SAQ: What ‘flattening the curve’ of coronavirus means and how it works

Effort is meant to prevent overwhelming health care system

SAQ: What 'flattening the curve' of coronavirus means and how it works
SAQ: What 'flattening the curve' of coronavirus means and how it works

SAN ANTONIO – By now, you’ve probably heard the term “flattening the curve” often when it comes to the new coronavirus.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has been growing larger every day, and the rate at which it’s growing has health experts concerned. If the trend continues this way, the United States could overwhelm the health care industry’s ability to care for infected individuals.

In Italy, where the virus ran rampant over the past few weeks, doctors have been unable to give patients proper care, forcing tough decisions on how to use vital medical supplies and equipment to help treat those who are afflicted.

If enough people in Texas got sick, capacity would become an urgent crisis.

Texas hospitals don’t have enough beds for coronavirus patients if too many people get sick at once

An overwhelmed health care system would lead to preventable deaths and could wipe out larger portions of vulnerable populations, like the elderly or those with compromised immune systems.

But this worst-case scenario can be prevented through social distancing, which means keeping people away from each other to help stem the spread of COVID-19.

By closing schools and restricting public events and large gatherings, the virus will spread much slower.

Though slowing the spread of the virus extends its time, it would prevent flooding the health care system, which is a more urgent concern. By preventing hospitals from running out of beds, and freeing up supplies, more infected people can get treated and make a full recovery from COVID-19.

See more SAQs related to coronavirus here.

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About the Author:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.