The World Health Organization (WHO) is monitoring the original Omicron variant, BA.1, along with several additional subvariants BA.1.1, BA.2 and BA.3. The subvariant BA.2 has been referred to as “stealth” Omicron because it has genetic mutations that could make it harder to distinguish from the Delta variant. The subvariants look like they will be highly transmissible. As a result, it is important of being up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations, including the booster as tools to fight any variant.The WHO dashboard shows what is going on country by country. Globally, as of March 18, 2022, there have been 462.8 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. The death toll now exceeds 6.1 million. U.S. deaths are now at 960.2 thousand. Cases are down but due to the lag, there are still more than 1,000 deaths per day in the U.S. Global vaccinations are at 10.8 billion doses administered.
Engineers and scientists at NASA have achieved a major milestone in preparing the new James Webb Space Telescope for big things ahead.
Engineers said they have managed to fully focus the $10 billion observatory on a test star. The name of the star is MASS J17554042+6551277. I am sure astronomers have reasoning behind the name. The super sharp performance is described as phenomenal. The 18 mirrors were aligned to tiny fractions of the width of a human hair. A lot remains to be done before the telescope can be put to full time duty but off to a great start.
The market and tech had a nice rally. The GAMMAT stocks all rose and added up to $9.9 trillion. The other techs all rose but they are much closer to their 52-week lows than 52-week highs. I remain bullish on tech, large and small.
San Francisco-based crypto exchange Coinbase announced Coinbase Pay which will allow users to fund their non-custodial Coinbase Wallet more easily than before. Coinbase Pay, the new offering, is an extension of its existing digital asset wallet which allows users to interact with Web3 applications and provide access to the NFT universe. Crypto showed some strength on Friday amid continued volatility. Of the 25 different cryptocurrencies I hold, 14 are at a loss and 11 have gains. Fortunately, the gains are much larger than the losses.