How A Pandemic Was Created On The Myth Of Covid Hospitalizations, New Study Shows
According to a new nationwide study almost half of those hospitalized with COVID-19 have mild or asymptomatic cases. The study shows how a pandemic was created on the myth of COVID Hospitalizations.
From the start, COVID hospitalizations have served as a vital metric for tracking the risks posed by the disease. Last winter, the Atlantic magazine described it as “the most reliable pandemic number,” while Vox quoted the cardiologist Eric Topol as saying that it’s “the best indicator of where we are.”
On the one hand, death counts offer finality, but they’re a lagging signal and don’t account for people who suffered from significant illness but survived. Case counts, on the other hand, depend on which and how many people happen to get tested.
Presumably, hospitalization numbers provide a more stable and reliable gauge of the pandemic’s true toll, in terms of severe disease.
But a new, nationwide study (read below) of hospitalization records, released as a preprint, suggests that the meaning of this gauge can easily be misinterpreted—and that it has been shifting over time.
David Zweig, a New York based writer and author of the nonfiction book Invisibles and the novel Swimming Inside the Sun, explains the implications of the study in his article titled Our Most Reliable Pandemic Number Is Losing Meaning published in The Atlantic.
If you want to make sense of the number of COVID hospitalizations at any given time, you need to know how sick each patient actually is. Until now, that’s been almost impossible to suss out.