Stubborn demand for hospitalization

In many places (where I live, for example) covid-related hospitalizations are declining. But this is not the case everywhere and big picture trends are concerning. Patterns outlined last week have persisted.

While the US demand curve has declined from peak-Delta, it has remained quite high and in some places is beginning to once-again bend upward. Please see the chart below for results as of November 12 for seven nations.

This last week Germany confirmed more new covid infections than ever before (more). Resurgent numbers in Italy have prompted discussion of another Christmas slow-down or shutdown (and not just in Italy). The Netherlands is slowing-down now in an effort to head-off a sharper stop later.

The persistent plateau (see below) in the UK seems to be easing, but the churn across the channel is concerning. In the United States it very much depends where you live and what you and your neighbors have decided about vaccinations. Counties in New Mexico and Colorado with low vaccination rates are the current hotspots. But even in highly vaccinated Vermont, Halloween parties are allegedly to blame for an outbreak at St. Michael’s College.

About three weeks ago I advised that, despite improving trends, there was still good cause to minimize travel, avoid interior crowds, and cover our nose and mouth when we cannot avoid sharing interior crowds. For the record, I just spent most of a week in Dallas, where I met inside with many others, and very seldom wore a mask in those rooms. I understand everyone was vaccinated, the room was well-ventilated, and it was not really crowded. But we were certainly not always six feet apart. Only two or three consistently wore masks. Good for them. I am a risk-aware hypocrite. There are too many of us and too few of them.