to improve?

To achieve the vaccination levels needed to stem the pandemic, it’s going to be important to deliver consistent messaging over a long period of time. Targeted reach and frequency, aligned to the segments of the population eligible for vaccination at a given time, will help us get there. So will reinforcement from public figures in all aspects of everyday life – music, acting, sports, etc. I’m not sure showing the needle in someone’s arm getting the vaccine is necessary, because those images could inadvertently turn away people who are afraid of needles.

What are the first things you plan to do after you receive the COVID vaccine? And after the pandemic lifts? 

Taking the vaccine will provide more peace of mind to do the social activities we miss so much and bring us joy – things like getting together with family for holidays, celebrating birthdays with a group party and spending time out with friends and colleagues. One of the things I miss most is traveling. It’s been a constant and cherished part of my life through work and personal interests. After nearly a year of exploring cities online with my kids, they’ve created a travel list in priority order for as soon as the pandemic lifts. First stop, Paris!

(Are you smart? Do you know someone who is? If so, please reach out to Larry.Dobrow@haymarketmedia.com with nominations for potential “Three Questions With…” respondents)

The rest

…and some songs.

Another Nail in My Heart, Squeeze

St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, Cocktail Slippers

Forget the Flowers, Wilco

Love Is All Around, Joan Jett

You Are Not Alone, Mavis Staples

Here in the Northeast, darkness isn’t falling until 5:30 p.m. More light equals more hope. See you back here next week.

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