What it means to ‘flatten the curve’ and why it’s so crucial

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When it comes to the novel coronavirus, you may have seen the phrase, “flatten the curve,” but you may not be familiar with what exactly that means.

The first thing you need to know is that our health care system has a capacity. We have a certain number of beds, ventilators, resources, nurses and doctors that can take care of people.

Passing that threshold is a frightening thought. It could result in selective servicing, meaning doctors would be faced with the difficult decision of who gets treatment and who doesn’t.

Since this virus spreads on an exponential level, that could happen quickly. The exponential growth is where the curve comes from.

But there is a way we can prevent this.

If we all work together, we ca take steps toward preventing the spread of COVID-19. Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, social distancing and thinking of how your actions impact others can all slow the infection.

If we successfully slow the acceleration of the spread of the virus, the curve will flatten. This means the same total number of people can get sick, spread out over a longer time, without overwhelming our health care system.

This is the goal. Please help. Please play your part.


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