Coronavirus – COViD-19 – Separating Fact from Misinformation

I don’t think you can call it fake news but you can call it a case of misinformation. Fears of the Coronavirus or COVID-19 has caused the U.S. stock market to crash over the last couple weeks with major markets seeing the largest single day drop since 2008. Since then some of the markets have come back but so far not to previous levels.

As is sometimes the case some diseases or catastrophic events get named officially or unofficially with names that are near to major brands. Such is the case here with the Coronavirus. When you see it spelled out its one word but when you hear it, it sounds like two words and there is no doubt the first thing that comes to mind is the ‘Corona Virus’. A simple Google search for Corona Virus comes back with Google asking, “Did you mean: Coronavirus?” Well, yes, yes I did but according to a recent survey by one of the top PR firms in the country the damage has already been done.

Survey Says 38% Would Not Buy Corona Under Any Circumstance

5W Public Relations has conducted a survey via phone of 737 American beer drinkers over the age of 21 on February 25 & 26, 2020, regarding their opinions about the popular Mexican beer brand, Corona, as a result of the deadly coronavirus that’s spreading around the world.

  • 38% of beer-drinking Americans would not buy Corona under any circumstances now
  • Among those who said they usually drink Corona, only 4% said they would stop drinking Corona, but 14% said they wouldn’t order Corona in a public venue
  • 16% of beer drinking Americans were confused about whether Corona beer is related to the coronavirus

U.S. Distributor for Corona Beer Says Business is Strong

Constellation Brands is a leading international producer of and marketer of beer, wine and spirits with operations in the U.S., Mexico, New Zealand, Italy and Canada. The company’s Constellation Ventures include investments in Catoctin Creek DistillingBardstown Bourbon CompanyNelson’s Green Brier Distillery, Real McCoy Spirits Corp. and Copper & Kings American Brandy. It’s flagship beer brand is Mexican beer brand Corona.

Constellation Brands has provided a response to ‘fact-based’ consumer trends to address unfounded concerns about the impact of the COVID-19 virus on its business and consumer sentiment related to the company’s Corona beer brand. Here’s what they had to say about the brands recent performance.

Based on recent IRI retail trends, sales of Corona Extra remain strong, with dollar sales up 5% in the U.S. per the latest 4-week period ended Feb. 16, nearly doubling the 52-week trend for the brand. Similarly, depletion trends for Corona Extra for the first two months of this calendar year through Feb. 26, as well as the month of February, have also outpaced their 52-week trend. In addition, IRI dollar sales trends for the entire Corona brand family are also outpacing their 52-week trend in the latest 4-week and 12-week periods. Furthermore, all business units supporting our beer business are seeing positive sales trends for the brand thus far this calendar year.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by this terrible virus and we hope efforts to more fully contain it gain traction soon,” said Bill Newlands, president and chief executive officer at Constellation Brands. “It’s extremely unfortunate that recent misinformation about the impact of this virus on our business has been circulating in traditional and social media without further investigation or validation. These claims simply do not reflect our business performance and consumer sentiment, which includes feedback from our distributor and retailer partners across the country. We’ve seen no impact to our people, facilities or operations and our business continues to perform very well. Unlike many of our competitors, sales of our beer brands are focused almost entirely on the U.S. market. Our company does not have much exposure to international markets such as China that have been most impacted by this situation. I’m extremely proud of the efforts of our team. We’ve built good momentum as we gear up for the upcoming summer selling season.”

Ronn Torossian, Founder and CEO of 5WPR puts a much different light on the situation. Torossian said, “There is no question that Corona beer is suffering because of the coronavirus. Could one imagine walking into a bar and saying “Hey, can I have a Corona?” or “Pass me A Corona. While the brand has claimed that consumers understand there’s no linkage between the virus and the beer company, this is a disaster for the Corona brand. After all, what brand wants to be linked to a virus which is killing people worldwide?”

YouGov’s buzz score reported that Corona beer’s buzz score — a net score based on whether U.S. adults have heard anything negative or positive about the brand — decreased among those who have an opinion of the brand, from a high score of 75 at the beginning of January to 51 as of late February, 2020.

On the Lighter Side – Jason Isbell Has Shared Some Serious Puns about the Outbreak (Yes, that Jason Isbell)

Jason Isbell
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Singer and song writer Jason Isbell.

Like many things in life there are times when you either need to laugh or cry to make it through the day at times. As with many of his songs he doesn’t mince words or in this case he minces lots of words to become laugh out loud punny words. Here are a few of the highlights from his Twitter stream.

Isbell is convinced the whole thing was created by the whiskey and wine world to “kill the competition.” Sorry, I know it’s bad.

Caution: Please proceed with impunity.

CORONA virus… sWINE flu… what if it’s all a scam created by Big Whiskey to kill the competition? What’s next, chamPAIN?

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Recommendations from the World Health Organization on the Coronavirus

And on the serious side here are a few tips provided by the World Health Organization.

Wash your hands frequently – Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.

Maintain social distancing – Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

Practice respiratory hygiene – Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early – Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.

Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.

Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider – Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.

Tips to Protect Yourself from the Coronavirus

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