The number of patients currently hospitalized for Covid-19 has fallen by -50% – cut in half – since the peak on January 6, 2021. That is a -50% drop in about 5 weeks.
Since daily new positive test cases also remain in decline, this implies that the hospitalization curve will continue down for the near term (I do not make predictions).
The chart, below, is the change in daily hospitalizations – the 1st derivative of the hospitalization curve.
The peak day of the change in hospitalization was on November 14, 2020 when the total hospitalized increased by 3,945 patients. Thereafter, the number added to each day’s hospital count began decreasing.
The maximum of total hospitalized patients was reached on January 6th. After this, the total began decreasing. Note – the red line does not line up perfectly with those dates because it is a 7-day moving average, which time shifts values to the right.
This chart shows that the trend in the pandemic turned in mid-November. This is a critically important piece of information.
Why did it reverse course? No one has a coherent, unified explanation.
Explanations provided in the media are all over the map – from “holiday surge ended” (except this occurred before the holidays), changing weather, changing climate, people started complying (except the same pattern appears in both high compliance and low compliance regions), traffic mobility changed … insert your pet theory here.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb suggested earlier that herd immunity effects might begin to occur by the end of 2021. Herd immunity does not mean the disease has vanished – it means the virus has fewer and fewer good targets. Herd effects mean that R-0 gradually declines, all else being equal. No one knows at what threshold “herd immunity” occurs – it varies based on many factors. While we hear much from “experts” about 75-85% must be vaccinated for herd immunity, there are others who note that herd effects may occur much earlier, and there are other pandemic and epidemic diseases that achieved natural herd immunity at much lower levels.
Reminder: I am a brain injured idiot with no relevant experience. I do not make predictions: I make observations and ask stupid questions.