Published on: November 24, 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: 48,835,216 total cases … 796,319 deaths … and 38,709,704 reported recoveries.
The global numbers: 259,255,826 total cases … 5,187,496 fatalities … and 234,582,602 reported recoveries. (Source.)
• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 69.5 percent of the total US population has received at least one dose of vaccine, 59 percent has been fully vaccinated, and 18.7 percent has received a vaccine booster shot.
• From the Washington Post this morning:
"Senior health officials are calling for Americans to get vaccinated — and get their booster shots — as cases tick back up across the country and the approaching holiday season brings with it more indoor, maskless gatherings. Anthony S. Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, said Tuesday in an interview with Reuters that the 'overwhelming majority' of vaccinated Americans should receive a booster dose.
"Fauci also said it is possible that the definition of a full vaccination could expand to include three doses of an mRNA vaccine such as those from Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, or two doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — to incorporate the booster doses. Adding to the urgency, new daily coronavirus cases in the United States rose by 10 percent in the past week, according to Washington Post figures. Deaths have increased by 10 percent while hospitalizations have risen by 4 percent during the same period.
"On Monday, Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, urged Americans to get vaccinated ahead of the holiday season."
• The Denver Post reports that "Denver will join most of the metro area in once again requiring masks be worn in indoor public places starting Wednesday, though businesses can be exempted if they demonstrate they’re requiring employees and customers to show proof they’re vaccinated against COVID-19.
"Adams, Arapahoe and Jefferson counties also will be under nearly identical mandates, which require masks be worn in places like stores, gyms and entertainment venues. The counties acted in concert to help reduce the current surge’s strain on the health care system, officials said."
• From the New York Times this morning:
"Europe’s already fragile economic recovery is at risk of being undermined by a fourth wave of coronavirus infections now dousing the continent, as governments impose increasingly stringent health restrictions that could reduce foot traffic in shopping centers, discourage travel and thin crowds in restaurants, bars and ski resorts.
"Austria has imposed the strictest measures, mandating vaccinations and imposing a nationwide lockdown that began on Monday. But economic activity will also be dampened by other safety measures — from vaccine passports in France and Switzerland to a requirement to work from home four days a week in Belgium."
The Times writes that "the tough lockdowns that swept Europe during the early months of the pandemic last year ended up shrinking economic output by nearly 15 percent. Buoyed by a raft of government support to businesses and the unemployed, most of those countries managed to scramble back and recoup their losses after vaccines were introduced, infection rates tumbled and restrictions eased.
"In September, economists optimistically declared that Europe had reached a turning point. In recent weeks, the main threats to the economy seemed to stem from a post-lockdown exuberance that was causing supply-chain bottlenecks, energy-price increases and inflation worries. And widespread vaccinations were expected to defang the pandemic’s bite so that people could continue to freely gather to shop, dine out and travel.
"What was not expected was a series of tough government restrictions. A highly contagious strain — aided by some resistance to vaccines and flagging support for other anti-infection measures like masks — has enabled the coronavirus to make a comeback in some regions."
• From the Los Angeles Times this morning:
"The U.S. will pay Pfizer $5.29 billion for 10 million treatment courses of its experimental COVID-19 pill if regulators authorize the drug — the nation’s largest purchase agreement yet for a COVID-19 therapy.
"Pfizer asked the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday to authorize emergency use of the pill, which has been shown to significantly cut the rate of hospitalizations and deaths among people with coronavirus infections.
"The FDA is already reviewing a competing pill from Merck and will hold a public meeting on it later this month."