Don't freak out about hospitals filled with COVID patients

One of the biggest stories in the media concerns hospitals filled to overflowing with COVID patients.  However, as an article in The Atlantic (of all places!) informs us, these numbers are misleading.  Almost half of the people in the hospital with COVID are either mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic.  In other words, to anyone running around screaming, "We're all gonna die!," the answer is "No, we're not."

The biggest story is that of a 73-year-old Alabama man who purportedly died from a treatable heart attack after dozens of hospitals across a three-state region turned him away owing to the fact that their ICUs were overflowing with COVID patients.  I say "purportedly" out of caution, because there's almost no confirming evidence other than the family's say-so.  The hospital to which he was originally taken confirmed only that "he needed medical services that were not available" at that hospital.  Moreover, he eventually ended up in a hospital in Mississippi, 200 miles from his home.

Those two bits of evidence do indicate that his family is accurately describing what happened.  On the other hand, we also know that hospital staffers, especially nurses, are quitting in droves because they refuse to comply with their hospitals' "get vaccinated or get fired" mandates.  That means that the man could have been rejected from several hospitals not because the beds were full, but because the staffing rosters were empty.

The reason I'm casting a teeny bit of shade on that tragic story is that The Atlantic, one of the bastions of the Deep State establishment, has a rather interesting story.  It turns out that a deep-dive study that looked at the data for all people hospitalized recently in America for COVID discovered that almost half the cases had minimal or no symptoms:

The authors of the paper out this week took a different tack to answer a similar question, this time for adults. Instead of meticulously looking at why a few hundred patients were admitted to a pair of hospitals, they analyzed the electronic records for nearly 50,000 COVID hospital admissions at the more than 100 VA hospitals across the country. Then they checked to see whether each patient required supplemental oxygen or had a blood oxygen level below 94 percent. (The latter criterion is based on the National Institutes of Health definition of "severe COVID.") If either of these conditions was met, the authors classified that patient as having moderate to severe disease; otherwise, the case was considered mild or asymptomatic.

The study found that from March 2020 through early January 2021 — before vaccination was widespread, and before the Delta variant had arrived — the proportion of patients with mild or asymptomatic disease was 36 percent. From mid-January through the end of June 2021, however, that number rose to 48 percent. In other words, the study suggests that roughly half of all the hospitalized patients showing up on COVID-data dashboards in 2021 may have been admitted for another reason entirely, or had only a mild presentation of disease.

Additionally, it seems that people who are vaccinated but hospitalized with COVID are even more likely to have negligible to no symptoms.

Once again, we're reminded that when it comes to media stories, do not trust, and, always, to the best of your ability, verify what the media say.  They're guided by two metrics: sensationalism and pushing whatever narrative most benefits the Democrats.  Collectively, most of those who work for the media are ignorant, lazy, partisan, and unreliable.

Image: Hospital patient by Olga Kononenko.  Unsplash license.

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