COVID Bits

* Germany has canceled Oktoberfest festivities again this year.

* Nepal has issued climbing permits this year to 408 foreign climbers despite a surging COVID-19 outbreak. Mount Everest was closed to climbing last year.

* According to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker, the U.S. has now fully vaccinated a third of its population while in India, only 2.5 percent of the population is fully immunized.

* July 4th: The date that is President Biden’s goal for at least 70 percent of Americans to have had at least one vaccine shot. Right now, that figure is about 57 percent.

* Indianapolis is planning to welcome 135,000 spectators for the Indy 500 at the end of this month.

*Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World.” That’s the Southern California fundraising concert that aired on network TV and other media last Saturday. Among the participating celebrities: Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck, David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel and The Foo Fighters. No, there were no appearances by Ted Nugent or Kid Rock.

*8.2 million: The number of unrecovered American jobs.

* $26 billion: That’s what Pfizer said it expects global sales of its vaccine to reach in 2021. That would make it the biggest-selling pharmaceutical product in the world.

* “Consider flying during the week when it’s less busy, especially if you’re traveling with kids or anyone who isn’t vaccinated yet. Book non-stop flights to limit sitting around in airports and, if you can, avoid crowds by flying into a smaller regional airport.”–Konrad Waliszewski, CEO of the travel-planning app TripScout.

* Speaking of flying, the Federal Aviation Administration reports that despite air traffic being down, incidents of unruly passenger behavior have notably gone up.

* According to the CDC, more than 180,000 vaccine doses were wasted as of late March. Of those, CVS was responsible for nearly half and Walgreens for approximately 21 percent.

* “There’s a risk of this thing mutating into something that could be less affected by the vaccines, and then we run into this awful cycle again. Until we get more people vaccinated, we remain in dangerous territory.”–Dr. Jay Wolfson, USF professor of public health.

* As of last Sunday, more than 7 million people are fully immunized in Florida.

* Busch Gardens, Disney, SeaWorld and Universal have announced that they will stop screening visitors for temperature before entry.

* June 28: Date on which activity on USF campuses will return to pre-pandemic levels.

* The Lightning are increasing Amalie Arena seating capacity to approximately 7,000 fans—or 33 percent of capacity—for the first round of the playoffs. Capacity for regular-season games had been 4,200.

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