Houston, “We have a problem!” Not with the spacecraft, but with COVID-19.

I hear from friends living outside Texas asking about our COVID-19 pandemic situation. They are concerned about the bleak conditions being reported about Houston and the surrounding area. Some even send me a link to an article they read.

I do not watch network news nor read local newspapers. I review headlines on a few websites to keep up with the local and national news trends. I rarely read the articles though.

I research the human body at the cellular level looking for cause and effect relationships. If you treat symptoms, you will always treat symptoms. You must treat the problem to resolve a problem. I research, write, and speak about these relationships. I have written two books on longevity with emphasis on the causes of aging.

Daily, I review medical/health headlines to determine what appeals to me for my daily blog and adds value to my readers. Media headlines are meant to scare people. I know many people in my networking groups who are in panic mode because of what they read and see daily from local and national news networks.

I live in a suburb of Houston in Fort Bend county. I cannot tell there is anything different in my local area compared to the pre-pandemic world. There are a few businesses without cars parked in their lots, but not many. The traffic is normal to horrendous depending on the time of day. Other than people wearing face masks, I would not know there was a health crisis.

I pulled up the local medical system COVID-19 hospitalization database and found the following information. The total medical center COVID-19 positive patients in hospital beds (all included) averaged around 250 patients/day through April and May of 2020.

In June, the average number of patients increased to 450 and then continued to increase until it peaked in July at 1,781. The number of hospital beds being used by COVID-19 patients has been declining for the past seven days.

The infection rate in the greater Houston area went from 1,212 in April to 9,245 in May to 17,097 in June to 55,365 in July (to date). There have been 80,167 total COVID-19 positive infections. This overall trend upward is slowing, and recent days have seen daily decreases in the infection rate.

The new COVID-19 daily hospitalizations are falling 2.2% based on a seven-day rolling average. In April and May, the daily average was under 100/day. The daily hospitalizations peaked on the 4th of July at 446/day and today (20JUL) was reported at 269.

Total COVID-19 hospitalizations in the greater Houston area are reported at 15,397 with 11,918 discharged, 1,112 deaths, and 2,367 currently in hospital beds as of today.

The COVID-19 testing statistics show that a positive case was found about 5% of the time through the second week in June. The positive case percentage rose to 22% in the last week of June, then fell and stayed in the 11-12% range for a short while. It rose again on the 11th of July from 11% to 25% and is starting to fall again.

The databases I reviewed did not list daily deaths for the greater Houston area. I went to Worldometers and found the past two days of daily deaths for Texas. Yesterday, there were a total of 118 daily deaths. Only one county had death numbers in the double-digits – Hidalgo had 34 deaths. All other counties reported single-digit deaths or none.

Today the total daily COVID-19 deaths were 46 with two counties reporting double-digits – Dallas and Cameron counties. Three counties have had zero reported cases of COVID-19. 94 counties have recorded zero deaths. 43 counties have reported a single death since COVID-19 statistics have been collected. 54% of all Texas counties (254) have one COVID-19 death or less this year.

Testing is continuing to increase monthly. Hospitalizations appear to be in decline. COVID-19 positive cases appear to have peaked (for a second time) and are dropping. Daily deaths also appear to be leveling off in the counties surrounding the four largest population centers in Texas. Hospital administrators in the greater Houston area report they are in Phase 2 of the COVID-19 Plan and can easily expand, if needed, into Phase 3.

The current halt in social interactions appears to be working to reduce the daily new COVID-19 cases requiring hospitalization. Nationwide, 80% of positive COVID-19 patients (asymptomatic or mild cases) are self-quarantined at home. The remaining 20% may be hospitalized for a few days. Three out of four hospitalized have severe cases that might result in needed ICU care. One out of four require oxygen and require ventilators.

The elderly (over 60 years of age) with any combination of diabetes, hypertension, obesity, heart disease, and respiratory disease are at greatest risk. When daily infection percentages return to the 5% level, we should expect to return to reopening society once again.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com


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