COVID Vaccination Rate Falls Short of July 4th Goal

In the opening days of President Joe Biden’s administration, he set a goal of having a 70% vaccination rate for eligible people before the Independence Day holiday in the United States. The country ended up falling just short of that goal, reaching 67% by July 4th.

Although the three percentage points aren’t that far off the desired number, they could have been reached or exceeded. The U.S. South has staggering low vaccination statistics, even with the Delta variant surge that happened during the summer.

Alabama had only 34% of its population fully vaccinated by the end of July. Arkansas wasn’t much better at 36%, while Louisiana had its figures at 37%.

The Delta Variant Caused a Surge of Vaccination Requests

When the Delta variant surges through the U.S. South, it became apparent that the most vulnerable people were those who hadn’t been vaccinated.

Over 90% of the registered infections came from those who hadn’t gotten a COVID shot or hadn’t completed their series. The percentage of hospitalizations was even higher.

Getting the word out about how transmissible the Delta variant is compared to the original coronavirus infections helped to push vaccination rates above 100% over the previous month. 

When all Americans are accounted for in every age group, about 50% were fully vaccinated by the end of July. 

Biden’s goal could have been reached if states like Wyoming, Idaho, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama had hit 50% instead of being under 40%. For now, the best option we have is to wear a mask, stay socially distant, and stay healthy.

For some people, products like Neurobiologix and Quicksilver Scientific can work to potentially give their immune systems an extra boost to reach that goal. 

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15 Million COVID-19 Vaccines Ruined After Ingredient Mix-up

Although the United States exceeded its vaccination goals since February 2021, the outcome hasn’t been flawless. A factory mix-up ruined up to 15 million doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine when a subcontractor mixed the ingredients from it with the AstraZeneca product.

Since the AstraZeneca vaccine is not available for distribution in the United States, the product was not usable.

The plant is run by Emergent BioSolutions, which partners with both single-shot producers. Regulators attributed the issue to human error, causing Johnson & Johnson to step up quality control procedures at the facility.

One Shot Speeds Up the Immunity Process in the United States

Although the two-shot vaccines for COVID-19 came out first, the Johnson & Johnson product receives a lot of credit for speeding along the immunity-building process in the United States. Once someone gets this shot, they’re considered immune after two weeks.

The setback was a major embarrassment for both companies involved in vaccine production. It would soon be followed by revelations that a rare side effect of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine involves blood clots that can appear three weeks after it gets administered.

To make up for the gap in vaccination opportunities, Pfizer started shipping its doses early. Moderna requested approval to send vials with 15 shots instead of ten to bolster the stock even further.

None of the tainted doses ever left the production facility. The mishap was reported to regulators immediately, and steps are in place to prevent future lapses.

The error has not affected any of the already delivered Johnson & Johnson doses. Additional deliveries from the Baltimore facility continue to remain in question.

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Box Office Has Signs of Life After $300 Million Haul for Godzilla vs. Kong

Movie theaters experienced challenging times during the pandemic. With government restrictions often requiring them to close, 2020 was a year that lost billions for the industry. Companies like Warner Brothers and Disney decided to push new releases straight to the home to generate some momentum.

Godzilla vs. Kong is the first movie to change the pandemic box office. Although it released to streaming on HBO Max, the film still managed to top $300 million during the first week of April in total receipts.

It’s already passed its previous movies, thanks to the impressive returns coming from the Chinese market. About 80% of the revenues generated came from outside of North America.

Why Are Movies Struggling During the Recovery?

Movie theaters are at a crisis point because studios are delaying their blockbuster films. The industry was pinning its hopes on titles like Black Widow, No Time to Die, and Wonder Woman 1984, but none of those films reached their intended targets – or they haven’t been released at all.

We’re also a long way from normalcy when thinking about a visit to the movie theater. Some regions have 25% caps set for seating, which means it’s impossible to maximize revenues for that space. Even when people want to visit, a mask is always required (except for eating).

Do you want to munch on some popcorn with the threat of COVID-19 still lurking?

It doesn’t help that the industry and the government point fingers at each other while everyone blames the virus. Although the recent box office is more encouraging since only five titles went higher than $100 million in 2020 domestically, it’s only the first step. All it would take is another surge to create even more problems.

