The way the media and a certain political Party are talking about it you would think we are in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic with no vaccines available yet.  Is it a tactic to get move people to get vaccinated or something else?

Here is an example brought to us by the Michigan Capitol Confidential (MCC) news site. Papers around the country are publishing a piece by Dr. Thomas Lew of Stanford Health Care.  One of those papers that published this opinion piece was the Detroit Free Press under the title “Doctor: Unvaccinated patients fill up hospital beds I need for others.” In that piece he writes:

‘All across the nation, hospitals are reaching capacity and at times, exceeding it. The COVID-19 pandemic, and the delta variant in particular, are sweeping through the unvaccinated, leading to significant increases in cases and subsequent dramatic increases in hospitalizations. Intensive care units and medical wards are stretched thin or overflowing. Back in the spring of 2020, we all talked about #flattenthecurve, in which using masks and social distancing would keep our hospitals open and free. As of today, our nation is failing that goal…This has real world consequences. When ICUs and medical wards are full, the health care system backs up and people have real delays in care.”

Is it happening in Michigan?

The state of Michigan puts out a survey of hospitals in the state.  As of August 30th, the survey produced the following results:

  • There are 25,985 total hospital beds in the state of Michigan.  There were only 1,246 hospitalized people who had tested positive for COVID-19
  • Our hospital bed occupancy rate was 77%. 
  • Michigan's total ICU bed capacity is 3,071 with 79% (2,427) occupied by patients as of the August 30th report.

Now let us look back at history to put these numbers into context.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hospital bed occupancy rates in Michigan averaged:

  • 78% in 1980
  • 66% in 1990
  • 65% in 2000
  • 66% in 2010

When you look at the facts and the data it appears that our hospital bed occupancy is not that much different than our historical numbers.  I now wonder why the Detroit Free Press published this piece?

Did they not know that our numbers are in the ballpark of our historical numbers but chose not to inform their readers about them?

Did they publish this piece for some other reason?

What exactly are these merchants of scare doing and why are they doing it?

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Many of the included towns jump out at the casual observer as popular summer-rental spots--the Ozarks' Branson, Missouri, or Arizona's Lake Havasu--it might surprise you to dive deeper into some quality-of-life offerings beyond the beach and vacation homes. You'll likely pick up some knowledge from a wide range of Americana: one of the last remaining 1950s-style drive-ins in the Midwest; a Florida town that started as a Civil War veteran retirement area; an island boasting some of the country's top public schools and wealth-earners right in the middle of a lake between Seattle and Bellevue; and even a California town containing much more than Johnny Cash's prison blues.