October 26, 2021
Special Report on Coronavirus
Helping organizations lead effectivelySIGN UP ⋅   SHARE
Forging Ahead
Researchers have long touted the benefits of flexible working environments. And while many organizations have historically been reluctant to adopt remote or hybrid work policies, the pandemic has driven flexible working arrangement into the mainstream. (An EY survey shows that 54% of employees worldwide would consider quitting if not given a choice over how and when to work.) Leaders must embrace flexibility and be ready to adapt to changing circumstances in a way that serves not only their company, but their employees and customers as well. Reward employee innovation, regularly evaluate workflows and pay attention to customer feedback to help improve your organization's flexibility.
Full Story: B&T (Australia) (10/21),  AllworkSpace (10/19),  Due Payments Blog (10/20) 
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Are you ready to address effects of pandemic stress?
The pandemic has lasted longer than the vast majority of us expected, and its persistence has left many of us exhausted and drained. To maintain emotional and mental resilience amid the ongoing crisis, we must not only find ways to minimize our stress but also work to heal the mental damage COVID-19 has already inflicted. Dedicate time to understanding what elevates and lowers your stress levels and build a routine that helps you recharge. Consider caring for another to help heal the effects of trauma and find reasons to celebrate -- no matter how large or small they may be.
Full Story: CNN (10/21),  The Atlantic (tiered subscription model) (10/21),  Good Housekeeping (10/21) 
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Creative Solutions
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will spend up to $120 million to help people in developing nations access Molnupiravir, a pill-based treatment option that may benefit coronavirus patients. "The world learned the hard way with COVID-19 vaccines that unless we are willing to invest at-risk and at-scale as soon as promising technologies emerge -- and ideally before -- then there will be limited access for some time, even when need and demand are clear," a spokesperson said via email.
Full Story: GeekWire (10/19) 
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What's Next?
Hotel amenities shift as travel rebounds
Experts predict the US travel industry will see a significant uptick in activity next year as concerns about the safety of traveling dwindle and consumers embrace the idea of vacations as self-care after the stress of the pandemic. But as tourism rebounds, not everything will be the way we remember it. Pre-pandemic amenities such as free hot breakfasts and happy hour treats, which hotel guests used to take for granted, are still sorely missed after more than a year, and complaints resound that some properties wrongly claim or imply that the perks are back.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (10/20),  Hotel Business (tiered subscription model) (10/19) 
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Your Take
How helpful has this special report been to you in navigating the COVID-19 pandemic?
A little.
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COVID-19 vaccination update
Tracking COVID-19 vaccines
(Our World in Data)
Check out related research and data charts from Our World in Data.
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About the Editors
Irene Schouwenaar
Irene Schouwenaar
I've explored a wide range of the verticals SmartBrief covers over the past five years, writing and editing briefs on the nonprofit sector, telecommunications, tech, infrastructure, aviation, business, the food and beverage industry, energy, marketing, sustainability and travel. Every week, I drew from all of these and more to create a brief offering a unique perspective on the pandemic.
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Katie Parks
Katie Parks
I've had the pleasure of editing numerous business- and travel-related newsletters at SmartBrief for nearly 10 years, including those covering shopping centers, hotels, casinos and amusement parks as well as spa industry news.
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The pandemic will end when the world chooses to end it. It is in our hands.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus,
Director-General of the World Health Organization
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