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 a total of 48,748,557 Covid-19 coronavirus cases, resulting in 794,864 deaths and 38,633,890 reported recoveries.

Globally, there have been 258,569,307 total cases, with 5,178,463 resultant fatalities, and 234,061,347 reported recoveries.  (Source.)

•  Data compiled by the federal government and analyzed by Johns Hopkins University researchers indicate that more people have died from cause related to Covid-19 in 2021 than died in 2020.

The Wall Street Journal writes that "the 2021 U.S. death toll caught some doctors by surprise. They had expected vaccinations and precautionary measures like social distancing and scaled-down public events to curb the spread of infections and minimize severe cases. But lower-than-expected immunization rates as well as fatigue with precautionary measures like masks allowed the highly contagious Delta variant to spread, largely among the unvaccinated, epidemiologists say."

The Journal goes on:

"The spread of the highly contagious Delta variant and low vaccination rates in some communities were important factors, infectious-disease experts said. The milestone comes as Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations move higher again in places such as New England and the upper Midwest, with the seven-day average for new cases recently closer to 90,000 a day after it neared 70,000 last month.

"Covid-19 has proven to be an enduring threat even in some of the most vaccinated places, many of which are confronting outbreaks again now, as the world prepares to live with and manage the disease for the long term. In Europe, parts of Austria, Germany and the Netherlands have imposed new restrictions in recent days after Covid-19 cases rose and hospitals came under strain."

•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 80.3 percent of the US population age 12 and older and 69.5 percent of the total population, has received at least one dose of vaccine, while 69.2 percent of the 12-and-under demographic and 59.2 percent of the total population is fully vaccinated.

The CDC also says that 41.1 percent of the US population age 65 and older, and 19.6 percent of the total US population, has received the vaccine booster dose.

•  From the Washington Post:

"All American adults became eligible for coronavirus vaccine boosters on Friday, ending months of confusion over complicated guidelines that had slowed their uptake and prompted unilateral moves by governors from Maine to California to make the shots available more broadly.

"Federal health officials hope a straightforward boosters-for-all policy will prompt millions more people to get the shots before they travel or gather with friends and family over the holidays. Many are concerned about the worsening picture as winter approaches."

•  The New York Times this morning reports that "coronavirus cases in children in the United States have risen by 32 percent from about two weeks ago, a spike that comes as the country rushes to inoculate children ahead of the winter holiday season, pediatricians said.

"More than 140,000 children tested positive for the coronavirus between Nov. 11 and Nov. 18, up from 107,000 in the week ending Nov. 4, according to a statement on Monday from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

"These cases accounted for about a quarter of the country’s caseload for the week, the statement said. Children under 18 make up about 22 percent of the U.S. population."