What can we do to support this positive trend? We’ll get back to normal when vaccines get distributed and healthy living habits continue. That means now is the perfect time to consider how Jarrow Formulas and Argentyn 23 could help your immune system.

Over $280 Billion Spent in Ottawa on COVID-19 Fight

The total spending from the Trudeau administration to fight COVID-19 in Canada is staggering. CBC News investigations found that the levels are unprecedented, averaging about $952 million per day.

That figure includes about $240 billion in transfers and payments to government entities, organizations, businesses, and individuals starting at the first lockdowns that happened on March 13, 2020.

Over 100 measures are responsible for this spending, with most of them created from scratch as a response to the pandemic.

The figures are easily available from the government, but the taxpayers don’t know who is getting most of the funds. That’s why the public is starting to push back against Trudeau’s handling of the COVID issue.

The Total Could Rise to $322.3 Billion for All of 2020

The final spending figures for the COVID fight aren’t expected until the middle of 2021. Early estimates suggest that the government could reach over $320 billion in new spending from the previous fiscal year. 

That means there isn’t a way to budget governmental needs because it is unknown what the public and private sectors will need. Although the COVID vaccine results look promising, the final groups might not get their shots until late in the year.

CBC News tracked over $105 billion sent to individuals as part of the study. They also took a look at the $81 billion sent to the CERB – the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit. It provides $2,000 monthly payments to qualified Canadians who are unable to work.

In comparison, only $9 billion was spent during the pandemic on youth employment and skills development. Just $6.11 billion went to PPE purchases.

Many people wonder what they can do to support themselves and their family during these challenging times with COVID. The first and best step is to strengthen your immune system. With products from brands like Renew Life and Enzymedica, you’ll be able to take the next step forward on your journey through 2021.

$50 Million Sought by AMC Theaters to Avoid Bankruptcy

AMC Theaters is struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They’ve been hit on three different monetary fronts: ticket sales, food options, and exclusive movie access.

With reduced capacity seating required in most markets, the movie theater chain’s per-screen revenues are down significantly. When fewer customers walk through the door, that means less popcorn gets sold.

The movie studios have also negotiated a significantly lower exclusive run time for new films, hoping to take advantage of the new at-home market.

In an effort to counter these challenges, AMC hopes to sell up to 20 million Class A shares to bring in $50 million in new capital. This news comes on the heels of an October 2020 announcement that stated the organization was on its way toward Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Why Is AMC Struggling During This Time?

AMC found itself handling a lot of debt at a time when it wasn’t needed earlier in 2020. The organization had purchased competitors like Odeon and Carmike, creating a $4.75 billion obligation.

The movie theater chain has been in survival mode for quite some time. It has already looked for ways to boost liquidity while improving its overall balance sheet.

AMC wants to hold on until new content can arrive in theaters. Three titles are expected to potentially tempt customers to come to the big screen again, including “Wonder Woman 1984.”

Those hopes might get dashed with the recent announcement that Wonder Woman will simultaneously premiere on HBO Max.

In the previous quarter, AMC earned approximately $119.5 million in revenues. For the same period in 2019, the theater chain had gained $1.32 billion.

The maximum offering price for each share is $2.39, which would raise a total of $47.7 million if the fundraising offer is successful.

25 Years in 25 Weeks: Gates Foundation Warns of Global Equality Setbacks from COVID-19

The Gates Foundation is issuing a stark warning to anyone who is willing to listen. Since mid-September 2020, they’ve discussed their report on the worldwide economy that shows global health progress is regressing.

The 2020 Gatekeepers report outlines that women and children see the worst results caused by the pandemic.

One of the best indicators for how health systems function involves vaccination coverage. The rates discovered in 2020 were last seen in the 1990s.

Although global actions have been taken to stop the coronavirus pandemic, more is at stake than COVID-19. Worldwide regression in many areas, including malnutrition, HIV transmission, education, gender equality, and poverty is happening right now.

We’re left with a choice. Do we tackle these concerns, or do we take a different direction?

COVID-19 Kills Men; Poverty Kills Women

Although COVID-19 is a life-threatening disease for many men, poverty and a lack of clean resources is killing more women.

