Most of our previous COVID-19 analyses focused on national and regional trends. A recent article indicated that the pandemic might be entering a new period of less lethal infections . This trend might relate to a new variant, exposure differences, or additional vaccination acceptance. Here we draw on weekly state-level data to explore such relationships, including two other COVID-19 metrics: percentages of positive tests and rates of hospitalization.
Daily infection rates are a crucial metric for assessing the spread and intensity of COVID-19, but daily death counts have been of more concern to public health. The lag between infection and death is well known but seldom recognized by the media or various COVID tracking websites. When we hear a pronouncement of increased caseloads but reassurance since death rates remain stable, we’re tempted to respond, “Just wait!”
Trends in COVID-19 outcomes during the past 12 months offer something for nearly everyone. For the alarmists, new cases reached all-time highs in February, but optimists will point to the subsequent 10-fold slide in daily deaths that persisted for another four months. Case-fatality rates follow directly from cases and deaths two weeks later and appear more variable than either. The Omicron variant …
Every day of the week, surgeons stand before their peers to discuss and explain the most recent bad outcomes. It is part of our training and our work. As we continue to discuss and explain the public health, behavioral, and political choices during the pandemic, those weekly surgical conversations about morbidity and mortality can give us some insight into how we respond to what went right and what went wrong.
While COVID-19 vaccinations are increasing (however slowly), infections are increasing more rapidly. Both provide a degree of immunity from further infection. We have previously investigated daily rates of change in detail. Here we consider the cumulative rates of infection and the implications for the future of the pandemic.
Hospital data show that the largest shares of COVID infections and deaths have been to the unvaccinated, about whom we have little personal information. The media has interviewed a few individuals, but large-scale demographic data are needed for a better understanding. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may provide some insight.
I wrote several weeks ago about the possibility that the UK variant, B.1.1.7, in addition to being more infectious, may be more deadly. The data provided to the UK’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has now been updated. Here is what we know now.