You don’t want to read this, but…

David Swan
2 min readAug 9, 2023

August 8, 2023

CDC data showing 12.5% rise in hospital admissions for Covid in most recent week. Total is 9.056 nationwide.

Is it a surge or an uptick? A brief blip on the radar or — like thicker-than-normal corn husks, halos around the moon, and other folklore — an omen of a hard winter ahead?

Whatever it’s called, we’re seeing an increase in Covid. The CDC doesn’t track cases anymore but reports other metrics are rising, including hospitalizations and test positivity. One of my medical providers quietly acknowledged the trend by “encouraging” patients to mask up, which the office didn’t do earlier this summer.

As usual, the experts are divided about how serious the upturn is and how bad it might become in the next few months. The overall numbers are still low, with deaths a small fraction of what they were in January.

However, most of the people we’re losing are over 65, like me. It’s not over for us and may never end for the many millions with long Covid. In one of the most sobering accounts I’ve read, novelist Madeline Miller writes about how the disease gutted her work and family life: “Nothing was more painful than hearing my kids delightedly laughing and being too sick to join them.”

Unlike Miller, I’ve never been ridiculed or heckled for wearing an N95. I still use them in public spaces, even if I’m the only masked person in the room. I couldn’t care less what others think when my life and quality of life are at stake.

My wife and I are among the careful (and lucky) few who’ve never been infected, and we’re determined not to become long haulers. Right now we’re waiting for the new vaccine that will target the latest variant. No, it’s not fun to think about this again but ignorance can be fatal. Take care and stay safe.

Originally published at on August 9, 2023.

Recent posts

Worry warp
Mindful mess



David Swan

Writer, editor, ex-journalist, all-around communicator. Comfortable in real and fictional worlds. Always on the lookout for a great story.