The disease diagnosis rates for pertussis, diphtheria, and tetanus are at their highest levels in almost 30 years. Fewer people are completing the three doses of the DTP vaccine that stops these health issues from happening.

Newborns are also especially vulnerable. COVID-19 affects children at a disproportionate rate, but it is not the same with poverty. Infants are more likely to die from preventable causes when health systems fail, and that issue is happening in today’s world.

About 37 million people have become exceptionally poor, living on less than $1.90 per day. That means they are clawing through each day trying to stay alive. There is no way for them to get ahead because of the complete systematic breakdown happening.

How can we make a difference? It starts by supporting the organizations that have boots on the ground in these high-risk areas. A small donation can change a person’s life.

You can always share the information from the Gatekeepers report. When more people understand what is happening, we can do even more to change lives.

What States Are Hardest Hit by COVID and How Hospitals Responded

COVID-19 has hit all parts of the United States. No state has been spared from this insidious virus.

What we do know is that every hospital responds the same way. People receive treatment for COVID based on their symptoms. Some may require ventilators, while others get meds and natural products that assist with their recovery.

Brands like Carlson Labs and DaVinci Labs are contributing to the homeopathic approach to wellness. Products like Barlean’s Organic Oils can help people focus on their health.

If you keep track of the data where the hotspots are at any given time, you’ll know how to respond within your daily routine.

September’s Hotspots for COVID-19

The states currently managing significant coronavirus infections in the U.S. are Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota. These three areas are seeing 25+ daily new cases per 100,000 people. This statistic indicates that they have unchecked community spread.

Most states are seeing escalating community spread at 10-24 new cases per 100,000 people. All of the Midwest and South are in this area, as is Hawaii.

The Northeast, the Rocky Mountain states, Washington, and Oregon still have the potential for community spread. They’re experiencing 1-9 daily new cases per 100,000 people.

The only state that has COVID-19 close to containment is Vermont.

What About the States with Total Cases?

California, New York, Texas, and Florida are the states hardest hit by COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

California has over 739,000 confirmed cases at the start of September, registering over 13,000 deaths.

Texas had over 650,000 cases, with about the same number of deaths reported.

New York only has 439,000 reported coronavirus cases, but their death count is almost 33,000.

Florida reports about 646,000 COVID-19 cases, with about 12,000 deaths tabulated. Their reporting is inconsistent in some areas, which means the figures may be much higher.

Outside of Vermont, just Wyoming is having a successful response to the coronavirus pandemic. The state has only reported about 4,000 cases and 42 deaths.
Current updates are always available at NPR.

36,000 Lives Could Have Been Saved By an Earlier Lockdown

The first reports of COVID-19 spreading from China began to trickle into the news cycle in January 2020. By the end of February, communities were dealing with a spreading virus that could claim lives with remarkable efficiency.

First Italy, then Spain, and eventually, the United States saw the pain that the new coronavirus could cause. Government officials issued lockdown orders, stay-at-home requests, and shuttered businesses.

After a few months of reflecting on these actions, it is clear that having an earlier lockdown could have saved tens of thousands of lives.

Science Counters the Bluster of Politicians

We know that healthy people under the age of 45 have the best chance to beat a severe case of COVID-19.

Although there is no cure or preventative measure that can stop a coronavirus infection, you can take care of yourself each day to stay healthy.

Getting some exercise, eating better foods, and having enough sleep at night are critical ingredients in the recipe for making a healthier you. Some people may want to consider products from brands like Douglas Laboratories, Integrative Therapeutics, or Pure Encapsulation as a way to enhance the effectiveness of those decisions.

Science also suggests that thousands of people could have been saved if a lockdown happened on March 1.

Donald Trump says that this information is a “political hit job.” The data is consistent. If people had started staying at home two weeks sooner, fewer people would have died from COVID-19.

Why Would Have an Earlier Lockdown Helped?

An earlier lockdown in the United States would have started limiting social contacts with others. By keeping people at home or limiting interactions in essential jobs, the virus would not have the same opportunities to multiply.

The first reports of coronavirus infections in the United States with community spread happened in Washington State at an elder-care facility. Dozens of people got COVID-19, with many high-risk individuals unfortunately succumbing to the disease.

