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 US, we've now had a total of 35,081,719 Covid-19 coronavirus cases, resulting in 625,363 deaths, and 29,435,171 reported recoveries.

Globally, there have been 192,329,727 coronavirus cases, with 4,135,069 resultant fatalities, and 175,004,410 reported recoveries.  (Source.)

•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 68.3 percent of the population age 18 and older has received at least one dose of vaccine, with 59.6 percent being fully vaccinated.

•  From the Wall Street Journal this morning:

"Life expectancy in the U.S. fell by 1.5 years in 2020, the biggest decline since at least World War II, as the Covid-19 pandemic killed hundreds of thousands and exacerbated crises in drug overdoses, homicides and some chronic diseases.

"Provisional data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that American life expectancy dropped to 77.3 years in 2020, roughly the same level as in 2003, erasing years of hard-won gains in the nation’s public health. It was the largest single-year decline recorded since 1943."

The Journal writes that "life expectancy won’t recover to pre-pandemic levels in 2021," according to population-health experts, "and could decline again if a new Covid-19 variant emerges that vaccines don’t protect against, some said. The highly transmissible Delta variant of the virus has pushed cases, hospitalizations and deaths up again recently, particularly in parts of the country where vaccination rates are low."

•  The Wall Street Journal reports that "the Delta variant accounts for 83% of analyzed Covid-19 cases in the U.S, according to genetic sequences from positive tests submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the agency’s director said … The Delta variant’s prevalence in sequenced samples had risen from 50% of cases for the week of July 3, CDC director Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday in testimony before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions."

Walensky told the committee that the best defense against the Delta variant and all other forms of the coronavirus is vaccination, and noted that "nearly two-thirds of counties in the U.S. have less than 40% vaccination coverage."

•  CNN reports that "Amazon said it will end its on-site Covid-19 testing for US warehouse workers this month as it continues to peel back some pandemic-related safety measures inside its facilities.

"The company notified workers that it will cease offering on-site testing after July 30, according to a notification Amazon shared with workers in its employee app, called A to Z, viewed by CNN Business. The company cited that Covid-19 testing and vaccines are now widely available."

According to the piece, "The change comes as workers continue to receive notifications from the company about confirmed cases of the virus inside facilities, and amid the growing spread of the Delta variant. Amazon said it could resume its employee testing program at any point if needed. In February, the company said its newly built Covid-19 testing lab in Kentucky had processed more than 1 million tests for frontline employees from more than 700 testing sites."