Published on: September 21, 2020
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, we've now had 7,004,768 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, resulting in 204,118 deaths and 4,250,140 recoveries.
Globally, there have been 31,261,540 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 965,368 fatalities and 22,845,810 reported recoveries.
• The Associated Press reports that the centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revised a previous piece of guidance and now is saying that "anyone who has been in close contact with an infected person should get tested … The CDC now says anyone who has been within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes should get a test. In a statement, the agency called the changes a 'clarification' that was needed 'due to the significance of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission'."
• From the Washington Post:
"For months, scientists and public health experts have warned of mounting evidence that the novel coronavirus is airborne, transmitted through tiny droplets called aerosols that linger in the air much longer than the larger globs that come from coughing or sneezing.
"Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agrees. The CDC recently changed its official guidance to note that aerosols are 'thought to be the main way the virus spreads' and to warn that badly ventilated indoor spaces are particularly dangerous.
"'There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet (for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes),' the agency stated. 'In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk'."
• From the Wall Street Journal:
"Twelve states reported at least 1,000 new confirmed cases on Saturday, led by California with 3,822 and Texas with 3,377.
"'I think we have at least one more cycle with this virus heading into the fall and winter,' Scott Gottlieb, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner, said on Face the Nation on Sunday. 'If you look at what’s happening around the country right now, there’s an unmistakable spike in new infections.' He cited about 30 states where the rate of transfer is above one, which indicates 'an expanding epidemic.'
• The Wall Street Journal this morning reports that "plenty of CEOs remain stuck working from home and boards may still be meeting virtually, but companies are shifting their sights from surviving the coronavirus pandemic to charting new courses through it … That attitude is a change from earlier in the year, when most U.S. companies spent the first months of the pandemic hunkering down, slashing costs, hoarding cash and pulling their financial forecasts. As the coronavirus’s spread continues in the U.S. and abroad, businesses have concluded they’ll coexist with it for some time. So they are reviving stalled operational plans, changing leaders and reissuing financial targets."
Certain facts seem clear. This new reality is going to last awhile, and at some point you have to stop treading water and have to start moving forward. There will be opportunities out there - in part because some companies were unable to survive the pandemic, which leaves some niches open. I've been saying almost from the beginning of this thing that companies needed to figure out how they would be different coming out of the pandemic than they were going in, and the moment may be right for some companies to make their move.
• The Los Angeles Times has a piece about a potential tsunami of hotel closures that is likely to happen because of the coronavirus, as "industry experts point to an unusually high loan delinquency rate among hotel borrowers as a sign that more closures are likely to follow."
The reason is simple: "The steep decline in tourism and business travel has devastated the hotel industry."
Among the hotels mentioned in the piece are Luxe Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, the Hilton Times Square hotel in New York City, and the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago.
The clock is ticking, the Times writes: "Nationwide, it’s not clear how many hotels are behind on their loan payments. But figures are available on hotel loans that have been bundled and sold to investors as commercial mortgage-backed securities. Payments on 16.77% of those loans are more than 30 days late, according to Fitch Ratings — up dramatically from less than 2% before the industry began feeling the pandemic’s financial effects.
"Once a hotel is more than 30 days late on making a mortgage payment, the lender can file a notice of default on the loan and increase the interest rate by 5% until the payments are brought current, according to hospitality industry experts. If after 90 days, the lender has not brought the loan current, the lender can file a notice of sale — a sale that can take place 21 days after the 90 days expire, experts say."
• From CNN:
"Pine-Sol's original cleaner has been approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a product that can kill the coronavirus on frequently used surfaces.
"The product was added to the agency's list of products expected to kill the virus after meeting the criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, an EPA spokeswoman told CNN via email on Sunday.
"Pine-Sol was tested by a third-party laboratory that showed the disinfectant can kill the virus within 10 minutes of being used on hard, nonporous surfaces, The Clorox Company said in a press release."
• From The Guardian:
"Industrial bleach is being sold on Amazon through its product pages which consumers are buying under the mistaken belief that it is a 'miracle cure' for Covid-19, despite health warnings from the US Food and Drug Administration that drinking the fluid can kill.
"The chlorine dioxide solutions are being sold on the Amazon platform under the brand name CD Kit and NatriChlor. Third-party sellers signal the bleach as a 'water treatment' and include legal disclaimers that the liquid is 'not marketed for internal use.'
"But comments from Amazon customers under the review section of the pages tell a different story. Users discuss how many drops of bleach they are imbibing and explain they are drinking the chemical which they call MMS to 'disinfect ourselves'."
Oy. I checked this morning, by the way. Best I can tell, these product listings are still up on Amazon. I expect better of it.
I wonder. In a Venn diagram, what would be the overlap between people who are willing to take this crap because they think it will keep them from getting the coronavirus, but don't want to wear masks because it impinges on their "personal freedom." Just curious.
• Another Content Guy fave bites the dust:
Willamette Week reports that in Portland, "Rogue has announced it is shuttering its public house in the Pearl District after 20 years - and this closure appears to be permanent."
"This was a very difficult decision," Rogue owner Dharma Tamm said in a press release, "but unfortunately challenges from the pandemic and rising costs have made it apparent that our only option is to close the Pearl Public House in order to better focus on our other public houses and wholesale business."