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 83,356,490 total cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, resulting in 1,023,513 deaths and 80,836,418 reported recoveries.

Globally, there have been 515,455,210 total cases, with 6,270,157 resultant fatalities and 470,212,202 reported recoveries.   (Source.)

•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 77.7 percent of the total US population has received at least one dose of vaccine … 66.2 percent are fully vaccinated … and 45.9 percent of fully vaccinated people have received a vaccine booster dose.  The CDC also says that 49.4 percent of vaccinated, booster-eligible US residents have not received even a first booster dose of vaccine.

•  From the Wall Street Journal:

"The resiliency of the American consumer has been a hallmark of modern history. After events such as Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans or the attacks of 9/11, people have shown they will snap back to doing many of their favorite things, given time.

"Rarely has it happened so broadly and rapidly as now, two years after a devastating global pandemic began. In the past few months, American consumer tastes have changed rapidly, again, and companies are scrambling to catch up."

The Journal writes that "many Americans are resuming their prepandemic habits: rocking out at crowded concerts, doing deadlifts next to strangers at the gym and stocking a standard supply of toilet paper. Airlines, restaurants and child-care centers, which relied on government loans to stay afloat during Covid-19’s peak, can now hardly keep up with demand.

"Live Nation, which owns Ticketmaster, said concert ticket sales were up 45% as of February 2022 compared with the same period in 2019, the last full prepandemic year. As of February, the company had 30% more concerts planned for 2022 than 2019.

"Membership levels at gym chain Planet Fitness in January surpassed prepandemic levels following a stretch in which some 25% of the nation’s gyms closed, according to industry data.

"Over two million people traveled by plane each day on average between April 17 and 23, according to the Transportation Security Administration. That figure averaged about 2.4 million in 2019.

"At the same time, some pandemic stars like Peloton Interactive Inc., Netflix Inc. and Instacart Inc. have taken hits. From hoping that consumers had permanently shifted their behavior, the companies are now considering previously unthinkable changes. Netflix, hit with its first membership decline in a decade, is considering offering a lower-priced ad-supported version. Peloton, losing money and saddled with excess equipment, is lowering the price of its stationary bikes. Instacart slashed its valuation."