Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Who is to blame for hospital demand exceeding supply?

Recently, a friend posted a diagram indicating that the group of hospitalized people now includes unvaccinated and (fully) vaccinated people. This applies to several countries. This is weird as vaccines should prevent hospitalization. I got curious as to the How, What, Who & Why.

A recent WebMD article claims the (American) breakthrough cases are in need for a booster dose as the impact of previous vaccinations is already waning. Many in this group of vaccinated people are 65+. Given this development, it’s safe to argue that booster shots will be rolled out indefinitely for that age group.

The above explanation follows the overall distinction between asymptomatic and symptomatic virus carriers. The first group shows minor symptoms (eg, fatigue, headache) while the latter group shows major sickness and death. People of 70+ are likely to be symptomatic because they have weaker immune systems.

“We know that the immune system gets weaker as we age – which is a key reason why those over the age of 70 are most at risk from the disease. But what is becoming clear is that when it comes to immune health, age is just a number. Some people have an immune system that is effectively significantly older or younger than they are.”

Graham Lawton: You’re only as young as your immune system (NCBI, 2020).

The above shows that symptomatic virus carriers will continue to suffer from the virus even after vaccination. Western demographics will worsen this problem due to the graying of the average population. Without a structural increase in hospital beds, future demand for beds will continue to exceed supply.

The Western healthcare capacity problem has been in the making for decades. A combination of (1) increased life expectancy (a.k.a. longevity), (2) declining major diseases, and (3) improved healthcare techniques, suggested an healthcare overcapacity. Unlike electricity grids, healthcare is not based on peak demand.

Various Dutch governments were closing “inefficient” hospitals for many years. Today, a small increase in demand for hospital beds forces a Code Black scenario, in which hospitalization criteria will be applied.

The Netherlands has some 17,5 million people and ranks 12 in the Top 15 of the world’s richest countries. Today, it has some 37,000 healthcare beds. According to a Dutch ICU doctor, there are some 12,500 Dutch hospital beds and 950 ICU beds but only in case of sufficient personnel. Any increase of several hundreds of people that need ICU hospitalization, will cause demand to exceed supply.

Governments and citizens are still blaming unvaccinated people rather than expanding structural healthcare capacity. Given the statististics and the underlying mathematics, some 95% of any population must be asymptomatic, while some 5% is symptomatic and has a fatality risk of some 5%. This explains the cumulative average Covid mortality of some 0,25% (or less) in many countries (ie, 5% x 5% = 0.25%).

Who (or what) will be blamed once 100% gets vaccinated??

Who’s To Blame (1969) by Cass Elliot (1941-1974)
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

Who’s to blame
When the sun misses the light of the moon
And who’s to blame
When the sun awakens the dreamer too soon

Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

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