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91% of Boston-area hospital beds now occupied as Covid-19 patients continue to come in

The latest state statistics show 91% of the beds in Boston-area hospitals now have patients in them, while the total number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients statewide reaches a new fall/winter record of 1,927.

The last time that many patients were hospitalize in Massachusetts with Covid-19 was May 29, when 1,904 patients were hospitalized. The peak so far for Massachusetts is 3,965, on April 21. The state has seen day-to-day increases in hospitalized Covid-19 patients all but two days in December.

The state reported 47 deaths due to Covid-19.

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jack.williams.YIKES.wav

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Seem to be just super-effective in stopping the spread!

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is faulty. In 2019, about 38,800 people died in auto accidents in the USA. Is this evidence that seat belts and airbags don't work, and should be abandoned?

Your experiment has no control. Since we don't know how full the hospitals would be if those policies had not been adopted, we cannot draw any conclusion about their effectiveness from this statistic alone.

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Unlike in April we know there is a minimum vital load needed to transmit the virus and two people quickly passing one another outside isn't anywhere near enough to create an infection. Baker might as well told people to hold a lucky rock when outside jogging.

As for the curfew, there's no enforcement and it's not widely discussed, unlike seat belts. The curfew was something he could tell people when they demand he "do something". And regardless, it took about 20 years for seatbelts to become widely used after being introduced.

Both are foolish directives. The only people who would follow are those who already are taking the much more effective mitigation techniques (masks, distancing) seriously.

California has even more restrictions than MA and currently they have the highest infection rate. (Although that honor changes frequently.) So one can question how much can be accomplished by unenforced mandates alone. Mass has actually been one of the better states as it relates to keeping the number of infections down, although that's not saying much.

Vermont meanwhile has managed to keep its cases down (comparatively) and they neither have an outdoor mask mandate nor a curfew.

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Than you would JUST WEARING A FUCKING MASK OUTSIDE YOUR HOUSE AT ALL TIMES.

Just drop this crap, pull up your big boy underwear, and wear the damn mask. It isn't any big deal at all, and a absolutely stupid hill to kill and die on.

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Every serious researcher has said the likelihood of transmission in this sort of environment is extremely, extremely unlikely. It is right up there with getting it from touching a can of soup in the supermarket.

Why is it so hard for people to focus on the actual ways is which it's being transmitted? Go yell at people being maskless indoors.

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Jesus christ man. Just stop. I don't know why you chose this hill to die on, but you're not helping anything and you're potentially doing harm. If what you keep saying is true (it's not), then those outdoor anti-mask rallies wouldn't have been super spreader events (every single one of them was). Just wear a mask. It doesn't hurt.

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It's not really worth my time to debate this but I will note that the outdoor MAGA rallies had a bunch of people standing close to one another for more than a few minutes. No one has suggested that's low risk. For that matter, if people are in close proximity to one another for long periods even masks won't prevent infections unless they are in a wind tunnel. (Although they will still lower the risk.)

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It's not really worth my time to debate this

Then stop bringing it up in every single covid post!

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It isnt a big deal to just wear a mask all the time. if you dont wear it outside when no one is around in violation of the order no one in power is going to do anything. The one action taken in that situation to date is arresting a person who coughed on two maskless people in an isolated area after pointing out they were unmasked. Poster above is right, its a signaling effect to promote compliance.

That said, it is literally the least we can do and just part of government putting off hard but inevitable choices that may actually stop the spread of the virus. State governments put in horrible spots by an ineffective Federal government, but requiring masks outdoors while letting the casino stay open is not a serious attempt at actual virus containment, which I think is his/her point.

This discussion likely to be moot shortly anyways. Given the emergence of a more contagious strain and the futility of travel bans at completely containing a virus, I expect to be locked down in tier-1 or tighter from shortly after the new year when the new strain finds its way here until, at a minimum, vaccination is fully rolled out. Hopefully in Q2 but we will see.

