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 a total of 46,823,938 Covid-19 coronavirus cases, resulting in 766,299 deaths and 36,715,313 reported recoveries.

Globally, there have been 247,557,800 coronavirus cases, with 5,016,975 resultant fatalities and 224,207,750 reported recoveries.  (Source.)

•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 78 percent of the US population age 12 and older has received at least one dose of vaccine, with 67.8 percent of that group being fully vaccinated.   The. numbers also show that 66.7 percent of the total US population has received at least one dose of vaccine, with 58n percent being fully vaccinated.

The CDC also says that 24.4 percent of the US population age 65 and older has received a vaccine booster shot.

•  The Washington Post reports that "the pandemic appears to be winding down in the United States in a thousand subtle ways, but without any singular milestone, or a cymbal-crashing announcement of freedom from the virus … There could still be a winter surge since respiratory viruses thrive when people huddle in heated rooms. Some experts said they expect at least a modest uptick in infections over the next few weeks. Last year’s brutal winter wave of infections, which peaked in January, was just getting rolling at this point on the calendar."

The Post writes that "the trends are favorable. With most people vaccinated and infection rates dropping, the United States has entered a new phase of the pandemic in which people are adapting to the persistent presence of an endemic but usually nonlethal pathogen. They really have no choice. The virus isn’t going away."

Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, tells the Post, “It doesn’t end. We just stop caring. Or we care a lot less.  I think for most people, it just fades into the background of their lives.”

And Robert M. Wachter, chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, tells the Post, "“My feeling now is that we’re nearing a steady state where things might get a little better or worse, for the next few years. It’s not great, but it is what it is … There’s no cavalry coming, so decisions now should be predicated on this being something near steady state. To me, particularly once I got my booster, it prompts me to accept a bit more risk, mainly because if I’m not comfortable doing it now, I’m basically saying that I won’t do it for several years, and maybe forever.”

•  From the Wall Street Journal:

The Food and Drug Administration is delaying a decision on Moderna Inc.’s application to authorize use of its Covid-19 vaccine in adolescents to assess whether the shot leads to a heightened risk of myocarditis, the company said.

"The FDA notified Moderna on Friday evening that an analysis may not be completed until January of next year while the agency reviews recent international data on the risk of myocarditis after vaccination, the company said Sunday … Moderna also said it would delay asking the FDA to authorize use of a lower dose of its shot in even younger children, ages 6 to 11, while the agency continues to review its request to clear the shots in adolescents."