Pro tip: some educators and administrators may not be in the mood for frivolity. I learned this the hard way upon dropping off our kids for the first day of semi-school, which took place on the kind of glorious late-summer day that simply doesn’t exist outside Julia Roberts romantic-comedies.

We approached the building masked but cheerful, ready to take the next hesitant step towards normalcy. Everyone we encountered was in similarly fine spirits. There would have been hugging, if not for the whole pandemic thing.

And then I saw the school’s wonderful principal, who has been under siege over the last eight weeks. I approached her and thanked her for all her hard work, to which she responded with a wan smile.

Unfortunately, I interpreted this “yeah, I’m not really in the mood for light banter” nonverbal cue as a sign to joke around. “Okay, here are the kids,” I said mirthfully. “No backsies!”

She shot me a look that could’ve pierced Kevlar. My wife tried to clean up the mess, as always, but the principal had already moved on to another family – theoretically, a less “funny” one. Mirth: another victim of the Covid.

This week’s Haymarket Media Coronavirus Briefing is 1,495 words and will take you seven minutes to read. 


The 411

Even in an era where facts are supposedly malleable, there is an abundance of information waiting to be consumed. Dive in and gorge yourself smart at the trough.

The takeaway

Those who dismiss the dogged, passionate reporting around COVID-19 as fake news are missing myriad opportunities to make their lives safer and better. They can’t say they weren’t warned.


New England Apple Picking
Source: Getty

The time of the season

I love autumn, and I’m not even a foliage fan or pumpkin-spice fetishist. This year’s autumn only feels like autumn when darkness descends earlier with each passing night. Not ideal.

The takeaway

Add “a carefree, low-humidity autumn teeming with fun-size Snickers” to the list of 2020 casualties, right next to “a carefree beach season” and “carefree excursions outside one’s immediate surroundings.”


blood equality campaign fcb

The advocacy

Perhaps it’s because I’m paying way too close attention, but it seems to me that much of the advocacy work around well-being and work/life balance has been sensitively rendered. The marketing world has risen to the occasion.

The takeaway

People are out there, making their cases and taking their stands. It would be inspiring if it weren’t for, you know, everything else that’s simultaneously unfolding.


Coronavirus COVID-19 USPS Postal Workers Mailman
Source: Getty

The secondary victims

If nothing else is clear at this point in the pandemic, it’s that you don’t have to get sick – or worse – to become a victim of COVID-19.

The takeaway

Let’s move on.


The rest

  • The U.S. Surgeon General’s account tweeted “happy co-birthday” wishes to Joan Jett, along with a message about flu vaccination. Nothing about that last sentence strikes me as out of the ordinary anymore.
  • Twenty-seven customers at a Starbucks near Seoul got coronavirus. The four people behind the counter did not. Guess what the people behind the counter were wearing? M-A-S-K-S masks masks masks!
  • People who miss flying are booking flights that depart and land in the same place. No matter where you go, there you are.
  • This Washington Post COVID etiquette guide addresses such pertinent questions as “What if I don’t want someone to pet my dog?” (LD response: Politely say, “Please don’t pet my dog, friend!”) and “How do I greet someone?” (LD: “With a friendly wave, unless the person is trying to pet your dog and you’ve got a problem with that”).
  • Our law school softball league included a team dubbed the Babe Ruth Bader Ginsburgs. Like both its namesakes, the team kicked tremendous volumes of butt. Much gratitude to a true American icon.

Stuff you can do

Virtually attend ProPublica’s “Ensuring Everyone Can Vote” event tonight at 6 p.m. ET

Make triple-super-sure that you’re registered to vote

Pay the water bill for a family in need


…and some songs.

And so ends another edition of the Haymarket Media Coronavirus Briefing. Look for the next one on Wednesday, September 30. Be safe and smart out there, y’all.