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OK cool, you're jogging with your mask around your neck and nobody is at risk. But wait, there's your friend out for a walk and you want to say hi! Do you:

a) Hopefully/maybe remember to pull up your mask with your filthy hands before you talk; or
b) Already have your mask on because it's always on when you're out of the house

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it doesn’t resonate with him for whatever reason

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You could do your damn job, pull up your big girl panties, and demonstrate to us all how outdoor masking AT ALL TIMES (rather than just when social distancing cannot be maintained) stops the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Or how a curfew is effective at stopping the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Please provide examples of outdoor transmission caused by individuals being in contact for a few seconds at most. I mean, this is your field of work, right?

I'm still trying to figure out why one would have to register with the state upon returning from Vermont (16.4 cases/100,000) but not upon returning from Lawrence (204.8 cases/100,000). Or why traveling to MA from RI or NH is risky but commuting to work is not.

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It's actually less to do with making sure you don't get a random virus molecule in your nose from that guy walking past you and more to do with compliance at all times.

If you see someone driving around alone wearing their mask, you can probably bet they don't get to the supermarket and then demand to be let in maskless. If the jogger is wearing their mask, or even pulling it up when passing someone, then you can bet easy money they will wear it into the 7-11 to buy a gatorade at their halfway point.

People who argue about when and where they should and shouldn't wear it (when they know damn well it's just to fight the machine or troll or avoid compliance at all costs) are the ones who will accidentally forget their mask at home, get thrown out of places that they're "certain they won't be close to anyone", and so on.

If you wear your mask, even when it's not even likely to be necessary, then you'll wear it when it is. If you won't, then who knows how you'll behave when it's needed the most...also, where do you draw the line of how close...or how long you have to be in proximity outdoors...etc.

Just wear your damn mask, even when it seems like it's not *really* needed, and we'll all get through this with far less transmission.

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Why not just require everyone to wear masks at all times, even at home?

After all, household spread is by far the predominant mode of transmission.

Why not weld people's doors shut to ensure compliance?

Just as I'm not a fan of security theater at airports, I'm not a fan of public hygiene theater. If fomite transmission is really not how SARS-CoV-2 is spread, why are we still hearing exhortations to wash our hands frequently? Why are we being told to get a flu shot to stop CoViD-19? I get that those are generally good practices, but they're just not effective at all at preventing CoViD-19.

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airport security theater involves invasive procedures like pat downs, removal of clothing, body scans, etc.

surely you can see that being asked to wear a mask and wash your hands isn’t the same thing

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is something most people, in ordinary times, do a few times a year, at most. Frequent travelers get to avoid much of it through programs like Pre-Check. Most people going through security theater don't get pat-downs and a very tiny percentage are asked to remove more clothing than coats, bulky sweaters, or shoes.

Hygiene theater is something that is being imposed on everyone (not just flyers) multiple times daily and being required to wear a mask every time you leave your house every single day with no exceptions is arguably far, far more invasive than a TSA body scan or removing your shoes. It is much, much worse than TSA security theater. Being required to provide sensitive health data to the state as a condition of travel and consenting to monitoring (that is, in fact, what you are doing) is much more invasive than giving TSA your full name and date of birth.

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Being required to provide sensitive health data to the state as a condition of travel and consenting to monitoring...

...you are literally providing sensitive health data to the state and consenting to monitoring as a condition of travel when you fly, and with very few exceptions.

i would be surprised if there have been 100 mask citations in this city this year.

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In this fucked up country we're living in currently, there probably ARE a lot of households that should be wearing masks all the time because none of the people in the house know how to socially distance or avoid parties or evaluate risk. If we all played by the rules outside the home, we wouldn't need to wear them inside the home because we'd all be inside the home most of the time and as safe as can be the rest of the time.

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Because it’s easier bureaucratically to impose regulations on out-of-state visitors, as opposed to out-of-state commuters or in-state visitors.

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California has even more restrictions than MA and currently they have the highest infection rate.

Try plotting the locations to which the fire department has been dispatched, overlaying the locations of buildings that have been damaged by fire. Whoa!!! almost complete match! Not only does it appear that the fire department is useless, it seems that having the fire department visit your house is a huge predictor of your house being damaged by fire.

In related news, it turns out that people who have been seen by an oncologist are much more likely to die of cancer within the next year than people who have not.

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Who cares. No one, including passing police, has ever bothered me for not having a mask on outside. Save your energy.

