The Omicron variant has often been described as milder than prior variants. Unfortunately, the vocabulary got converted to mild. Milder is correct. Mild is not. The death rate from Omicron is much lower than prior variants but the number of cases was far higher because of how transmissible omicron has been. On February 17, more than 3,000 people died from Omicron.
The WHO dashboard shows what is going on country by country. Globally, as of February 11, 2022, there have been 417 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 5.84 million deaths. In the U.S. there have been 79.4 million cases with 919 thousand deaths. The cases are in decline but deaths are still growing because of the time lag. We are at 10.3 billion vaccine doses administered. The unvaccinated continue to dominate hospitalizations and deaths.
The Perseverance rover on Mars plans to reach an ancient Martian river delta in the coming months. The rover has been roaming Mars for one year. In the future, robots and robotic vehicles will do most space exploration. The Webb telescope sent a selfie back to Earth. One of the most exciting findings in planetary science in recent years is the discovery of interstellar objects passing through our solar system. So far, astronomers have confirmed only two of these interlopers from other star systems but many, many more are thought to exist and the Webb will be taking pictures.
Another Friday with blue sky in Florida and not a pretty picture on Wall Street. The 10 year t-note yield closed down to 1.95%. Fears of a Russian invasion are growing. Inflation is at 40-year high and wreaking havoc with no relief in site. GAMMAT stocks at $9.5 trillion. Some pundits are saying the market is still oversold while others say this is the beginning of a big correction to the downside. I remain bullish but will have to continue to be more patient.
Lots of volatility. Crypto market cap is down to $1.8 trillion and 15% of gold. A couple of interesting and positive stories. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the ride-sharing giant would consider accepting cryptocurrencies as payment. The tax filing service TurboTax has teamed up with Coinbase to allow its customers to have their tax refunds automatically deposited into a Coinbase account and immediately converted to cryptocurrency. I expect many more crypto deals.