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…

•  Here are the total US Covid-19 coronavirus numbers - 40,865,794 cases , resulting in 666,559 deaths and 31,335,278 reported recoveries.

The global numbers:  222,072,484 coronavirus cases, with 4,590,620 resultant fatalities and 198,689,295 reported recoveries.  (Source.)

•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 72.9 percent of the US population age 12 and older has received at least one dose of vaccines with 62 percent being fully vaccinated.

•  From the Washington Post:

"The number of covid-19 patients in hospitals in the United States has more than doubled since last Labor Day, a sobering statistic that illustrates how the delta variant has hampered progress in curbing the pandemic even as vaccines became widely available.

"There were 38,192 people in hospital with the virus last Labor Day, on Sept. 7, 2020, at a time when the promise of a vaccine rollout was still a few months away, according to a Washington Post tracker. This figure has skyrocketed to 99,270 by Sept 6. 2021 — a 160 percent increase.

"While the situation is not as dire as it was at the beginning of this year, when more than 3,100 people were dying of covid-19 daily in January, the rise in hospital admissions for covid patients is causing a strain on resources in many states. Hospitals in Florida and Mississippi have said in recent weeks that they are running out of ICU beds – which also affects patients who need other kinds of health care since they don’t have the space or staff to treat them."

•  The Wall Street Journal reports that "the recent spread of the highly contagious Delta variant has thrown back-to-school plans into disarray, temporarily driving tens of thousands of students back to virtual learning or pausing instruction altogether.

"Since the school year kicked off in late July, at least 1,000 schools across 31 states have closed because of Covid-19, according to Burbio, a Pelham, N.Y., data service that is monitoring school closures at 1,200 districts nationwide, including the 200 largest.

The shutdowns are hitting classrooms especially hard in the Deep South, where most schools were among the first to open, a possible warning of what’s to come as the rest of the nation’s students start school this month … School administrators are responding to the sporadic and unpredictable outbreaks with measures like new masking mandates, frequent testing and vaccine mandates for employees. Some say they hope a vaccine for children under 12 happens soon."

•  Business Insider reports that "Costco has reinstated purchase limits on some products as evidence mounts that Americans are stockpiling once again.

"The retailer posted a note on its website Saturday warning of 'temporary item limits on select items.'

"Purchase limits became commonplace early in the pandemic to stop people panic buying and depleting stock. Their return signals that some people are starting to think about stockpiling again as COVID-19 infections climb in the US as the Delta variant spreads."

•  The Daily Voice report that "McDonald's is preparing to close its indoor seating areas as cases of the delta variant increase across the United States … The fast-food chain had previously announced plans to reopen indoor dining in all of its franchises by Labor Day as long as there wasn't a resurgence of COVID-19, after closing it down in 2020 … The company has now told its locations to close indoor seating areas in places where the virus is spreading quickly."

•  From the Washington Post:

"Childhood obesity rose significantly during the pandemic, according to a new study.

"The greatest change was among children ages 5 to 11, who gained an average of more than five pounds, adjusted for height, according to the study published in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

"For the average 5-year-old (about 40 pounds), that’s a 12.5 percent weight gain. For the average 11-year-old (about 82 pounds), it’s a 6 percent weight gain, according to the study. Before the pandemic, about 36 percent of 5- to 11-year-olds were considered overweight or obese, and that increased to 45.7 percent."