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1/ This panic is likely to prove even more embarrassing than previous panics. Here's why: the media is both confused and conflating several different data points in an effort to stir hysteria. (Stop me if you've heard this before.)

What do I mean?
2/ So: you've heard positive tests are up in several states. True. The media refers to these as "cases," as if positive tests have clinical significance by themselves. They do not. The vast majority of people with positive tests do not become ill enough to need hospitalization...
3/ Much less intensive care or ventilator support. For people under 50, this is true in the extreme. But the daily age distribution of positive tests is rarely if ever supported...
4/ Second: you've heard overall hospitalizations are up in some states. This is also true. THIS IS A FEATURE, NOT A BUG. Overall hospitalizations are rising because people are returning to hospitals for elective (and in some cases very necessary) surgeries that were postponed...
5/ Now, in some of these states COVID-related hospitalizations have also risen (though they make up a tiny fraction of overall hospitalizations). Scary, right?

No. When people go to the hospital for elective surgeries they are now routinely tested for COVID...
6/ Whether or not they are symptomatic. Hospitals have financial and legal as well as medical incentives to do this. IF THEY ARE POSITIVE, hospitals will report them as COVID patients (since, technically, they are), EVEN IF THEY HAVE NO COVID SYMPTOMS.
7/ This fact accounts for the bizarre disconnect between the fact the number of people going to emergency rooms with influenza-like or COVID-like symptoms is NOT rising (and remains in the low single digits) even in states reporting more hospitalizations...
8/ As well as the fact that fewer hospitalized cases are now progressing to ventilators (I can't swear to this in every state, but it appears to be a trend)...
9/ And the fact that deaths no longer seem to have any relationship to case counts in many states (true even accounting for the fact that deaths lag).

The question you should be asking yourself: why aren't Europe and Asia seeing post-lockdown spikes if this trend is real?
10/ And don't say masks. Masks are not routine in Europe. So either COVID is somehow different post-lockdown in Europe (and different in different states, too)... or this is just one last gasp of panic porn.
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