In what was certainly the most shocking diagnosis-related news of the last week, I appear to have been afflicted with Mask Tan Syndrome (MTS).
You might recall that, a month or so ago, I found myself wrestling with the health-ethical-comfort aspects of covering my face while on the sideline of my kid’s soccer games. Clearly I wasn’t the only team parent feeling this way, as we convened prior to the weekend and agreed to mask up during games. That’s what makes this country great: partisanship-free problem-solving among members of precisely the same demographic group.
So there I was on the sideline in my mask, cheering on the little guy and casting light aspersions on the referee. The kid scored twice and the team won. Great little afternoon oasis, right?
WRONG. Upon reaching the car, I caught a glimpse of my face in the rearview mirror. In my haste to protect myself, I didn’t protect myself: I wore a mask but not sunscreen. This left me with a distinct burn line crossing my cheekbones and the bridge of my nose. If you happen upon me virtually at Thursday night’s MM+M Awards, try not to stare.
This week’s Haymarket Media Coronavirus Briefing is 1,143 words and will take you six minutes to read.
Certain effects of the pandemic have been unpredictable – secondary symptoms like a loss of taste and smell, for instance, or the politicization of common sense. Most others have flowed naturally and heartbreakingly toward the place we now find them.
- It’s becoming increasingly clear that a COVID vaccine is unlikely to arrive within the next four weeks. On Tuesday, the White House approved the Food and Drug Administration’s strict standards for future emergency use authorizations.
- MM+M debuted the first video in its “My 2020” series, in which marketers discuss how the year’s myriad hurts and heartbreaks have affected them personally and professionally.
- “Brilliant communicator, but what about the leadership?” With the help of public affairs pros, PRWeek’s Ian Griggs unpacks Boris Johnson’s Conservative party keynote speech.
- There are any number of biological and socioeconomic reasons that people with diabetes have been hit disproportionately hard by COVID-19.
- Attorneys Anne Pritam and Leanne Raven write in People Management about the broader impact of COVID-19 on working women.
- ProPublica introduces us to “The Students Left Behind By Remote Learning.” No, you’re crying.
In pandemics as in physics, every action prompts a reaction.
Thanks to the discourse-shattering miracle that is social media, the conventional wisdom around a given event tends to calcify within hours. As a result, when the reality eventually hits, it hits harder.
- That whole “telemedicine is now as much a part of our daily lives as lunch and indoor plumbing” thing? Maybe not so much, per Civic Science, which notes a drop in user satisfaction. The CV Briefing’s favorite pollster also notes that a majority of U.S. adults don’t expect to feel comfortable attending a public event (concert, ballgame, etc.) for six or more months.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has formally acknowledged, some five months after epidemiologists did, that COVID can be spread via airborne transmission. Add “basic, straightforward interpersonal communication” to the list of things we need to bone up on prior to the next public-health crisis.
- In the event that you missed it the first 300 or 400 times it was reported, Reuters re-re-re-confirms that face masks do not limit the flow of oxygen to the lungs. Face masks = not breath- or freedom-inhibiting. Are we really still having this debate more than half a year later?
Not everything is what it immediately appears to be. You’d think we might have learned this over the last 60 years of consumption of mass media, but apparently it needs to be restated from time to time.
The next steps
Me, I’m no longer comfortable making predictions or plans beyond three hours from now. I do not envy anyone whose job requires putting her or his neck on the line in that manner.
- McKnight’s Long-Term Care News’ Danielle Brown notes that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service may mandate coronavirus testing for surveyors, ombudsmen and other workers who enter nursing homes.
- Campaign’s Omar Oakes analyzes the World Federation of Advertisers’ most recent Crisis Report Tracker, which reveals that fewer and fewer companies are bumping back their marketing campaigns.
- In Infectious Disease Advisor, Brian Park reports on early clinical-trial data suggesting that Moderna’s COVID vaccine induces an immune response in older adults.
- The National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care’s top economist says that her outlook for the sector hinges on the arrival of a vaccine, McKnight’s Long-Term Care News’ James M. Berklan reports.
- A report on how assisted living communities in Connecticut handled the initial COVID-19 outbreak found that there wasn’t enough coordination between facilities and the state government, Kimberly Bonvissuto reports in McKnight’s Senior Living. Bonvissuto also notes that the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine recommended that senior-living residents and workers should be among the first wave of individuals to receive a COVID vaccine.
- People Management’s Francis Churchill reports on an Institute of Directors poll revealing that around three-quarters of companies in the U.K. plan to maintain an elevated level of virtual working even after COVID-19 subsides.
- Writing in Campaign Asia, Daniel Langer, the CEO of brand strategy firm Équité and a professor at Pepperdine University, outlines the steps luxury brands must take to regain prominence amid the pandemic.
We’re pretty much figuring it out as we go. At least the effort is there and the intentions are mostly good.
- “COVID Compliance Officers” are now a mainstay on movie and TV sets, even though there’s no formal training or education required for the person who holds the role. Gotta admire the DIY spirit.
- PRWeek’s Diana Bradley goes inside the viral awesomeness that is Katmai National Park’s Fat Bear Week, which has managed to thrive amid the pandemic. How long before some or other attention-seeker attempts to make “fat bear shaming” a thing?
- Yeah, I think we’ve all endured enough Zoom happy hours at this point. From here on out, we drink together or not at all (ponders previous sentence, opens beer, sits by self on couch).
Stuff you can do
- Influence the election (legally)
- Belatedly celebrate World Teachers Day by picking a classroom to support
- Get on board with HeadCount, which mixes music and activism in a manner that would make your hippie uncle cry joyful tears, which he’d then mop up with a Canned Heat t-shirt
…and some songs.
- Unchained, Van Halen
- Hear About It Later, Van Halen
- Top Jimmy, Van Halen
- Little Guitars, Van Halen
- Light Up the Sky, Van Halen
That’s it for now. We’ll be back with the next edition of the Haymarket Media Coronavirus Briefing on Wednesday October 14. Be well and be nice.