Are COVID hospitalization rates rising?

Per the CDC, COVID hospitalizations are rising among those aged 75 and up, but not noticeably otherwise.

On these charts, it's usually best to ignore the dip in the last week, which persists and apparently relates to slow data processing.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

You are right about the dip.

I really hope there is no rise in any age group. We try to whistle past the graveyard on so many things in life, saying "Oh it's mostly young women who get raped and I'm over 50 and don't go downtown," or "The suicide rate went up among males 16-22 and my son is 23," or other understandable but evasive formulations. If we have a new covid strain that hits mostly children or mostly extra-old people, that's just not a good thing, even if those are limited demographics.

I read some virologist papers from the 80s and 90s sent to me by one (admittedly alarmist, fairly paranoid) friend that predicted that with worldwide interaction as high as it is, we should expect an epidemic that wipes out 10% of us, and a few "introductory" worldwide viruses that only killed 1% of us along the way. My heart sank. I admit I had not even considered the possibility that C19 was the trial run we were suppose to learn from, discovering what efforts were useless and which ones reduced contagion 5%, 10%, 2%, whatever.

This one killed 0.3% of us and remade the cultural landscape. We are twice as angry and divided as before.

Man, we really need a time machine to look at even one front page of a major newspaper in 2032, don't we? Except it wouldn't matter. Whatever was there, half of us would insist it was "fake news." Can I exempt even myself, that model of objectivity, from that prediction? Likely worse than "probably not." The real answer is "definitely not, and you have some persuasive ability to convince people of lies." There was a morning prayer of Maimonides "Lord, let me not abuse my ability to persuade others in the service of lies today."

Tex. I thank you for this, but maybe I actually don't. I'm not sure I can handle the truth here. I am 69 and maybe I should just die stupid.

james said...

Is somebody--anybody--putting together a "lessons learned" from our little trial run of the past few years?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

@ James - Yeah! Lots of people! Lists of how everyone else was wrong and stoopid.

Humanity will survive. You and me - well, we hope so. BTW, I have a new commenter coming in with lengthy connected complaints on my old Ivermectin and Covid posts from March. He is taking me to task for everything I got wrong and how the people he has been reading were right all along. Ten years ago I would have responded in detail. Now I give a paragraph. I probably shouldn't even do that. It is strange that I feel it is disrespectful not to respond, but then go on to respond quite rudely.

Douglas2 said...

@james -- The Swedish Parliament forced their government to convene a commission for this purpose, (Coronakommissionen)and my skimming of their final report reinforced many of my own prejudices of what I thought was good and bad in their responses.


Texan99 said...

It would be a shame not to learn from our mistakes, something that's nevertheless hard to do without indulging in the pleasure of blaming enemies. Few temptations are as sweet, but a solid runner-up is to persist in believing in the efficacy of approaches that either hurt on balance, or at best had a neutral effect, meaning we hoped for efficacy but honestly can't establish a causation pattern.

It's very hard to admit that a tactic that was well-meant was no more effective than a charm to ward off evil. We're so constituted as to be deeply reluctant to stop practicing a charm, as if it were tempting fate. "I took vitamin C and I was fine" is not that different from avoiding stepping on sidewalk cracks, without a principled double-blind study of a reasonable size, but it's so easy to become angry with someone who doesn't join us in practicing a charm. "You broke ranks, and now there's blood on your hands!" On the other hand, people saddled with the demand for compliance with a charm they don't believe in resist the bullying, even if the charm isn't very intrusive or offensive, and doubly so if they fear the charm itself, without or without the baggage of suspecting it's a pretext for control for other reasons.

It's hard to suspend belief until we have a solid basis for reaching a conclusion, when something is scaring us and we want a solution. It makes us angry to hear there may not be a solution. Someone must be doing it wrong! Not me, of course, but those guys over there. Or there's a solution, but someone's withholding it from me. Or there's a solution, but it requires 100% compliance, and someone isn't on the team.

Not everyone over 75 will get hit hard--most of them will be fine--but the combination of the likely frailty at that age from other causes, and the probable weakening of the body's ability to mount an immune response even when goosed, does up the odds of trouble.

Texan99 said...

Re whistling past the graveyard: the value of statistics on differential effects among age groups is not to make us feel absolutely safe in a particular age bracket. We're never safe. The value is in reminding us that the overall risk is relatively low, but people in a fairly small age bracket should be taking special care about exposure and probably hitting the panic button earlier in the onset of symptoms.

That suggests that there may be no overall societal benefit in expecting everyone to be on a panic footing, which in turn means we can concentrate attention and resources in the areas where it's likely to do the most good and to have a good cost/benefit ratio. It also means we can afford to quit quarreling with people in the relatively low-risk group if they don't agree with 100% about appropriate protective measures, unless they're in unusual contact with people in higher risk groups.

Grim said...

It might be the case that a real cost lies in convincing those from, say, 60-75 that they ought to lead very cloistered lives during the last years when they might be relatively confident about leading full lives. There's potentially a significant loss in meaning and fulfillment there, a window that will not come again.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Yeah, that's me, and I wouldn't find it that hard. I like talking long walks and seeing people outdoors, or maybe at an outdoor cafe for a pint. Not so much risk there. But it would be a terrible burden on my poor wife. She was an elementary school librarian and her Sunday School cherubs were the 3-5 year olds. Her heart goes out to them - and their mothers - at all times. She wants nothing else but to see them.

Texan99 said...

There's no problem with us introverts--especially people lucky enough to be both introverts and relatively immune to overbearing advice from people in no position to back it up with force or economic extortion. There's a serious problem within strong-arming people who weren't inclined to live that way to begin with.

Anonymous said...

Grim, When one door closes usually another opens up

I’ve spent an incredible amount of time with my elderly parents

It’s never would’ve happened if it wasn’t for Covid am I being fired for not wearing a mask

I truly have an impressive garden

And every once in a while I get to ride about the Virgin Mary and courage.

No regrets on my choice