Cruise Lines, Care Facilities Fail After COVID-19 Media Attention Arrives

Katie Paine, CEO, Paine Publishing

The coronavirus pandemic is a perfect example of why increasing awareness is a terrible PR objective. I’ve been aware of cruise ships since I was a child. My father decided to celebrate retirement by taking me, his only offspring, around the world. The first leg of the journey was aboard the QE2, from New York to LeHavre. I was 16 and found the cruise dull, but was fascinated by the extent to which my father was the center of attention for so many attractive, elderly (in my eyes) ladies.

But when news and photos began to appear about COVID-19 infections on board several vessels, my awareness quickly turned to horror. The thought of thousands of people stuck at sea on ships in which a highly contagious and frequently deadly disease ran rampant made my skin crawl.

My thoughts also turned to friends in places like Sitka, Alaska, and Fort Lauderdale, and all the other ports of call who would be unwitting recipients of the disease, courtesy of ships that were even then continuing to sail. The more aware I was of what was happening in the industry, the more certain I was that I would never again set foot on a cruise ship.
Awareness Turns to Outrage
Like most, I am aware of the importance and necessity of long-term care facilities. I have family members in them. But once again, that awareness turned to outrage and fear when news broke that most of the deaths in many states, including my own, were happening in those same places.

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