Everyone in England must stay at home except for permitted reasons during a new coronavirus lockdown expected to last until mid-February, the PM says.
Lockdowns happen when everything else is not working. In the spring, the goal of lockdowns was to flatten the curve to keep hospitals from getting overwhelmed. That mostly succeeded.
Right now, the National Health Service is at risk of being overwhelmed if case counts do not drop dramatically. Mortality skyrockets, on an age adjusted basis, when the hospitals are slammed. It seems that the goal of this British lockdown is to keep the hospitals functional while getting the most vulnerable populations vaccinated so that if there is another case surge in the spring, mortality and morbidity will be far lower.
In the United States, there are numerous regions, most notable Los Angeles County, California that are getting slammed as well. Due to the holidays, our case data is still not reliable for several more days, but the hospitalization data is climbing. Doing more of the same won’t work. It really won’t work if the B-mutation becomes the dominant variant in circulation as it seems to be significantly more infectious than the current D-mutation that is the most common variant in current circulation. The state of California is running out of oxygen and beds:
Hospitals are swamped with patients and intensive care units don’t have any more beds for COVID-19 patients. Makeshift wards are being set up in tents, arenas, classrooms and conference rooms.
Ambulances were being forced to wait in bays as long as eight hours before they could transfer patients inside hospitals — and in some cases, doctors were treating patients inside ambulances, said Cathy Chidester, director of the county’s Emergency Medical Services Agency.
Meanwhile, refrigerated trucks were on standby, ready to store the dead and mortuaries are turning away bereaved families because they’re running out of space.
We need to get to spring time. And if we have an extremely infectious variant beginning to proliferate out there, the means that we have used to get to 200,000 cases per day will be nowhere near sufficient to keep the hospitals from getting crushed.