Prior to each of the roughly 472 viewings of Paddington 2 in my house during the last few months, I have cracked the same unfortunate Dad joke to the same groaning audience of two: “A second Paddington movie? Were there that many questions left unanswered by the first one?”
I bring this up because we appear to be talking coronavirus sequels (COVID-19 2: The Next Wave) way before the credits have started to roll on the first flick. In many parts of the world – and particularly in the United States – regions barely touched in April and May are reporting troubling upticks in infection rates. And given that we’ve made the collective decision to bust out of quarantine, there’s a distinct possibility that we’re gonna have a serious summer spike on our hands before too long. I worry. Wear a mask, please.
Meanwhile, Paddington 2 is one of the most preternaturally charming movies of the last half-decade and does more to lift my spirits than anything that isn’t slathered in ketchup. File away that one in the hot-take drawer, y’all.
This week’s Haymarket Media Coronavirus Briefing is 1,210 words and will take you six minutes to read.
The marketers and communicators
We’re biased, given what some of us do for a living at Haymarket Media. But it sure seems the marketing and communications industries have gone about their business smartly, responsibly and empathetically since this craziness began.
- Owing in large part to the pandemic, the global advertising economy will fall 11.8% in 2020, marketing services holding company WPP’s media buying behemoth GroupM predicts. That figure excludes U.S. political advertising; if political advertising is included, the overall year-over-year decline will be 9.9%.
- In Campaign US’ most recent Pillow Talk video, Lindsay Stein discusses GoDaddy’s “Open We Stand” campaign with company chief marketing officer Fara Howard.
- Hindman Company’s Betsy Hindman writes in PRWeek that CEOs are increasingly turning to LinkedIn for communications during crises like COVID-19.
- A new S2 Research study finds 40% of marketers aren’t ready for life to return to normal just yet.
- Medical Marketing & Media’s Alison Kanski asks a host of healthcare agency execs to share their secrets for effective coronavirus-era virtual pitches.
- In PRWeek’s latest Lockdown Life video, three execs describe the challenges that come with debuting a public relations consultancy amid a pandemic.
Many of these people and organizations have managed to find opportunity in unexpected places. They shouldn’t be over-celebrated, given the volume of job losses in certain sectors and geographies, but largely they’ve made lemonade out of lemons, so to speak. In many instances, it’s impressive to behold.
It seems intuitive that, to determine whether or not something exists, one might create conditions or operations that will lead to its proof or disproof, or to its acceptance or rejection – to “test” for it, if you will. Alas, coronavirus testing capacity still appears to vary wildly from region to region, which muddies a statistical picture that was opaque to begin with, and that’s before vaccine clinical trials have truly ramped up. Not great.
- Dr. Anthony Fauci told the House Energy and Commerce Committee that, contrary to President Donald Trump’s statement at his rally in Oklahoma on Saturday night, neither Fauci nor any other members of the White House coronavirus taskforce have been instructed to slow down the pace of COVID testing. Or maybe they have? This is exhausting to parse.
- In an interview with USA Today’s editorial board, National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis Collins stressed the need to build trust among Black and Hispanic communities as pharma companies seek a diverse base of volunteers to test potential vaccines and drugs.
- Yale University has partnered with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association to test league personnel and players for COVID-19 using SalivaDirect, which is said to be accurate, non-invasive and inexpensive. SalivaDirect should be ready for use by the general public within a month. Trivia: Only four Yalies have played in the NBA, but one of them was the very awesome Chris Dudley.
The more we test, the faster we get back to whatever normal is going to be.
Nobody truly believed we’d be close to KO’ing the coronavirus by now, but it didn’t seem too ambitious to think we’d be able to gently compress the curve, if not flatten it entirely. But although rates are declining in hard hit areas including New York and New Jersey, other regions are seeing spikes.
- There are not a lot of positive trend lines to be found in the Rt COVID-19 near-real-time tracker of virus spread.
- Nor are there many in the CovidExitStrategy.org “How We Reopen Safely” map charting U.S. states’ efforts to stem the advance of the virus.
- More localized data can be found here, courtesy of the technologists, epidemiologists and health policy wonks at Covid Act Now.
- Infectious Disease Advisor’s Bradley van Paridon assesses the impact of coronavirus-related lockdown and school closures on visits to pediatric emergency departments.
- “Floral barriers” are being used to encourage social distancing in well-traveled public thoroughfares, Matthew Appleby reports in Horticulture Week.
- The most recent Gallup polling around the coronavirus finds a degree of consensus around preventive practices. The use of face masks has increased, but the amount of social distancing has decreased. Not surprisingly, there are partisan disparities.
Once more, with feeling: Please wear a mask.
We’ve said it before: At some point, there needs to be a reckoning around our treatment of older, vulnerable populations during the coronavirus pandemic – and that’s to say nothing of the support staff at eldercare facilities. But, more than three months into this thing, the situation hasn’t improved to a point where anyone should feel remotely good about it.
- The exclusion of geriatricians from conversations about COVID-19 care in assisted-living facilities likely resulted in significant loss of life, McKnight’s Long-Term Care News’ Danielle Brown reports. She also details efforts by two U.S. lawmakers to determine why more of the CARES Act stimulus hasn’t reached nursing homes.
- McKnight’s Senior Living notes that assisted-living facilities in Virginia are expected to receive $20 million in COVID-19-related support.
- A National Center For Assisted Living survey has revealed that most of its member facilities have less than a two-week supply of personal protective equipment, according to McKnight’s Senior Living’s Kimberly Bonvissuto.
Here’s hoping we address the issues immediately in front of us before we start assigning blame.
- Horticulture Week notes that tennis strawberries originally designated for Wimbledon will find their way to new markets and, presumably, new bellies.
- The coronavirus doesn’t appear to care that we’d really like our sports back now, if it wouldn’t be too much trouble.
- Sammy Hagar says he’ll be comfortable playing live before there’s a COVID-19 vaccine, because “we have to save the world and this country from this economic thing that’s going to kill more people in the long run.” Truly, there’s only one way to rock.
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