Please Don’t Gather for Thanksgiving

We continue to set new records in Utah for cases, over 4,000, and hospitalizations, 512 as of Tuesday, November 17. Our hospitals are overwhelmed.

Here is the most chilling of the new numbers. The average age of hospitalized COVID patients in Utah is only 54 years. Nearly one fourth (23%) of all Utahns hospitalized due to COVID-19 are between 25 and 44. Barely more than half (51.6%)of these hospitalized patients have one or more pre-existing conditions.

Obviously, landing in the hospital because of COVID can happen to anyone. It is not just the high risk and elderly that are getting sick and dying. So far the chance of ending up in the hospital if you get the virus is about 5%, one in 20. For the age group 65-84 that increases to one in five. Two months after leaving the hospital, 53% report persistent breathlessness, 34% persistent cough, and 69% persistent fatigue. 59% had impaired cognition. About 25-30% had anxiety, depression, or PTSD.

UPHE joins all the other medical organizations in pleading with everyone to forgo travel and family gatherings this Thanksgiving. The possibility of having to celebrate Christmas in the ICU as a result, and some of your loved ones dead, should help you make the right decision. Save up for next year. The risks are simply too high.