Stay home. Please.

Have you read the news from Minnesota?

The daily scene at Regions is playing out in ICUs across Minnesota as the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 sweeps across the state. Open ICU beds were down to single digits in some parts of Minnesota last week, when Gov. Tim Walz ordered a four-week shutdown of bars, restaurants and entertainment and fitness establishments in hopes of slowing the virus’ spread to alleviate pressure on hospitals.

From Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids to Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar to Regions, ICU beds are filling as quickly as they are opening up. Statewide, 79% of available ICU beds are filled, and 26% filled with COVID-19 patients.

The state’s capacity of open ICU beds has declined about one percentage point per day the past two weeks — raising the probability that some of the 408 ICU surge beds might need to be activated in unused hospital and nursing home wings.

“There’s no beds anywhere,” said Dr. Matthew Klee, whose ICU at Mercy is full and under pressure to take patients throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. “It’s become like a game of chess over the entire state.”

More worrisome are the growing infections among health care workers who then can’t care for patients.

HealthPartners on Friday reported 308 workers absent due to COVID-19 infections and 414 who were quarantined due to viral exposures. Collectively, the Allina Health, CentraCare and Mayo Clinic systems reported more than 3,000 such absences last week.

Stay home. Stay home. Stay home. Stay home. Stay home. Stay home. Stay home. Stay home. Stay home.

You don’t need to go gallivanting off to visit family this weekend. Really, you don’t.


  1. wzrd1 says

    Gonna have an immense Thanksgiving meal for two here. Nice 15 pound turkey waiting prep and cooking and two ducks fresh from the farm, with head, neck and feet included (for soup base).

  2. says

    I have an ADS-B tracker (tracks airplane transponders) and I live in Central Illinois, so I pick up most flights out of Chicago. I’ve definitely seen and uptick in planes being tracked. This afternoon (Sunday) I was tracking over 100 planes for a lengthy period of time, which is about twice what I’d be seeing on a Sunday afternoon. People are definitely not listening, because you know, we’re a country of morons. Might as well replace the little plane icons with that of a coronavirus cell.

  3. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I live alone, and I’m not going anywhere except to buy needed groceries tomorrow. With requisite N-95 industrial dust mask and a small bottle of hand sanitizer.

  4. says

    Right now, it’s just before 9pm Sunday and I can see 60 planes aloft within my 250 mile reception radius. Again, probably twice what I’d be seeing on any other Sunday evening.

  5. PaulBC says

    That’s my normal Thanksgiving anyway. But I have giving up on trying to figure out what all these crazy people are doing.

  6. DrVanNostrand says

    I really wanted to see my brother and his family. It’s basically a full day’s drive, but I could pack a lunch and wouldn’t have to stop for anything but gas. I still decided that while the risk was OK for me, I should follow the travel guidelines and stay at home. The virus is raging everywhere. Even though we can do a really good job of social distancing at my job, I still have to go to work every day. Going to DC would greatly expand my social contacts, and the contacts of my brother’s whole family. It sucks, but hopefully I’ll be vaccinated by next Thanksgiving.

  7. says

    Not to be flippant, but when PZM can’t even muster a profanity, you know it’s bad.

    The world’s death toll reached one million on October 1st. By December 1st, it could be 1.5 million.

  8. klarr7 says

    My husband and I both teach biology here in Moorhead, MN. I’ve been fully online, he’s done with that now for the semester. We’re planning mostly online for the Spring. Two teenaged sons have been — unhappily, but they understand — doing online ‘Spud Academy’ all semester. All of our other family is back east, so no holidays together this year. My NC parents are in their 80s, and I’ve not seen them for almost two years now. I’ve finally reached the point of fearing the simple act of getting groceries.
    I figure this is a typical scenario this year. I’m so very thankful to be facing this at least fully financed. It’s devastating, though, to know that our almost-total isolation since March — poor teenagers included — has been completely nullified by a bunch of ‘freedumb!’-screamers in our environs.

  9. says

    And this is how government in a third world country looks. I always thought Australia’s provincial rulers were idiots but they’ve pretty much crushed the virus’ spread. Hope none of you peeps gets it.

  10. says

    I live 2 hours from my oldest son, and 4 hours from my daughter & granddaughter. We could do an easy day trip to visit both, but we’re not gonna.

  11. birgerjohansson says

    When the Swedish constitution was updated they gave a strong emphasis on personal integrity.
    They forgot to include a loophole for medical emergencies like this one, and now our politicians have to get people to voluntarily adapt measures that are legally mandated in other countries.
    It is a slow and frustrating process….

  12. tommynottimmy says

    Last I saw, the county I’m in is down to 3 ICU beds. So, naturally, the commissioners have said they will not he enforcing state mandates because “personal responsibility” works better. Guess which party every commissioner is a part of?

  13. cgm3 says

    Take heart, PZ, I’m sure the patriotic militias of Minnesota are already laying plans to abduct the governor, try him for his heinous attempt at imposing tyranny, and publicly execute him when he’s found guilty as a warning to others. /snark

  14. bionichips says

    Great quote (forgot where I got this from): “If you have a large Thanksgiving dinner prepare for a small Christmas funeral.”

  15. davidc1 says

    @9 ,Always a bad sign when he isn’t swearing like a docker with piles
    This might cheer him up some .I saw a bit on the internet about a dirty great big Burrowing Spider that keeps ting Frogs in it’s burrow to eat the things that might attack her eggs .
    Can’t get a name for it ,and it doesn’t seem possible ,do it ?