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, there now have been 34,494,677 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, with 619,424 deaths and 28,927,335 reported recoveries.

Globally, there have been 181,924,652 coronavirus cases, resulting in 3,940,426 fatalities and 166,422,997 reported recoveries.   (Source.)

•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 66 percent of the US population age 18 and older has received at least one dose of vaccine, and 56.8 percent has been fully vaccinated.

•  From the New York Times:

"The coronavirus vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna may have caused heart problems in more than 1,200 Americans, including about 500 who were younger than age 30, according to data reported on Wednesday by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Still, the benefits of immunization greatly outweigh the risks, advisers to the C.D.C. said. They strongly recommended vaccination for all Americans 12 and older.

"The heart problems are myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle; and pericarditis, inflammation of the lining around the heart. The risk is higher after the second dose of an mRNA vaccine than the first, and much higher in men than in women. Researchers do not know why.

"But the side effect is very uncommon, just 12.6 cases per million second doses administered."

•  Bloomberg has a story saying that while in the US it is beginning to feel as if the pandemic is over, "new, more contagious variants of the virus are on the rise, and there are regional pockets of vaccine holdouts that threaten to keep Covid in circulation.

"All this suggests, unfortunately, is that it’s likely the U.S. isn’t done with the coronavirus just yet.

"'While it's not purely a function of cooler temperature, Covid will rise again in the fall (if it doesn't before),' says Andrew Noymer, a professor of public health at University of California, Irvine.  'Covid's future is as a seasonal disease in the fashion of influenza — and Covid's future is now. Covid will be back in the fall or winter, or both'."

•  CNBC reports on an interview with Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson in which he says that the retailer "is seeing big upticks in business in places where vaccinations are on the rise … Starbucks’ same-store sales are surpassing pre-pandemic levels in regions where consumers are being vaccinated.

"The relation between higher business activity and increasing vaccination rates is simple, Johnson said. The company found that when at least 35% or more of adults were vaccinated against the virus in a market, governments begin easing Covid restrictions, making way for business to rebound."