Yesterday, as I was enjoying a quiet locked-down Friday afternoon, an urgent warning from the Emergency Text Warning of the City and County of San Francisco flashed on my screen:
“Covid-19 hospitalizations reaching critical levels.”
California has added San Francisco the its watchlist of of worrying cases. This would be a dramatic deterioration from when I wrote my last blog on the local situation three weeks ago; so I immediately went to check the data on the official website:
Take a closer look:
94 Covid hospitalizations
1,129 other hospitalizations
1,089 beds available.
Covid-19 hospitalizations have increased from 70 to 94 over the last three weeks. If they keep increasing at that pace, it will take 136 weeks to exhaust the currently available beds. That’s over 2 ½ years.
As Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride would say: “You keep using that word, ‘critical’. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
I know contagion has picked up in other parts of the country; I know some hospitals in other parts of the country have come under pressure; I agree that we should wear masks and exercise caution, even here in San Francisco.
I am just not sure urgent warnings that bear no resemblance to data and facts are the best way to build trust and get people to “follow the science.”