Media coverage of Covid-19 is constantly shifting and adapting as the Delta variant continues to spread around the globe — and physicians are getting frustrated.
“A lot of what my physicians are expressing frustration about is the fact that we are hearing a lot of press conferences,” radiologist Dr. Nisha Mehta told CNN’s chief media correspondent Brian Stelter on “Reliable Sources” Sunday. “We’re hearing a lot of the same stuff that we’ve kind of heard over the last 18 months.” She added that it “doesn’t help very much” to focus on an official pronouncement that “reiterates the same things” because that doesn’t change behavior.
As of Friday, the seven-day average of US daily Covid-19 cases was more than 107,100 — the highest average in nearly six months, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
And more than 66,000 Americans were hospitalized with Covid-19 across the country as of late Saturday, according the US Department of Health and Human Services. Covid-19 hospitalizations haven’t been this high since February.
“We almost wish that we could take people on rounds in the ICU with us or walk them through the emergency room and have them listen to the stories of the people that are there,” she said. People are more likely to change their behavior when they hear stories they can relate to, Mehta said. She added that Americans need to see more coverage of hospitals running out of beds and struggling with staffing. “Those are the stories I think that people need to really be seeing,” she said.
Meanwhile, there’s been a lot of discussion on how media outlets should cover the rise in Covid-19 infections spurred by the highly contagious Delta variant. And some are concerned that the attention being given to so-called “breakthrough” infections may be helping fuel vaccine resistance — even though people who are vaccinated are far less likely to suffer serious illness.