Coronavirus Briefing: Immunity windows, mask mania and a pandemic data primer
Want something to feel positive about during these dark times? There are enough COVID-19 vaccine candidates in the pipeline to launch a regularly updated vaccine tracker. A great majority of these will likely fail – hell, they might all fail – but the scientific and research communities are putting forth a herculean effort that should inspire us all.
That’s going to be my focus from here on out, because pessimism and despair are a drag. Feel free to circulate Karen videos and photos that misleadingly make it seem that beachgoers are sitting in each other’s laps. Me, I’ll be celebrating science, decency and compassion, and wearing a totally rad Eddie Van Halen guitar mask while doing so. Happiness is sometimes a matter of choice.
This week’s Haymarket Media Coronavirus Briefing is 1,206 words and will take you seven minutes to read.
Not to keep crushing on the scientific community, but the volume of knowledge it has accumulated in fewer than six months is just mind-boggling.
- We can probably stop freaking out about a short window for COVID immunity. Probably.
- Another coronavirus vaccine candidate, this one from Oxford University and AstraZeneca, is showing promise.
- McKnight’s Long-Term Care News assesses an Italian study suggesting that COVID-related fatigue and breathing struggles may last for months after initial diagnosis.
- Infectious Disease Advisor’s Nicola Davies compiles practitioner opinions of neurological symptoms related to COVID-19.
- MM&M’s Alison Kanski reports on a joint AbbVie/MyHealthTeams initiative to educate patients on COVID-19 and chronic disease.
- In Cancer Therapy Advisor, Andrea S. Blevins assesses a JAMA Oncology article surveying the quality of care patients have been receiving via telehealth during the pandemic.
- The isolation imposed on older people during the COVID-19 pandemic has been linked to higher incidences of cardiovascular disease and intensifying Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
We’ve blown the mitigation part of the assignment, to the extent that it seems we’re going to have to repeat it at home before too long. But it’s starting to look like we’re acing the science part.
Whether or not you believe wearing a mask infringes on your personal liberty, a preponderance of the evidence suggests that masks help prevent the spread of coronavirus. So for me, the issue boils down to a simple question: Do you want to get sick or contribute to others getting sick? I don’t, so I’ll wear a mask.
- Bloomberg’s Matt Boyle details the steps Walmart is taking to train its health ambassadors for the inevitable confrontations with maskless shoppers. Among the highlights from a training video: “Do not block their entrance or attempt to stop them. Never ask a customer to explain their health condition, religious reason or any other reason they give for not wearing a face mask.”
- In McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, Alicia Lasek reviews a National Public Radio report alleging that some mask manufacturers are falsely claiming that their products have been approved by the FDA.
- Now we’re asking FBI hostage negotiators for advice on how to persuade others to wear masks. Everything’s really great and normal!
- Julia Marcus, one of the most consistently thoughtful voices over the course of the pandemic, weighs in on “The Dudes Who Won’t Wear Masks.” With co-author Jessica Gold, she also sounds a warning that colleges are getting ready to blame students for the inevitable spread of COVID on campus.
At the start of the coronavirus crisis, we deep-thinky types made all sorts of predictions – that the quick changeover to virtual work would turbocharge a trend several years in the making, for instance. As we approach the start of its sixth month, many of those predictions have been borne out. If you’re patting yourself on the back for adept prognostication, you’re kind of missing the point.
- In People Management, Maggie Baska confirms what seemed a likely outcome at the start of shutdown: That higher-paid employees are more likely to be able to work from home.
- Campaign US reports on a ClickCease study that found mobile click fraud surged 62% during the early peak months of the pandemic. Campaign also breaks down a Forsman & Bodenfors survey revealing that only 51% of senior managers are content with their brands’ responses to the coronavirus crisis.
- In PRWeek, Weber Shandwick exec Marc Drechsler shares his rules for communicating during a pandemic-fueled bankruptcy.
- New York City is bouncing back from COVID. So is its traffic. Sigh.
Call it foresight or call it recognition of the obvious – even in unprecedented times, it’s not impossible to connect the dots in advance. But it’s still a shot to the gut when the direst prophecies come to pass.
And here’s where we present the weekly compilation of “things are moving, many in a promising direction” bits. We’re adapting, slowly in some cases and quickly in others. It feels like we’ll be able to reuse this intro paragraph several more times before all of this is through.
- PRWeek vice president and editorial director Steve Barrett writes that the coronavirus crisis has exposed a need for more women in leadership positions in public relations.
- Federal and state aging services organizations are calling for legislation to protect vulnerable older adults, McKnight’s Senior Living’s Kimberly Bonvissuto reports.
- People Management’s Jessica Brown outlines the pros and cons of Boris Johnson’s decision to entrust employers to decide whether it’s safe to bring back employees to the office.
- Civic Science unveils research on the changing habits of Gen-Z during the pandemic, including their shopping and video-streaming. Civic Science also cross-references cookie brand favorability with coronavirus-era concerns about being in public spaces, because Civic Science is awesome.
- Phreesia’s David Linetsky joins the MM&M podcast to discuss the point-of-care channel’s coronavirus-era pivot.
- Cool, we’re allowing Dr. Fauci to talk to the media again. This is good and reassuring, even if his sentiments are trending towards “the worst nightmare comes true.” Alas, he wasn’t invited to yesterday’s White House pandemic briefing.
- The Rockefeller Foundation says $75 billion is needed to repair the U.S. COVID testing system. I’m in for $40. Who’s with me?
Yeah, it’s gonna be a while. At least we get baseball back tomorrow.
- ProPublica offers a primer on understanding and interpreting COVID-19 data. For an English major whose statistical acumen doesn’t transcend the contents of a box score, this is manna.
- PRWeek’s Thomas Moore reports on Imre’s plan to give employees $600 to spend on a bike, a scooter or accessories like helmets or locks.
- Inside the recent spate of “honest obituaries” that blame COVID deaths on state governors.
- Coronavirus experts in the U.S. are getting doxxed and threatened. Canadian provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Sweden’s state epidemiologist Dr. Anders Tegnell are getting songs written about them. Should you choose to click on the latter, please adjust your headphone volume downwards. You’re welcome.
…and some (more) songs
- Flying Over Water, Jason Isbell
- Devil in My Car, The B-52’s
- Last Boat Leaving, Elvis Costello
- Fast Train, Solomon Burke
Thanks for reading and for masking up. Look for the next edition of the Haymarket Media Coronavirus Briefing on Wednesday, July 29. Be well, everybody.