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 current US Covid-19 coronavirus numbers:  85,901,797 total cases … 1,031,613 deaths … and 82,239,607 reported recoveries.

The global numbers:  532,956,591 total cases … 6,314,063 fatalities … and 504,043,665 reported recoveries.  (Source.)

•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 77.9 percent of the total US population has received at least one dose of vaccine … 66.7 percent are fully vaccinated … 46.7 percent of fully vaccinated people have received a vaccine booster dose … 22.1 percent of the fully vaccinated US population has received a second vaccine booster dose … and just 28.2 percent of the US population age 65 and older has received the second booster shot.

•  From the New York Times:

"Despite strong levels of vaccination among older people, Covid killed them at vastly higher rates during this winter’s Omicron wave than it did last year, preying on long delays since their last shots and the variant’s ability to skirt immune defenses.

"This winter’s wave of deaths in older people belied the Omicron variant’s relative mildness. Almost as many Americans 65 and older died in four months of the Omicron surge as did in six months of the Delta wave, even though the Delta variant, for any one person, tended to cause more severe illness.

"While overall per capita Covid death rates have fallen, older people still account for an overwhelming share of them.

"'This is not simply a pandemic of the unvaccinated,' said Andrew Stokes, an assistant professor in global health at Boston University who studies age patterns of Covid deaths. 'There’s still exceptionally high risk among older adults, even those with primary vaccine series'."

The Times goes on:

"Covid deaths, though always concentrated in older people, have in 2022 skewed toward older people more than they did at any point since vaccines became widely available.

"That swing in the pandemic has intensified pressure on the Biden administration to protect older Americans, with health officials in recent weeks encouraging everyone 50 and older to get a second booster and introducing new models of distributing antiviral pills.

"In much of the country, though, the booster campaign remains listless and disorganized, older people and their doctors said. Patients, many of whom struggle to drive or get online, have to maneuver through an often labyrinthine health care system to receive potentially lifesaving antivirals."

Speaking as an "older American" - though I certainly don't feel like one - I must say that I felt it was my responsibility to get vaccinated as soon as I could, to get both my booster shots as soon as I could, and to continue to wear a mask whenever it feels prudent to do so.  Just as I feel like it will be my responsibility to get another booster if it is recommended, to get a flu shot in the fall, and to get new shingles and pneumonia vaccines whenever my doctor recommends them (I've already had both).

But it concerns me that older people less ambulatory and autonomous than I are not getting the protections they need … especially since, while the fatality numbers are not growing very fast, they seem to be a larger percentage of the whole.  No excuse, in my view, for a booster campaign being "listless and disorganized."