Let's begin by stating the obvious: COVID-19 is not a joke, any less than flu or other viruses. It's serious, especially for at-risk persons, and precautions and efforts need to continue to combat it.

That having been said, there's ample evidence to wonder if the hype over COVID has been way overdone? To the point where people have been conditioned to be fearful, don't leave your home or it will 'get' you;  resources are stretched thin beyond belief etc. etc. It's almost a 911 fervor. Even sports channels are getting in to this "we are one team" concept approach-thing.

Especially national media, you cannot watch five minutes without seeing some COVID related commercial, or a spot referring to it as the 'war' or the 'front lines.'  Some portrayals lead people to believe we're fighting a raging battle against a 'superior' enemy.  That medical facilities cannot 'keep up' with the fight.

But a sober examination of many of the facts shows the truth is well below that. Somewhere.

Here is information that goes contrary to what many so-called reports would indicate:

  • Seattle's 'COVID military hospital closed around April 9, when it became apparent the state would not need the 250 bed facility.  It never saw a single patient. Some 400 plus ventilators were 'returned' to the Feds, not needed.
  • Due to the 'banning' until recently, of non-essential surgeries, many hospitals and facilities were left with far fewer patients. Now that the bans have been lifted, people have still been conditioned not to pursue these operations in many cases.
  • Providence Medical announced May 12 they would be furloughing many workers at their facilities in Oregon, as cost saving measures due to COVID slowdowns. Providence is the parent company of Kadlec in Tri-Cities.
  • We have been made aware by some local medical personnel that their hours have been reduced, due to low census or patient counts. Nurses and others, some are seeing hours cut significantly. They asked to remain anonymous.
  • The Denver Post reported April 15 that Kaiser Permanente would be furloughing and laying off hundreds of workers at various facilities around the nation. Newstalk870 has learned there are numerous layoffs in Puget Sound area -- coming from a healthcare source. Slowdown in procedures and lack of work were the cause.
  • 5 rural hospitals in Washington state are facing severe financial issues due to COVID 'shutdown', according to beckerhospitalreview.com. They include facilities in Dayton, Aberdeen, Coupeville, Brewster and Omak.
  • April 20, the Spokesman Review Newspaper also covered the plight of small community hospitals struggling due to these COVID shutdowns, including Newport, and Brewster, WA.
  • With occasional rare blips near 20% the in-bed population or census at the four major Benton-Franklin County hospitals for actual COVID or COVID like symptom patients has been around 10-13% of all in bed patients. At Kadlec, Prosser Memorial, Trios and Lourdes, as of May 13, of the 303 persons, 33 were COVID related. That's 11 percent of all the people in the area hospitals. (BFHD website).
  • Total COVID cases in Benton Franklin County May 13 numbered 1236. That is .43 percent of the total metro population of 286,000.  point 43.
  • In Walla Walla County, the Health District, as of May 12, reported 102 cases of COVID, 2 deaths, but also had 2172 negative tests.
  • Even the WHO (World Health Organization) suggests up to or over 80% of COVID patients are asymptomatic (no signs) and make a full recovery.
  • Information from Holy Family Hospital in Spokane indicates a slowdown as well, officials say many people have stopped coming in for even routine treatments, perhaps taking care of them elsewhere.

While the efforts to care for and treat those with COVID must continue, and it must be taken seriously, it seems apparent from the 'hype' standpoint that the issue is being overblown? The 'hysteria' has reached a point where it appears people are scared, conditioned to hibernate, and fearful beyond reason. Agree? Disagree?  Do research on your own as well. Then decide.