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Tracking COVID in Mississippi: Shifting...

Tracking COVID in Mississippi: Shifting from counting cases to reporting on hospitalizations

By: Frank Corder - December 23, 2021

Shifting the attention to tracking severity and hospitalizations instead of cases puts the spotlight where it needs to be.

Over the past two years, Y’all Politics, like most news outlets, has reported on the daily COVID-19 case counts as provided by the Mississippi State Department of Health. Those daily numbers have been included in our Daily Roundups and in other articles since the beginning of the pandemic. However, Mississippi and America is not where it once was with COVID.

Now, getting COVID does not mean it is a death sentence, nor is it as severe as it once was, that is if you have taken the preventatives and therapeutics that are available and easily accessible. There are “vaccines” in stock in every community and the federal government is sending out at-home test kits. While the shots may not keep you from contracting or spreading the virus, they have been proven effective in reducing the severity of the illness and the overall mortality caused by the virus. Most who have taken the preventative steps recommended by their doctors report experiencing mild cold or flu-like symptoms. Those reports will likely be the norm as we progress through this era.

In a free society where people can make their own healthcare decisions and choose their own risks as they live their lives, zero COVID-19 cases and zero transmission is not an achievable goal. It never has been.

For some in the media, there is an obsession with daily COVID case counts, as it tends to write headlines with ease and stir emotion in certain segments of the public, mainly on social media. Such reporting lends itself to social interest stories and drives clicks. Never mind that context is rarely given. At this point, everyone knows COVID is here and easily transmissible. That is not in question.

In real terms, the fixation on case counts has fueled the fire of division across the nation and provided politicians with cover to overreach. 

Yet, with a realistic view that zero COVID is not achievable, just as zero flu or other similar zero virus transmission is unrealistic, using case counts is not a logical, long-term indicator of how America is actually fighting and winning this pandemic. That context is best seen when considering the treatments and the pressure it causes on our health care infrastructure.

It is past time that we in the media move beyond case count coverage and shift the focus to tracking severe illness and hospitalizations in a similar way that other such virus cases are not spread across the news and health reports daily as if the world is ending. It is not. It is irresponsible to continue to act otherwise.

Shifting the attention to tracking severity and hospitalizations puts the spotlight where it needs to be from a public perspective – the strain on both public and private resources. Doing so would not only move the news coverage more in line with other viruses, it would also give the public a more accurate picture of the state of COVID and its severity, perhaps better making the case for the use of “vaccines” and other preventatives in a similar way as is done with annual flu shots.

As such, Y’all Politics will begin sharing the graphic below instead of daily case counts as we, too, shift the focus to severity, hospitalizations, and availability of resources as it relates to COVID and other illnesses that strain our state’s resources.

This chart from the Mississippi State Department of Health provides a better look at how COVID is impacting the state, showing the total hospital beds available and how many of those are filled with COVID patients as of that reporting date. It provides the same for ICU beds and those with COVID in ICUs across the state.

As you can see, the total COVID patients and those in ICU, while up in recent days, has remained fairly flat over the last month despite fluctuating daily case counts, thus providing a far more accurate picture of where Mississippi is in reality as it relates to COVID.

We hope this provides you, our readers, with the best information as you make health decisions for you and your family.


About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications such as the Daily Caller. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank: