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Michael Droy

Surely there are other leading indicators other than infections and deaths.
ICU patients in UK for example has continued to fall or move sideways.

Covid Hospitalisations have moved up in last 2 weeks. But this could be hospitalisations from new covid generated cases or ordinary hospitalisations where the patient coincidentally tests positive.
In the UK this has been described by NHS leaders as being mostly "with covid" hospitalisations. In the US Walensky of the CDC has said 75% of Omicron deaths have been of patients with 4 or more co-morbidities.

So yes the clear data to judge on the matter is not available to the public. But health leaders ought to have a clear idea of what is going on. They will have clear data for some hospitals and some regions. These health leaders are saying publicly it is all over.

Dan Vargo

This is true when looking at US statistics, but hasn't Omicron been around in the UK and South Africa for a few additional weeks, allowing some lagged analysis on hospitalizations and preliminary analysis on death rate?

Kaiser

DV: Good question. Why are these analyses always done prematurely and then we don't see updates later?

MJM-WA

Nice piece, Kaiser.

Your point is well taken. From the tracking data I follow (see below), the US hospitalizations are looking to soon be passing last winter wave’s peak. Let’s hope the mortality stays below last winter, but as you say —the jury is still out on that one.
Now look at the summer 2021 wave in the same data source. Why were the summer 2021 wave peaks greater than the 2020 summer wave peaks at a time in 2021 when ~66% of the population was fully vaxxed?
And has anybody seen good data on the % of Delta versus Omicron cases? I read a report in a Midwestern newspaper over the holiday that stated that Omicron was then accounting for 1% of cases. Since then I have seen other snippets of info suggesting Omicron is quite prevalent, but I haven’t seen anything that has struck me as being convincing or applicable to more than a fairly narrowly defined geography. Now the UK data cited above does provide some grounds for optimism on the severity of Omicron cases, but it doesn’t imply anything about prevalence.
Lets hope we get lucky this winter, but agreed that the data doesn’t yet fully support an expectation that we will be lucky.

https://twitter.com/jonahfleish/status/1481092132232482817?s=21 )

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Kaiser Fung. Business analytics and data visualization expert. Author and Speaker.
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