What’s This Curve We’re Flattening?

Epidemiology basics and COVID-19

Esther Kim@k_thosandCarl T. Bergstrom@CT_Bergstrom / CC BYWikimedia Commons

Where the shit really hits the fan is when the number of cases far exceeds the flatline healthcare capacity. More people are getting sick and dying than hospitals can handle.

On the other side of this large peak is a sharp drop in the number of cases, because by that point most people will have gotten sick and either died or recovered and developed at least some degree of immunity.

RCraig09 / CC BY-SAWikimedia Commons
RCraig09 / CC BY-SAWikimedia Commons
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The take-home, though, is that even in the best-case scenario projections, it looks like more people are going to die. In the worst-case scenario projections, a whole lot more people will die.

I wonder if the people who’ve been protesting because they want haircuts, or because they think restrictions are communist measures that take away their freedom, are keen to volunteer their parents, grandparents, and immunocompromised family members to be among the potentially 70K+ more people who are going to die if restrictions are lifted too much, too quickly. Priorities, right?

Mental health blogger | Former MH nurse | Living with depression | Author of 3 books, latest is Managing the Depression Puzzle | mentalhealthathome.org