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:

The Burbs, The Future Normal, COVID Brain

The pandemic has sent enough New Yorkers to the exits to shake up the area’s housing market and longtime real estate agent Susan Horowitz says she has never seen anything like it – describing the frantic, hypercompetitive bidding in the suburb of Montclair, N.J., as a “blood sport.”

Experts weighed in on how they think coronavirus will affect our lives in five years across sectors of academia to media & tech. Their predictions include a shift on material things to human relationships and rights, a democratization of live events turned virtual that will allow more people in more places previously unavailable to them and replacement of reliance on governments/large institutions to take care of us with hyperlocal, grassroots neighborhood networks to get things done.

The combination of impaired analytical thinking and heightened external sensitivity creates what can be called “COVID-19 brain” – a fragile, frazzled state that keeps our thoughts simultaneously on edge and unfocused.

Topic Mapping

There is only one big headline that is connected throughout the top topics – the continued struggle for states to reopen as cases increase.

  • Florida on Sunday had the largest single-day increase in positive cases in any state since the pandemic began.
  • Texas, California, and Arizona are among the “Southern states” that are driving conversations around rising cases.

Sports continues to be in the news as the NHL announced it would hold all of its remaining games in two Canadian cities and as MLB approaches their July opening date, news of players and staff testing positive continues to drive conversations with nearly every team reporting back a positive test.

Trending searches on coronavirus this past week include: PPP loan recipients by state, icebreakers for virtual meetings, United Airlines layoffs and which pubs have had to close in the UK again.

Social Buzz

Coronavirus buzz increased as protests began to wane, with cases around the nation increasing. The word “worst” has replaced “thank” at the center of the COVID word cloud as people share that coronavirus cases are the worst since the start of the outbreak, that America had the worst response and those who’ve gotten the virus are feeling the worst they’ve ever felt.


In a partnership with Tribeca, Walmart is transforming 160 of its parking lots into drive-in theaters. The collaboration will include more than 300 showings, special celebrity and film maker appearances, hit movies and concessions delivered right to your car.

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.