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 31,990,499 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, resulting in 576,298 deaths and 24,560,856 reported recoveries.

Globally, there have been 137,330,383 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 2,961,089 resultant deaths, and 110,526,446 reported recoveries.  (Source.)

•  The Washington Post reports that "at least 120.8 million people have received one or both doses of the vaccine in the U.S.  This includes more than 74.1 million people who have been fully vaccinated … 237.8 million doses have been distributed."

•  However, Axios reports this morning that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is recommending "an immediate halt of the use of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine, citing cases of a rare blood clot disorder that six women developed within two weeks of receiving the shot … The recommendation was issued 'out of an abundance of caution' as health officials review data and alternative treatments, but it could risk slowing down the U.S. vaccine rollout."

The story says that "nearly 7 million doses of the shot have been administered in the U.S., and another 9 million have been shipped out to the states … The six women who developed the blood clots were between the ages of 18 and 48, according to the FDA."

•  From the Wall Street Journal:

"Newly reported coronavirus cases in the U.S. rose, while a study found that a new variant of the virus that has spread widely throughout the country isn’t deadlier than older strains … As concerns remain high over new coronavirus variants, a new study has found that the variant first identified in the U.K. spreads more easily than older strains but doesn’t lead to more severe disease among hospitalized patients. People infected late last year with the variant, known as B.1.1.7, had more virus in their bodies than patients infected with older strains, a sign the newer variant is more infectious, according to the study published online Monday by the medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases. But the patients hospitalized with B.1.1.7 didn’t die at higher rates or have worse outcomes overall."

•  From the Wall Street Journal:

"After a year in which toilet-tissue shortages left consumers scrambling for squares, sales are plummeting to below pre-pandemic levels.

"Bath-tissue sales in January fell more than 4% from the same period a year earlier, before the spread of Covid-19 spurred Americans to load up on staples from toilet paper to sanitary wipes, according to figures from NielsenIQ. The decline, which comes even though legions of Americans continue to work and attend school from home, indicates last year’s stockpiling is starting to have an effect on sales."

•  From Axios:

"Michigan can't vaccinate its way out of a COVID-19 spike, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky said at a briefing Monday, during which she called on the state 'to close things down' … Michigan's average daily case count has jumped about seven times from a low point in February."

Walensky said, "When you have an acute situation, an extraordinary number of cases like we have in Michigan, the answer is not necessarily to give vaccines — in fact, we know the vaccine will have a delayed response … The answer to that is to really close things down, to go back to our basics, to go back to where we were last spring, last summer ... to flatten the curve, to decrease contact with one another, to test to the extent that we have available, to contact trace."

•  Morning Brew reports that Sam Adams has produced another of its irreverent “Your cousin from Boston” TV ad spots to promote vaccine awareness, challenging some concerns that brands run the risk of alienating anti-vaxxers by promoting the value of inoculation.