Two studies in the last few days: One shows 40-45% Pediatric (children) patients listed in the stats as "hospitalized with COVID", were not there because of COVID, but were asymptomatic, or mildly so. The other study shows ~50% of adults listed as hospitalized COVID patients, were there WITH COVID, not because of.
What does this tell us? Very obvious to me; it means that if those studies are representative of the entire US, the Delta variant surge here has been roughly half as bad as we believed. Brings up the question of...had we had better metrics as the authors of the one study puts it:
"Conclusions and Relevance: The proportion of hospitalizations that are due to severe COVID-19 has changed with vaccine availability, thus, increasing proportions of mild and asymptomatic cases are included in hospitalization reporting metrics. The addition of simple measures of disease severity to the case definition of a SARS-CoV-2 hospitalization is a straightforward and objective change that should improve the value of the metric for tracking SARS-CoV-2 disease burden."
would we have reacted differently?