Padilla’s Insights + Strategy and Digital/Social teams scanned the news media and social media conversations surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic to bring you the week’s noteworthy developments:

Reopening, Recession, Caution Fatigue

More than one-third of all U.S. states saw upticks in cases of coronavirus over the last two weeks, as economic reopening strategies progress nationwide, and people return to public spaces.

Last week, the National Bureau of Economic Research officially stated the obvious – we are in a recession. After a record 128 months of expansion, the economy officially entered a recession in February.

If you’ve found you’re no longer disinfecting your hands as often or becoming more lenient toward unnecessary trips outside, you’re not alone. This unintentional phenomenon is “caution fatigue” — and you have your brain to blame.

Topic Mapping

Major topics this past week include local news coverage on states struggling to reopen along with spikes in cases, concerns about a second wave outbreak and the World Health Organization (WHO) once again changing advice on face masks.

Negative sentiment continued to be up compared to positive. The negative sentiment skewed toward global news as cases spike along with ongoing protests and the risk of spreading the virus. The Georgia primary complications also were tied to the virus.   

Social Buzz

Overall buzz continues its downward trend, with notable dips during the weekend and net sentiment down three points at -31%. There was a surge in concern about President Trump’s rallies leading to more coronavirus outbreaks and more confusion surrounding WHO comments regarding asymptomatic spread.

A nurse tweeted about COVID-19 as being the worst disease process in her work as an ICU nurse. The tweet, which went viral, focused on post recovery aftereffects (lung transplant, heart attack, stroke, etc.) and shows that the general population continues to be surprised by the severity of the virus.

Trending searches on coronavirus this past week include: Disneyland reservations in July, COVID-19 CDC guidance on returning to work, New Zealand wiping out coronavirus and canceling student debt to stimulate the economy.

Traveling during COVID-19

Google Maps added new COVID-19 alerts as more cities reopen and as travel in general has been very limited, road trips have been on the rise. As Americans contemplate travel via car vs. plane, Hyundai jumped on that trend with its new miniseries, “The Un-Adventurers” that could persuade viewers to embark on a cross-country journey.

For more insights on this week’s coronavirus communications analysis:

For questions, guidance or support with your brand’s communication efforts, Padilla’s COVID-19 Response Team is here to help.