retail 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, there now have been 29,054,163 confirmed Covid-19 coronavirus cases, resulting in 520,852 deaths, and 19,436,463 reported recoveries.

Globally, there have been 113,630,072 confirmed coronavirus cases … 2,521,025 resultant fatalities … and 89,205,504 reported recoveries.   (Source.)


•  The Washington Post reports that "at least 46.1 million people have received one or both doses of the vaccine in the U.S.  This includes more than 21.6 million people who have been fully vaccinated … 91.7 million doses have been distributed."


•  From the Wall Street Journal this morning:

"Newly reported coronavirus cases in the U.S. topped 70,000 for the third consecutive day, but hospitalizations continued to decline as vaccination campaigns across the country ramped up."

There were, the story says, "52,669 Covid-19 patients requiring treatment in hospitals as of Thursday, the lowest level since Nov. 4, according to the Covid Tracking Project. The number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care units declined to 10,846, 48% lower than levels a month earlier."


•  Fox News reports that "the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Thursday it is allowing more flexible shipping and storage temperatures for the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine. The change permits transportation and two-week storage at -25 degrees Celsius to -15 degrees Celsius, which is often found in pharmaceutical freezers and refrigerators. 

"Pfizer previously said the vaccine has demonstrated stability when stored at these temperatures and the approval would allow greater flexibility for shipping, distribution and pharmacies' and vaccination centers' management of the shot.

"The vaccine was first authorized to be stored in an ultra-cold freezer at temperatures between -80 degrees Celsius and -60 degrees Celsius, and can remain stored at these temperatures for up to 6 months. They are shipped in specially-designed thermal containers that can be used as temporary storage for a total of up to 30 days by refilling with dry ice every five days. "


•  The Washington Post reports that "a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee will meet Friday to review the safety and efficacy of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine, setting the stage for FDA authorization as early as this weekend.

"If cleared, the shot would be the United States’ third vaccine against the pathogen, but the only one that provides protection with a single dose. Experts say it could expedite efforts to inoculate the population as virus variants spread."


•  Giant Eagle said yesterday that it will partner with the Pittsburgh Steelers to host a four-day vaccination clinic n the PNC Champions Club at Heinz Field.

According to Channel 4 News, "eligible patients can visit Giant Eagle's website "to search for availability and schedule appointments. If additional vaccine supply is made available, the clinic will be extended with additional appointments.

"For eligible patients who do not have access to the internet, Giant Eagle Pharmacy is reserving a limited number of clinic appointments to be booked by phone at 1-877-288-2070 beginning Monday, March 1 at noon."

I like it when retailers create partnerships like this that are designed to generate enthusiasm for getting vaccinated, because in the long run the only way we really beat the pandemic is by getting shots in people's arms.


•  The Columbus Dispatch reports that "Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson announced at Thursday's board of trustees meeting that the university's intention is to reopen campuses for 'safe and robust in-person experiences' this fall.

"Johnson said the university is planning to expand in-person teaching, learning and student activities this fall with the approval of local, state and federal health authorities."

I hope this is a harbinger of good things to come at every college campus.


•  And, from the New York Times, a good think piece:

"Across the United States, and the world, the coronavirus seems to be loosening its stranglehold. The deadly curve of cases, hospitalizations and deaths has yo-yoed before, but never has it plunged so steeply and so fast.

"Is this it, then? Is this the beginning of the end? After a year of being pummeled by grim statistics and scolded for wanting human contact, many Americans feel a long-promised deliverance is at hand.

Americans will win against the virus and regain many aspects of their pre-pandemic lives, most scientists now believe. Of the 21 interviewed for this article, all were optimistic that the worst of the pandemic is past. This summer, they said, life may begin to seem normal again.

But — of course, there’s always a but — researchers are also worried that Americans, so close to the finish line, may once again underestimate the virus.

Across the United States, and the world, the coronavirus seems to be loosening its stranglehold. The deadly curve of cases, hospitalizations and deaths has yo-yoed before, but never has it plunged so steeply and so fast.

Is this it, then? Is this the beginning of the end? After a year of being pummeled by grim statistics and scolded for wanting human contact, many Americans feel a long-promised deliverance is at hand.

Americans will win against the virus and regain many aspects of their pre-pandemic lives, most scientists now believe. Of the 21 interviewed for this article, all were optimistic that the worst of the pandemic is past. This summer, they said, life may begin to seem normal again.

But — of course, there’s always a but — researchers are also worried that Americans, so close to the finish line, may once again underestimate the virus.

You can read the entire piece here.