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 35,146,476 total cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, resulting in 625,808 deaths and 29,458,403 reported recoveries.

Globally, there have been 192,952,232 total coronavirus cases, with 4,145,253 resultant fatalities and 175,440,683 reported recoveries.  (Source.)

•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 68.4 percent of the US population age 18 and older has received at least one dose of vaccine, with 59.6 percent being fully vaccinated.  

•  From Time:

"With every passing day, the United States appears more likely to be on the cusp of a dreaded fourth wave of COVID-19 infections … In the past two weeks, the number of average new daily cases has more than doubled, from 13,200 on July 4 to more than 32,300 on July 18, a surge that harbors grim reminders of the fronts of the second and third waves in the summer and fall of 2020.

"But on closer inspection, this surge looks significantly different than those we have seen in the past - and may very well be worse than it looks on the page.

"The coronavirus pandemic has never, even in its worst heights last winter, struck the U.S. uniformly. Instead, it has wandered from eruptions in specific urban areas to suburban and rural counties and then back again, like a persistent hurricane. Now, as the gap between states’ completed vaccination rates widens - Alabama has vaccinated just 33.7% of residents, compared to nearly 70% in Vermont - the per capita rate of new cases has clustered in a handful of regions where a majority of adults remain unvaccinated even as reopening continues apace."

•  The Wall Street Journal reports that "the highly contagious Delta variant of Covid-19 doesn’t pose an immediate risk to the strength of the U.S. economic recovery, with analysts expecting a robust expansion to continue in the second half of the year.

"Many economists are maintaining forecasts for solid economic growth due to expectations of steady hiring and continued spending, driven by accumulated savings and Americans’ desire to travel and socialize more than a year into the pandemic.  They see limited disruptions to the economy as local health officials try to avoid restrictions and boost vaccinations in response to the recent case surge. Economists are more concerned about firming inflation than the Delta variant as they assess the economic outlook."

•  There its a heartbreaking piece on AL.comm about an Alabama physician, Dr. Brytney Cobia, who went on Facebook to write that "all but one of her COVID patients in Alabama did not receive the vaccine. The vaccinated patient, she said, just needed a little oxygen and is expected to fully recover. Some of the others are dying."

"I’m admitting young healthy people to the hospital with very serious COVID infections,” wrote Cobia.  “One of the last things they do before they’re intubated is beg me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I’m sorry, but it’s too late.”

"A few days later when I call time of death," she also wrote.  "I hug their family members and I tell them the best way to honor their loved one is to go get vaccinated and encourage everyone they know to do the same.

"They cry. And they tell me they didn’t know. They thought it was a hoax. They thought it was political. They thought because they had a certain blood type or a certain skin color they wouldn’t get as sick. They thought it was 'just the flu.'  But they were wrong. And they wish they could go back. But they can’t. So they thank me and they go get the vaccine. And I go back to my office, write their death note, and say a small prayer that this loss will save more lives."