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I’m genuinely curious about something that the media are reporting but (of course) only superficially. As usual, there are questions no one seems to be asking.
We all remember how, in the spring of 2020, we went into lockdown to “flatten the curve,” essentially a desperate attempt to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. Whether the lockdown had any effect or not, the feared crisis didn’t happen; hospitals were busy, even very busy, but never beyond their ability to cope.
The US overall case count peaked early this year — still no stories of overwhelmed hospitals — and then fell sharply until July. Since then it has been climbing again, presumably driven by the spread of the Delta variant. But it has not climbed back up to the highs from earlier in the year, and there are signs that it might be starting to fall (or at least plateau) again. Meanwhile, we are told that although Delta is more transmissible, it generally cause less serious disease.
Why, then, is the news full of stories about hospitals supposedly struggling under a massive case load? This is apparently genuinely happening; I have heard anecdotes (not through the media) of people who couldn’t be admitted to hospitals because no beds were available. Why should hospitals be full to capacity now when they weren’t in January, when the case load was higher and the virus more dangerous? And what happened to all of the overflow capacity we had, but didn’t need, in 2020?Published in