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Just how big is the coronavirus’s winter wave? It can be hard to get your mind around it. One way to try is to note that, right now, more than a hundred thousand Americans are in the hospital with covid-19—which is roughly as many people as can fit into the country’s biggest stadiums for the Super Bowl, and nearly twice as many as were hospitalized during the pandemic’s worst days in April and July. Another is to note that, around the U.S., hospitals are running out of nurses and doctors. At least half of all states are now facing staff shortages, and more than a third of hospitals in states as varied as Arkansas, Missouri, New Mexico, and Wisconsin are simply running out of staff.

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