There was an old saying in Ohio when people would keep doing something wrong or stupid, the act would be described as “fig plucking” The term came from the ditty with the refrain: “I’m not a fig plucker or a fig plucker’s son, but I’ll pluck figs till the fig plucker comes” Seems like there has been a lot of FIG Plucking going on in Idaho and across the nation lately. On March 19th of this year, 2IDAHO NEWS reported with similar stories on following days in The Idaho Statesman and the AP, that Idaho hospitals would be unable to handle the Covod-19 pandemic.
It was reported that Idaho would have 9-11 patients for every available hospital bed in the outbreak. It was reported then and is in fact true today that Idaho had 3000 total hospital beds and 500 ICU beds with ventilator capability. It was also reported that Idaho was expecting 20% of patients to be hospitalized, and that there would be 5 patients for every ICU bed at one time…
Where are we today? Reported on the Covid Tracking Project in the Atlantic we have almost 7000 positive tests out of 101,000 people tested; 7% cumulative and 95% are recovering or recovered and never have they been hospitalized in the ICU. 60% of the deaths are in the elderly and they compose only 0.6% of the population. These are numbers not reported and numbers that should inform future mitigation strategies—unless one enjoys “plucking figs”. Type 3 mitigation, please. As of yesterday, we have had 355 Covid patients cumulative admitted to hospitals and 75 currently in the hospital equal to 0.00028 (0.28% of the population) and 75 admitted to ICU’s 0.00004 (0.004%) of the population.
Yesterday being used as a point in time, we had 18 of 500 ICU beds being utilized or 3.6% and 121 general beds out of 3000 available or 4% The overall incidence rate for the population has stayed the same at 0.0005 for weeks and over most of that time as the absolute value of cases has increased the rate of positive cases tested has gone down the last couple of days there has been a very slight increase in rate also, but as mentioned the overall incidence has stayed the same.
To assess the monetary damage done to the system not to mention damages done to patients who were not able to receive timely care, one would have to take total beds available over a set period of time say 4 months, multiply that by total days and then by .70—utilization rate of hospital beds prior to the pandemic and then by .2 because not all service lines were impacted—Obstetrics and high-risk OB remained open, but ER services were down by 32%, cancer services down by 15%. Elective surgery total joints, and nonemergent cardiac care were down initially by 100%. For two months ICUs were being manned at 150% and only being utilized at 35%. Lots of people out of work doctors, nurses and technicians, and lots of patients suffering because of inappropriate fear promulgated by “experts”, propagated by the media peddling a political narrative to a populace willing to be exploited by data that was based on modeling and not on science yet science was always invoked and most importantly evoked I invite you to look up the difference because both are at work here. Confirmation bias by the experts and the media has always been operative. “Confirmation bias is the ubiquitous tendency to see what we want to see while overlooking contradictory evidence or alternative strategies.”
Sounds a little like “Fig Plucking” to me.
Are our “experts” Fig Pluckers” in disguise Is our Governor secretly a practicing “Fig Plucker”? Can one be a Conservative and a “Fig Plucker” at the same time? I look forward to answers to these and other questions.