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, we've now had 33,230,992 total Covid-19 coronavirus, resulting in 591,514 deaths and 25,908,684 reported recoveries.

Globally, there have been 154,286,794 total coronavirus cases, with 3,229,092 resultant fatalities, and 131,706,337 reported recoveries. (Source.)

A note here.  Someone wrote in yesterday to ask what has happened to the people who haven't died and haven't recovered … with the implication that the numbers don't add up.  In fact, I don't find it hard to believe that many people still are suffering from the effects of Covid-19; there have been numerous reports about so-called "long haul" patients.  In addition, I suspect that "recoveries" are harder to track than "deaths" - and the statisticians are being careful only to include those recoveries that can be certified.

•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says this morning that 56.3 percent of the population 18 years of age or older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, with 40.6 percent being fully vaccinated.

•  From the New York Times this morning:

"Medical experts welcomed the news that the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine could be authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for use in adolescents ages 12 to 15 by early next week, a major step forward in the U.S. vaccination campaign.

"Vaccinating children is key to raising the level of immunity in the population, experts say, and to bringing down the numbers of hospitalizations and deaths. And it could put school administrators, teachers and parents at ease if millions of adolescent students soon become eligible for vaccinations before the next academic year begins in September.

"Pfizer’s trial in adolescents showed that its vaccine was at least as effective in them as it was in adults. The F.D.A. is preparing to add an amendment covering that age group to the vaccine’s existing emergency use authorization by early next week, according to federal officials familiar with the agency’s plans who were not authorized to speak publicly."

• reports that the state of New Jersey has come up with a carrot that it is using to get the state's residents vaccinated.

Except that in this case, the carrot is a beer.

"Beer and a Shot" is the name of the promotion - "anybody 21 and older who gets their first shot in the month of May may take their vaccination card to a participating brewery for a free beer."

There are a dozen New Jersey breweries participating in the promotion.

•  The Los Angeles Times reports that "the Transportation Security Administration said Friday it will extend its mask requirement, which also applies to airports and train stations, through Sept. 13. The rule took effect Feb. 1 and was set to expire May 11.

"The agency said that children up to 2 and people with certain disabilities will continue to be exempted from the mask rule.  Violations can carry fines of up to $1,500 for repeat offenders."

•  The Seattle Mariners announced yesterday that it will be the "first team in Major League Baseball that will make COVID-19 vaccines available to fans attending games at T-Mobile Park.

"The club announced plans Monday to do so via a partnership with the City of Seattle and Sounders FC, which began executing a similar process at its match on Sunday.

"The plan is for this to be an ongoing availability at Mariners home games until further notice, beginning with Tuesday’s 7:10 p.m. PT contest against the Orioles.

No appointment is needed. Vaccines will be offered on a walk-up basis at three locations inside T-Mobile Park."

•  Maybe the world actually is getting back to normal.

The Associated Press reports that LL Bean's flagship store in Freeport, Maine, which had been opened 24-hours a day since 1951, only to have to curtail those hours because of the pandemic, is returning to 24-hours-a-day operation.

The AP said that "workers planned to remove the locks Monday as the store resumes year-round, round-the-clock sales … Returning to 24-hour operations marks an important milestone for the company during the pandemic," said Shawn Gorman, company chairman.