What is one of the big headaches with the COVID-19 pandemic? Most of the news media is constantly trying to scare us with fear porn. Occasionally, however, we see something increasingly rare, a story in the news media that is actually informative. Here is an excerpt from one such story.
If you want to make sense of the number of COVID hospitalizations at any given time, you need to know how sick each patient actually is. Until now, that’s been almost impossible to suss out. The federal government requires hospitals to report every patient who tests positive for COVID, yet the overall tallies of COVID hospitalizations, made available on various state and federal dashboards and widely reported on by the media, do not differentiate based on severity of illness. Some patients need extensive medical intervention, such as getting intubated. Others require supplemental oxygen or administration of the steroid dexamethasone. But there are many COVID patients in the hospital with fairly mild symptoms, too, who have been admitted for further observation on account of their comorbidities, or because they reported feeling short of breath. Another portion of the patients in this tally are in the hospital for something unrelated to COVID, and discovered that they were infected only because they were tested upon admission. How many patients fall into each category has been a topic of much speculation. In August, researchers from Harvard Medical School, Tufts Medical Center, and the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System decided to find out.COVID Hospitalization Numbers Can Be Misleading – The Atlantic
What does this suggest? Several things:
- The Delta variant may be highly contagious, but it is not as lethal as we FEARED.
- The treatments we have developed are working.
- Because our hospitals are always full (in the interest of maximizing profits), we are labeling patients in the hospital for another reason as COVID-19 patients just because they happen to have COVID-19.
One of the things much of the news media will do is try to scare us with numbers. Often, however, those numbers don’t mean what the reporters want us to believe those numbers mean. That is, instead of trying to inform us, many reporters try to scare us either to keep us as their breathless audience or to manipulate us into doing something we would not otherwise do.
To avoid being taken in, we must remain calm, and we must check a variety of sources. If we rely too much on just one news source, or even a group of news sources with the same political bent, instead of knowing the truth, we will believe a multitude of lies and misrepresentations.
Consider. How should we make a rational decision about getting vaccinated? Is the solution to abuse government power and FORCE everyone get vaccinated? Has anyone in our government actually explained the necessity for that? Supposedly, the people taking the risk are the unvaccinated, not the vaccinated.
Does anyone remember how the vaccination Nazis denigrated the COVID-19 vaccinations while President Trump was running for reelection? Should we trust rabidly partisan politicians with the power to jab us in the arm? Who knows what some of those people would inject into us if they could?
Is it a good idea to get one of the COVID-19 vaccines? Because I am getting elderly and I fear passing the disease on to a loved one, I got my shots, but that was my choice. Given my personal circumstances, I thought the benefits outweighed the risks. Is that enough reason to force others to make the same choice? No! Even if we do vaccinate everyone, sooner or latter we will see a COVID-19 variant that our current vaccines won’t stop.
Contemplate a similar problem. Why don’t we do what we do with the flu shots some people voluntarily get every fall? Do we make people get a flu shots? Arrogant politicians do twist the arms our military members and some government employees, but otherwise the answer is “no.”
Why don’t we let our glorious president make everyone get a flu shot? Don’t we recognize the obvious? We don’t trust politicians and their “experts” all that much.
If you have one of the comorbidites or you have a good many gray hairs, the benefits of the vaccine probably outweigh the risks. Similiarly, if you are in frequent contact with a loved one who for some reason doesn’t want to get vaccinated, you may want to get vaccinated. It is your choice.
- Analysis & updates | Current, New, and Cumulative Hospitalizations: What They Are and Why They Matter | The COVID Tracking Project
- ‘COVID-19 Hospitalizations’ Are an Increasingly Misleading Measure of Severe Disease – Reason.com
- Analysis: Exaggerated ‘COVID Hospitalizations’ Revelation Is Significant (townhall.com)
- What Does Rationing Of Care Mean For Your Aging Parents? (forbes.com)
- Unvaccinated COVID-19 hospitalizations cost billions of dollars – Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker