The risk of hospitalization remains low for younger adults. According to state data from Maryland, where overall hospitalizations are up from last month, people in their 30s have a 5 percent chance of being hospitalized if they learn they have the virus, far lower than the 20 percent chance of someone in their 60s. But as more younger people get infected, experts say, more will inevitably be admitted to hospitals.
“I tell everyone how bad it was and how scary it is,” said Nic Cabrera, 26, of Oxon Hill, Md., who was hospitalized for five days this month and had to be put on oxygen.
The rise in hospitalizations has been numbing, if familiar, for doctors in Michigan. At Beaumont, Royal Oak, where nearly 200 coronavirus patients were hospitalized on Thursday, doctors discussed contingency plans to open more beds for Covid-19 patients if needed.
“We were very hopeful in December when they rolled out the vaccines,” Dr. Barbara Ducatman, the hospital’s chief medical officer, said before leading her staff through a slide show of discouraging statistics. “We didn’t want to be here. It’s like déjà vu.”
The vaccines only recently became available to all adults, and the rollout has not yet reached many younger people. In hallway after hallway at the sprawling hospital, doctors and nurses donned extra masks to go inside the rooms of Covid-19 patients and spoke somberly about seeing people of their own generation in dire shape.
“You take it home a lot more,” said Ms. Budnik, 32, the intensive care nurse. “Your mind-set is a little different when you look at them and you think this could be my friend, this could be my sister, this could be me.”