Published on: September 29, 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 US, we've now had 7,361,889 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, resulting in 209,815 deaths and 4,610,639 reported recoveries.
Globally, there have been 33,576,464 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 1,006,905 fatalities, and 24,895,466 reported recoveries.
• The Washington Post reports that U.N. Secretary General António Guterres, responding to the passing of one million in the global death toll, called the milestone "agonizing" and said that leaders must learn from missteps earlier this year.
“Responsible leadership matters,” he said. “Science matters. Cooperation matters — and misinformation kills.”
• The Washington Post reports on a new study from the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency saying that "nine out of 10 patients who tested positive for the coronavirus reported at least one side effect of the disease following their recovery … Researchers say more than 90 percent of patients reported side effects frequently associated with the disease, including loss of taste and smell, fatigue and psychological issues.
"Fatigue was the most common reported side effect, with more than 26 percent of patients experiencing extreme tiredness, followed by difficulty in concentration, according to researchers behind the survey.
"In Britain, thousands of patients have reported long-term effects of the illness, often referred to as 'long covid,' which can affect people for weeks after they have had symptoms of the infection - even if they have not tested positive."
• The Washington Post also reports on how "a party near Florida State University’s campus drew more than 1,000 people before it was broken up by police, authorities said Monday.
The party was one of more than a dozen large gatherings that prompted calls to the Tallahassee Police Department over the weekend, the department said in a statement. About 700 cars were reportedly surrounding the off-campus apartment complex around midnight, many of them blocking the road. Officers ultimately had to bring in a helicopter to get the crowds to clear out."
The Post writes that "since classes resumed in early August, at least 1,479 FSU students have tested positive for covid-19, and university officials have repeatedly begged undergraduates to stop throwing parties and start wearing masks. Meanwhile, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Friday lifted all restrictions for bars and restaurants, clearing the way for them to reopen at full capacity.
"DeSantis also suggested last week that Florida should create a 'bill of rights' that would protect college students who attend large parties from being expelled."
I'm torn on this one, in the sense that I think it would be more appropriate to have the students sign a pledge of personal responsibility. But at the same time, many of the actions of the authorities seem designed to assuage people's concerns, so I don't entirely blame them. Maybe the governor should sign a pledge of personal responsibility?
• Eater Chicago reports that Chicago "announced it will allow more people to dine indoors starting on Thursday, October 1. The city will raise indoor capacity from 25 percent to 40 percent, with a maximum of 50 people in a room. City officials say Chicago is trending in the right direction when it comes to key health metrics. That includes the number of COVID-19 cases, the burden on health care systems, and test positivity."
According to the story, "Starting on Thursday, bars will be able to close at 1:30 a.m., with last call coming at 1 am … The city will also ease restrictions for taverns that don’t serve food … starting Thursday, bars without food licenses can offer indoor service with the same 25 percent capacity, or a maximum of 50 people. Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady preached cautiousness, saying if metrics remain stable in 28 days, the city would be in a position to increase indoor capacity to 50 percent. That would be in line with what New York is doing on November 1."
• From Reuters:
"U.S. businesses with COVID-19 outbreaks are facing an emerging legal threat from claims that workers brought coronavirus home and infected relatives, which one risk analysis firm said could cost employers billions of dollars … The cases borrow elements from 'take home' asbestos litigation and avoid caps on liability for workplace injuries, exposing business to costly pain and suffering damages, even though the plaintiff never set foot on their premises."
The story notes that "between 7% and 9% of the roughly 200,000 U.S. COVID-19 deaths so far are believed to stem from take-home infections and the lawsuits could cost businesses up to $21 billion if the number of Americans fatalities reaches 300,000, according to Praedicat, a firm that evaluates risks for insurers."