We are totally fucked. There is no way we’re not going back on lockdown. This is the way it goes: the rate of positive tests goes up, then, followed by a couple of week lag, the rate of hospitalization follows, followed by another couple of week lag, then the death rate goes up. 1,506 people died from COVID-19 today. The experts keep on making these predictions that keep on turning out to be too conservative. The current warning is that daily deaths could go over 2,000 per day. We are going to go over 2,000 deaths per day next week. The thing we should be thinking is that we are going to go over 3,000 death per day this winter. That’s going to be 100,000 Americans dead per month.
“But people aren’t dying at the same rate from COVID-19 as they were early in the pandemic” (compare the bumps in the pink and grey graphs). We’ve learned things. We have some treatments now. But remember that whole discussion we had about flattening the curve back in Spring? You will also remember that there were two lines on those graphs back then: one was COVID-19 infections and the other line was hospital capacity. The importance of flattening the curve was so as not to exceed hospital capacity. What doctors have learned and the treatments we’ve developed don’t do anything if you can’t get into a hospital where they can be administered. We are already at nearly 80,000 people currently hospitalized. We are about to start exceeding hospital capacity all over the country, at which point the death rate is going to skyrocket. “But we can surge capacity.” The only reason we could surge capacity in Spring was because COVID-19 outbreaks were limited to a few regions in California, Washington and New York. It’s everywhere now. There is no area that can afford to loan personnel to other states. Once hospital capacity is exceeded, that’s it: people are going to start dying anonymously at home.
For the next 60 days, the Federal government isn’t going to do a thing about this. In fact, insofar as the Trump administration can be said to have a policy at all, unchecked spread is it. Almost as shocking is the degree to which Democrats in Congress and Governorships are supine in the face of Trump’s total abdication. The next two months are going to be the most gruesome of any of our lives.