The best and worst of how companies are handling the Coronavirus

Posted on Posted in How to Guide for Marketers

As the coronavirus has hit the business world, we are seeing some great examples of companies stepping up to make things safer for all employees, and in turn, the greater good. There is a lot of uncertainty and stress for every employee. Schools are closing around the world; who will look after those kids? Many jobs can be set up to work from home, but not every job. 

As we are at one of the peaks for cold and flu, everyone is encouraging anyone with any symptoms to stay home. If you have any sniffles or cough, stay home. We are all a little scared, and we come back home to watch the news, it scares us even more. 


The best of the best during the Coronavirus


Patagonia is closing all of its stores and shutting down its website because of the coronavirus. In a memo posted on its website as of Friday afternoon, the privately held sporting goods retailer said, in part, “the scale of impact is still unknown, and we want to do our part to protect our community, especially while testing availability is unknown.” All of the Patagonia stores, offices, and other operations completely closed on March 13th. It said it would continue to pay workers their regular pay in the interim. Not every business can go this far, but this is the sign when you are 100% behind your employees. 

Kevin Love, NBA player

With the NBA suspending its season indefinitely because of the Coronavirus, the doors closed on 30 arenas with no games to be played, Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love pledged $100,000 Thursday to aid arena workers displaced by the league’s response to the Coronavirus. In a classic leadership stance, Love said: “My hope is that others will step up!!” 

Many have been inspired, including Giannis Antetokounmpo, Blake Griffin, and rookie Zion Williamson. Nice job Kevin Love. You are making a difference.  


This is Kevin Love’s instagram post that started it all.


Coke in the Philipines has announced all their advertising will be shifted to public service announcements linked to solving the Coronavirus.

Read about Budweiser's tribute ad

The worst of the worst during the Coronavirus

Whole Foods

Whole Foods suggests that workers share paid time off during the Coronavirus. On Wednesday, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey sent out an email to grocery store employees with a list of benefits and options for those who fall sick during the coronavirus pandemic. Among his six suggestions was an option for employees to “donate” their paid time off (PTO) to coworkers facing medical emergencies. 

Whole Foods could afford to offer employees unlimited paid sick time during the Coronavirus outbreak. Instead, they have suggested that employees donate their accumulated paid time off to their coworkers. Considering Whole Foods is owned by the richest person in the world, Jeff Bezos, this is not a good look. 

“You’ve got the richest man in the world asking people who are living paycheck to paycheck to donate to each other,” Matthew Hunt, a former Whole Foods employee who led a drive to unionize Whole Foods workers, told Motherboard. “That’s absolute bulls**t. With the amount Jeff Bezos makes in one day, he could shut stores down and pay employees to stay safe.”

As a contrast to Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s is offering additional paid-for sick time to all crew members. This is the policy issued by Trader Joe’s:

  • Crew members have been asked to exercise increased precautions to safeguard their health and the health of their community, including staying home if they have any symptoms of illness or do not feel well. To better support each crew member in making community-minded decisions, we have made available additional paid sick time to all of our Crew Members.

This is the policy we would expect to be coming from Whole Foods.



Tim Horton’s

Tim Horton’s workers need a doctor’s note to take unpaid sick leave during the Coronavirus pandemic. Tim Horton’s is still forcing their employees to get a doctor’s note to prove they need an unpaid sick day. 

Doctors have been highly critical of employers demanding doctor’s notes to prove their employees are really sick; it is a waste of time and resources during this Coronavirus crisis when we could be facing a shortage of beds. The Canadian Medical Association has called it an “unnecessary public health risk.” 

Come on, Tim Horton’s. Be better. Why do you keep showing up as an utterly awful company?


Tim Horton's

I hope the worst examples feel pressure to adjust quickly during the Coronavirus