In other news, new initial claims for unemployment benefits dropped to 547,000 last week. That's a new low for the pandemic era.
Meanwhile, after surging up to 150,000 troops to their border with Ukraine, Russia's defense ministry says the force will return home over the next two weeks.
Finally, a new study on people with long term symptoms from coronavirus infection published in the journal Nature found they had an almost 60 percent increased chance dying six months later.
Survivors had a 59% increased risk of dying within six months after contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus, researchers reported Thursday in the journal Nature. The excess mortality translates into about 8 extra deaths per 1,000 patients -- worsening the pandemic’s hidden toll amid growing recognition that many patients require readmission, and some die, weeks after the viral infection abates.
“When we are looking at the acute phase, we’re only pretty much looking at the tip of the iceberg,” said Ziyad Al-Aly, chief of the research and development service at the St. Louis VA Medical Center in Missouri, who led the study. “We’re starting to see a little bit beneath that iceberg, and it’s really alarming.”
About 8 extra deaths within six months for every 1,000 infections does not seem that high at first glance, but we're up to almost 32 million infections now.
I'm getting my face shot with a laser again tomorrow, but I expect to be here unless there's some kind of complication.