Stay Ahead: Insights from APCO

Recognizing the Role and Responsibility the Food Industry Plays in All of Our Lives

APCO's Howard Pulchin, global creative director, and Maureen Dempsey, senior director, share their insights on how food companies can lead the conversation about the role of food as the pandemic forces us to reconsider many aspects of our life and our society.
Coffee shop

"In a matter of months, the COVID-19 pandemic upended the lives of people everywhere. However, while COVID-19 may be a new occurrence, the disproportionate impact on women resulting from a public health emergency is not.​

Similar to past infectious disease outbreaks, there are several different outcomes of a pandemic for men and women—not just in terms of health. While women have a lower risk of death after contracting the coronavirus, the overall impact of the pandemic will ultimately threaten their wellbeing, perhaps in less obvious ways."

Looking Ahead: The New Israeli Government’s Main Challenges and Themes

Noam Ivri and Tal Been from APCO's Tel Aviv team discuss the challenges and themes of the new Israeli government as it faces six months of “emergency” status in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The next government will face widespread pressure from the public to expand activity to near-normal levels before the pandemic, balanced by public health considerations. Sectors that were acutely harmed by the pandemic—including tourism and hospitality—will be particularly keen to secure government assistance in their efforts to restore business operations.

The pandemic will likely accelerate the trend of previous governments to invest in digitizing government service, while it similarly could spur government measures to encourage private enterprises to expand their online business capabilities."

Office building in Israel
Webinar: America in the Post-COVID World Order

Watch the May 29 webinar the U.S.-India Business Council hosted on the United States’ standing in the post-COVID-19 world order, featuring APCO Executive Director Tim Roemer, former U.S. Ambassador to India.
Webinar: Greater Washington Board of Trade COVID-19 Briefing: Getting Back to Business

Watch the May 28 Greater Washington Board of Trade webinar on getting back to business in the Washington, D.C. area, moderated by APCO President Evan Kraus.


APCO colleagues are sharing on-the-ground insights and analysis on the impact of COVID-19 in markets around the world. Today’s dispatch from Los Angeles discusses how the pandemic has impacted the diverse industries in California.

In California, the coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally altered life for residents of the United States’ most populous state and rewired the nation’s largest economy. Gone are the crowded boardwalks, thronging beaches and surging traffic which have for so long defined California culture in the mind’s eye. The city feels smaller. The air feels cleaner. But as Californians forgo fresh air and abundant sunshine to reckon with the great indoors under the state’s continued lockdown, they are not breathing any easier.
With California nearing 100,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, officials have looked to a hospitalization plateau to begin gradual relaxation of Governor Newsom’s March 19th stay-at-home order in a phased, county-by-county roadmap. But the financial costs of the shutdown grow each day, described as “economic free fall” by Tom Steyer, the former presidential candidate heading the state’s economic recovery task force.
Film production has been shuttered since March, and more than 100,000 entertainment workers have been laid off. Theme parks and hotels are closed, and for the first time in Hollywood history, global box office receipts are effectively zero. While California’s economy is highly diversified, with the nation’s largest tourism, entertainment and agricultural industries, biggest public university system, most extensive port system and the highest number of small businesses in the nation, it has far to fall. A bright spot may be the state’s role as a global leader in technology, as Zoom, Netflix, Facebook, Google and other tech giants capitalize on global users’ increased screen time and need to connect virtually. And as many of those same tech titans roll out generous or permanent work-from-home policies, California may offer a glimpse of the future’s “new normal” for corporate culture.
Many uncertainties lie ahead, but while life in the Golden State may look different for a very long time, the state’s diverse economy and innovative spirit seem certain to set the tone for its future.

Some Positive News

  • Robots to the Rescue: Around the world, robots are being used to broadcast social-distancing warnings, deliver food, disinfect hospitals, screen temperatures and stand in place of students as they graduate virtually, The Guardian
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Development: China announced that a vaccine tested on over 2,000 people could be ready this year, Forbes
  • Food Drive Donations: A school in Minneapolis was blown away by the overwhelming generosity of thousands of community donations to help families in need amid ongoing protests, Business Insider

More Tips from Around the Water Cooler

  • How to take steps to create a safe and healthy workplace, and protect workers and clients amid the pandemic, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • How to support your remaining employees after a layoff, Harvard Business Review
  • Advice for the future of work: Working remotely, workplace safety, and the new normal,        Axios
  • How U.S. citizens’ risk perceptions of activities compare with expert opinion, POLITICO
APCO is opening up the virtual water cooler for submissions from our readers - please share your article suggestions with us here.


“COVID-19 has highlighted the inequalities of our world but it's also offering us an opportunity to bridge these inequalities... and build a fairer world, a world in which health is not a privilege for the few but a common good. 

  - Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director of the World Health Organization

“The COVID-19 pandemic will show a before and an after in the history of humanity, not only in terms of our healthcare systems but also for working together and for relationships between people because despite the crisis we've had to face we have an opportunity to take joint decisions which will change for good the future of the world population in the short and medium term."

    - Carlos Alvarado, President of Costa Rica 
The APCO team is working with clients globally to manage this crisis, and we stand ready to support your needs. For more resources from APCO, including our latest research, information on how we can help or to contact us, visit