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are the convention centers still accepting patients ?

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It was a mix of good future planning by the health authorities and cash grubbing by the parasites at the BCC. Sure there's no state aid for the restaurants constantly touted as the big beneficiaries of the convention subsidies we all pay but the convention center insiders need to get the gravy train moving.

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In April and May the BCAE Hope Hospital had 700 patients and was prepared to take 1000. Many homeless were treated there. The last patients were released in early June.

https://www.dotnews.com/2020/bcec-field-hospital-stop-accepting-covid-19...

Your conspiracy theory about cash grubbing and convention center insiders gravy train is some heavy duty BS not supported by any facts.

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Not sure what you're saying, but hundreds of patients were treated at BCEC, a.k.a. Boston Hope.

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The Boston Convention Ctr DID accept hundreds of patients last spring. I know because I worked there. Stop spouting about that which you know nothing.

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What are you talking about?
https://www.wbur.org/commonhealth/2020/05/26/boston-hope-field-hospital-...

Baker said Tuesday that the half of Boston Hope run by Partners HealthCare treated about 700 COVID-19 patients and will remain operational until each of its current patients is discharged.

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The convention center was used as a field hospital for those who didn't need to be hospitalized but weren't able to isolate while they had COVID-19, such as the homeless. Boston did a much better job of testing the homeless and caring for those who tested positive job than anyplace else I know of. And, anticipating the possibility of a recurrence, they left things set up so it would be easy to reopen the field hospital if needed.

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But keep in mind that 85% occupancy is around optimal for hospitals. https://hospitalmedicaldirector.com/what-is-the-ideal-hospital-occupancy...

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By my math there are 1927 hospitalized cv-19 patients in MA

There are 9224 beds in MA

1927/9224 = 20.89% of beds

Not 91%.

Fake News.

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That 91% of hospital beds are occupied says little unless the percentage occupied by covid 19 patients is also given. I imagine there’s a few broken bones, strokes, and heart attacks mixed into the hospital population?

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Is it possible that CARES act reimbursement policies are contributing to it? As I understand it, the Governor put elective hospitalizations on hold, which means hospitals will want to fill up on nonelective hospitalizations as much as they can, for revenue.

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I'm not sure I understand... non-elective hospitalization, by definition, happens whether there's a pandemic or not. Are you suggesting hospitals have some sort of control over how many medical emergencies there are?

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I'm genuinely impressed that you keep coming up with ever-more-boneheaded takes on events. You actually think hospitals are admitting patients who aren't seriously ill, just to make money? Today?

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...who should not be given a platform?

I can't wait to hear you cry when you get in a car accident and find the ER full.

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that these hospitals are actually empty, and they're just using the space as a roller skating rink? As I understand it, roller skating is a fun way to spend the time, which means hospitals will want to fill up on roller skating as much as they can, for fun.

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Y'all are piling on Refugee but even a stopped clock can raise a good question:

The 1,919 cases reported as hospitalized yesterday is slightly less than half the number we had on April 28th (3,875).

And yet, on that day, the state reported hospital capacity at ~50% both statewide and in Boston, with the caveat that this number "includes Surge" capacity.

See pages 7 and 16:
https://www.mass.gov/doc/covid-19-dashboard-april-28-2020/download

I'm not calling shenanigans, but clearly something different is going on. Perhaps we're not factoring in surge capacity now, or maybe people aren't avoiding the ER when they have chest pains like they were in the spring.

Either way, it seems like there's a little more to the story here.

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There is another issue that could be decreasing the total capacity: staffing.

Baker recently mentioned this issue, I've heard it elsewhere as well, there are more healthcare workers out sick from COVID now than there were before. We have beds for patients, medical equipment to treat them, but we don't have enough staffing to safely treat more and more and more patients.

Back in the Spring, med schools were graduating their classes early so they could go to work, and they were looking for any recent retiree who still had their license/certifications to treat patients and asked them to come back to work. We were also importing medical professionals from other parts of the country that weren't as hard hit as we were back in the spring; I think those parts of the country are in the thick of it now too. Now we've exhausted our reserves, and we have to work with what is already working.

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