Delta Force, ECB's Strategy Review, State of the States


  • Delta Force
  • The ECB’s New Groove
  • State and Local Governments: Back In Business

The recent holiday weekend here in the U.S. was a joyous one in our home. My wife was able to gather with her sisters on July 4 for the first time in 18 months. While they had kept touch virtually during the pandemic, visiting in person proved emotional and restorative. It went so well that my wife invited everyone back the next day for another dinner…which I was happy to prepare.

Jokingly, I suggested that we take advantage of being together to roll out raviolis for the holidays. (The work is normally done just after Thanksgiving, with the output frozen for Christmas.) My suggestion got a big laugh, as everyone assumed that the pandemic was fading and that we would be free to gather at regular intervals going forward.

I am wondering whether I should have pushed the group harder on pasta production. Wave three of COVID-19 is appearing in a number of countries, the U.S. among them. The dominant variant, referred to as “Delta,” is allowing the virus to spread rapidly. With vaccination programs incomplete, public officials around the world may have to consider renewed restrictions. The pandemic, and its impact on the global economy, is still very much with us.

Percentage of population vaccinated against COVID-19

It’s been almost a year and half since COVID-19 emerged in a significant way. During that interval, a broad range of strategies have been employed to bring contagion under control. Among them, vaccination has proven to be the most effective and durable. Rising rates of vaccination have allowed the lifting of public health restrictions in many locations, and commerce has boomed.

Vaccination rates vary quite a bit from place to place. In the United States, 48% of the population has been fully vaccinated, but state-level figures show a range of 37% to 75%. States with low vaccination levels are seeing some of the biggest increases in cases.