Red Alert! Omicron Now Everywhere

Source: Bacon’s Rebellion.

Oh, my God!

But there’s not much ambiguity about this data point: In the service territory of Ballad Health in Southwest Virginia and eastern Tennessee, 91% of hospitalized patients are unvaccinated; 97% of COVID patients relying on ventilators are unvaccinated.

I’m tempted to run in circles/scream and shout over this revelation. But wait… How many of the hospitalized patients were hospitalized for Covid-19?

Let’s look at the John Hopkins tracker.

Currently, Virginia has

  • 13,314 total patients in hospital
  • 3,063 are Covid patients
  • 10,251 are non-Covid patients

Clearly, knowing that 91% of 13,314 total patients are unvaccinated doesn’t tell us anything. What we really want to know is how many of the 3,063 Covid patients are vaccinated, but we can’t tell that from the data at hand.

Similarly, we’d like to know how many of the 3,063 current Covid patients are on ventilators.

Let’s look at some VDH numbers; they are pretty close to the John Hopkins tallies. VDH reports that 297 Covid patients are currently on ventilators. If 97% of them are unvaxxed, then 9 of the Covid patients on ventilators are vaxxed. That’s not inexplicable, but it does seem surprising.

All in all, I’d say Bacon’s Rebellion is overreacting. Its lecture that “liberty is not license” — meant to encourage vaccination through moral prodding — is unsubstantiated by BR’s own article.

Furthermore, it is wildly inaccurate to say that “Omicron is filling up Virginia hospitals,” as BR does. In fact (per Johns Hopkins), Virginia hospital capacity has remained pretty constant for more than a year, with the number of Covid patients fluctuating within a fairly narrow range.

Omicron may be displacing other variants of concern, but the big picture hasn’t changed much.

24 thoughts on “Red Alert! Omicron Now Everywhere

  1. Your analysis needs some refinement.

    This is OBVIOUSLY about Covid or do you think that being unvaccinated for Covid makes you FAR more susceptible to being hospitalized? It is clear from the context that the article was discussing Covid hospitalizations in that excerpt you provided.

    This is what happens when someone is too eager to find exculpatory evidence to justify their anti-social behavior.

    BTW, just today the news broke that Sentara is stopping all non-emergency operations because of the crisis.

    https://www.wavy.com/news/health/sentara-postpones-non-emergency-surgeries-procedures-and-diagnostic-testing-as-covid-19-hospitalizations-surge/

    This is another one of the ways that Covid has caused deaths. Unvaccinated Covid sufferers are exhausting resources.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A bit of perspective on postponements.

    Hospitals, like other businesses, have economic realities. We’d like to think that an empty hospital is a good thing but in reality, a hospital needs 85 to 90% occupancy to operate efficiently. If it doesn’t, your hospital is too big, and if it gets down to about 70%, you start closing floors and laying off nurses.

    The other side of that is if something comes along that requires even 15% of your beds, you have to start delaying elective procedures.

    So, no need to panic over Sentara’s announcement

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    1. So, you would rather blame the dysfunctional and failing for-profit system of providing health care rather than the surge of unvaccinated Covid patients? Okay. Fine by me. God forbid that there be reserve capacity in the hospital system – shareholders would fire the board.

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      1. In countries with socialized medicine the capacity margin is tighter. In Britain you would expect to wait a year for a hip replacement that you could schedule here in a month.

        But the point you are avoiding is that it doesn’t take a huge surge to exhaust that reserve capacity.

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        1. “In Britain you would expect to wait a year for a hip replacement that you could schedule here in a month.”

          Ah, my favorite example of what a wonderful healthcare system we have! Do you have any idea how many tens of thousands of Americans must wait YEARS to reach Medicare eligibility so they can afford treatments such as hip replacements? Trick question, nobody knows. We allocate scarce medical resources by ability to pay. Civilized countries allocate them by waiting times.

