Michigan’s Message?

As U.S. covid cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to climb, the situation in Michigan is cause for particular concern. Michigan hospitalizations have surged sharply since mid-March. Michigan has a higher proportion of the B.1.1.7 variant circulating than any other state. Early observations have found that B.1.1.7 and two other variants are more easily transmissible. Some credible early studies have found an increased probability of death as B.1.1.7 circulates more widely. There may be indications that younger people are more susceptible to contagion and disease from B.1.1.7 than earlier versions of the virus, but the most rigorous studies so far available do not confirm such observations. While the ambiguity is real (a persistent feature of this novel coronavirus), from the perspective of demand and supply networks, the variants might be said to have new “features” that are more engaging to a wider demographic. The result, unfortunately, is increasing hospital traffic and demand for clinical care. This is happening even though nearly one-fifth of Michigan residents — and nearly one-third of adults — have been vaccinated. Demand management is in a race with demand velocity.

Source: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services