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…

•  Here are the US Covid-19 coronavirus numbers:  39,157,249 total cases … 649,680 deaths … and 30,678,283 reported recoveries.

The global numbers:  214,935,638 total cases … 4,480,549 fatalities … and 192,254,119 reported recoveries.  (Source.)


•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 71.3 percent of the US population age 12 and older has received at least one dose of vaccine, with 60.5 percent being fully vaccinated.


•  From the New York Times:

"More people in Florida are catching the coronavirus, being hospitalized and dying of Covid-19 now than at any previous point in the pandemic, underscoring the perils of limiting public health measures as the Delta variant rips through the state.

"This week, 227 virus deaths were being reported each day in Florida, on average, as of Tuesday, a record for the state and by far the most in the United States right now. The average for new known cases reached 23,314 a day on the weekend, 30 percent higher than the state’s previous peak in January, according to a New York Times database.

"Across the country, new deaths have climbed to more than 1,000 a day, on average.

And hospitalizations in Florida have almost tripled in the past month, according to federal data, stretching many hospitals to the breaking point."


•  The Wall Street Journal reports that "federal regulators are likely to approve a Covid-19 booster shot for vaccinated adults starting at least six months after the previous dose rather than the eight-month gap they previously announced, a person familiar with the plans said, as the Biden administration steps up preparations for delivering boosters to the public.

"Data from vaccine manufacturers and other countries under review by the Food and Drug Administration is based on boosters being given at six months, the person said. The person said approval for boosters for all three Covid-19 shots being administered in the U.S.—those manufactured by Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech SE, Moderna Inc. and Johnson & Johnson —is expected in mid-September."


•  From the Washington Post:

"More than 100,000 people are hospitalized with covid-19 in the United States, a level not seen since Jan. 30 — when coronavirus vaccines were not widely available — as the country grapples with the delta variant’s spread.

Hospitalizations are highest across the South, where every state in the region has a higher portion of its population currently hospitalized with covid-19 than the national level, according to a Washington Post database. More than 17,000 people are hospitalized with covid-19 in Florida, which has the most hospitalizations for covid-19 of any state in the country, followed by Texas, which has more than 14,000.

"Amid a raging debate over mask requirements in schools, current pediatric hospitalizations for covid-19 have reached 2,100 nationally, topping 2,000 for the first time since August 2020.

"New coronavirus cases are being reported across the country at similar levels to those seen in January. About 151,000 new daily cases were being reported on average on Jan. 30; on Wednesday, that figure was 148,000. However, even as many hospitals are under strain and report shortages of intensive care unit beds, overall deaths are far lower; the daily average of deaths at the end of January was 3,100 and about 1,100 as of Wednesday."


•  The Wall Street Journal reports that Delta Air Lines has decided to impose a $200 monthly health insurance surcharge on employees who have not been vaccinated.  The company's punitive approach to unvaccinated employees - taken since the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave full approval to the Pfizer vaccine - also includes the possibility that employees could "lose pay protection for missing work due to the disease."

The Journal writes that "the moves reflect a new front in companies’ efforts to keep employees safe and working. Until now, many employers had used incentives, such as cash bonuses, to motivate workers to get vaccinated, or have mandated vaccinations.

Delta’s approach instead focuses on the financial burden of Covid-19 and aims to transfer it to those resisting vaccination. Studies show vaccination greatly reduces the risk of severe disease or death from the disease."