Published on: January 22, 2021
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…
• The United States coronavirus numbers: 25,196,086 confirmed cases of Covid-19 … 420,285 deaths … 15,100,991 reported recoveries.
The global numbers: 98,174,075 confirmed Covid-19 cases … 2,102,453 fatalities … 70,575,225 reported recoveries. (Source.)
• The Washington Post reports that "at least 15.1 million people have received one or both doses of the vaccine in the U.S. This includes more than 2.4 million people who have been fully vaccinated … 38 million doses have been distributed."
• From the Wall Street Journal this morning:
"Newly reported Covid-19 cases in the U.S. edged upward from a day earlier, but deaths and hospitalizations both decreased, as President Biden sought to jump-start the U.S. response to the pandemic.
"The nation reported more than 188,000 new cases for Thursday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and posted early Friday morning … That was up from 182,695 a day earlier, but down from 235,561 a week earlier.
"Daily deaths related to Covid-19 remain high, with more than 3,900 reported for Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins data. But the number was down from 4,377 reported a day earlier. It about matched the week-earlier 3,929.
"Hospitalizations continued their downward trend, according to the Covid Tracking Project, with 119,927 reported for Thursday—below 120,000 for the first time since Dec. 27. There were 22,304 people in intensive-care units, also representing a downward trend.
"The seven-day moving average of daily new cases was 194,252 as of Wednesday, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Johns Hopkins data. The 14-day average was 219,808. When the seven-day average is lower than the 14-day average, as it has been since last Friday, it suggests cases are decreasing."
• Good piece from Bloomberg:
"Vaccines from Pfizer Inc., Moderna Inc., and others will have the power to one day end the pandemic, or at least tame it—but only after 70% or more of the world’s population gets inoculated against Covid-19. So far, the rollout has been anything but smooth: By mid-January just 13 million Americans had received a dose … At that rate, it could take until 2022 before the country gets back to normal.
"Big drugstores say they’re ready to come to the rescue. They won’t eliminate the need for stadiums and other mass inoculation sites, but chains such as CVS Health Corp. and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. have the advantage of being everywhere. There are 60,000 pharmacies spread across the U.S., including drugstores within big-box stores such as Walmart and major grocery chains as well as independents and local chains. Many have experience providing vaccines: U.S. pharmacies gave out about a third of adult flu shots in 2018, up from just 18% in 2012."
And not just big chains: "Independent community pharmacies will play an important part in the rollout as well. There are 21,000 mom and pop outlets and small chains, many of them in smaller towns and rural areas. In West Virginia, which has had one of the most successful vaccine rollouts, independent drugstores have been involved from the start. And in Louisiana, about half the pharmacies administering shots are independents, according to Joseph Kanter, a state public health official."
• From the Washington Post:
"A surge in coronavirus cases has put "real pressure' on Japan to cancel this summer's Olympics, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Friday, as a report suggested the mood within Japan's ruling coalition had turned against holding the Games despite public assurances to the contrary.
"Japan is in the grip of its most serious coronavirus wave, and Tokyo is under a state of emergency. The government has not approved a vaccine for use here, let alone begun inoculating people. Still, the country's leader and Olympics organizers say the Games are going ahead … Olympics Minister Seiko Hashimoto said at a news conference that many sports events were already taking place globally amid pandemic precautions. Preparation for a successful Games would continue, she said, 'to bring hope to people all over the world'."
The 2020 Summer Olympics were postponed last year until this summer because of the pandemic.
• The New York Times reports that Art Basil, a flagship exhibition for the international art trade that takes place in Switzerland each year, has been postponed from June until September because of continuing concerns about the pandemic and international travel restrictions.
Damn. I had my eye on a Picasso, and was hoping to make a play for it.
• The Hollywood Reporter says that the release of the new James Bond movie,No Time To Die, has been postponed yet again. It originally was supposed to be in theaters in April 2020, and was postponed several times, with the last premier date set as April 2, 2021. But now, as the pandemic continues o have an enormous impact on the economy and consumer behavior, the decision has been made to move it again, to October 8, 2021.
They may have to rename this thing Too Much Time To Die. It better be good, or the headlines for the reviews are going to read, You Should Have Left It Dead. Or, Kill Us Before We Have To Watch It Again.
• The New York Times reports that the Glastonbury festival, the UK's largest pop music event, has been canceled for the second year in a row because of the pandemic.
“In spite of our efforts to move Heaven & Earth, it has become clear that we simply will not be able to make the Festival happen,” organizers Michael and Emily Eavis said in a joint statement. “We are so sorry to let you all down.”
The Times writes that Glastonbury has been "held each June at the Eavis’s farm in Pilton, southwest England. About 210,000 people were meant to attend this year, camping at the site for several days. (The farm’s cows are moved off site for the event.)"
The cancellation, the story notes, is "sparking fear that large music festivals in Europe will not go ahead this summer."
It sounds like a fun event, but I'm not big on the whole camping out thing. Me, I don't like to sleep anywhere that doesn't have a wine list.
• The Washington Post reports that the coronavirus now has been found in every county in the United States.
The last one to fall was Hawaii's Kalawao County, which is located on the small island of Molokai, has fewer than 100 residents, and used to be a leper colony.
"But even though it’s so isolated from the rest of the world that basic supplies have to be brought in by barge once a year," the story says, "the virus still managed to make its way there."