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…

•  From the Wall Street Journal this morning:

"Life expectancy in the U.S. dropped in 2021 for a second consecutive year as Covid-19 and overdoses drove up mortality rates, preliminary data showed.

"Americans’ life expectancy last year fell 0.9 year on average to 76.1 years, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Wednesday. It was a smaller drop than in 2020, when life expectancy decreased 1.8 years, the data showed, but the combined figures for the two years were the largest since the 1920s, the CDC said … The data demonstrated that some groups have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic as well as the opioid crisis, which claimed some 108,000 lives last year. Indigenous Americans had the biggest drop in life expectancy in 2021 at 1.9 years, the data showed, bringing their life expectancy to 65.2 years, down 6.6 years since 2019.

The decline among Native Americans was driven by higher Covid-19 death rates than in 2020, unintentional injuries including overdoses and chronic liver disease and cirrhosis."

The Journal writes that "Covid-19 accounted for more than half of the increase in deaths among white people in 2021, the data showed, while unintentional injuries including overdoses accounted for about 12%.  Life expectancy declined less among Black people than white people in 2021, the data showed, reflecting in part the higher burden of deaths among some minority groups in the early phases of the pandemic."