America Airlines – Coronavirus Briefing: Pressure points, absurdities, infrastructures
The best thing I read this week, pandemic-related or otherwise, was the most recent of Dr. Julia Marcus’ essays in The Atlantic. In it, she argued that shaming vaccinated people into acting like they haven’t been vaccinated is likely to blow up in our faces.
Her point, at least as I interpret it, is basically: Let’s cut each other some slack. The After is in sight. For some people, it’s already flowing through their veins. That doesn’t mean they should burn their masks or attempt to break the Guinness World Record for long-distance sneezing, but it also doesn’t mean they should have to politely endure another few months of stern finger-wagging.
Me? When I get the shot, whether tomorrow or eight months from now, I am going to hug everyone – family, friends, co-workers, train conductors, Starbucks baristas, you name it. I am going to arrive too early and stay too late. If there’s an eventual need for restraining orders, so be it.
Everyone will need some such similar depressurization. Let’s feel happy for the people who are almost there. Let’s not rain on their outpouring of relief. They have received a blessing. Let’s let them enjoy it.
This week’s Haymarket Media Coronavirus Briefing is 1,290 words and will take you six minutes to read.
The pressure points
Schools, restaurants, nursing homes, gyms, airports, supermarkets, salons, libraries, doctor’s offices, trains, community centers – nearly 11 months into this thing, they’re all choked and staggering.
- In several states, vaccines going unused at nursing homes are being redirected to other healthcare providers, Danielle Brown reports in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. In McKnight’s Senior Living, Kimberly Bonvissuto explains why this is a big deal.
- More than 40% of Americans live in areas that have less than 15% of ICU beds available.
- ProPublica’s reporting alternately depresses and enrages me – which, I suppose, is the reaction it’s supposed to prompt. “How the CARES Act Forgot America’s Most Vulnerable Hospitals” is yet another sad chronicle of our public health failures.
- Hundreds of Holocaust survivors received COVID vaccines on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
- MM+M assembled a panel of some 15 health media experts and asked them to weigh in on whether journalists and publishers rose to the occasion of the pandemic. Spoiler: They did, in spots.
- Good on Sanofi for agreeing to help Pfizer fill and pack millions of vaccine doses.
- In that same spirit of internecine cooperation: At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Defense may deploy up to 10,000 members of the military to support the administration of COVID vaccines at sites across the country.
- Everyone’s pitching in: Seattle’s firefighters are going door-to-door as part of the city’s mobile vaccination push.
- MM+M’s Lecia Bushak analyzes the challenges that come with upgrading the Biden administration’s 100-million-doses-in-100-days goal to 200 or even 300 million doses.
- Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, schools can reopen and operate safely if appropriate precautions are taken. Hear that, Superintendent Fitts? The CDC said it, not the guy who looks and sounds like me who’s been camped out on your lawn. Please. I need this.
The takeaway: Vaccines may be our collective release valve, but they’re a slow-motion panacea. And the pressure continues to build.
It doesn’t matter who’s in charge: Every day still brings with it a host of headlines that exist at the place where outrage meets incredulity. It’s exhausting.
The takeaway: Some day in the far-off future, you will open your most trusted news source to find that the lead story is “utility announces 2% increase in water rates.” You will momentarily ponder that piece of information and blissfully go about your business.
The comms infrastructure
Here’s a not-so-random question: Collectively, have we become better communicators during the pandemic? The circumstances forced everyone’s hand, clearly, but there seems to be a degree of transparency and commitment that didn’t exist before last March.
The takeaway: Let’s continue to make messaging matter.
…and some songs.
A Hazy Shade of Winter, The Bangles
Chill Factor, Pretenders
Cold Hands (Warm Heart), Brendan Benson
Melt Show, Old 97’s
Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day, Jethro Tull
Most experts said January would be the toughest month of the pandemic. Well, it’s January 28. Stay strong, y’all. See you back here next week.