business news in context, analysis with attitude

Random and illustrative stories about the global pandemic and how businesses and various business sectors are trying to recover from it, with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  In the United States, as of this morning there have been 2,234,854 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, with 119,943 deaths and 918,796 reported recoveries.

Globally, there have been 8,425,511 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 451,830 fatalities and 4,433,992 reported recoveries.

•  From the Washington Post:

"As novel coronavirus caseloads continue to surge across the South and West, officials are hoping that mandatory mask-wearing can stop a rapidly spiraling outbreak. On Wednesday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) reversed his previous stance and authorized local governments to require face coverings in public, while Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) mandated masks for more than half her state’s population. Several Southern cities — including Memphis; Montgomery, Ala.; and Fayetteville, Ark. — have also made masks compulsory in recent days."

The Post also writes that "Florida is on track to becoming the nation’s 'next large epicenter' for the coronavirus, according to new modeling from PolicyLab at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which linked the spread in community transmission to travel during Memorial Day weekend."

•  From Bloomberg:

"A surge in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations in states including Arizona, Texas and Florida is showing signs of straining health systems and increasing concern about how officials will respond to a new wave of infections after loosening lockdowns.

"While some data points are encouraging - the case count nationally has dropped to a daily increase of about 1%, new fatalities have declined, and virus tests are far more plentiful, as is the personal protective equipment vital for safeguarding front-line workers caring for the sick - states like Texas and Florida report persistent increases in hospitalizations and cases weeks into their reopening."

The story goes on:  "In Arizona, where coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are rising to the alarm of experts, hospitals still face a critical limitation: staff. Arizona reported its highest number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients, 1,582 on Tuesday, a count that for the first time exceeds New York.  While health-care facilities have stocked up on supplies and made plans to manage an influx of patients, a deficit of doctors and nurses can't be readily repaired."

•  From Politico:

"Colorado was the first Democratic-run state to reopen from a coronavirus lockdown, and so far it has avoided the fresh spikes in infection rippling across the West. Its measured approach could be a lesson for the country on how to reopen effectively.

"Colorado Gov. Jared Polis stood out because he embarked on a slow and methodical economic recovery in late April — even before the White House’s stay-at-home guidelines expired. Polis limited when restaurants and other businesses could reopen, at first only allowing curbside pickups at stores, imposing strict social distancing on salons and other personal services and prohibiting gatherings over 10 people.

"Colorado also benefited from a relatively young, healthy, active population that bought into the state public health officials’ message about wearing masks and social distancing. That experience could influence other states as localized outbreaks pop up even as people clamor for a more rapid reopening of the economy and something resembling a more normal way of life."

The state's vigilance hasn't waned, however.  “We’re only a few steps ahead of this virus,” Polis tells Politico. “We can’t let good news give us a false sense of security. We see some of our neighboring states, Arizona and Utah, moving the wrong way.”

•  The Washington Post writes that "flights, trains and buses into Beijing are being canceled as China attempts to seal off its capital from a feared second wave of infections."

•  Bloomberg reports that Apple is "reopening 75 more retail stores across the U.S. this week, including some locations in major markets such as New York, Los Angeles and Boston.

"The Cupertino, California-based technology giant shut all stores outside China in March to help curb the spread of COVID-19. It started reopening U.S. locations in May, and after this week’s moves, the majority of the company’s 210 domestic stores will be back up and running."

•  In London, parts of the theater district will remain dark until next year because of the pandemic.

Variety reports that "Musicals 'Les Misérables' and 'Hamilton' won’t return to the West End until 2021, producer Cameron Mackintosh has confirmed."

In addition, Mackintosh said he will not be opening planned new productions of “Mary Poppins” and “The Phantom of the Opera” until next year, because of "“continued uncertainty over when the government is going to completely withdraw social distancing measures.”