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 US Covid-19 coronavirus numbers: 74,695,333 total cases … 902,140 deaths … and 45,614,212 reported recoveries.

The global numbers:  367,423,717 total cases … 5,658,763 fatalities … and 290,556,684 reported recoveries.    (Source.)

•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 75.1 percent of the total US population has received at least one dose of vaccine … 63.6 percent is fully vaccinated … and 41 percent has received a vaccine booster dose.

•  From the Wall Street Journal this morning:

"Three shots of vaccine cut the risk of death from Covid-19 by 95% in those age 50 and older during the Omicron surge in the U.K., according to an early study that showed immunity from vaccination held up well against the worst effects of the disease even among older people who are most at risk.

"The analysis, by the U.K. Health Security Agency, offers a glimpse of how effective vaccination is against death from Omicron in a highly boosted population. The U.K. government in December hurried to offer boosters to everyone 16 and older, expanding a campaign that up to that point had only applied to people 50 and older, and those with certain health conditions.

"The highly mutated Omicron variant can easily evade immune defenses to infect vaccinated people, leading to record-high case numbers across the world as the variant spread, even in highly-vaccinated places like the U.K. But several studies have shown that boosting restores some protection against symptomatic illness and, to a greater degree, against hospitalization.

"The latest data show that protection is greater still against death."

•  The New York Post reports that "health officials around the world are closely monitoring a new Omicron sub-variant that has been found in at least 40 countries, including nearly 100 cases in the US.

"The variant, BA.2, is one of at least four descendants of Omicron that has been detected, and it has already become the dominant form of the virus in Denmark.

"It is widely being dubbed 'stealth Omicron' because of a genetic trait that makes it harder to detect."

•  USA Today has a list of the retail pharmacies - as identified by the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program - that are offering free N95 masks (three per person) as part of the nation's efforts to fight the pandemic.  Among them, as identified in the story:

-  Albertsons Companies, Inc. (including Osco, Jewel-Osco, Albertsons, Albertsons Market, Safeway, Tom Thumb, Star Market, Shaw’s, Haggen, Acme, Randalls, Carrs, Market Street, United, Vons, Pavilions, Amigos, Lucky’s, Pak n Save, Sav-On)

-  Costco Wholesale Corp.

-  CVS Pharmacy, Inc. (including Long’s)

-  H-E-B, LP

-  Hy-Vee, Inc.

-  Kroger Co. (including Kroger, Harris Teeter, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Ralphs, King Soopers, Smiths, City Market, Dillons, Mariano’s, Pick-n-Save, Copps, Metro Market, QFC)

-  Meijer, Inc.

-  Publix Super Markets, Inc.

-  Retail Business Services, LLC (including Food Lion, Giant Food, The Giant Company, Hannaford Bros Co, Stop & Shop)

-  Rite Aid Corp.

-  Southeastern Grocers (Winn-Dixie, Harveys, Fresco Y Mas)

-  Topco Associates, LLC (including Acme Fresh Markets, Associated Food Stores, Bashas, Big-Y Pharmacy and Wellness Center, Brookshire’s Pharmacy, Super One Pharmacy, FRESH by Brookshire’s Pharmacy, Coborn’s Pharmacy, Cash Wise Pharmacy, MarketPlace Pharmacy, Giant Eagle, Hartig Drug Company, King Kullen, Food City Pharmacy, Ingles Pharmacy, Raley’s, Bel Air, Nob Hill Pharmacies, Save Mart Pharmacies, Lucky Pharmacies, SpartanNash, Price Chopper, Market 32, Tops Friendly Markets, ShopRite, Wegmans, Weis Markets, Inc.)

-  Walgreens (including Duane Reade)

-  Walmart, Inc. (including Sam’s Club) Pharmacies