          By the way, the NHS target average waiting time for hip replacement is 18 weeks and before the pandemic they had met that goal for five years running. Maybe you could use real facts the next time you denigrate the UK healthcare system?

          Liked by 1 person

      2. RE: “So, you would rather blame the dysfunctional and failing for-profit system of providing health care rather than the surge of unvaccinated Covid patients?”

        There is no “surge of unvaccinated Covid patients.” What makes you think there is?

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        1. There is no “surge of unvaccinated Covid patients.” What makes you think there is?

          Uh, because of countless reports in the NOT fake news. For example, here is the Republican Governor of Maryland describing the crisis in their hospitals CAUSED by the unvaccinated. Maryland has a 92% vaccination rate but that stubborn 8% account for 75% of the states 2,700 Covid hospitalizations.

          Of course, you will discount his testimony because having led a remarkably successful vaccination effort, Governor Hogan is clearly not loyal – a RINO.

          https://thehill.com/changing-america/well-being/prevention-cures/588038-gop-governor-says-unvaccinated-are-overwhelming

          Liked by 1 person

          1. (A) We’re talking about Virginia, not Maryland.

            (B) In Maryland there is in fact a recent increase in Covid hospitalizations as a proportion of total hospitalizations:

            https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/hospitalization-7-day-trend/maryland/inpatient-capacity

            (C) According to Maryland’s own data, fully vaccinated patients represent 19.44% of Covid hospitalizations:

            https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/

            (D) Even using the somewhat older Maryland numbers in your comment, 25% of Covid hospitalizations are vaccinated patients.

            (E) Maryland’s state vaccination rate is an interesting number, but it paints an incomplete picture of reality.

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          2. YOU may be talking about Virginia. I am talking about America.

            “(B) In Maryland there is in fact a recent increase in Covid hospitalizations as a proportion of total hospitalizations”
            Yes, that confirms the point that Covid cases are putting pressure on hospital resources just like the Governor said.


            “(C) According to Maryland’s own data, fully vaccinated patients represent 19.44% of Covid hospitalizations:”

            Try real hard to understand how that data demolishes your apologetics for the unvaccinated. Those 19.44% of Covid hospitalizations come from 92% of the population. The remaining 80.56% of Covid vaccinations come from that 8% of unvaccinated. The crisis discussed by the governor is being caused by the people who are not vaccinated. Period.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. RE: “The crisis discussed by the governor is being caused by the people who are not vaccinated. Period.”

            If melodrama were beer we could all get drunk. Your “crisis” is just Maryland’s hospitals operating at peak efficiency, or 85% of capacity.

            If your purpose is to go around blaming others you can certainly use the vaccination percentages for the population as a whole, but the vaccination rates of Covid patients in hospital are just as important for understanding current events, and they don’t support finger pointing.

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          4. “Your “crisis” is just Maryland’s hospitals operating at peak efficiency, or 85% of capacity.”

            I am simply sharing the Governor’s view that his state is facing a crisis. Is he drunk too?

            What you choose to forget when you say they are merely operating at capacity is WHO is in those beds. It is disproportionately unvaccinated Covid sufferers, while people with other problems must wait for care and diagnostics.

            There is no rational reason to deny yourself, your family, your co-workers, your church and our nation the protection that vaccination offers.

            I am definitely pointing my finger at the deliberately unvaccinated for the delay in ending the pandemic and the THOUSANDS of extra deaths they have caused. It is criminal and ought to be punished. IMHO.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. RE: “What you choose to forget when you say they are merely operating at capacity is WHO is in those beds. It is disproportionately unvaccinated Covid sufferers, while people with other problems must wait for care and diagnostics.”

            Cry me a river. There are twice as many non-Covid patients in Maryland as Covid patients, and unoccupied beds have averaged pretty close to 2,000 every week for a year.

            RE: “I am definitely pointing my finger at the deliberately unvaccinated for the delay in ending the pandemic and the THOUSANDS of extra deaths they have caused.”

