Published on: November 8, 2021
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: 47,336,577 total cases … 775,218 deaths … and 37,332,949 reported recoveries.
The global numbers: 250,727,855 total cases … 5,067,082 fatalities … and 226,957,734 reported recoveries. (Source.)
• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 78.8 percent of the US population age 12 and older has received at least one dose of vaccine, with 68.3 percent being fully vaccinated. The CDC also says that 67.4 percent of the total US population has received at least one dose of vaccine, with 58.4 percent b being fully vaccinated.
According to the CDC, 30.5 percent of the US population age 65 and older has received a vaccine booster shot.
Pretty sure that now includes me, but probably not Big Bird.
• The Associated Press reports that "a federal appeals court on Saturday temporarily halted the Biden administration’s vaccine requirement for businesses with 100 or more workers … the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted an emergency stay of the requirement by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration that those workers be vaccinated by Jan. 4 or face mask requirements and weekly tests."
However, the federal government plans to appeal the ruling: "Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda said the U.S. Department of Labor is 'confident in its legal authority to issue the emergency temporary standard on vaccination and testing.'
"OSHA has the authority 'to act quickly in an emergency where the agency finds that workers are subjected to a grave danger and a new standard is necessary to protect them,' she said."
• The Wall Street Journal reports that "some big US employers have dropped workplace mask requirements as Covid-19 cases fall and vaccination rates rise. Staffers at other companies are wondering whether they can ditch masks, too.
"With Apple announcing plans Friday to drop masking requirements at many U.S. stores and major employers like Amazon.com Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. recently relaxing certain employee mask guidelines, some workers are questioning the need for a pandemic measure long framed as a necessary inconvenience."
The story notes that "face masks have been shown to significantly reduce transmission of Covid-19. But as companies require vaccinations - both to comply with federal rules and to ease employees’ safety concerns as they return to workplaces - the license to shed masks is a relief, some workers say."
• On the other hand … Bloomberg reports that "Europe has again become an epicenter for the coronavirus, calling into question the region’s efforts to recover from the pandemic.
"Despite an abundance of Covid-19 shots, countries from Germany to Greece have reported record infections in recent days, while Romania and Bulgaria are experiencing horrific levels of fatalities and overwhelmed hospitals.
"That’s putting fresh urgency into efforts to vaccinate the masses, whether that means getting first doses into the arms of tens of millions of vaccine holdouts or preparing to offer booster shots to hundreds of millions of others.
"While governments are reluctant to reintroduce lockdowns, countries like Latvia have already concluded there is currently little alternative."
The lesson seems pretty simply to me - don't spike the ball before you're sure you've scored. We've made that mistake before, and ended up lapsing back into higher infection numbers. It was Ralph Waldo Emerson who once wrote, "“When you strike at a king, you must kill him.” Or, as Omar Little said, "You come at the king, you'd best not miss." Same goes for a pandemic.