Depending on the media you are watching, the country is either under siege from the Covid19 virus, or people are dying from it. The data now shows that covid hospital deaths are down.
The data according to the NY Times tells a different story.
Early on in the pandemic, doctors did not know what to do about these strange patients whose blood oxygen levels dropped so they placed them on respirators. Unfortunately, 84% of these patients never recovered. Also, when the hospital numbers rose, the idea of placing covid patients in nursing homes had disastrous results increasing the death rate.
Many months later, more people are being tested. Fewer people as a percentage of the whole are requiring hospitalization and more people are recovering after being hospitalized. In other words, we know more and fewer people are dying from the disease. It is also important to note that as older people stayed home and away from others, the average patient to be hospitalized is younger.
Has the virus changed? Do we know more? Are we managing risk better? Are hospital protocols improved? The answer maybe all of the above which is why even in NJ, when more people are tested positive, only a small percentage of them are being hospitalized, and more of them are recovering. Also, patients are spending fewer days in the hospital.
Could the virus still overwhelm the healthcare system in states that have high rates of infection? It is possible but much less likely than before.
Should you be scared of getting covid19?
The truth is that we will all be exposed eventually, and most of us will experience a flu-like experience. Some will have a much more difficult time with recovery which may be due to genetics, vitamin D deficiency, or other reasons that are not clearly understood yet.
Many of us probably know people who have had Covid19 and recovered relatively quickly. Unfortunately, they do not make great headlines so we do not see them on the front page of our newspapers.
The NY Times recently looked over the most recent data concerning death rates and covid19. It is important to keep things in perspective while we wait for a vaccine which can help us more quickly get back to normal. Most people under 70 will recover fully and quickly from covid19 while people over 70 are at a higher percentage risk.
Recently, Pfizer had shown that their vaccine candidate is at least 90 percent effective, which is remarkable since the flu vaccine is claimed to be 40% effective on a good year. This is based on a recently reported early third stage trial and it seems to be the best vaccine candidate thus far.
Check out the NY Times article below
Death Rates Have Dropped for Seriously Ill Covid Patients
Survival rates have improved with medical advances and less crowded hospitals, studies say. But the latest record-breaking surge in infections could reverse the gains.
By Roni Caryn Rabin Oct. 29, 2020
The coronavirus struck the United States earlier this year with devastating force. In April, it killed more than 10,000 people in New York City. By early May, nearly 50,000 nursing home residents and their caregivers across the country had died.
But as the virus continued its rampage over the summer and fall, infecting nearly 8.5 million Americans, survival rates, even of seriously ill patients, appeared to be improving. At one New York hospital system where 30 percent of coronavirus patients died in March, the death rate had dropped to 3 percent by the end of June.
Doctors in England observed a similar trend. “In late March, four in 10 people in intensive care were dying. By the end of June, survival was over 80 percent,” said John M. Dennis, a University of Exeter Medical School researcher who is first author of a paper about improved survival rates in Britain, accepted for publication in the journal Critical Care Medicine. “It was really quite dramatic.”