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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday revised its guidance to say that fully vaccinated people can participate in both outdoor and indoor activities without wearing a mask, with certain caveats.
Those exceptions include travel on mass transit - planes, trains, buses - and while in train stations and airports, as well as while in hospitals, doctors offices and other healthcare facilities, plus correctional facilities and homeless shelters.
"If you are fully vaccinated, you are protected, and you can start doing the things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic," said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.
People should still adhere to local regulations that are stricter than the federal rules, the CDC said, as well as follow rules set by businesses - like supermarkets - that still want people to wear masks indoors.
I'll say it again. I am totally comfortable with a national vaccination program that makes it easily determined who has been fully inoculated and who has not. Vaccine passports strike me as being entirely reasonable, at least for the short-term future.
In fact, I'll go even farther. I've believed all along that businesses ought to require their workers to get vaccinated (with exceptions for religious or health reasons). But I also think that any business that took government money during the pandemic ought to be required to mandate employee vaccinations … and at the very least, you can't get forgiveness of your government loan if you don't implement such a mandate.
• In the United States, there now have been 33,626,097 total cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, resulting in 598,540 deaths and 26,667,199 reported recoveries.
Globally, there have been 161,900,605 coronavirus cases, with 3,360,651 resultant deaths and 139,741,990 reported recoveries. (Source.)
• The CDC says that 46.6 percent of the total US population has received at least one vaccine, with 35.8 percent being fully inoculated; 55.2 percent of people 12 or older have gotten one vaccine and 42.5 percent have been fully vaccinated; 58.9 percent 18 years of age or older have gotten at least one vaccine, with 45.6 percent being fully vaccinated.
• Axios reports that "three-quarters of people between the ages of 18-29 say vaccination should be required to return to campus or work, according to new Generation Lab/Axios polling. 37% would refuse to come back unless those conditions are in place."
This matters, the story suggests, because "young workers have pressured CEOs to take action on social and political issues, and have plenty of capital to exert on reopening policy."
• The New York Times this morning reports that "Delta Air Lines will require new hires to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, but will exempt current employees from that mandate, making it one of the first major corporations to embrace such a requirement."
CEO Ed Bastian said yesterday that "while current employees will be exempt … he expected 75 to 80 percent of the airline’s work force to be vaccinated anyway and that he would 'strongly encourage' the rest to do so. Unvaccinated employees could face some restrictions, such as not being allowed to work on international flights, he added."