hysterical anecdotalism about hospitals

panic porn clickbait is the tool of propaganda, not of public health

one of the key stratagems of peddling covidian panic has been the selective amplification of hysterical anecdoatalism and outright misstatements about “hospitals being overwhelmed.” this was true literally almost nowhere last year, even in perennial basket case new york city. the javits center went unused as did the hospital ship they so breathlessly demanded. media shrilled about “sharing ventilators” then it turned out they were doing it to “see if it worked” and never out of need.

this was all more media stunt than reality. i could show you a dozen stories of patients being treated in tents in NYC, LA, and who knows how many other cities, but they all come from the 2018 flu season. amusingly enough, i did show these things last year and had it get picked up nationally back when bad kitties were allowed on the bullying bluebird and still got invited to fight club (link to zero hedge article). sadly, nothing has changed.

a few key salients:

  • it is always a 100% certainty that some hospital somewhere is busy right now.

  • it is always a 100% certainty that some 2nd year resident is buckling under pressure and having a melt down right now. hospital doctoring can be hard, high stress work. many fail to cut it. wash out rates are significant.

  • media loves to find and amplify those stories because they make for great clickbait. they make it sound like the sky is falling and the dead are being piled into plague carts.

  • health agencies love to help spread this fear. it leads to budgets and power.

  • but with near certainty, when you drill down on these covidian crisis claims, they wind up being baseless. the US hospital system is incredible sound and resilient despite what millennial nurses whinge about when they find the time to take breaks between tik tok videos.

remember last summer when all the texas hospitals were supposed to be in the brink? breathless docs claimed “we’re out of space! i’ve been making life and death decisions all day! the phone rings and we tell people “we cannot help you” because the system is overwhelmed.”

and oddly, no one ever went to check on most of this. and when they did, they found it was all tall tales from self aggrandizing fabulists trying to gratify their egos by gaining media profile. there are lots of great doctors and nurses out there, but the media do not seek them out. the towering narcissists with hero complexes make for far better copy because they love to make stuff up. sigh.

so you get the classic situation of “them that’s saying don’t know, and them that know ain’t saying.”

everyone was freaking out about texas hospitals except for the people who ran the texas hospitals.

“The number of hospitalizations are "being misinterpreted," said Houston Methodist CEO Marc Boom, "and, quite frankly, we’re concerned that there is a level of alarm in the community that is unwarranted right now."

"We do have the capacity to care for many more patients, and have lots of fluidity and ability to manage," Boom said.

He pointed out that his hospital one year ago was at 95% ICU capacity, similar to the numbers the hospital is seeing today. "It is completely normal for us to have ICU capacities that run in the 80s and 90s," he said. "That's how all hospitals operate."

this last point is critical. 95% ICU capacity is NORMAL. ICU beds are expensive to staff and maintain. you do not leave them around empty. ICU capacity is incredibly flexible. by law, hospitals must be able to flex to 125% on basically no notice. most can do 150% and some 200%.

this whole trope is a perennial news staple. (from 2018)

and yet despite it being debunked more thoroughly than sightings of elvis riding in bigfoot’s UFO last year, they are back at it. there are dozens of hospital horror claims out there and i have yet to validate one beyond the scope of some tiny facility having all 4 ICU beds filled.

so, let’s look at a couple, and let me show you how to do this work for yourself, because it’s trivially easy and to not check facts like this in a day and age when up to date HHS data on hospital use is a click away is media malpractice.

if they will not police themselves, then let’s all learn how to ride herd on them.

let’s start with UT. i am literally here right now and no one is actually saying this. i spoke to a doctor yesterday about this who said “what?”

102% sounds dire unless you know that 125-150% is not that big a deal. but it gets worse. this is not even true. it’s not even close to true.

allow me to introduce you to the department of health and human services data hub. it tracks hospital utilization. these figures were updated last on 8/14, which is to say, today. they may lag a little, but nothing like what could account for that discrepancy.

they look NOTHING like what “chicken little, MD” is saying above…

  • 64% of hospital beds full. 6% covid.

  • 69% of ICU beds full. 23% covid.

this is not crisis level, this is “wow, we’re going to need to furlough some docs” level.

and the situation on the ground agrees with it.

“cases” in UT are 75% lower than in january, a time when hospitals here were all fine. yet we are to believe that this is driving 102% ICU when it did not before despite the now predominant delta variant being far less likely to generate severe cases and deaths?

this is not journalism, it’s a tawdry publicity stunt. it’s dishonest and unhelpful. amplifying stories like this without fact checking and hiding behind “some doctors say” is not reporting the public interest. it’s manipulating the public perception to sell papers and drive baseless policy.

fortunately, no one here believes a word of this. all the bars and restaurants i hit last night were packed and besides a few california karens in visiting us, masks were few on the ground and 100% optional. last weekend’s kimbal art festival was well attended. everyone here is outside and living their lives, not cowering from sniffles and hallucinatory hospital holocausts.

let’s look at new media sensation oregon as well. the governor there is looking to deploy national guard to “help overwhelmed hospitals” according to the always histrionic and rarely fact checked pravda on the hudson who seem to have so gleefully taken on the head cheerleader role for the covid apocalypse.

i mean, this must be a pretty dire crisis, because this is the same governor who told the national guard to pound sand and that it was not needed when major cities were literally on fire and being overrun by armed antifa declaring sovereign zones and besieging mayors and government buildings.

with trembling fingers, i accessed the data. ooops. look. nothing going on.

  • 75% hospital occupancy, 12% covid

  • 71% ICU occupancy, 23% covid

bog standard numbers for low period summer and over-testing for endemic disease with high nosocomial spread.

this might lead the inquisitive to ask some pointed questions about just what this is all about, because it sure does not look like covid crisis. sorry, but i gotta drake meme:

wow, oregon. just wow.

oregon is seeing a spike in “cases” but it’s not confirmed by deaths or any other hard metric, so this could easily be testing levels or just PCR oversensitivity.

(of note, oregon is one of the more vaccinated states in the US with 63% between 18-64 fully vaxxed and 91% 65+. yet more “sterilizing immunity” fail from vaccines…)

these stories and stunts are not facts. repetition and the flooding of media with false narrative is propaganda, not public health.

it’s being propagated by botnets full of talking points conjured from political expedience and manipulation, not data. this is a psyop, not science.

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the media is NOT on your side. they want clicks and panic porn is effective clickbait. so stop clicking it. stop paying them to lie to you.

get your own facts.

i linked this HHS tool above. it’s easy to use. bookmark it. check their stories.

any reporter not confirming their apocalyptic anecdotes with such readily available data is a hack or driven by an agenda other than veracity.

call them on it. reveal their cupidity and stupidity.

the society you save may be your own…