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 United States, there now have been 50,801,455 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, resulting in 817,956 deaths and 40,003,674 reported recoveries.

Globally, there have been 270,568,501 total cases, with 5,324,867 resultant fatalities and 243,332,707 reported recoveries.  (Source.)

•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 76.5 percent of the US population age five and older, and 72 percent of the total US population, has received at least one dose of vaccine, while 64.7 percent of the five-and-older population and 60.8 percent of the US population, has been totally vaccinated.  The CDC also says that 28.9 percent of the 18-and-older population and 26.6 percent of the total US population has received a vaccine booster dose.

•  The New York Times has a story about the degree to which older Americans have suffered because of the pandemic - 75 percent of the people who have died because of the coronavirus in the US, or one in 100, have been 65 and older.

The Times writes:

"In both sharp and subtle ways, the pandemic has amplified an existing divide between older and younger Americans.

"In interviews across the country, older Americans say that they have continued to endure the isolation and fear associated with the pandemic long after tens of millions of younger and middle-aged people have gone back to work and school and largely resumed normal lives. Older people are still falling seriously ill in great numbers, particularly if they are unvaccinated, and hospitals in the Midwest, New England and the Southwest have been strained with an influx of patients this month. Worried about their risks, and the ongoing warnings from health officials about the added dangers for older people, many of them are still curtailing travel and visits with grandchildren, and are dining out less."

The Times adds:  "By now, Covid-19 has become the third leading cause of death among Americans 65 and older, after heart disease and cancer. It is responsible for about 13 percent of all deaths in that age group since the beginning of 2020, more than diabetes, accidents, Alzheimer’s disease or dementia."

As someone who at least demographically fits into the definition of "older American," I find this maddening - how many of these people might not have died had there not been so much misinformation and disinformation about vaccines and masks?  

•  From the Wall Street Journal:

"Covid-19 is surging in many parts of the country in the wake of Thanksgiving, with Christmastime gatherings on the horizon.

"Health authorities in some hard-hit states, like Vermont, New Jersey and Maine, say people who became infected after traveling or gathering indoors for Thanksgiving are likely adding to the Covid-19 numbers. By Saturday, some 34 states had higher seven-day averages for new cases than they did before Thanksgiving, according to Johns Hopkins University data, with some of the biggest increases in the Northeast.

"Epidemiologists believe colder weather, which draws people back inside where respiratory viruses can more easily spread, plays a big role."

•  NBC News reports that New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul, saying that "stricter measures are needed to curb COVID spread across the state" because of new concerns about increases in hospitalizations and worries about the Omicron variant."   As of today, in New York State, if you are inside in any environment that is not your residence and does not require vaccination to enter, you must wear a mask.