For sure I understand that true ICU capacity is personnel + equipment + supplies, and any of those going missing means your capacity is phony.What he’s describing is 100% down to the worsening hospital situation. But it’s something that gets glossed over whenever we talk about “letting it rip”. The idea that life could get back to normal if we were to double our number of ICU beds. Even if you magic hundreds of ICU beds out of thin air (along with magical pixies to staff them) they’re still no good to you if you run out of the drugs you need to use them. I know for a fact there’s been hospitals in Ireland scenario planning about running out of oxygen!
And shortages like these becomes more and more inevitable the more countries end up as deep in the weeds as Brazil is right now.
I guess the summary of my point is that the latest wave in Rio in particular has actually had fewer daily cases of acute respiratory issues than last time, to the tune of a peak of 1,000 daily in April/May 2020, 600 in December 2020, and this time around the peak was 500-550 (I'm getting these from the chart the mayor's office presented last week at their weekly update). So fewer cases but the system now seems potentially more strained than a year ago.