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 34,434,803 total Covid-19 coronavirus cases, resulting in 617,875 deaths, and 28,817,134 reported recoveries.

Globally, there have been 179,963,242 coronavirus cases, with 3,899,062 resultant fatalities, and 164,730,599 reported recoveries. (Source.)

•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 65.5 percent of the US population age 18 and older has received at least one dose of vaccine, with 56 percent being fully vaccinated.

•  From the Wall Street Journal this morning:

"The highly transmissible Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus is spreading so rapidly in the U.S. that it could become the dominant strain in the next two to three weeks, researchers said, adding urgency to the nationwide vaccination drive.

"The Delta strain, which first emerged in India in late 2020 and is also known as B.1.617.2, will probably make up 50% of Covid-19 infections in the U.S. by early to mid-July, said William Lee, vice president of science at population genomics company Helix and an author of the new analysis.

"The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data on Tuesday showing that the prevalence of the Delta strain more than doubled over the two weeks ended June 19 to 20.6% of positive Covid-19 test samples genetically sequenced, compared with 9.9% in the week ended June 5.

"'The Delta variant is currently the greatest threat in the U.S. to our attempt to eliminate Covid-19,' Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, said at a briefing on Tuesday."

The Journal goes on:  "Public-health officials say the Delta variant is particularly risky to people who are unvaccinated. Delta is about 50% more transmissible than the current dominant U.S. strain, called Alpha, they say, which itself is 50% more transmissible than the most commonly circulating strain last year."

•  USA Today this morning reports that Walgreens "plans to give $25 in store credit to anyone who gets a COVID-19 vaccination there in the next several days.

"The move comes amid a flurry of COVID-19 vaccine incentives nationwide, including giveaways at Walgreens archrival CVS, million-dollar sweepstakes in states like Ohio and free food or drinks from restaurants like Krispy Kreme.

"Walgreens said it will provide its incentive in one of two forms: $25 in store credit loaded onto the customer's myWalgreens account or if they don't have one, a $25 Walgreens gift card … The offer is good from June 22-26, and it's not available in Arkansas, New Jersey or New York. See more details here."