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…

•  From Axios:

"If you've noticed a sudden rise in the number of people wearing masks while you're out and about lately, here's why: COVID-19 is on the upswing once again, according to closely watched metrics.

"The late summer spread comes as a new variant, EG.5, is now the dominant form in the U.S., per CDC estimates — though it's unclear if that variant is directly responsible for the rising numbers.

"Why it matters: Simply put, our guard is down."

The story goes on:

"Reality check: In both percentage change and raw terms, hospitalizations remain far below their pandemic-era peak.

Nationally, hospitalizations are down 82% year over year."


"Between the lines: This uptick comes at a less-than-ideal time with regard to booster availability.

"A newly updated booster is due out this fall. While it wasn't specifically designed with EG.5 in mind, it will likely offer at least some protection … Those behind on their shots need to decide whether it makes sense to wait for the updated booster, or to beef up their protection now in the face of this uptick.

"The bottom line: There's no sign we're headed for anything like the waves of the peak pandemic era. But it's still an alarming trend, and a reminder that COVID will remain a public health concern for the foreseeable future."