COVID-19 hospitalizations dropping across the board


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Hospitalizations from COVID-19, week by week
Click for full resolution image.

The graph to the right, produced weekly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and presently up-to-date through June 13th, bluntly shows why the panic over COVID-19 has been absurd and unjustified. (Hat tip Doug Ross @ Journal for noting it first.)

It shows the trends in Wuhan flu hospitalizations week to week, separated by age group. The only age groups seriously impacted by the disease have been those over 50. The cohorts under seventeen do not even register on the graph. Moreover, these are numbers per 100,000. Even at its worse, the disease only put about 30 people (over 65) out of every 100,000 into the hospital. Though maybe a bit higher it is hardly different than what we see normally during any normal flu season. It is also, like what we see during flu season, hardly something to panic over.

The graph also shows that the disease’s impact is clearly fading, across the board, even as the number of identified cases is rising. Even in the 18-49 cohort, which is right now experiencing the greatest rise in new cases, the hospitalizations are dropping, to about 2 or 3 people out of every 100,000.

This is not something to fear. It certainly does not justify the nullification of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Nor does it justify the requirement that everyone go about their lives wearing a mask, which not only does nothing to stop the disease but probably increases everyone’s chances of getting sick.

Doug Ross in his post on this graph I think summarizes the situation best:

You gots it, Sparky. The key metrics indicate that overall, the U.S. is crushing the China scourge. Of course, the media — whose singular goal is the destruction of the Constitution — wants to shriek about the growth of “positive test results”, not hospitalizations or mortality. But that’s what the media do. They aren’t about objective facts, or news, they’re about promoting fascism. Ain’t that right, Acosta?

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4 comments

  • Rose

    “Week ending June 13” (as with your graph) is the most recent set released by CDC’s Weekly Surveillance Summary, but that means its final data points only reflect hospitalizations which happened between two to three weeks ago. But the uptick in confirmed cases just started about three weeks ago, didn’t it?

    I don’t see how that data is recent enough to support the hypothesis that “the impact [as measured by hospitalizations] is clearly fading, across the board, even as the number of identified cases is rising”. It does support your other points on age distribution and overall rate of impact, and there would have been a lot less panic everywhere if all figures were primarily given as rates per 100,000 instead of raw totals. A lot happens in a country of one-third of a billion people, and most people don’t put news in proper context. Would alarmists who claim any effort is worthwhile if it saves just one life say the same about 0.0003 per 100,000?

    I don’t recall the source, but I saw some more recent charts showing COVID-19 related hospitalizations still dropping in the northeast, but increasing in all other regions, resulting in a slight increase nationwide. I’ll see if I can find it again.

  • Andrew_W

    What I expect to happen in the US in the coming month.

    I expect the number of cases to continue to rise, the re-imposition of broad lock-down measures shouldn’t be done because the economic damage isn’t justified, perhaps the US, early in the pandemic could have eliminated the virus with strict measures, but, we can say in hindsight that’s unlikely even with a united US team of 325 million, in many population centers the people just don’t have the ability to isolate to the extent required, so without a vaccine the virus will continue to shift through the US population, other cities, especially those with poor densely populated communities will see infection rates on the order of that seen in NY.

    I think we won’t see such high case death rates as seen in the first wave, treatments of those hospitalized has improved with experience and, more importantly, surely the measures put in place to avoid the infection of the most vulnerable have improved. Mr. Zimmerman suggested that this was where the focus needed to be and, given the failure to contain the spread he’s certainly correct on this point.

    So, I won’t be surprised if the number of daily cases increases into the high tens of thousands given the wider spread of areas of established community transmission. I expect the number of deaths to increase, but three things will lower the case death rate: Reduced exposure of the most vulnerable, continued increase in testing – maybe we’ll see 25% of infections detected vs only 10 – 15% in the first wave, and the better treatment options. So while we saw peak deaths at less than 8% of peak cases in the first wave, this time around it’ll be more like (guestimating) 3%, which could give a similar number of daily deaths as we saw at the mid April peak.

    And, Cotour, given the above I have to revise my prediction for the number of US deaths over the next 3 years down to less than a million (based on the assumption that there will be no effective vaccine – which I think very unlikely).

  • wodun

    Where I live, cases are going up and while hospitalizations were holding steady, they are now increasing too, 19 in the past week. That puts us below the 10ish per 100k nationwide but shows cities like mine will see increases in hospitalizations, not a decrease as claimed in the post above.

    What the CDC graph shows are outliers, all the people in the old folks homes who were infected. The numbers for other age groups have stayed pretty stable in terms of how many are hospitalized.

    It stands to reason that numbers would drop during the lockdown and as sensible people took steps to mitigate their own exposure and exposure to others. What isn’t reasonable are people claiming that nothing helped and that no steps should be taken.

    Graphs are nice but it is important to look behind the lines to what is making them.

  • Rose

    And the numbers continue to drop.

    CDC has released their COVID-19 related hospitalization figures for the week ending 20 June, and they are again down from the previous week in every age category.

    Also, daily reported deaths continue to be down week-on-week, with yesterday’s (Friday) being 619, down from 647, and today’s being 506, down from 621. (Per the COVID Tracking Project page Bob linked in an earlier post.)

    Interesting.

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