Washington was one of the first states to order people to be at home. That action helped the area go from being the leader of reported infections and deaths to a place with one of the lowest rates.

We can only use conjecture and computer modeling to get an answer regarding the helpfulness of an earlier lockdown. If we could go back in time, maybe we’d make different choices. As for today, we must continue moving forward with caution to limit how COVID-19 impacts our lives. 

95,000 People Stranded at Sea Because of Coronavirus

The stories of COVID-19 spreading on cruise ships created scary circumstances for vacationers and crew members during the early days of infection in late February and March. Although the issues were slowly resolving by mid-April, 95,000 people were still stranded at sea in American waters because of the coronavirus.

Over 100 vessels were stuck without a port, forcing crews to stay at sea while passengers entered a 14-day stay in quarantine. Florida has 35 cruise ships and 35,000 people waiting for permission to disembark alone. Although the Coast Guard said that the agency would do its best to treat people during an emergency, an expectation that the cruise lines establish self-sufficiency protocols was also required.

How a Fun Vacation Turns Into a Nightmare

Some cruise ships spent over a month at sea because ports refused to accept passengers without prior testing. At one point, even the Panama Canal stopped taking boats through the passage.

Even when people were allowed to come back, it was still difficult for individuals to make it home. The CDC recommends that anyone who was on a cruise line should not share transportation with others who were not on the vessel. Commercial flights were forbidden. That means staying at a designated center or driving home.

Princess Cruises said that all crew on their fleet had to stay on board until a repatriation plan could get initiated. Traces of the coronavirus were found in cabins for up to 17 days after no one was on board, indicating how dangerous COVID-19 can be.

Cruises Are Now Suspended for Six Months or More

The world’s cruise ship providers have all suspended sailings for a significant time. Carnival has stopped all vessels through at least October except for Breeze, Dream, Elation, Freedom, Horizon, Magic, Sensation, and Vista. Those are currently scheduled to return at the end of July 2020.

Ports in Seattle and San Francisco report that some providers have canceled cruises for the remainder of the year.

Most providers are giving customers a future cruise credit of 125% if they transfer their booking to a new date. If you had a vacation planned, then a 100% refund of the amount paid is also possible.

It may be a while before the world is in a place where cruise ships can sail once again. The first step is going to be repatriating the tens of thousands of people stuck off of the American coast.

Minus $37.63: How Oil Prices Fell Below Zero

Crude oil works on the market principles of supply and demand. When people want more of it, then scarcity drives the price of a barrel upward. If there is more product than what is necessary, then the cost goes down.

Because stay-at-home orders are keeping people out of the workforce and eliminating the need to drive, demand for American oil crashed in March and April. Those events caused the price for U.S. crude to fall into negative territory. It is the first time in history that this event happened.

The price in late April reached ($37.63) – the parentheses indicate that the number is negative. That means if you want a barrel of oil, someone will pay you that amount.

The Issue Involved the Futures Market

When traders start operating in the crude oil market, one of the most lucrative options is to purchase futures.

Most people can make money by storing crude to sell it at a higher price on this market. What made the circumstances different for the May 2020 contracts in April was a desire to avoid any physical deliveries of this commodity. That means they started trying to sell out of their positions, creating a negative price.

Consumers benefit from this outcome because it lowers the price of fuel. AAA reported that the average price for gasoline in the United States was $1.81 per gallon.

It is a short-term gain because the negative territory and low retail pricing make it a challenge to support jobs. Ongoing problems with trading, even when it is at $24 per barrel on other markets not involving futures, create even more issues to consider.

Is Negative Oil Pricing a Doomsday Scenario?

After the futures market experienced such a historic low, industry analysts predicted that shut-in wells and bankruptcies would soon follow.

When the June contracts come due, a similar situation may happen. People are likely to pay to get rid of the oil they have deals for, but can’t take once again unless more global openings occur. It may take 3-6 months before this issue stabilities.

The long-term potential for oil and natural gas is strong since Americans and the rest of the world need a vast amount of energy to recover economically. We need to get past the issues with COVID-19 before that becomes possible – and there isn’t a timetable for the virus since an effective treatment plan is still not available for the general population.