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"Surging hospitalizations" and progress of disease.


It is highly misleading for journalists to report "surging" COVID-19 hospitalizations as if it was a national phenomenon. Places that were hit hard by the virus in April have relatively more people who have been removed as targets (having recovered and gained some immunity) and therefore for fewer who remain susceptible to new infection. See the graph of a standard SIR model of infectious diseases.

As a result, the Northeast now has relatively few new hospitalizations, the South has somewhat more, and the heretofore largely unaffected Midwest now has many more.

Epidemics don't affect large nations all at once, but usually spread from localized hot spots. That's why greatly increased recent testing helps - it can identify infected asymptomatic people (who used to go unreported as "cases") and isolate them; then trace and test their contacts.

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