It was another week of coronavirus trend lines zigging where we wanted them to zag, and it happened to coincide with – and largely gut – one of the year’s hallowed long weekends in the U.S. We chose to be angrier about this turn of circumstance than we did the neglect and indifference that birthed it in the first place. At least our stagnation on mitigation is somewhat counterbalanced by optimism on the vaccine and therapeutic fronts. Man, do we need that vaccine, if only for the hope it can restore.
This week’s Haymarket Media Coronavirus Briefing is 1,261 words and will take you seven minutes to read.
It’s almost cliché at this point: We can’t truly resuscitate the economy until we find a way to send our children back to school safely and lessen childcare demands on working parents. But sending them back to school safely demands we stop the virus in its tracks, a task for which we may or may not lack the necessary will. September feels a long way away.
- Colleges will reopen campuses in the fall, unless they won’t. The Trump Administration is urging school systems to provide in-person education, but hasn’t yet offered federal aid or much else in the way of guidance.
- The Kaiser Family Foundation offers a comprehensive (and oft-updated) look at the nation’s emergence from and possible return to lockdown, with an emphasis on state data and policy considerations.
- In PRWeek, global communications agency BCW’s North American crisis and issues lead Geoff Beattie surveys the worst-case scenarios for the second half of 2020. Spoiler: None of them are super-terrific.
- Columbia University Teachers College professor Sarah Cohodes argues in The Atlantic that “A Better Fall Is Possible” if opening schools becomes the top priority for those states in a position to do so safely.
My five-year-old interrupted me four times in the minute it took to write this sentence, which ordinarily would’ve been a three-second endeavor. Help. Let’s get this one right.
The great outdoors/not-great indoors
It’s summertime and we all want to be outside – at least until the stronger-than-usual hurricane season some experts are predicting sends us scrambling for cover. The good news is we can avail ourselves of the season’s warm air and sunlight, not to mention the frosty beverages and charred meat stuffs that often go hand in hand with them, so long as we wear masks and maintain respectful distances. In conclusion, let’s wear masks and maintain respectful distances.
- STAT asks whether there’s a safe middle ground between a return to lockdown and flinging the nation’s doors wide open.
- Beach-shaming should not be a thing, Zeynep Tufekci writes in The Atlantic, the efforts of Jacksonville’s roving grim reaper notwithstanding.
- Visits to U.K. parks and green spaces are up 300%, Matthew Appleby notes in Horticulture Week.
- Sometimes you just need to spell it out in a way that is nigh impossible to misinterpret. Thanks, Healthline.
- When Civic Science asked U.S. adults which of a handful of options would make them most likely to resume non-grocery retail experiences, 41% said mask requirements, 14% said confirmed/visible disinfecting practices and another 14% said limitations on the number of patrons allowed in the store at once. Twenty percent responded none of the above.
Outside activities conducted safely and responsibly are good. Basement keggers are not – not now, anyway. Please wear a mask and kindly decline all basement kegger invitations.
There continue to be many lemonade-out-of-lemons success stories in and around the worlds of communication and marketing. Here’s to doing whatever we can to amplifying those stories, because any number of the approaches translate easily across verticals.
- Damon Jones, who assumed the lead communications role at Procter & Gamble at the start of the coronavirus crisis, topped PRWeek’s annual Power List. He becomes the first Black executive to hold that distinction.
- MM&M debuts an excerpt from an upcoming feature on health media during the coronavirus era. In it, Gather’s Dr. Judith Simmons weighs in on social-media follows and coverage blind spots. MM&M has also unveiled #CreateHealthEquity, an initiative advocating for more equal and thus better healthcare outcomes amid COVID-19.
- Campaign US’ Lindsay Stein shares research conducted by LinkedIn and Vision Critical on how COVID-19 has affected ad agencies and marketers. The budget cuts are starting to sting.
- Shine co-founder Caroline Whaley writes in People Management that companies with strong diversity and inclusion practices might be more likely to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those looking for marketing and communication role models can find at least 10 of them in the stories above. Follow these leaders.
An underrated heartbreak of the COVID-19 crisis is the way it has splintered any number of functioning units – families, communities, workplaces – in a manner that doesn’t allow for easy reassembly. It’s going to take longer to fully assess the damage and pick up the pieces than it will to engineer a vaccine.
- The Pew Research Center reveals that 22% of U.S. adults relocated, had someone move into their household or know someone else who moved due to COVID-19.
- In People Management, Talentsmoothie managing director Justine James attempts to answer the question, “Where will we work post COVID-19?” She concludes that most companies will likely land on an office/working from home mix. A complicating factor comes in the form of a reluctance to return to public transportation before the year is out, People Management’s Maggie Baska adds.
- With several major professional leagues either back in action or on track to resume games before too long, we’ve focused on the sportsball players and the sloppy testing regimens that threaten to end seasons before they restart. Less well documented is the plight of the broadcast production pros who aren’t going back to work anytime soon.
- The test-administration and -processing situation isn’t much better in the world of nursing homes, McKnight’s Long-Term Care News notes.
- McKnight’s Long-Term Care News’ Danielle Brown covers a New York State Department of Health report that determined employee spread, rather than a controversial patient-admission policy, drove COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes. The publication also shares lessons learned during the first four months of the coronavirus era, among them the importance of timely and empathetic communication.
It’s hard to wrap your head around all the loss and dislocation we’ve suffered during the last four months. As somebody who does so every week for this briefing, I recommend against even trying. Here’s to the day when we’re whole again.
- A Healthgrades study found patient confidence has reached its highest level since March. Nearly 70% of respondents said they would feel comfortable starting a new treatment within the next two months, while 60% said they would feel comfortable visiting their primary care physician.
- Preliminary results from an American Seniors Housing Association survey found no major shift in consumer sentiment towards senior housing during the COVID-19 era, Kimberly Bonvissuto reports in McKnight’s Senior Living.
- MPR adds methanol toxicity to the list of less-than-fun-sounding maladies that could stem from the use of supposed coronavirus salves, in this case mislabeled hand sanitizer.
- Consumer Reports has advice for anyone asked to sign a COVID-19 liability waiver.
…and some songs
- Do You Remember Rock and Roll Radio?, Ramones
- Video Killed the Radio Star, The Buggles
- Internet Killed the Video Star, The Limousines
Thanks again for reading. We’ll be back with the next Haymarket Media Coronavirus Briefing on Wednesday, July 15. Here’s hoping the sun is shining wherever you happen to be.