We are getting accurate daily COVID-19 hospitalizations to make good decisions.

On May 2, 2020, there was a headline that caught my attention from the APNEWS.com (https://apnews.com/b3ef23cd1a7781ee388f1345477d91d8) that stated, Texas Tops 1,000 new cases for the third straight day. Is that really a story or not is what I thought immediately? There is a disconnect between the increased testing and the number of new cases of COVID-19.

If we are testing more, would we expect to have higher numbers of new cases? If the herd immunity is increasing, would we expect to find new cases of those people who already had the virus and are not contagious? More testing is what we should be doing. But we should not be surprised that the numbers of new cases are exploding.

The headline implies that the second wave of a pandemic is upon us. I searched for my favorite coronavirus website (worldometers.info) to see what is happening in Texas. I found just under 45,000 total cases with 1,152 new cases. This equates to 1,540 total cases per million residents. Eleven states had fewer total cases per million than Texas.

Additionally, there were 1,253 total deaths in Texas. However, the new deaths for yesterday were only 36. This represents 43 deaths per million people. Ten states had deaths per million people less than Texas. Texas has administered nearly 600,000 tests. That is 20,262 tests per million people in Texas. Forty-six states had higher tests per million than Texas.

Yes, the numbers will continue to grow. Do they really mean anything? Are more people being hospitalized because there are more new cases daily? Are there more COVID-19 deaths because of increased testing? I am certain that if the numbers indicated such the headlines would be never-ending!

I could not find a source to research and review daily hospitalizations for the United States. There seemed to be some other comments that we are not tracking hospitalizations well enough to give us data to make decisions. Individual places, like New York City, have data, but not the total United States or at a state level.

I went to Italy to review their hospitalization data from Worldometers (https://covid19.healthdata.org/italy). Under the projections link, there is additional data that is valuable to see. Today, Italy has nearly 45,000 beds with beds needed at under 5,000. ICU beds are slightly over 1,800 and that exceeds the need for ICU beds by ten percent.

Italy’s daily death rate is falling significantly. At the end of March, the daily death rate from coronavirus was over 800. Today it is 179 and continuing to fall. Spain is similar. Hospital availability and daily deaths fall in line with the figures for Italy. The United Kingdom and France have similar results.

We have more ‘new’ daily cases because of increased testing. We are seeing more hospital supply than demand by orders of magnitude. Testimonial evidence is similar in the United States. Nurses are complaining that the hospitals are nearly empty compared to a month ago.

Do we have anything to worry about? Maybe, but probably not for those under the age of 50. Should we continue to protect those at high risk? Absolutely! Is there a real danger of a second wave of the virus escalating and creating a pandemic revival? The safe answer is that we do not know.

We should make decisions on evidence rather than speculation. Models are not that accurate from what we have seen throughout this pandemic progression. Estimates based on human knowledge appears to vary significantly. Is it too soon to let people congregate again? Possibly.

I think if you are over 50 years of age, err on the side of extra caution. If you under 50 years of age, I think the worst is behind us. Is there a risk of those under 30 and children to die from COVID-19? Probably, but is it an acceptable risk? I think so at some point in time.

My guess is that 30 days after all restrictions are lifted for those under 50 years of age, the herd immunity will be such to safely minimize risks to younger people, especially children.

We see inflated numbers for deaths ‘from’ or ‘with’ COVID-19. Deaths that used to be reported as pneumonia, cardiac arrest, stroke, etc. are much lower than our recent annual statistics. I am certain that some COVID-19 ‘related’ deaths are and should not be reported and blamed on the virus. That is my opinion.

I do think we need to change our daily reporting to look at the numbers that make more sense than daily new cases and start looking at recoveries and hospitalizations. That gives us a better source to make decisions.

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


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