Whenever there is a headline that dominates the news, buzzworthy phrases and words commonly used by experts often enter the lexicon of common language. Since the coronavirus outbreak, one such phrase commonly used, has been, “flattening the curve.” Unless you are an epidemiologist or statistician, that may not have been a phrase that you used very often before. Now, we cannot go a day without hearing or maybe even using the phrase. So, what exactly does it mean to “flatten the curve?”
Live Science explains that, “Flattening the curve refers to community isolation measures that keep the daily number of disease cases at a manageable level for medical providers.” The curve that scientists refer to is a theoretical number of people who are projected to contract COVID-19 over a period of time. According to Health.com, “If coronavirus is passed on too quickly and too many people become infected at one time, the resources available to fight it could quickly become overwhelmed. By staggering the number of COVID-19 cases over a longer period of time, everyone who becomes infected can have better access to care.” University of Michigan’s Michigan Health reports that, “If individuals and communities take steps to slow the virus’ spread, that means the number of cases of COVID-19 will stretch out across a longer period of time.”
We can all contribute to flattening the curve by collective action, according to Live Science. This includes following the recommendations of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for “all Americans to wash their hands frequently, self-isolate when they’re sick or suspect they might be, and start social distancing (essentially, avoiding other people whenever possible) right away.”
To speak with a healthcare provider at Primary Medical Care Center & Urgent Care Clinic to assess any non-emergency health concerns, including suspected COVID-19 symptoms, please call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic. For life-threatening emergencies, always call 911. For coronavirus updates and resources, please visit our website at www.primarymed.com.