Briefly Talking COVID-19

I’m briefly going to talk about COVID-19, if for no other reason there’s not a whole lot of sports to talk about for the past 90 days.

I saw a tweet today from Joe Lockhart from CNN that read: “Why is it not news that there seems to be a second wave of the coronavirus?”

I’m mystified by the people who think the “second wave” hysteria isn’t hysterical enough.

To be clear, while it’s possible that COVID-19 cases will start to increase soon, it hasn’t actually happened yet. Viral positive rates are still declining in basically every state.

The media has breathlessly announced that the second wave is starting for a solid six weeks now. Maybe we’ll get one after all the people in the streets the past two weeks. But so far, the data simply doesn’t support that.

For instance, there are a lot of dramatic headlines about skyrocketing hospitalizations in Arizona. Yet Arizona themselves say most are not COVID related, and that they’re getting more COVID cases only because they’ve had a huge spike in testing capacity. You can read some of the stuff going on in Arizona here.

The media is holding the recent upticks in Arizona and North Carolina as a baseline for the “second wave.”

It’s not even clear that either of those two states is actually getting worse. Take North Carolina, for instance: Over the last month there’s been a 50 percent increase in currently hospitalized, a doubling in cases, and a tripling in testing. Is that a “real” increase in cases?

Remember, an increase in people hospitalized doesn’t mean that more people are going to the hospital. Average stays are increasing.

Several US states are seeing increases in hospitalized populations but decreases in daily admissions. Guess which stat the media publicizes…

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