Despite the outbreaks oversees that have caused Italy, Spain and France to follow behind China in shutting down their countries almost entirely to keep people out of the public and stem the spread of COVID-19, there are still very differing opinions here in the United States. A portion of our population is taking precautions self-quarantining themselves and practicing strict social-distancing. Still, there is a large portion of the country that is living life as usual attending movies, eating in public and supporting the continuation of life as normal.
There are many reasons for both sides of these beliefs. Unfortunately some of them are politically fueled, some support conspiracy theories behind the source of the virus and others have people who just don't care out of ignorance and selfishness.
Now there's an article that quite frankly, WE ALL NEED TO READ!
Harry Stevens, a graphics reporter for the Washington Post, published an article to WashingtonPost.com yesterday that showcases the effects of COVID-19 and showcases ways that we as the public can thwart the aggressive spread and "flatten the curve" in an attempt to get ahead of the disease and avoid overwhelming our healthcare system.
As Dr. Mark Sannes told us on The Power Trip last Friday, "If you can limit the number of people getting this disease, our healthcare system will be able to handle a surge, what we can't handle is giant spikes."
Left alone, COVID-19 is aggressively spreading fast enough to create one of these giant spikes right now that would overwhelm our hospitals and cause problems for our country that would result in a higher number of coronavirus contractions and ultimately a higher number of deaths.
In his article "Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to 'flatten the curve'", Stevens uses graphical representations to highlight just how quickly COVID-19 could overwhelm the system and more importantly how exercising practices like "quarantining" and "social-distancing" can help us get ahead of the disease and regain control on something that we know very little about.
Thankfully, we are seeing authorities start to take the measures that will lead to semi-forced social distancing by taking away opportunities and reasons to gather together in public.
"We control the desire to be in public spaces by closing down public spaces. Italy is closing all of its restaurants. China is closing everything and we are closing things now, too," said Drew Harris in the article, a population health researcher and assistant professor at The Thomas Jefferson University College of Public Health. "Reducing the opportunities for gathering helps folks social distance."
It truly is a fascinating article, the most clear demonstration of the veracity of COVID-19 and the potential effectiveness of "social-distancing" that I have seen to date. I'm not saying this lightly, but it should somehow be required reading for every American.
Please take some time to read the article and checkout the graphical demonstrations at the link below.