We still look at many data points daily, but as the COVID-19 pandemic has progressed, the hospitalizations chart has emerged as the one I personally focus on the most.
1) It’s a data point that doesn’t get bogged down by computer crashes or testing result delays.
2) It doesn’t need to be qualified with age demographics, because if someone is so ill that they have to go to the hospital, it doesn’t really matter how old they are.
And 3) It tells an important story in and of itself; managing the health of our health care system has been one of the primary goals this entire pandemic.
These three charts below tell the hospitalization story since the new spike arrived in June. In the first two charts, you see how hospitalizations twice doubled. In the final chart, you see our current situation over the last two weeks.
Speaking optimistically, I like that it finally stopped growing. Perhaps that was aided by the measures we put in place right before July 4th. But we remain stuck at an elevated level. It takes weeks to see the results of new measures, and hopefully the mask ordinance and a renewed cautiousness I think we all feel will eventually help push those numbers back down.
We’ll continue to monitor. In the meantime, wear your mask, keep your distance and wash your hands. Be well, OKC.