Members of the Maine National Guard are briefed outside Central Maine Medical Center, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, in Lewiston, Maine. Gov. Janet Mills has deployed additional National Guard to several Maine hospital to assist with care of COVID patients. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

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The BDN should please stop writing misleading headlines like “Omicron putting fewer Mainers in the hospital” ( Jan. 18). Fewer? Is that how Maine’s overwhelmed nurses and doctors would see it? Of course not.

Yes, technically, the latest variant is landing a smaller percentage of infected people in the hospital, but that statistic hides the reality of this surge’s impact. Here’s a simple example: If 100 people are infected with the delta variant and 10 percent of them land in the hospital, that’s 10 people in the hospital. If 1,000 people are infected with the more contagious omicron variant but only 5 percent of them land in the hospital, that’s still 50 people in the hospital. A smaller percentage of the whole; more people in the hospital. If that hospital patient is you, it is 100 percent of your life on the line.  

As of Jan. 17, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 406 hospitalized COVID patients. Recently, on average, roughly two-thirds of those hospitalized were unvaccinated. That means it’s possible that approximately 270 of those people did not need to be there.

There is a story about the difference between heaven and hell. In hell everyone is starving. There is enough food but only spoons with 5-foot-long handles, too long to reach one’s mouth; in heaven they are feeding each other.  

Sandra Cyrus