            Yes you are. Immorally, in my opinion.

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          6. “Immorally, in my opinion.”

            That’s a laugh. You obviously have whack-a-doodle ideas about what is moral. You seem to think deliberately risking the health and lives of other people for no good reason is moral. It isn’t. It is not just immoral, it is criminal.

            Liked by 1 person

          7. RE: “You seem to think deliberately risking the health and lives of other people for no good reason is moral.”

            I think people who say things like that are the scum of the Earth.

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  3. Gee, it’s a shame we won’t have enough Paxlovid to keep elders out of the hospitals in the coming months.

    If we did, vaccination wouldn’t matter.

    If we had enough for all the high risk patients, there would be no hospital crowding, and they could go back to pushing weight loss and tummy tuck procedures.

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    1. Black, or at least gray markets, are emerging to service demand for therapeutics. Stumble Joe is becoming the new Prohibition president.

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        1. I don’t. A piece at Zerohedge today mentioned the prohibition angle:

          “Most people in the U.K. today are getting their therapeutics from India! And some are shipping to the U.S. and they are being distributed via gray markets for anyone who is lucky enough to have a contact. It’s a speakeasy nation, but this time for distributing basic therapies.”

          https://www.zerohedge.com/covid-19/hell-pay-decades

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    2. “If we did, vaccination wouldn’t matter.”
      And, if rainwater were beer, I could save a lot of money.

      Yes, it is a shame that something newly invented and not yet in full production is still in short supply. Let’s bring back magical thinking where all the doses needed just appear and we can have the greatest healthcare in the world for a fraction of what we are spending now. Enough of this bullshit reality that Biden is pushing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Again, you either ignore or don’t see the point.

        Sure, it will take a while to make enough, but Biden pre-ordered less than 20% of what we will need AND DIDN”T BUY AN OPTION FOR MORE.

        So, when that initial supply is gone, we won’t get any more until the foreign contracts have been filled, which could be months.

        You have said you were a CFO for a large corporation, would you have kept your job had you been that careless with your supply orders?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No, it is you who do not see the point.
          No matter the size of the order by the government, products do not appear by magic. Pfizer had a total of 180,000 doses available at the end of 2021. So, yes, it is a shame that we don’t have enough. It is a shame that rainwater is not beer.

          The 10 million courses were ordered BEFORE the omicron variant was known and while the pandemic was thought to be waning. Based on the state of evidence at that time it was entirely appropriate. And, given that the omicron virus is less virulent, and that the omicron wave is going to be over in a few weeks, it still appears to be appropriate. The bottleneck that you blame on Biden has NOTHING to do with the size of the government’s initial order.

          If you want to use a business analogy, it is bad business to commit to buy huge amounts of products that you will not be able to use.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Delta was not bad enough? It’s still the primary killer.

            An option is not a commitment to buy, it is buying priority for follow-up orders.

            Yes, we will not get the whole 10 million courses right away anyway, but when we do get them and run out, there will be no way to order more until foreign orders are filled.

            And remember, we only ordered 20% of what we need for high risk patients. What about those patients for whom infection only means misery and missing weeks of work and a lower risk of hospitalization? Shold we not have medicine for them, like we do with Tamiflu?

            You don’t go to war with only enough ammunition for your intended order of battle.

            At the very least, pharmacies should be able to order directly to fill that gap. We don’t run out of Tamiflu, because at least some pharmacies will guess right on the severity of the flu season.

            But Biden put all our eggs in one government basket and guessed wrong, or worse, intentionally under ordered to coerce vaccination.

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          2. I was willing to consider your opinion as being, maybe, your objective assessment but then I ran into this little gem . . . “[Biden] intentionally under ordered to coerce vaccination.”

            So, no. It is ALL partisan baloney. Reality trumps nonsense every time. The reality is that it is a brand new product and cannot be made to magically appear.

            Liked by 1 person

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