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, we've now had a total of 48,072,898 Covid-19 coronavirus cases, resulting in 784,779 deaths and 38,050,509 reported recoveries.

Globally, there have been 254,751,168 total coronavirus cases, with 5,125,826 resultant fatalities and 230,333,318 reported recoveries.  (Source.)

•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 79.5 percent of the US population age 12 and older has received at least one dose of vaccine, with 68.8 percent of that group being fully vaccinated.  Of the total US population, 68.4 percent has received at least one dose of vaccine, while 58.8 percent has been fully vaccinated.

The CDC also says that 36.1 percent of the US population age 65 and older, and 15.4 percent of the total population, has received a vaccine booster shot.

•  From the New York Times this morning:

"Arkansas on Monday joined Colorado, California and New Mexico in broadening access to Covid-19 boosters, getting ahead of federal regulators who are close to making a decision on expanded eligibility.

"Gov. Asa Hutchinson said at a news conference on Monday that he had directed the Arkansas health department to issue new guidelines on boosters to allow all adults to get one, provided that they met the timing rules.

"State leaders have found themselves in a conundrum since August, when regulators halted President Biden’s plan to make boosters available to all adults. The leaders have had to decide: Do they wait for a federal directive, or do they make their own vaccination rules?

"The decisions they make are more timely than ever, as the United States braces for a possible winter surge. As of Monday night, reported new cases in the United States had averaged nearly 85,000 a day for the past week, a 14 percent increase from two weeks ago, according to a New York Times database. Reported new deaths are down 14 percent, to 1,129 a day; hospitalizations have decreased 7 percent and are averaging more than 46,000 a day.

"And in Europe, whose Covid trends are often a harbinger of those in the United States, a fourth case wave has been driven by the unvaccinated.

"Four states, including Arkansas, aren’t waiting for a federal decision on boosters, and on Monday New York City became one of the first major cities to tell all adults to get a booster if they wanted one."

•  From the Washington Post:

"The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday moved four European destinations to its highest-risk category for travel — a reflection of growing concern over rising cases in Europe just as the United States reopens to international travelers from that region.

"The CDC is now recommending that Americans avoid traveling to Hungary, Iceland, the Czech Republic and Guernsey, even when vaccinated. They join other European destinations on the Level 4 list, including some that were added recently — Luxembourg, for example — and others, such as the United Kingdom, that have been on the list for months.

"Countries and territories in this group have an incidence rate of covid-19 of more than 500 new cases per 100,000 people over the past 28 days (or in the case of Guernsey, which has fewer than 100,000 residents, more than 500 cases cumulatively over the past 28 days)."

•  Also from the Washington Post:

"At least 50 percent of people who survive covid-19 experience a variety of physical and psychological health issues for six months or more after their initial recovery, according to research on the long-term effects of the disease, published in the journal JAMA Network Open.

"Often referred to as 'long covid,' the adverse health effects vary from person to person. But the research, based on data from 250,351 adults and children, found that more than half experience a decline in general well-being, resulting in weight loss, fatigue, fever or pain.

"About 20 percent have decreased mobility, 25 percent have trouble thinking or concentrating (called 'brain fog'), 30 percent develop an anxiety disorder, 25 percent have breathing problems, and 20 percent have hair loss or skin rashes. Cardiovascular issues — chest pain and palpitations — are common, as are stomach and gastrointestinal problems.

"Those affected by post-covid conditions, sometimes called 'long haulers,' can include anyone who has had covid-19, even those who had no symptoms or just mild ones, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"But additional research published in a subsequent issue of the journal found that cognitive dysfunction has occurred more often among those who had more severe cases of covid-19 and required hospitalization, and their brain fog issues have lingered for seven months or more. 'One’s battle with covid doesn’t end with recovery from the acute infection,' one researcher said."