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…

•  Here are the US Covid-19 coronavirus numbers:  65,236,475 total cases … 869,212 deaths … and 42,911,490 reported recoveries.

The global numbers:  321,184,278 total cases … 5,541,009 fatalities … and 264,333,060 reported recoveries.   (Source.)

•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 74.7 percent of the total US population and 79.4 percent of the population age five and older have received at least one dose of vaccine, while 62.8 percent of the total population and 66.8 percent of the five-and-older group have been fully vaccinated.

The CDC also says that 37.5 percent of the US population has received a vaccine booster shot, while 53.9 percent of the US population that is eligible for a vaccine booster has not received one.

•  From the Wall Street Journal:

"The biggest U.S. drugstore chains are shutting some pharmacies on weekends as the spread of Covid-19 and the Omicron variant exacerbates already severe staffing shortages.

"CVS Health Corp. and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. said weekend shutdowns are unusual but become a reality when locations lack enough pharmacists and technicians to remain open.

"Supermarkets and U.S. retailers such as Macy’s Inc. and Walmart Inc. are also shortening hours as throngs of American workers stay home because they are sick, awaiting test results or caring for others with the virus.

"Before Omicron’s spread, the drugstore chains, which collectively operate nearly 20,000 stores nationwide, were cutting hours, raising pay and scrambling to hire tens of thousands more workers to address staffing shortages. But with their roles as major providers of Covid-19 testing and vaccinations, the chains are also dealing with growing discontent among existing staff as well as customers’ concern about service."

•  From the Seattle Times:

"Last-minute closures in Seattle Public Schools this week have prompted students to organize a sickout, threaten a strike, demand improved safety protocols and call for more transparency from the state’s largest school district.

"They’re not alone. Parents and teachers alike say the district failed to anticipate the need to shift to remote learning as a predictable wave of coronavirus cases caused school cancellations around the region. 

"During this second week back from winter break, classes were canceled because of coronavirus-related staffing shortages and because there weren’t enough substitutes to meet the demand, a trend that has plagued school districts across the country.

"Seattle students say they’ve decided to join a national, student-led movement calling for remote learning and stronger school safety standards as COVID-19 cases are spiking."

•  The New York Times reports this morning that "Novak Djokovic, the Serbian tennis star, had his visa revoked for a second time by the Australian authorities on Friday, the latest dizzying volley in a drawn-out drama over his refusal to be vaccinated for Covid-19.

"Australia’s immigration minister, Alex Hawke, said in a statement that he was canceling Djokovic’s visa on the grounds of 'health and good order,' adding that it was in the public interest to do so. Djokovic’s lawyers said they would file an appeal immediately, with the Australian Open starting on Monday.

"Hawke took the action four days after Djokovic won a legal victory that freed him from immigration detention, where he had been held since arriving at a Melbourne airport last week."

Seems pretty clear that they need to toss Djokovic out of the country as quickly as possible, and that he ought not be allowed to play in the Australian Open.  He's lied, he's dissembled, he's behaved recklessly, and he doesn't seem to give a damn about other players.  No sympathy for him here.