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…

•  The United States now has had a total of 82,103,067 total cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, resulting in 1,012,461 deaths and 79,959,456 reported recoveries.

Globally, there have been 500,010,996 total cases, with 6,205,951 resultant fatalities and 449,849,851 reported recoveries.   (Source.)

•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 77.2 percent of the total US population has received at least one dose of vaccine … 65.8 percent are fully vaccinated … and 45.2 percent of fully vaccinated people have received a vaccine booster dose.

•  The Wall Street Journal reports that "the risk of developing inflammatory heart conditions after Covid-19 vaccination is relatively low, two large studies found, especially when compared with the heart-related risks from Covid-19 disease itself and from vaccines against other diseases.

"One study, an analysis of 22 previous studies, found that the risk of the conditions including myocarditis in people who received a Covid-19 vaccine wasn’t significantly different from that for non-Covid-19 vaccines such as those against flu, polio and measles. And the heart risk associated with Covid-19 shots was lower than the risk after smallpox vaccination … Another analysis published April 1 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the risk of cardiac complications including myocarditis, an inflammation of heart muscle, was higher in people after Covid-19 infections than after receiving a Covid-19 vaccine."

•  The New York Times reports that "with new coronavirus cases low but rising sharply in recent days, the city of Philadelphia announced on Monday that it will reinstate an indoor mask mandate a little more than a month after lifting it, becoming the first major U.S. city to do so.

"'This is our chance to get ahead of the pandemic,' said Cheryl Bettigole, the city’s health commissioner, in a news conference. She acknowledged that the average number of daily new cases, currently at 142, is still nowhere near what it was at the beginning of the year, when the Omicron variant was pushing the seven-day average to nearly 4,000.

But she said that if the city failed to require masks now, 'knowing that every previous wave of infections has been followed by a wave of hospitalizations, and then a wave of deaths, then it will be too late for many of our residents.'  Over the past week, the city reported that the number of residents who had died of Covid-19 passed 5,000.

"The mandate will go into effect next week. A spokesman for the city’s health department said it would end when case numbers and rates go beneath a certain threshold."

•  From the Boston Globe:

"How much worse could the US COVID-19 pandemic have been if vaccinations hadn’t arrived in the nick of time in December 2020?

"Unimaginably worse, according to a study released last week. The researchers estimated that vaccinations by the end of last month had averted more than 2.2 million deaths, more than 17 million hospitalizations, and more than 66 million infections."